Google’s Webmaster Tools is a valuable, FREE and one of the most under-utilized tool by business owners, on the internet. If your business is investing resources into SEO or paying an SEO Agency to expose your brand to consumers, you need to take full advantage of this tool.
Typically site owner’s rave about the power of Google Analytics – but tend to ignore its kissing cousin. I can’t tell you why that is, though, because Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) provides valuable (even crucial) insight about the performance of your website.
But first let’s take a look at this video from Google about this tool…
In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the most important features of GWT and why you should get hooked up, tuned up, or read up on a free service that can help your rankings and save you from real trouble.
What’s the difference between Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools?
Google Analytics (GA) is like a butler. It checks on every visitor, collects personal information from them (For instance: where are you from and what do you want here?), then announces the visitor’s arrival to the homeowner.
It also keeps a log of every visitor’s time of entry, time of departure, and notes where they went and what they did while a guest.
Google Webmaster Tools, on the other hand, is the maintenance staff. It keeps a watch on the structure of the home and ensures it is ready to receive visitors.
Not only that, but Webmaster Tools helps with security. All told, it is the perfect companion to Google Analytics – you need both.
So why do site owners often fail to take advantage of Google Webmaster Tools?
My guess is many people just don’t know about it.
How to access Google Webmaster Tools
The first thing you need is a Google account. If you don’t have one yet, you may be the last person in line.
You’re just a few steps away from better insight.
- Go to the Webmaster Tools: Log in HERE
- Click the red button on the upper right to ADD A SITE
- Enter the URL of the site you wish to add
- Verify the site
NOW… I’m not going to walk you through the 4 verification choices. Not only could that information change at the drop of a hat, but there’s a really cool thing about Webmaster Tools:
Help is never further away than the top right corner of the page.
And GWT Help isn’t sketchy either. It’s good stuff, and it will walk you through any stuck-point you find in the platform.
At GWT, HELP is your friend.
Once your site is verified, you’re good to go. Now, let’s get to the meat of the story.
What can I do in Google Webmaster Tools? How can GWT help my business?
I’m glad you asked.
GWT is a powerhouse of information – especially for the business trying to figure out how to do a better job of marketing online.
NOTE: I’m going to go over the basics of your options in GWT TODAY. Google could add or subtract a feature tomorrow (or later today). If you see something on your GWT dashboard I don’t mention, you already know what to do: Ask for HELP!
By the way, your GWT account – as long as it is assigned to the same gmail account – will allow you to add all of the websites you own. You don’t need a separate GWT account for each site.
You can also manage other people’s GWT or GA presences (with permission), and those will show up on your dashboard.
To work with a website, just select it by clicking on the URL from the Webmaster Tools Home page. The Manage site dropdown to the right is where you add or remove users.
Should you ever want to remove the site from GWT, you can also do that under Manage site.
The basics of the Google Webmaster Tools Dashboard
In the left column are the primary selections. Right now, they include:
- Search Appearance
- Search Traffic
- Google Index
- Security Issues
- Other Resources
The pulldowns in the top right header allow you to switch quickly between your authorized sites, get Help, and (the gear icon) access some important preferences and settings.
First, let’s look at a basic overview of each feature. Then I’ll let you in on a secret about the ones most beneficial to a small business.
After reading this post, go to GWT to check your setup (or get setup) and explore on your own. It would take a book – maybe several books — to explain everything about GWT.
It’s like driving a car: You need to know the basics – then, you get to decide where to go.
Sections of the Google Webmaster Tools Dashboard summarized
Messages – Keep a watch on this section. Should Google ever see a problem with your site, or should you ever be singled out (God forbid) for a penalty, Google will let you know. This is a direct line of communication between you and the Big G. Those telemarketers who call you PRETENDING to be Google – they aren’t. But this is. Pay attention to your Messages.
Search Appearance – The tools here affect how your website appears in the SERP (search engine results page). Getting included in a search is one thing – getting the searcher to choose YOUR site is another. From Search Appearance, you can take action that supports both.
- Structured Data: The more Google can determine about your website, the better Google likes it – and the better Google treats you. Structured data (microdata) enables enhanced presentation on the SERP and inclusion in the Knowledge Graph. In other words, it’s really valuable stuff. It may sound highly technical (and it is), but it is entirely possible for you or someone on your team to activate. Check this page for a look at basic markup properties. Or – if you want to take the easier way, keep reading.
- Data Highlighter: A pretty impressive tool, the Data Highlighter allows you to auto-tag your site’s structured data. Check it out by watching this video. In essence, Data Highlighter is a “point and click” means of implementing microdata. How cool is that?
- HTML Improvements: This is a webmaster’s dream. HTML Improvements is Google’s way of giving you a gentle nudge when your site may have issues hindering their crawl and index activity. Whether your meta descriptions need work, you have duplicate title tags, or are in danger of another potential choke-point – this is tune-up information you don’t want to ignore. The results may not be earth-shaking (or they may), but every little bit helps.
- Sitelinks: These are the links you sometimes see below search results. If you want your business to stand out, use microdata to let Google know you have something important to say… and you may get rewarded with sitelinks. This is a super-valuable exercise for your SEO efforts. It’s a bit like winning the lottery. This feature allows you to let Google know how you think your sitelinks should appear (assuming they ARE appearing).
Search Traffic – This may be the biggest GWT bone of contention among SEO’s. Because some of what you find here overlaps information from Google Analytics and because the data often presents differently, some say you shouldn’t trust this data. Always remember that Google gives you clues, but seldom does Google give you the full picture. Use GWT like a detective, in conjunction with GA and any other tools you have access to, for the best results.
- Search Queries: When you know the search terms visitors use to find your website, you can adjust content accordingly. Are you selling beach balls, but ranking higher for “umbrellas”? You need to tweak your content emphasis or add umbrellas to your lineup. Columns include the query used, the number of impressions, number of clicks, and the average SERP position.QUICK NOTE – In the last week Google was really awesome and changed “Search Queries” to “Search Analytics”, essentially providing you with more valuable data about what keywords your website is ranking for (or queries), pages that are associated with those keywords, how many clicks you got, impressions, click through rates (CTR) and much more.
- Links to Your Site: Which other sites link to you and what are the words (anchor text) they use in the link? Some may say otherwise, but inbound links are still crucial to your ability to rank organically in the SERP. You may find some links you don’t want here and you may see some gaps you want to fill. Either way, Links to Your Site empowers you to take SEO action or check on what your SEO company has been doing for you.
- Internal Links: These are links you make to yourself. Why would you do that? Internal links tell Google “This page is significant.” The more links to a particular page, the more important Google thinks it is. This information can help you adjust the emphasis.
- Manual Actions: What you want to see here is “No manual webspam actions found.” If you see anything else, take immediate action. You might need to engage an experienced SEO Agency to help you resolve these issues.
- International Targeting: Allows you to target languages and countries.
- Mobile Usability: Pay attention here. Mobile traffic is huge, and Google will push you down in the SERP if your website doesn’t play well with mobile devices.
Google Index – Just as the index of a book tells you about the contents, Google collects information about pages on the World Wide Web – and that is where search result information comes from. If you want your site to be included in the SERP, it must be found in the Index.
- Index Status: This tells you how many of the pages on your site Google was able to index. This is version-specific. It will give you data on the www or non www version, but not for both (more about that soon).
- Content Keywords: These are the words Google says are most significant on your site. Remember, if you are selling beach balls, but Google thinks you specialize in umbrellas, then you need to make significant changes to your content.
- Blocked Resources: You can ask Google not to crawl specific areas of your site via a robots.txt disallow file. That is something that should seldom be done, and is often used incorrectly. If you see ANY blocked resources for your site, get in touch with qualified individual to find out why. Blocked sites won’t be included in the index – and that’s normally not good.
- Remove URLs: Similar to Blocked Resources, this is a place where you should not mess around, unless you know what you are doing. This is a tool to help direct Google crawls.
Crawl – The index is gathered by “bots” or “spiders” that crawl the web constantly. This is where you can get a look at exactly how Google sees your site.
- Crawl Errors: This is where you will see any issues (past 90 days) with crawls – whether affecting the entire site or a specific page. What you’re looking for is a little green circle with a white checkmark and the words, “No errors detected in the last 90 days. Nice!” Anything else needs attention.
- Crawl Stats: By monitoring the stats, you can see how many pages are being crawled daily, how much content is being retrieved, and how long it takes for the crawl.
- Fetch as Google: This feature simulates a crawl for the URL you indicate. The Fetch box shows you what Google sees. Fetch and render displays your page as a browser would see it. This feature can be useful for tracking down issues with the crawl, security, or rendering.
- txt Tester: Allows you to edit and test the robots.text file mentioned earlier. This is not a place to play around.
- Sitemaps: This is where you can add and test your sitemap. Bots use the sitemap to make the crawl easier and more effective – so you DEFINITELY want to have one. Use the Help pulldown to get more information about how to build and add a sitemap for your site.
- URL Parameters: If you don’t know what it is and how to use it, don’t mess with it.
Security Issues: Google will alert you if they think your site is being affected by malware or has been hijacked. For more information, GO HERE.
Other Resources: Helpful links to related pages. You will especially want to take a look at the Structured Data Testing Tool. There is also an Email Markup Tester you may find valuable. And every small business should be listed in Google Places (via Google My Business).
Wow! Does it seem like we’ve covered a lot?
I told you Google Webmaster Tools contains valuable (even essential) information. What’s more, GWT is free. All you need is a Google account to get started.
Before we stop, though, let’s take a look at one more thing: The GEAR ICON.
The Google Webmaster Tools GEAR – THIS IS IMPORTANT
From GWT individual website Dashboard, pull down the arrow by the Gear and you will see:
- Webmaster Tools Preferences
- Site Settings
- Change of Address
- Google Analytics Property
- Users and Site Owners
- Verification Details
These are management functions you will want to visit in order to set your preferences and verify that Google has up-to-date information for your site.
Take a few minutes to open up each and familiarize yourself with what can be done there.
One of them is of prime importance – but many, many websites MISS this point: You must make sure your website is identified by Google as a SINGLE site. Google sees the www and non-www versions of your domain as two different sites. That causes your SEO impact to be split in two , rather than compiled by one.
Under the Gear icon, go to Site Settings. That is where you can set your preferred domain. You may also need to make an adjustment in the code for your website. Read the help documents provided by Google to see how to get this done.
Here’s how to test: Enter your domain in a browser address bar – once with “www” in front and once without. If both entries resolve to the EXACT SAME address (either is fine), all you need to do is check to be sure that is the address chosen for your preferred domain in GWT.
If www resolves to the www address and non-www resolves to the non www address, you need to fix that issue. Pronto.
That little glitch is sucking SEO power from your domain.
Pro Tip: The www and the non-www versions of your domain might have different authority ratings. You want to pick the one with the highest authority and stick to it. To check which one has the highest authority use Moz’s Open Site Explorer tool (its free), enter your domain name with a www and then click on “Compare Link Metrics” in the left sidebar. Here you can enter the non-www version of your site, OSE will then return comparison results, you want to pick the version with highest Domain Authority and stick with it.
What are the most important things to know about Google Webmaster Tools?
Business owners sometimes look at the range of data provided by GWT and want to know which they should take time to monitor.
The answer: All of it.
I’ve seen posts claiming to identify the “3 or 4 Most Important Things You Need to Know about Google Webmaster Tools,” but the bottom line is this: The most valuable information for YOU is the information you need most to see.
- If your site has been hacked, that would be Security Issues
- If your site is being blocked from bots and isn’t being indexed, that might be Index Status
- If you aren’t sure if your sitemap is in place or working, that would be Sitemaps
- And finally, THE MOST IMPORTANT is “Search Analytics”, this is where the you will see exactly which keywords your website is ranking for, this is the most important part!
You get the picture.
My outline of a post identifying the “3 Most Important Things” would look like this:
- Make sure your website is Verified with Google Webmaster Tools
- Be sure to build and confirm your sitemap
- Make sure you or someone you trust monitors GWT on a regular (at least weekly) basis
For questions or further information, we’re here to help… leave a comment
Boost Blog Engagement and SEO with Content Powered
It doesn’t matter if you have the flashiest looking blog with the fastest loading time and most optimized social media sharing widgets if your blog doesn’t have the exceptional content that online audiences crave and will keep coming back for more. By much the same accord, it doesn’t matter if you have good content if there’s no one around to read it. They’re two sides of the same coin and you need both, but where can you find the time and develop the expertise to keep all those balls in the air?
Rather than shoulder all of that burden yourself, and potentially do a mediocre job at it, you may want to enlist the services of professionals who know what they’re doing, from ideation to publication and optimization. That’s where Content Powered can really help you step up your game, delivering top-notch content that will outperform the competitors time and time again.
An All-Inclusive Blog Management Company
You’ll find no shortage of blog-related services on the Internet. There are marketplaces where you can seek out freelancers to write your blog posts, stock image repositories where you can license images, and management companies that can deal with the technical logistics of keeping a blog going… but working with multiple companies can feel fragmented and disorganized. Not to mention that you may not end up with the best end product either.
Aiming to be “the most complete blog management service on the web,” Content Powered is an end-to-end service provider for business blogs. Founder and CEO James Parsons, along with the rest of his team, recognize that “cranking out quick blog posts just doesn’t cut it anymore.” You need great, comprehensive blog posts, supported by everything else that goes into having a successful blog. The team includes:
- Inbound marketing professionals
- Graphic designers
- SEO professionals
- Conversion optimization experts
- eCommerce specialists
That means that they’ll update and add plugins, improve user experience and design, update and improve older posts, track rankings and more. And then, there is the team of “the very best fulltime in-house writers” too, of course, working to create “carefully researched and well-optimized content [that’s] worth sharing and linking in.”
Quality Over Quantity
Content is king. It always has been. And while some quick-hitting memes might be fun on social media, they’re not the kind of content that will get you ranked in Google, let alone convert clicks into customers. Search engines, much like real people, seek true value that’s above and beyond what anyone else is providing. If someone is looking up information about exchange traded funds (ETFs) and how they might want to invest their money, a couple of paragraphs isn’t going to cut it. This is a more in-depth topic that requires a more in-depth explanation.
To that end, Content Powered is dedicated to long-form content that is useful, optimized and well-researched. Rather than churn out a couple of quick 300 word posts, their writers produce exceptional content with a minimum of 2500-3500 words. It’s about doing the legwork to research a topic thoroughly, optimizing the content accordingly to answer the needs of readers.
Content Powered is not shy about comparing itself with the competition. Of course there are other services out there where you can outsource your blog writing. However, you’ll notice that the majority of these other options tend to zero in on shorter content in the 500-word range. And their posts typically only include stock images.
By comparison, Content Powered is all-inclusive, so you get up to 20 custom images, tailored specifically to that particular content for your particular blog. The extra work results in media that is better optimized and more carefully researched. You also get unlimited edits, CMS publishing, a comprehensive content strategy, access to a graphic designer, comment management and more.
A great way to get a sense of the type of content you can expect to receive, take a look at some of the posts on the Content Powered blog itself. For example, here’s a post about the pros and cons of separating a blog from a website. You’ll see that the content is thorough, yet accessible. It’s also well-organized with lots of visual interest and helpful links. The post is also in the neighborhood of 2500 words. That’s the kind of long-form, in-depth writing you can expect to get.
Getting Started With Content Powered
They make it very clear that they “work with select clients only.” When the kind of content being produced is as intensive as what they are offering, they want to make sure that they’re only working with clients who share a similar dedication to quality over quantity, looking for long-term growth and sustainable results.
And so, the first step in working with Content Powered’s blog management service is to get acquainted with one another. There isn’t a simple “sign up” and “pay here” type of process on the Content Powered website. Instead, the first thing you’ll need to do is schedule a call. During that call, they’ll learn about your business and your goals, seeking out the right kind of “voice” for your blog articles and investigating the competitors in your space. It’s also during this time that you can discuss the level of involvement, as well as overall content strategy.
After that, there’s an onboarding process that involves getting enrolled for billing, providing access to your blog and analytics, setting up the rank tracking software and so on. From there, they’ll start “feeding your blog” by writing the content to fit with your schedule and requirements.
The Complete Blog Post
The service doesn’t end when the posts are published either, as they’ll follow up with improvements and reporting. This really is a full service solution. To illustrate, you might inspect a couple of the case studies they have listed on the site.
Take this one, for example, of a consulting firm. In this particular case, Content Powered got started with a fresh new blog, taking it from zero to over 12,000 organic visitors per month. This isn’t just a vanity metric either. Organic blog visitors make up more than four-fifths of the website’s total traffic, representing a huge exposure and conversion opportunity.
Many of these visitors may not have come across this consulting firm otherwise, but now they’re on their site, reading their content, and interested in learning more about how they can benefit. Indeed, overall revenue has increased by more than 600% in the two years the blog has been around. These are real results that really feed directly into the bottom line.
That’s a real, measurable return on investment.
How Much Does It Cost?
Content Powered operates on a simple pricing structure.
You don’t have to choose between multiple tiers of service or pick your options on an a la carte basis. Instead, they only offer one pricing plan. The signature service includes everything we’ve discussed above — like 2000-3500+ words per post, unlimited edits, a dedicated in-house writer, up to 20 unique blog images, complete SEO, ongoing content strategy and more — starting from $999 per month.
That rate can go up or down, depending on your specific requirements. If you need more posts, you can. If you want fewer posts, that’s a possibility too. These are all things you would discuss over that initial phone call. When you’re ready, contact them by scheduling a call or sending an email.
How Can You Get High Quality Backlinks in 2020?
If you’re the owner of a small business, the fact that 20% of small businesses fail within their first year will both daunt and haunt you. However, the fact that you have control over the success level of your business will give you hope. You’re probably wondering exactly what strategies you can employ to remain solidly outside this statistic. The answer comes in the form of one simple word: backlinking.
Building high quality backlinks is essential for any business that’s taking the necessary steps to dip its toes into online marketing and blogging. If you don’t use the technology at your disposal, you’re setting yourself up for failure, so it’s crucial in the modern era that you know how to blog effectively with SEO and incorporate backlinks into your marketing strategies.
Here, we’re going to talk about the best strategies for link posting, so read on to grow your business and enhance success.
Know the Basics
Before you can employ strategies for obtaining quality backlinks, it’s crucial that you know the basics of backlinking.
The word refers to a simple concept: one page linking to another within a blog post. You know the 20% statistic in the first sentence of this blog post? Yeah, that’s a backlink- it takes you to another page related to the post that you’re reading. A backlink is the SEO equivalent of a book rec sheet that recommends novels based on the genres that you’ve already shown interest in.
The importance of backlinks comes at two levels: significance to search engines and significance to users. On the search engine level, having good backlinks on your blog posts helps algorithms determine how reliable your page is. On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll have a good time getting more clicks if other blogs backlink to your site. Not only will people reading those posts be redirected to your page, but search engines will believe your content is important and worth linking to if many other sites include backlinks to your posts.
On the user level, backlinks work as a great form of marketing because they connect the internet user to sites related to those they’re already on. This allows them to see why the services of the blog they’re reading are a good choice to purchase. Even if the page isn’t selling anything, it directs the user to other information that they may like to know.
Use the Right Sites
In order to get high quality backlinks, the first thing you’ll need to do is use websites to check their quality. You want to find high PageRank (PR) backlinks. Doing so ensures that you as well as the content you’re linking to reap the benefits of backlinking.
To gain a greater understanding of this technology, check out the best backlink checker out there. This SEO tool will look into the PR index of the link posting you want to incorporate into your post and ensure that you’re only posting high PR backlinks. Software like Semrush saves you work and stress trying to click through search engines in an attempt to find out whether your backlinks are effective. It also ensures that you’ll have more success finding quality backlinks than you would have if you were just guessing on how to link.
It’s All About Relationships
Building strong professional relationships is a good way to both get high quality backlinks and be linked to by other pages. If you establish a strong rapport with a) a company that often uses your services (or vice versa), or b) a company related to yours but not in direct competition with it, you can have a mutually beneficial relationship. When you both link to one another in blog posts, you boost the traffic on both your websites by a lot.
Furthermore, if you have a relationship with the other blogger, you’ll know that linking to them is credible. You’ll know that you’re getting high PR backlinks because their site ranks highly, too.
Guest posting with SEO is a great way to get people to use your site in backlinking.
A guest post (or guest blog) is essentially when you pay another service to use your site as a backlink. Professional SEO bloggers will then insert these backlinks organically into blog posts for the other website. Sometimes, both you and another company can agree to guest post for each other, ensuring the same mutually beneficial relationship that you would get after building a strong professional relationship. (This can also be the beginning of one such relationship!)
Reclaim Your Links
Link reclamation is another strategy essential to posting high quality backlinks on your blog. Essentially, reclaiming links means that you’re going back through your previous blog posts and eliminating broken or low PR backlinks that you’ve posted before. These links can be replaced with quality backlinks that boost your credibility to search engines.
Reclaiming links is important because the fact that you don’t want any broken links on your site is Website Owner 101. They look sloppy, but more than that, they make you look like you aren’t credible. Users will turn away from you because they believe you don’t care. More than that, though, you’ll be losing out on the opportunity to get the benefits of high PR backlinks.
Get High Quality Backlinks
Employing the top backlinking strategies can be a challenge, especially for a smaller business. Still, it’s absolutely necessary. The payoff is great and everything will be worth it when your organic traffic shoots up faster than you can say the word ‘backlink.’
Now that you know the best tips for getting high quality backlinks and boosting your site traffic, it’s time to get some more blogging tips that will get you hundreds of clicks in no time at all. Check out the ‘contact’ tab on our page to speak with a knowledgeable professional about marketing and blogging strategies that will help grow your business overnight.
How to Create More Clickable Google Search Snippets
Google search results are becoming ridiculously competitive. Plus, Google’s search results are becoming incredibly engaging: Many search users prefer to use search results (open “People Also Ask” results, clicks image and video carousels, etc.) that getting a click from search results is getting harder and harder.
With the introduction of new and flashier ways to be seen, you still have to learn how to creatively and dynamically exploit those offered tools. Being seen with so many others attempting the same technique is just as hard as it was when visibility relied only on ranking.
How to get more people click your search listing in SERPs? Here are three really effective ways:
1. Monitor Your Click-Through
The first step to improving your search snippet visibility is to set up monitoring of how your pages are performing right now and get alerted if anything changes.
Finteza is an advanced analytics platform allowing you to keep a close eye on your site performance in search and all the various channels.
To monitor your click-through from organic search:
- Register an account at Finteza
- Add their tracking code to your site and give it some time to accumulate some data
- Click “Sources” and there choose “Search”
- Go to “Pages” to see how your top landing pages are performing in search:
This gives you bird’s eye view on your site organic performance in organic search. It’s a great way to analyze and evaluate your old content. Using Finteza, you can also set up a retargeting campaign to target those search referrals better if they choose to return to your site.
Repeat steps above at least weekly to see if any of those pages start losing clicks from search: These might need some work. Here’s exactly what you may want to do:
2. Use Semantic Analysis
Google uses a variety of analysis methods to identify high-quality content that meets their users’ needs. One of the key components of Google’s content evaluation process is semantic analysis.
Basically speaking, semantic analysis is about clustering your key topic into subtopics and concepts that constitute it. To give a quick example, if we were to apply semantic analysis to [hiking], we’d come up with a variety of underlying concepts including, National Parks, Mountains, picturesque trails, being outdoors, and even birdwatching.
All of those concepts relate to hiking in some way or another.
Broadly speaking, semantic analysis helps machines understand natural language – the way that humans communicate – including context, goals, etc.
When it comes to search optimization, semantic SEO helps:
- Create more indepth and richer content that meets Google’s expectations
- Optimize for intent (what’s the end goal behind each search)
- Give Google enough context for them to create a more clickable search snippet for your listing.
Another example of semantic analysis in action is Google’s results for [where it was filmed]. While the query is seemingly absolutely generic, Google is able to understand this question relates to the movie “It”.
Text Optimizer is the semantic analysis tool that goes right to the source, i.e. Google search snippets. For each query you type, it would collect Google’s search snippets and apply semantic analysis to them to come up with the list of underlying concepts:
[TextOptimizer’s results for [where it was filmed] – as you can see the tool got the actual context of the query and clustered it into related topics]
Including 20-25 of these concepts into your content will help Google better understand your text, and create richer more clickable search snippets. Here’s a more detailed review of the site I did previously.
3. Optimize for Rich Snippets
Rich snippets have become the new keywords. These little details are what causes your listing to “pop” in a search, catching the eye of the user no matter what place on the first page you occupy. Proper use of rich snippets are a requirement for being seen.
“Rich snippets” are search results providing the user with more answers right within SERPs. To qualify for rich snippets your web page should have rich markup:
Here are the supported types of rich snippets:
If you have reviewed a tool or a product, use Aggregate Rating structured data for your search snippet to look like this. This will populate stars in search that definitely draw an eye!
Recipes will have some nutritional and preparation information, like how long it takes to cook and how many calories are in each serving.
Events will show dates and times for each event for quick reference. Every event name is linked in search results giving you more clickable links in search.
There’s a number of structure data types that allow you to add more details to your brand knowledge graph (NOT for local businesses though).
These include: Official social media accounts, logo, and the corporate contact:
Movies and Books
Movies and books will also show off a ranking system, and some product pages have a star rating alongside price.
HowTo markup will help Google to locate more information from your tutorial, for example, number of steps, time to complete, etc.:
HowTo Schema shouldb’t be used for recipes though. Other than that there are no official restrictions to certain types of tutorials that can have it.
One word of caution here: Only use structured data when it absolutely makes sense. Google frowns upon using Schema just for the sake if rich snippets. If it is not an actual review, don’t use the ratings markup, as it could backfire. Google actually sends manual penalties for a structured abuse, so read the documentation properly to make sure you follow all the rules!
Optimizing for rich snippets relies heavily on whichever website builder and/or CMS you are using. For most of them there are lots of plugins and addons allowing to quickly integrate structured markup.
The above tips will hopefully help you generate more clicks from your current organic positions without having to invest in improving it. See it as a low-hanging fruit opportunity to improving your traffic!
Do you have a tip for optimizing search snippets? Let us know in the comments!
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