Google rich snippets and their SEO effect
SEO methods and secrets are being widely discussed on the Internet but one interesting SEO technique is usually ignored. If you are obsessed with your website SEO, consider the possibility to add Google rich snippets markup to your site.
Several months ago we have issued the “Google Rich Snippets” add-on for the ecommerce system CS-Cart and now we are pleased to see how this add-on helps our clients stand out from the competition in the Google search results.
So, let’s talk about rich snippets for ecommerce websites and see what SEO effect they can have.
What is a rich snippet?
As you probably know, a rich snippet is the additional information about your website page which is shown near a Google search result. In particular, it is a visual way for ecommerce websites to display products, prices and reviews effectively in search results.
Let's see an example. While searching for the information about a certain skin care product, Google showed the following results (part of a screen shot):
One of the results have rich snippets which include such useful information as a price, number of reviews, rating with stars, in stock information. It is obvious that this result looks more appealing and outstanding from the boring text-only listings.
SEO effect of Google rich snippets
Highlighted information about the product (stars, price, etc.) in Google search results attracts attention and it results in more clicks and therefore more traffic to a page.
Here is the statement from the official google webmasters help forum: «Our experiments show that many sites have seen increased clickthrough by showing an enhanced snippet because users better notice all the good content from the site.»
Rich snippets provide instant information as related to the query and therefore can help to reduce the bounce rate. People have a sense of what a web page may contain and are interested to learn more.
Google rich snippets don't influence any Google ranking directly. So, if Google can't find your website pages according to your search quires, snippets won't help you in this direction. But here is one big point to consider. Rich snippets can bring more qualified visitors to your pages. It is a known fact that Google encourages websites with quality traffic and considers traffic information while evaluating a website page rank.
Google does not guarantee that rich snippets will be displayed correctly in search results even if structured data is marked up and can be extracted successfully according to the Rich snippets testing tool. But according to our experience (our clients' websites) Google rich snippets work fine upon the conditions that the website information can be successfully interpreted by Google, the marked-up data is correct and not hidden from the user.
Now it's high time to add rich snippets to your ecommerce website because rich snippets are still something new and not used by everybody. It means you get a real chance to stand out from the competition, motivate end-users to click onto your pages and therefore increase sales.