HOW TO MAKE YOUR SNIPPETS WORK ON GOOGLE SEARCH RESULTS
Today, let’s talk about a problem I am sure many of you experienced or are experiencing: Google preview doesn’t work. Basically, this happens when your snippet is not working.
It can be a huge problem, because many times it means that Google is not reading your page correctly – if you are taking care of SEO – or simply that Google decides it’s not going to show your preview. In fact, according to Search Engine Journal, “rich snippets aren’t promised by Google“. But let’s take a step back to understand what is a snippet and how it works.
What is a snippet
In a nutshell, a snippet is the Google preview you see when you search something on Google, that is, those few lines where you can find the link and title of the page Google showed you according to your query. Snippets can be divided in rich snippets and featured snippets:
- What is a rich snippet – Rich snippets are made up of the basic elements of a snippet plus a brief description of the page;
- What is a Google featured snippet – Featured snippets in Google are those boxes that sum up a page. As you noticed while navigating on Google, these featured snippets are not shown for any query, and despite what you might think they are not so clicked as ‘natural’ results.
Snippet definition makes it easy to understand that snippets are part of that magic world named SEO – or Search Engine Optimization. So, you can optimize them using some techniques and tools. I know it can seem a little overwhelming, but knowing how to deal with snippets is worth it. Just think about this: how many times you clicked a link that looked weird, with no title or descriptions? I guess I know the answer: never. Then, if you don’t want your pages fall among these weird results and lose traffic, go on reading and put in practice what I am going to tell you.
HOW DO SNIPPETS WORK?
Now that the meaning of snippet is clear, let’s look at how snippets work.
When this website was indexed by Google for the first time, this was the result:
Pretty weird. When I discovered this, thanks to my Wealthy Affiliate – thanks to which I can know which of my articles are indexed in Google in a glance, I started making my researches to discover how to solve this problem, hoping it wasn’t caused by Google itself. And it came out that a lot of people had my same problem.
I decided to start looking for Google tools to possibly create rich snippets for my WordPress website, and I found it. It is the Google Structured Data Markup and you can access it from the helper section. Once you are there, you can simply add the URL of the page you want to optimize and insert the category of that page. If you don’t find a relevant category don’t worry: we can solve it later on.
Once you are ready, you can click “Start Tagging“. A page like the one below will appear.
What is Google Structured Data Markup – According to Google, “Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content; for example, on a recipe page, what are the ingredients, the cooking time and temperature, the calories, and so on”.
Basically, using structured data helps Google to interpret your page. For this reason it is so important if you don’t want to waste all your work and to receive the amount of traffic you deserve!
According to the category you selected, you will see some fields on the right that you need to fill. To fill those fields, start selecting a part of text. Once it is highlighted, you can select a relevant category: the field corresponding to that category will be automatically filled. Once you finish, you can click “Create HTML“. If you don’t know how to fill all the fields don’t worry: we are going to solve it in a while.
An HTML code will appear. You can copy it and click “Finish“. The page will show you a box related to the next steps you have to take with Google Structured Data Markup. You can click “Structured Data Testing Tool“.
This action will allow you to have access to the full code of the page you entered before. If you had problem filling some fields or you want to modify the category you assigned to your URL, you can correct your code here. If you need help, you can open schema.org.
There, you will find suggestions to choose categories, a full list of categories, “how to” to fill each field.
As you can see, there were some problems and warnings related to my URL, but thanks to Schema I can solve each of them.
At the same time, Google suggests you to use its new tool to test results: Google Rich Results Test. Also here, you can paste an URL and decide to test results for both mobile and desktop.
Using this tool you can take the most important step: verify if your page is actually eligible for rich results! Fortunately, my page is eligible.
I check if the Google code appears in the same way I created it before. If the answer is no, I modify it. If the anwer is yes, I simply copy the relevant code: you can easily recognize it because it presents the category you chose and the fields you filled.
How to add Google Structured Data Markup code to your WordPress without plugin
Now, let’s see how we add the Google Structured Data Markup HTML code to our WordPress website’s pages or articles. You can use this method either if you want to add the code to already published articles and pages or to new content. The first thing you need to do is to check if the “Custom Fields” box is active on your page or post. To do this, open your published or new page/post, look at the right side on top of the page and click “Screen Options“.
At the bottom of your page/post you will find a “Custom Fields” box. Under “Name” click on “Enter New” and type “schema“. In the value section you can paste your code. Click “Add Custom Field” and update your page/post.
Now, go to your dashboard and click Appearance –> Theme Editor –> header.php and paste this piece of code:
Before the closing tag.
[Thanks to WPtorc for this piece of code!]
Save the file and refresh the page. Wait to see if the Google website preview works – now, it should.
You reached the end of the article! As you know, we are always here to help affiliate marketers and small business owner to boost their sales and better understand the mechanism of search engines. Being indexed in Google using Google Structured Data Markup will help your business increasing traffic to your website.
If you want to see the strategies we shared so far, navigate our posts section.
If you want to share your opinions, questions or improve the content, leave a comment below.
Have a nice day!
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