Adding Rich Snippets and Schema Markup to WordPress for Better SEO

The optimization of search engine results can make or break a business or website. But what makes a person click on your website instead of another? Search engine result pages (SERPS) have continually been updated to now include more information than ever before. This is due in large part to the introduction and evolution of rich snippets and schema markup – ways of customizing a site’s search engine data and display. Any WordPress site looking to improve their SEO can benefit from rich snippets and schema markup.

What are rich snippets and schema markup? Rich Snippets are structured data markup that web developers add to their existing HTML, with the primary purpose of helping search engines better understand the detailed information contained on each web page.

Schema markup is similar, but serves a slightly different purpose. It’s code that’s incorporated into your website to help search engines return better results for any user running a search. These results are more informative, and inclusive of details that many search engine users find relevant, like ratings/reviews, locations or events.

Why should a WordPress site owner use rich snippets and schema? Research indicates that search engine results that incorporate rich snippets and schema attract more attention. They get more clicks. This is fantastic for any PPC (pay per click) sites or marketing campaigns. This is also great for anybody needing to attract more visitors to their WordPress site. A growing number of websites are incorporating rich snippets and schema and it is benefiting their bottom line.

If you want to boost your search engine rankings, increase the number of clicks on the SERPs, or increase click through rate (CTR), rich snippets and schema are the way to do it. Once rich snippets and schema markup are incorporated into your WordPress site, you’ll begin to see you organic traffic skyrocket. This is because snippets and schema set you apart from the majority of other search results. People are more likely to click on your site link if there are stars, images, price ranges, etc. Rich snippets provide the search engine user instant gratification – immediate information relevant to their query. They don’t have to dig.

And schema is universal. It’s a data standard, a language, being used by all search engines. It doesn’t just tell search engines what your data says, it tells them what it means. Schema markup is a user-focused improvement. It translates search results, narrowing them to the most relevant and then highlighting specific information so that the user doesn’t have to endlessly click. Search engines are used to search, but schema markup makes it easier to find what the user is looking for. This saves the user time and can make the developer, business or blog [incorporating schema] money.

So how does a WordPress developer get started with adding rich snippets and schema markup to their site’s listings? Thanks to a wide array of available WordPress plugins, it’s not too difficult or time consuming.

Adding schema markup adds the ability to display rich snippets that catch a user’s attention, ahead of other SERP results, and therefore can improve SEO and CTR.

Plugins are priceless when it comes time to implement schema markup and rich snippets.

They can save tons of time and energy that might have been spent manually incorporating the code. Below are some of the best WordPress plugins that work with most schema markup types and content.

1. All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets

Rich Snippets
This plugin, as its name indicates, is an all in one plugin designed to make defining schema markup for your WordPress posts simple and easy. This is one of the most popular plugins of its type, with 40k+ downloads.

The plugin has gotten great reviews from WordPress users who’ve installed it (4.4/5 stars) and it’s easy to see why: the plugin helps track the increase in CTR and makes SEO transparent. It’s also easy to install with a two-step process of upload and activate. And you can test the rich snippet on Google Webmasters Rich Snippets Testing Tool’s site.

2. Schema App Structured Data

Schema App Structured Data
This is a free plugin designed for WordPress website owners who want to edit their schema directly and no coding knowledge is required. This plugin lets its users get Schema.org structured data for all their site’s pages, posts, categories and profile.

The Schema App Structured Data Plugin works best at optimizing all of your pages by using information that already exists on your WordPress website. It also provides all three Google Site Structure features such as Breadcrumbs, Sitelinks, Searchbox and Your Site Name in results.

While this plugin is free, you can also purchase technical support and unlock advanced features with the premium version, available from the developer’s website.

3. Rich Contact Widget

Rich Contact Widget
Rich Contact Widget is another great WordPress plugin. Rich Contact Widget gives WordPress site owners a simple solution to enhance their contacts with microdata and microformat tags, thus improving their local SEO. The microdata and microformat markups this plugin use allow search engines to factor them into their results. This means they can help display contact information about your business or yourself below your URL in the search results. This data can also map your location, which is ideal for anybody seeking to improve their local SEO.

The telephone and email contacts information are linked so that visitors can click and make a call or send an email quickly and easily via their computer or smart phone.

4. Google SEO Pressor for Rich Snippets

Google SEO Pressor
This plugin, designed to enhance your site and its rich snippets for Google, is another great schema.org-compatible option for your WordPress site. It’s user friendly and proven to increase SEO results. This plugin can help you turn visitor into customer, all while reducing bounce rate and attracting more social media followers. The snippets used by this plugin are there to increase the CTR of your WordPress posts and/or the revenue for your site.

5. WP Review Pro

WP Review Pro
The WP Review plugin is a simple but powerful way to review your site’s content without impacting the speed of your site. It’s great for bloggers and business owners alike. This highly customizable plugin allows WP site owners to write reviews using stars, percentage or point rating. It includes and a set up tutorial is available.

The plugin Supports Google Rich Snippets (schema.org) and comes feature-rich, providing personalized ways to display multiple rating systems in the post and thus in the SERPs. In a world where reviews carry a lot of weight with consumers, showing the high ratings of your product or service in the initial search engine results is a highly effective way to acquire new customers. It’s already been downloaded by 80k+ WordPress users.

Although, like everything HTML, rich snippets and schema markup can be added manually, the above five WordPress plugins are themselves an easy to install and fun to use shortcut that can save time and money. They bring with them the opportunity for better search engine metrics and most are free to install. If you want to increase CTR and SEO with rich snippets and schema markup, these plugins are the best place to start.

Web developer Richard Sutherland has been working with WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and other content management systems for over a decade. Graduating from Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Richard has held a number of prominent website development roles at major companies such as Samsung, ASDA and Prudential.

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