With Google’s recent release of Hummingbird, its latest algorithm focusing on “Conversational Search”, we thought it’d be good to bring back a few of last year’s much talked about blogging tips and to expand on the ones we think can be the most useful to you and to your blog!
At FBC5, Eugene from Wholegrain (@EatWholeGrain) was amongst us. His presentation on WordPress and SEO touched on a lot of points including how posting certain types of articles could improve your blog’s notoriety and eventually your rankings in search engines result pages (SERPs)
As you must have noticed when you search for a recipe in Google for instance, some of the results you get are formatted in a slightly more appealing way just like this:
But how exactly do you implement these rich snippets on your blog? Here’s a step by step guide on how to do it and how it works!
Schema.org, Micro Data and Rich Snippets: what are they?
Released in June 2011 as an open source project by the three Search engine giants Google, Bing and Yahoo, Schema.org was introduced to help webmasters marking-up and tagging the content of their sites in a standardized manner, which in turn would help search engines returning better search results.
Micro data is a type of semantic markup (like RDFa and Microformats) used in correlation with Schema.org to describe the elements of web pages by adding HTML tags and information to its content and that’s the language search engines can understand.
Rich snippets are what you can see appearing in some of your searches just like this:
They are made possible thanks to Schema.org and Micro Data.
Why would I bother using them?
If search engines can ‘read’ your site more precisely and understand your content correctly, they are more likely to rank it better than others
Having rich snippets has proven to improve the click through rate from search engine page results and therefore organic traffic. One of the main reason? Your eyes! Just take a look at this MOZ article referring to eye-tracking technology. And just try to analyze your own behaviour. Which page are you the most likely to visit from the ones below:
That’s right, if you’re like us, the one with the picture and the five stars!
In summary, of course it will take you more time but it might well be worth the price in terms of traffic to your site and to help you grow the notoriety of your site.
What are the different types of rich snippets?
– Review ratings
– Software applications
How do I implement them?
The easiest mark-ups to implement are the ones for which Google WMT offers you assistance with.
Let’s say you’ve recently read and published an article on a chef’s or any other amazing cooking book on your blog. Or you’ve written-up one of your latest recipes and would like visitors to your blog to rate it.
It’d be great if your review could appear in the SERPS for the specific terms related to this cookbook and his author or for the terms of the recipes you’ve created with the average readers’ review right?
Option 1: Use a plugin on WordPress
These two different plugins will help you to implement your markup within your dashboard and article edit page itself.
– All in one Schema.org Rich Snippet
– WP Customer Reviews (if you’re only interested in getting an aggregated number of reviews on some of your articles – on your recipes for instance as mentioned above)
If your blog is on WordPress and you’re really not comfortable with coding, this is by far the easiest option to start with.
If you decide to go for the All in one Schema.org Rich Snippet plugin, here’s an example of the details you’d need to add. Note that this data will then appear at the end of your post in a separate table that you can customise if needed in the Rich Snippets plugin’s options from your dashboard.
Option 2: Use Google Structured Data Markup Helper
This nifty and so useful tool made available by Google itself will help you determine the type of semantic markup you need to add to your pages. Simply follow the step:
1. Pick the type of page you’d like to markup
2. Paste the URL of the page itself right below
Once done, you should be directed to a page looking like this:
And then the fun shall begin! Start tagging 😉
Once you’ve tagged as many items as you could on your page, click on “Create HTML”, and here is what you’ll get:
This text on the right is the entire HTML code of your page, as it currently appears on your site (which you can check by doing a right click and “View Source” at anytime when your article page is open in a browser) BUT with in addition, the implemented markup for the different items you highlighted a few minutes ago.
The only thing you’ve got to do now to complete the process is to:
– Edit the HTML of your article in your CMS (no matter if you’re on WordPress, Blogger or any other platform)
– Add the parts highlighted in yellow with the correct opening and closing tags to your original article and then update it.
Here’s an example of what some part of your coded page could now look like if you were working on a book review:
<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Book”>
<img itemprop=”image” src=”http://www.foodbloggerconnect.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/JK-book-launch-party-invite-at-FBC51.jpg” />
<span itemprop=”name”>The Jewelled Kitchen</span> –
by <a itemprop=”author” href=”http://bethanykehdy.com/“>Bethany Kehdy</a>
<span itemprop=”numberOfPages”>224</span> pages
Publisher: <span itemprop=”publisher”>Duncan Baird Publishers</span> –
<meta itemprop=”datePublished” content=”2013-07-04″>04/07/2013
Language: <span itemprop=”inLanguage”>English</span>
ISBN-10: <span itemprop=”isbn”>9781848990623</span>
How do I know if I’ve done this right?
Guess what, Google has another tool for that!
Head to its Structured Data Testing Tool page and paste there the URL of the article you just marked up.
The element you added to your HTML and enabling search engines to discover them can be seen when you scroll down the results of that Structured Data Testing Tool page and should look like something like this.
Implementing mark-ups on your blog is an easy way to set you apart from other sites and to increase visits to your site (CTR) and potentially your ranking on certain terms along with your online authority.
Last but not least
Only markup content that is visible to your visitors and relevant. You can check Google guidelines on rich snippets at anytime to make sure you’re doing the right thing.
Additional resources and tools
Let us know how you’ve found this article and if you’d like more “hands-on” and tech type of posts like this in the future 😉
Social Media & Communications Leader
Before spending her days brainstorming on campaigns involving bloggers, Benedicte (@EggBenedicte) used to work as a Publisher & Bookseller in France. It’s not until she moved abroad at 17 that food started to get a major spot in her life. From munching cookies covered in whipped cream at 10 to discovering Brazilian street food for a whole summer and eating some of the finest seafood in Scotland where she now lives, her palate has seen quite some improvement over the last 15 years! Passionate about digital, she also helps managing her partner’s business online (Welch Fishmongers) and gets generously compensated in fresh fish (pretty good deal if you ask us!).
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