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Use Rich Snippets to Boost Search Engine Click-Through Rates ©

Canadian Internet entrepreneurs can always use a boost in click-through rates from search engines.  In this post, Thomas McMahon shares his tips for using Rich Snippets to make your webpage stand out on search engine result pages so you can grab those clicks!  Make sure you don’t abuse this trick, however, or it may backfire on you.

Use Rich Snippets to Boost Click-Through Rates
By Thomas McMahon

Improving the click-though rate on your links appearing in the search engine result pages is one of the best ways to improve sales, readership, and page views. There are a number of ways to do this, and many involve trying to get your pages to rank higher in search results through search engine optimization (SEO) and link-building practices, but these are time intensive and expensive. An easier option is to implement Rich Snippets on pages that are already ranking for queries.

What Are Rich Snippets?

What are these easy to apply and powerful tools? Well, you’ve probably seen them already if you use search engines, and especially Google. First of all, a “snippet” (just a normal one) is the text found underneath the big blue links on a Google search results page – a snippet of information, if you will. A Rich Snippet offers detailed information about what is on the page in an eye-pleasing manor.

Even though Gareth Hoyle’s link ranks below WordTracker.com’s, Gareth’s takes up more room on the search engine results page, is eye-catching, and establishes trust with the searcher by providing more information about the author.

What kind of information do Rich Snippets provide? That is up to you, as there are a number to choose from depending on the content of the page.

How to Implement Rich Snippets

Rich Snippets aren’t hard to implement into a site. Rich Snippet HTML tags simply get added to existing code. Don’t worry, the code won’t make any changes to how the pages look or function – just how the snippets are portrayed in the search engine results. The particulars are a bit dense, but if you’re interested in implementing Rich Snippets read more at this Google help page, and find helpful coding at Schema.org.

While it’s not difficult, it can still be a hassle to go through your site and put in the appropriate tags – especially if you’re not tech savvy – but the benefits of adding RS tags to your site might convince you to bite the bullet.

Increased Click-Through Rate

Showing up organically in Google’s results is only half the battle, the other half is getting people to click on your link and follow through to your site. Ranking highly helps this to happen naturally, but Rich Snippets help grab the searcher’s eye by giving them extra information, and being aesthetically pleasing. A search engine results page without Rich Snippets looks humdrum and monotonous and the only incentives to click on the links are the titles and rank of the link. The eye-catching pictures and extra information that a Rich Snippet provides brings a surprising amount of life to the otherwise bland results page.

Because of the eye-catching information, Rich Snippets help boost the click-through rate (CTR) in a natural, easily implemented way. The CTR boosts are even larger if you operate in a narrow niche and try to rank pages for long-term keywords which have less competition. Depending on the niche, you have a chance of being one of the only people utilizing Rich Snippets, which can make your Google links stand out over your competitors’.

Just Remember…

Enabling Rich Snippets won’t make you rank better, but it will help boost the CTR on the links you already have ranking. Since the snippet tags won’t do anything to change the look of the page, you’ll need to make sure that the page fosters engagement. Then if your CTR for that page does improve, people will actually want to spend time on your site.

=========== Author Bio ===========
Thomas McMahon is a writer and link building specialist who works for Page One Power, a relevancy first link building company. Thomas helps Page One Power provide white hat SEO practices to an international client base.
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Do you use Rich Snippets on your website? Please share your experience in the comments below.

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