Optimise WordPress for Rich Snippets

What are ‘Rich Snippets’

rich snippetsOk, so today’s post is a bit meaty (TL:DR) and may take you a couple of reads to get through / get your head around… So before going straight to your Word­Press site or Google+ and imple­ment­ing the points I’ve lis­ted below, you may want to know what ‘rich snip­pets’ are and what code is actu­ally trig­ger­ing them behind the scenes.

Put simply, rich snip­pets are an easy-to-crawl form of markup, using which you can bet­ter dic­tate inform­a­tion that a search engine dis­plays about a par­tic­u­lar webpage.

So you get to select rel­ev­ant, use­ful and more invit­ing data for the search res­ults, ideally boost­ing the click through ratio.

What Types of Rich Snip­pet are Supported

There are mainly 3 sup­por­ted formats of rich snip­pets that will be accep­ted by the Google spider on instruc­tion — Microdata, Basic Micro­format and RDFa. Since webpages con­tinu­ously evolve towards HTML 5 code, it would be wise to stick with “microdata”, as this is cur­rent and under­stood by all major search engines.

What can Rich Snip­pets be used for?

Rich snip­pits can be geared towards any kind of data or searcher, primar­ily, the code in you page can be best mod­i­fied to suit

  • Product searches
  • Event searches
  • Review searches
  • Music/Band searches

The code has to be mod­i­fied to reflect the fol­low­ing properties:

  • The product, event or review title
  • Tim­ing and loc­a­tion (for events)
  • Price and avail­ab­il­ity (for products)
  • The reviewer and date of post­ing the review (for reviews)
  • Con­cert details and ticket prices for (for band performances)

NOTE: based on how many people reviewed a product, event or any other rich data, will ulti­mately affect the rat­ing of the rich snip­pits (and hence the webpage) based on a 5 point scale.

This rat­ing will appear along with the snip­pit under your page title in the SERPs and will greatly impact the amount of con­vert­ing traffic you get.

If you can under­stand any one of these, optim­ising the page for the rest is also pretty simple. Let me cover an example of a “product” rich snippit.

Product rich snip­pit code (steps):

1. Switch over to your HTML code using the code-edit fea­ture in cPanel.

2. Use the <div> tag to indic­ate the type of rich snip­pet you’re cre­at­ing. Most of this code will deploy “schema.org” markup as it plays a role in the activ­a­tion and tra­cing of the code.

CODE:

<div item­scope itemtype=“http://schema.org/Product”>

(END CODE)

3. Markup the name of the product within <span> tags.

CODE:

<span itemprop=“name”>PRODUCT NAME HERE</span>

(END CODE)

4. Next, you will need to embed and offer ele­ment using the “offers prop­erty” offered to be tracked by schema.org. This will also help you to con­vey your price and availability.

CODE:

<div itemprop=“offers” item­scope itemtype=“http://schema.org/Offer”>

<span itemprop=“price”>$97.50</span>

<meta itemprop=“priceCurrency” content=“USD” />

<link itemprop=“availability” href=“http://schema.org/Instock”/> AVAILABILITY STATUS HERE </div>

(END CODE)

NOTE: that the <meta> tag in the above code will help you to tran­scribe the price into the ISO format of “GBP” instead of the tra­di­tional “£” (or “USD” instead of “$”)

This is import­ant as you do not know what form your tar­get reader responds to even though you may know the loc­a­tion you’ve ter­geted him in.

5. You may place the code in the above steps sequen­tially on your page. Do not for­get to close tags that have been opened and not closed yet.

6. Also, this code will help the spider sig­nal back that the page has to be dis­played or lis­ted in a par­tic­u­lar format. It will not affect the appear­ance your page had earlier.

Imple­ment­ing Rich Snip­pets into a Word­Press Blog

Now, for those of you who are tech­nic­ally chal­lenged, there’s a way to integ­rate rich snip­pets into word­press, using easy to install plu­gins. There are two decent plu­gins that allow this fea­ture to integ­rate into your blog — “SEO Ulti­mate” and “GD Rat­ings”.

For those who are already using the “All in One SEO” plu­gin, the GD rat­ings plu­gin would be bet­ter as the SEO Ulti­mate will only add to the load on your page as it has a lot of other func­tion­al­ity apart from rich snip­pets. If you double optim­ize your site with 2 plu­gins, you will raise your site load­ing time.

Also SEO Ulti­mate is heav­ier than All in One SEO, so yeah it should only be used as a replace­ment, not as an add on. But, if you’re still keen on using SEO Ulti­mate, you can eas­ily import all your optim­isa­tion set­tings from All in One SEO.

Finally, if you wish to show more than one rat­ing to your page/post from mul­tiple vis­it­ors, in the SERPs, GD Rat­ings is the option for you.

Select the one you want and continue.

Steps for WP integ­ra­tion (for SEO Ultimate…steps are sim­ilar for GD Ratings):

1. Install the appro­pri­ate plu­gin zip file and extract it to the plu­gins dir­ect­ory. Oth­er­wise, use your WP dash­board to install.

2. Adjust your theme file to sup­port “Google Rich Snip­pet Syn­tax”. Verify the blog-post field, against man­dat­ory fields, required as “review post” by Google. This will ensure WP blog-posts are read when pars­ing con­tent for the snippet.

3. Next, open the page to add rich snip­pet code to, in your WP dashboard.

4. In the “SEO Set­tings” Box, point to “Rich Snip­pet Type” and a drop-down will appear.

5. Select “Review” (If you opt for a review type snip­pet. Adjust accord­ingly for other types).

6. Choose a star rating.

7. Click “Save Changes”.

That’s it!

Short, sweet and simple.

Rel­ev­ant fields and val­ues for dis­play will be fetched from the post/page con­tent by the plu­gin, if everything was done correctly.

Mak­ing Sure it’s Correct

You can test your imple­ment­a­tion using the Google “Rich Snip­pet Tool” in Google’s Web­mas­ter Tools.

What the REL=“Author” is that(?)

I’ll tell you about it in just a few moments, but before you do test, there’s one more aspect we should cover in order to aid our efforts with rich snippits.

It’s imple­ment­a­tion of the rel=“author”.

Imple­ment­a­tion has to be done in a way that not only lends credit to the author of an import­ant post, but also helps your rich snip­pits to show that author as a catch in the SERPs, imme­di­ately draw­ing atten­tion and shoot­ing traffic through the roof!

How­ever, just to let you know before­hand that rel=“author” has a restriction.

It can­not sup­port mul­tiple author blogs. This means it is ideal for use on a site which has a single author blog, i.e., not fit for syn­dic­ated con­tent (yet). But if your site is self-hosted, that’s per­fect :)

Imple­ment­ing REL=“author” into your blog

The steps to fol­low are:

1. Goto ‘Appear­ance / Widgets’

2. Add a Text wid­get to a mod­ule place­ment — I tend to use Sidebar

3. From the author name on the blog post, link to the author page on the blog.

4. To that link, add the rel attrib­ute with “author as the attribute-value.

CODE:

<a href=“http://your-domain-name.com/author/YOUR NAME/” title=“Posts YOUR NAME” rel=“author”>(END CODE)

5. On the author page, cretae a link to your pro­file on Google+. Tag the link with the rel attrib­ute again. But this time the value is “me”.

CODE:

<a rel=“me” href=“https://plus.google.com/10276****4677*******”>My G+ Profile</a>

(END CODE)

6. Open your G+ pro­file and cre­ate a link to the author page of your blog. We again have to tag this link with rel=“me”. This can be eas­ily done by check­ing the option — This page is spe­cific­ally about me — before cre­at­ing the link. And you’re done!

Now for the test­ing part. Go to the link for the rich snip­pets test­ing tool (This will check your markup and let you know if google can index the struc­tures rich snip­pets data on your page and it will also give you a pre­view of how the page appears in Google Search)

Please keep in mind that index­ing of rich snip­pits takes time and do give it a good day or two. Also, as the tool is in devel­op­ment, it only has an inter­face in Eng­lish, though it can test markup for other lan­guages as well. But the pre­view in that case may not be what you expect, so con­duct a search later to see the final result.

NOTE: the sup­por­ted RDFa attrib­utes are xmlns, typeof, prop­erty, rel, and con­tent. If you test a URL and it says “Insuf­fi­cient data”, the that is prob­ably because the head­ers, foot­ers and nav­ig­a­tion on that page are not about the data that has been marked up in rich snip­pets. Also, it could be because the marked-up con­tent is miss­ing import­ant attrib­utes to qual­ify for the tool. Remem­ber to cover organ­isa­tion, loc­a­tion, or role, and name. Okay, now for the reults after you enter a valid URL to a qual­i­fy­ing page.

3 Sec­tions to Google’s Rich Snip­pet Tool

# 1 : Google Search Preview

This will show you the expec­ted appear­ance of your rich snip­pet, as it will be vis­ible to the every­day user when they ser­ach for your con­tent and tar­get keywords…along with a link to the FAQ sec­tion of the tool, in case you feel this is not what you expected.

# 2 : Expec­ted Author/Publisher for this page

The format is some­what like this:

authorlinked author pro­file = www.link.com/author/James google pro­file = http://profiles.google.com/15362353*******/about author name = James Bond (END FORMAT)

Below this would be a line indic­at­ing whether or not this author/publisher is veri­fied for the Author­ship. The first line is indic­at­ing whether the page con­tent is from an author or from a pub­lisher who has rights to the con­tent. The fol­low­ing three lines are giv­ing links to the suthor pro­file at their blog, their G+ pro­file and their name, respectively.

# 3 : Extrac­ted Rich Snip­pet data from the page

This will give the descript­ive data the pub­lisher author­ises to be used for ref­er­ence to the page. Accom­pa­ny­ing it are all the details about the rel tags, their tar­get URLs and their anchor names/statements. You will also get details about the date and time when the post was pub­lished and last updated. In the end, there will be a small list­ing of gen­eral details about the page, it’s site­name, title, URL, page-type and the publisher’s pre­ferred image for that post in the for of it’s URL.

And finally…

At the bot­tom of the res­ults, you have the option to explore your rich snip­pets as returned by a cus­tom search engine.

You’re wel­come ;)

About

SEO, social con­tent and sig­nals advoc­ate, closet geek (not fully fledge), writer, speaker, & blogger.

Founder of NOD3x (http://nod3x.com) — Social Net­work Ana­lysis, know­ledge graph ana­lysis application

Lee can be con­tac­ted by email: here

Comments are disabled for this post