Hosting Tutorial & Guide

Why and How to Use Rich Snippets on Your WordPress Site?

updated on Feb 09, 2016
Why and How to Use Rich Snippets on Your WordPress Site? In this rapidly changing and severely competing era, it is a deep longing for most site owners to gain as much as possible attention from major search engines as well as their visitors. In this case, rich snippets are brought into being.

Wondering what exactly are these staff? Take your patience. The answer is on the way. In the following sections, we firstly give a brief introduction to rich snippets and its benefits. Then, we will provide a detailed guide to help you add and use rich snippets on your WordPress site.

What Are Rich Snippets?

In general, rich snippets are a type of structured data added to mark up your site content on the search engine result pages (SERPs). Compared to an excerpt or a meta description, a rich snippet contains more relevant and detailed information about a search result listing, such as ratings, images, URLs, etc.

It was in 2009 that Google decided to work along with Yahoo and Bing to add rich snippets to level up the quality of searching results. At present, these major search engines support various types of rich snippets, including product, review, recipe, event, software application, news article, etc.

A real example is displayed as below. This rich snippet shows the search results of Star Wars, including its aggregate rating value and the vote accounts, being quite helpful for those who are looking for detailed information about the movie.

Example Rich Snippet

How Rich Snippets Will Benefit Your Site?

It goes without saying that if you want to do online promotions, sales, or any other activities, you need to win clicks. And if you want to win clicks, you firstly have to get noticed. That's the point where rich snippets come into play.

As mentioned before, using rich snippets is a good way for site owners to communicate with both the search engines and visitors. Rich snippets can be beneficial for your site in the following aspects.
  • Provide up-to-date information about your products, services, and other pieces of contents to attract more potential followers and consumers.
  • Catch users' attention to your site and enhance their browsing experience with relevant search results, which in turn increases the click-through rates.
  • Improve your site visibility as well as search engine rankings.

How to Implement Rich Snippets to Your WordPress Site?

When marking up any site content, there are three popular languages available over the web, including Microformats, Microdata, and RDFa. However, the one favored by Google and other major search engines is Microdata. In this case, Google, Yahoo, and Bing launched, a Microdata vocabulary, in 2002 to standardize the creation of rich snippets.

At present, there are several free plugins developed for WordPress site owners to implement rich snippets. Among these plugins, our editors have carefully selected the most popular one named as All In One Rich Snippets to help you tag rich snippet contents with ease. Check the following steps to see how the plugin is used.

Step 1 - Install the All In One Rich Snippets plugin

First and foremost, you need to install the All In One Rich Snippets plugin on your site. If you are fresh to this process, refer to our tutorial about how to install WordPress plugins for an easy guide.

Install the Plugin

Step 2 - Configure and customize your rich snippets

Upon activation, there will be a newly added icon - "Rich Snippets" on your sidebar menu. Click the icon to navigate to the plugin configuration page.

As the following screen capture shows, the plugin allows you to create various types of rich snippets. Click on any type and you will see an extensive list of fields that will be displayed when a user is editing a post, page, or other custom post type.

Rich Snippet Type

Also, after switching to the ""Customization" tag, you are able to see a list of options for customizing the look and feel of your rich snippet boxes. Modify these settings based on your preference and needs. Remember to click the "Update Colors" button to enable your changes.

Customize Rich Snippet Boxes

Then, start by creating a new post, page, or any custom post type or editing an existing one. As in this case, we have selected to edit an existing post named as Wuthering Heights Quotes. Presented by the following image, there is a meta box - "Configure Rich Snippet" below the post editor. From the drop-down menu of this meta box, you are supposed to select a content type for the post.

Configure Rich Snippet Meta Box

In the next, fill the corresponding rich snippet fields that are displayed after you have chosen a content type. For us, we need to provide the article name, short description, author name, and other information. It is worth noting that you are not required to fill all the fields. Besides, remember to make your rich snippets comply with Google's regulations that are detailed on this page.

Fill the Rich Snippet Field

In the last, do not forget to publish or update the post to store all your changes.

Step 3 - Test the rich snippets

After you have marked up your content, it will take Google and other search engines some time to crawl your site and decide when to display the rich snippet that you created just now. Therefore, you can use the Structured Data Testing Tool to test it.

Paste your markup into the toolbox or click the "Fetch URL" link to enter the post permalink. Hit the "Validate" button and you will see the preview of the rich snippet as below.

Preview of the Rich Snippet

Carefully check if the rich snippet is displayed correctly. If yes, congratulations, you have succeeded in marking your site content up, which can very possibly set you apart from peer competitors on the SERPs.