Passing time, Google has evolved its way of fetching and displaying content in its search results. Now, you’ll not see only the typical blue link snippets populating search engine pages; instead, you’ll see interactive and graphical elements beneath most of the links — called Rich Search Results.
In this detailed guide, we'll explain what rich results are, how they benefit your website, and how they increase your site's SEO. In addition, we will define schema markup and demonstrate how to add structured data to your Joomla website.
So are you ready? Let’s get started!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What Are Rich Results
- Types of Rich Results
- How Do Rich Results Benefit Your Website
- What Is Structured Data
- What Is Schema.org
- How to Add Structured Data Markup to Your Joomla Site
- Test, Validate, and Monitor Your Markup
What Are Rich Results?
Rich Results are visually enhanced search results that contain more information than a typical search result. It is called rich results because it displays ‘enhanced richer' search results and provides more details to the user.
For example, when a user searches for "restaurants near me" Google will show them local businesses nearby and restaurants with reviews and ratings based on their location.
A standard search result shows the title in blue and the URL and meta description in black. In contrast, rich results commonly show images and additional information such as ratings, votes, how-tos, pricing, stock, videos, products, and other types of content.
To explain more:
A standard search result looks like this in SERPs:
On the other hand, a rich result might display like this:
As shown above, a rich result for a recipe may include preparation timings, site links, ratings, and votes given by other users.
All the additional information displayed in the search results is pulled from the page’s structured data. We’ll discuss more in the What is Structured Data section.
If the term Rich Results sound unfamiliar to you, you might have heard the terms Rich Cards, Rich Snippets, or Enriched Results - all of these terms were used in the past instead of rich results. To settle it all, Google decided to use Rich Results as the preferred term.
Types of Rich Results
Rich results come in dozens of different forms. Some of them are commonly used and can be beneficial for almost any type of website, such as:
Some rich result types are only relevant to a particular kind of website, like:
- Job Posting
Here are some examples of rich result types:
The Product rich results show product-related information such as pricing, availability, and review ratings.
The Event rich snippets provide information about upcoming events, including time and location.
The Review rich result includes the most wanted widget of all, the star rating snippet. It helps users decide whether a product is worth clicking on. The Review snippet is generally found when searching for restaurants, hotels, mobile devices, and products.
In the rich results, recipe snippets directly display and highlight necessary details such as cooking time, rating, reviews, ingredients, and recipe images.
The FAQ rich snippet contains a list of questions and their respective answers related to a particular topic.
Rich results for video snippets display information about videos in search results, with the option to play videos, specify segments, and watch live videos.
Job posting snippet displays job listings for a specific role in rich search results. It's used to display positions and the employer's contact information.
Rich results for organizations display key information about organizations, companies, or brands, including their logo, address, and contact information.
There are numerous types of rich results. To see them all, you can explore the Google Search Gallery.
Here you can find all the snippet options and decide which works best for you based on your site’s content.
Further, you can also check how your enhanced content will appear in SERPs if you get one of these rich results:
How Do Rich Results Benefit Your Website?
We have learned that rich results display more relevant information related to user queries. But does having rich results can leverage websites in any way?
Let’s see how rich results benefit your website:
Improve Your Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Rich results make your listing on search results stand out against your competition by enhancing its look and can greatly improve CTR when searching for specific products and services.
Rich listings include additional details that wouldn’t otherwise be visible in a search listing. Images, star reviews, product availability, pricing, and other eye-catching features grab users’ attention and entice them to click on the link, resulting in high CTR.
Also, the Search Engine Journal article mentions that over 4.5 million queries to find users click on rich results 58% of the time, compared to a CTR of 41% for non-rich results.
Increase Your Organic Traffic
Rich search results are visually more engaging than regular search result listings, which grab searchers' attention and increase click-through rates.
The higher your CTR, the more likely someone will click through the link and enter your site, ultimately experiencing more organic traffic.
Establish Trust and Credibility With Searchers
Ratings and reviews help determine which sites are trustworthy or not by showing how well they treat their users.
If your website is presented as a rich snippet with ratings and reviews, it has a higher chance of becoming a trusted source for users.
This is because online ratings and reviews are considered one of the most important factors in determining whether someone trusts a particular website or not.
Reduces Site Bounce Rate
A high bounce rate occurs if visitors leave the page immediately without finding the information they are looking for.
In rich results, users are presented with the most relevant details related to their queries. By doing this, searchers can easily find crucial information on search pages, saving them time and knowing if it’s worth clicking the link. It makes them stay longer on your site, enhancing users’ web navigation experience and reducing bounce rates.
Rich results are a great way to improve conversions on your website by providing detailed descriptions of products or services in search results.
Simply put, rich results increase CTR, which leads to more traffic and more traffic means more conversions.
Though there’s no concrete evidence that rich results and their associated structured data help in high search ranking, even Google’s John Mueller says rich snippets are not considered an official ranking factor.
However, rich results improve click-through rates and reduce bounce rates, which are two important metrics that Google uses to determine the success of a website.
We’ve explained what rich results are and how they can be useful in improving your site rankings, SEO, CTR, etc.
Now you might be wondering how Google knows what to fetch in rich results, which piece of information from the web page content is relevant to the search queries and can be displayed as rich results.
Who tells search engines that this info is related to a recipe, this is a review, or this one is an FAQ page?
Here comes Structured Data and Schema in the role.
Search engines are ultimately bots; they can't understand human language or read the site content the way we do.
Adding websites' content in a proper Structured Format using Schema Markup makes it easy and allows search engines to read and understand our site content better.
Let’s now understand what Structured Data is and how you implement Schema Markup on your website.
What Is Structured Data?
Structured data is a standardized format for presenting information about a page and identifying the page content. The main goal of structured data is to make it easier for search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo! to better understand your content.
When you mark up specific types of content with structured data, Google may display rich results from your site in search results.
This process of forming a structured data format for website content is accomplished by adding code in a standard vocabulary, i.e., Schema.org.
What Is Schema.org?
Schema.org is a universal open-source web standard vocabulary that enables search engines to understand and present your website content in SERPs. Schema markup helps improve your online presence by helping search engines know what you're trying to say and how you want them to show it.
By implementing Schema.org vocabulary, you improve the readability of your web pages for search engines. This enables search engines to understand your content better and display better results based on the content you offer.
Now that you know, structured data and schema markup play a vital role in getting your site content in Rich results. A question arises in everyone's mind: How can I add Structured Data Markup to my website?
How to Use Schema.org Vocabulary
You can implement Schema on your web pages by using one of the three formats:
Above all the formats, JSON-LD is the recommended format due to its numerous benefits, including:
- JSON-LD format is even preferred by Google.
- Injected a script either in the <head> or in the <body> of the page.
- Does not impact the existing HTML code of the page.
- Faster and easy to implement
- Takes less time to update and doesn’t affect web performance.
- Compliant with the W3C's guidelines
Here's a simple example of JSON-LD Structured Data:
Let's look at a few ways you can add structured data to your website.
The next section of our article will focus on one of the most popular content management systems, Joomla, and how to add structured data to your Joomla website.
How to Add Structured Data Markup to Your Joomla Site
You can create and implement schema markup in your Joomla site using two ways:
- Implement the code manually
- Using a Joomla Extension
Method 1: Implement the Code Manually
In this method, we’ll see how to implement structured data using Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper tool.
To begin, open Google's Structured Data Markup Helper tool.
In the next step, select the type of data you wish to add HTML markup to and enter the URL of your website.
Once done, click on the Start Tagging button at the bottom.
On the next screen, you’ll see your website on the left side and data items on the right. Highlight your web page contents to assign data tags such as name, image, author, and date published.
And once you are done with the process of tagging and assigning data items, click on the Create HTML button in the upper right-hand corner.
On the next screen, you’ll be displayed with your structured data markup on the right side. The tool automatically produces the script as JSON-LD markup, but you can change it to Microdata format if preferred.
Next, you need to download the script as an HTML file.
Lastly, to add your markup, copy & paste the HTML markup into your site. Make sure to add the script below to the head section of your HTML.
And this is how you can create and implement markup manually into your Joomla sites.
As you have seen, manually implementing markup into a website is a bit lengthy and time-consuming process and requires coding knowledge.
We recommend that you use the Joomla extension for the process of adding structured markup to your Joomla websites.
Method 2: Use a Joomla Extension
As you have seen, manually implementing markup into a website is a bit lengthy and time-consuming process and requires coding knowledge.
We recommend that you use the Google Structured Data extension for the process of adding structured markup to your Joomla site.
It comes with features that allow you to automatically add Structured Schema Markup and helps you improve your Joomla website rankings in SERPs.
We have seen that manually implementing markup requires users to know about Schema.org and JSON-LD.
For experienced users with hands-on experience with HTML, the manual process can be used to implement markup. However, this is not a very user-friendly approach for beginners.
Google Structured Data comes with built-in structured data types that help you add schema to your pages and increase your chances of featuring rich results.
You can create FAQ pages with the FAQ schema type; with the Recipe schema type, you can add recipes; and with the Video schema type, you can embed videos.
Google Structured Data extension not only saves a ton of time by offering an automated process of implementing Schema.org and JSON-LD but also makes it super easy for novice users to add a markup on their Joomla sites without any fuss.
It comes in both Free and Pro versions. With its Free version, you get plenty of features, like:
- Site Name Schema
- Breadcrumbs Schema
- Sitelinks Search Box Schema
- Site Logo Schema
- Social Profiles Schema
- Add Article Schema to your Joomla Articles
- Remove Faulty Structured Data
To get a complete overview of all the features of the Google Structured Data extension, visit Google Structured Data Free vs Pro.
Test, Validate, and Monitor Your Markup
Google Structured Data extension, though automatically, adds code to make your Joomla site search engine friendly and to appear web page content in rich search results. But it’s a good practice to check your website's markup schema for validity and correctness.
This will give you a better understanding of how search engines interpret your structured data and if it’s eligible for rich results.
Validate Your Markup
Google has its own Rich Results Testing Tool that helps you validate and test the syntactic correctness of your schema markup.
Monitor Your Marked-Up Pages
Once you add and validate your schema markup, keeping a check on your web page's performance is essential.
Monitoring our structured data for errors is crucial as Schema.org vocabulary, and search engine requirements are constantly updated.
For instance, Google may start requiring a new property for the Product Schema in order to enable the Product-related rich results in the SERP. If our structured data do not comply with the new requirement, the rich result for our listing will be removed.
Google Search Console (GSC) is a free tool that helps you monitor your rich results.
In the GSC dashboard, you’ll get an option where you can filter your content performance reports by the type of rich results:
Further, in the Enhancements Section, you get an overview of the types of rich results that were detected on your site.
And when you click one of the rich result types, you'll be redirected to a page showing a detailed report containing valid, and invalid URLs and warnings.
Remember, Google will not detect markup in your web pages immediately; it’ll take approx 3-4 to identify and understand your site’s structured data.
Next Read: How to Stop Contact Form Spam in Joomla
Rich results are a great way to improve your position in SERPs and boost CTR.
I hope this guide gives you a better understanding of rich results and how you can implement structured data to make your site content appear in rich results.
Next, if you’re looking for a simple way to protect your contact forms from spam, check out our detailed article on How to Stop Contact Form Spam in Joomla.