Chapter 6: Rich Results
We’ve explained the hows and whys of SEO content marketing but, as mentioned, the zero-click phenomenon is still prevalent. Marketers are left scratching their heads about how to lure users to click on the page and read their content. In this chapter of our Ultimate Guide to SEO, we’ll look at how structured data can help us get rich results so that your web page can be presented in a more diverse way in the search engine results page.
What Are Rich Results?
Rich results are a type of Google search result. It typically contains visual elements such as thumbnails, carousels, review stars or other visual enhancements.
The early search results used to be plain blue links which only displayed the URL, title, and meta description.
Since 2009, Google has gradually introduced rich results in order to provide a better search experience and help users find relevant answers to questions more easily.
Common Types of Rich Results
Breadcrumbs indicate the position of a webpage in a website’s hierarchy. It helps users understand the relationship between web pages and enables easy navigation within the website.
The FAQ section of your website may also be shown in the search results pages.
3. Job Postings
Google has its own user interface to display job listings from different websites.
How to Enable Rich Results?
The most common way to enable rich results is to add structured data when coding a website. Structured data is a standardized format for classifying web pages that helps search engines understand information on a page. When certain information is considered to provide users with better search experience by Google, it will be displayed in the search engine results page. For instance, the title, author, publication time, and featured image are all structured data of an article.
When it comes to finding the right structured data code, other than Google’s official reference, you can also find codes from schema.org. Most content management systems (CMS) also provide plugins to make it a breeze for webmasters to add different codes onto their web pages.
Tools like Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool or Google’s Rich Results Test can be used to check whether a web page’s information is coded correctly. One thing we should bear in mind is that even if we code structured data properly, it doesn’t promise that rich results will appear in the search results. That’s because Google will decide and display what it considers the best search results. In other words, adding structured data increases the chances of generating rich results but it’s not guaranteed.
Do Structured Data Help in Search Ranking?
Fact is, there’s no direct correlation between structured data and SEO rankings. But when used properly, search engines are able to better grasp the context of your content. More importantly, your web pages have a greater chance of being presented in a diversified and visually-appealing manner, which can attract more clicks, traffic, interaction and sharing that could indirectly improve your rankings.
We hope that you’ve come to a better understanding of how rich results work. In the coming chapter, we’ll explore the relationship between user experience (UX) and SEO. Stay tuned for tips on optimizing the user experience of your website. Have questions about our SEO services? Get in touch with us today!
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