How to Implement Rich Snippets for E-commerce Websites
SEO is competitive, especially for online businesses. Everyone’s working hard to try to stand out in the search results, and every day it just gets harder.
Yet only about 17% of marketers are taking advantage of a resource that can quickly help you stand out in the SERPs: rich snippets.
What Are Rich Snippets?
When you do a search, some of the results you see are simple links in blue with a description below them in black, like this.
But some include more. For some types of results, you can see images, ratings, video thumbnails, pricing information, calorie details (for recipes), and product availability, to name a few examples. These are called rich snippets.
That extra information makes results stand out more on the SERP and provides information that makes a person more likely to click through. If you’re researching dehumidifiers, knowing that the cost of one is within your budget and it’s in stock is good incentive to visit the website.
As a website owner, you have some control over whether or not your website shows up with that kind of rich information in the search results. It’s simply a matter of updating your website with schema markup.
Determine the Types of Schema Relevant to You
You’ll notice that what shows up in rich snippets varies for different types of results and content. For example, you’re not going to see calorie count for a product page selling shoes. To account for the differences in the types of information people are interested in for various types of results, there’s different schema markup for a wide range of webpages.
You don’t need to be aware of or use all of them, but there are a few main ones that most ecommerce businesses will benefit from adding to your website.
1. Product Schema
The Product schema markup alerts Google to the fact that the page it’s on is a product page. Using product markup gives you the option to add in some of the other types of markup on this list that will make your snippets more valuable to searchers. And it lets Google know that these pages are good ones to show for searches where the consumer is looking for the kind of product you sell.
How to Add Product Schema Markup to Your Website
Select Products and paste the URL of your product page in. You can then easily fill in the fields provided by highlighting parts of the page for each. For example, when you highlight the name of your product and click, you’ll get a dropdown menu you can choose “Name” from.
Once you’ve filled in all the fields you want to add schema markup for, click “Create html” and you’ll get the code you need to copy and paste into your website. The parts of the code that have been added in by the markup tool will show up in yellow.
If you still feel out of your depth here, then it’s time to bring in your developer. They should be able to easily add in the new code at your request.
2. Reviews and Ratings Schema
Customer reviews are a huge part of how people make purchasing decisions. A full 90% of consumers have said they read online reviews when researching products and 88% of them put their trust in reviews when making a decision.
Adding review and ratings schema markup to your pages means consumers get the benefit of that information even before they click. Those good reviews you’ve earned can start to benefit you before prospects even land on your website.
How to Add Reviews and Ratings Schema Markup to Your Website
The information on schema.org for Reviews and Rating code is here. But you can get the code for your website by using the same instructions for the Structured Data Markup Helper provided above for this schema markup type as well. When in the tool, click on the ratings and reviews on your page to fill in the appropriate fields to get your Product schema.
3. Price Schema
You know your customers are thinking about price. It’s pretty much always a consideration in deciding between different options. The schema markup for price lets you fill in that information on the results page as well, giving the customers even more of the information they need. If they can see right off the bat that your product is within their price range, they’re more likely to click through.
How to Add Price Schema Markup to Your Website
This is another one of the fields included as part of the Product schema markup. So you can use the Structured Data Markup Helper here too. Just highlight the price on the page, select “Offer” and then “Price” to fill in that field as well.
4. Product Availability Schema
If you’ve ever had the experience of visiting a website to buy a specific product only to find it out of stock, then you know that’s a bad customer experience. The Product Availability schema markup lets you tell customers before they even get to your website that they won’t have that problem, reducing your bounce rate.
How to Add Product Availability Schema Markup to Your Website
Unfortunately, there’s not a handy shortcut for this one. You’ll need to use the code information from schema.org. If you look at the example code they offer on the page and scan down to where you see itemprop=”availability” you’ll see the code you need to add.
5. Video Schema
If video is part of your content strategy, or if you make videos to help highlight your products, then the last important type of schema markup you’re likely to use is the video markup. For any page that has a video on it, this can show a video thumbnail alongside the search result, adding a visual to the snippet that makes it more likely to draw attention.
How to Add Video Schema Markup to Your Website
This is another one where you’ll need to figure out the code without the tool’s help. Google helpfully provides some example code here. You just need to fill in the particular information for your video in the sections that follow content=. As an example, in <meta itemprop=”thumbnailUrl” content=”thumbnail.jpg” />, “thumbnail.jpg” will be replaced by the name of the image you want to show up as the thumbnail for your video.
Bonus option: Rich Advertisements
Schema isn’t the only way to get rich results on the SERPs, you can also pay for them. Through the Google Merchant Center, you can add much of the same information to ads that you do with schema for natural results. You can use PPC advertising to ensure your products show up with images, ratings information, and useful info on deals, availability, and shipping.
Adding schema markup to your website can be a little complicated to figure out, especially if you’re not familiar with coding. But for ecommerce businesses, it’s work worth doing. It gives you a valuable way to stand out in the search results and get more of your audience to actually click through to the website. That makes it well worth some time spent copying and pasting code.
Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based freelance content writer and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to learn new things. She uses that curiosity, combined with her experience as a freelance business owner, to write about subjects valuable to small business owners on the HostGator blog. You can find her on Twitter at @atxcopywriter.