Gaining Featured Snippets with a WordPress Site

Attracting traffic to your website can seem like an uphill climb. With page after page of search results for even the most obscure keyword, standing out from the crowd is no easy feat. Plus, when you don’t get the traffic you need, your website and business can suffer.

That’s where featured snippets come into play. With featured snippets, your content can shine even among countless other websites that deliver similar content. Plus, they’re relatively easy to set up on your WordPress site.

In this article, you’ll learn all about rich snippets and structured data.  Then we’ll go over how easy it is to integrate them with your WordPress site. Let’s get started!

What Are Rich Snippets?

A ‘featured snippet’ is the block of text that appears alongside each search result. It typically summarizes the page’s content and identifies key data about it, such as its publication date and title. These snippets provide potential visitors with more information about their search queries, and can be used to increase your click-throughs.

‘Rich snippets’ provide even more information about the page in question. They can include star ratings, the time it takes to make a featured recipe, how many people have reviewed a particular product, and more. These details can be important for attracting visitors, since they can entice searchers to choose your site over other options:

Snippets are made up of ‘structured data’, which is data that has been organized, usually in a database. Structured data is also called ‘schema markup’, and there are many types. These include:

  • JSON-LD
  • Microdata
  • RDFa

Each variety is slightly different, but produce similar results. With that in mind, let’s look a little closer at the benefits of rich snippets.

What Are the Benefits of Rich Snippets?

When it comes to rich snippets, the more information you provide, the better. After all, they can improve your site’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) simply by offering eye-catching details. If that data inspires more click-throughs, search engines will notice, and your site may rise in the rankings.

For instance, adding review stars to your snippets can improve your click-through rates by up to 35 percent. That means if you get an average of 1,000 clicks per month, you’ll be getting up to 350 more just by adding star reviews to your rich snippets.

JSON-LD vs Microdata

There are multiple ways to add rich snippets to your website, but two of the most common options are with JSON-LD or microdata, The main difference between the two is that microdata is added directly to your site’s HTML, whereas JSON-LD is JavaScript notation embedded in a <script> tag, which can appear anywhere on the page.

Schema markup can look very different in JSON-LD than it does in microdata. When created with JSON-LD, it might look like this: <script type=”application/ld+json”>
{
 "@context": "https://schema.org",
 "@type": "LocalBusiness",
 "name": "Business Name",
 "address": {
  "@type": "PostalAddress",
  "streetAddress": "Street Address",
  "addressLocality": "City",
  "addressRegion": "",
  "postalCode": "Zipcode"
 },
 "telePhone": "Phone Number",
 "openingHours": "Mo,Tu,We,Th,Fr,Sa,Su 0-0",
 "openingHoursSpecification": [ {
  "@type": "OpeningHoursSpecification",
  "dayOfWeek": [
   "Monday",
   "Tuesday",
   "Wednesday",
   "Thursday",
   "Friday",
   "Saturday",
   "Sunday"
  ],
  "opens": "0",
  "closes": "0"
 } ],
 "priceRange":"$"
}
</script>

Whereas this is what the same markup would look like using microdata:

<div itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/LocalBusiness">
 <div itemprop="name">Business Name</div>
 <div>Phone: <span itemprop="telephone">Phone Number</span></div>
 <meta itemprop="openingHours"  style='display: none' datetime="Mo,Tu,We,Th,Fr,Sa,Su 0-0" />
 <div itemtype="http://schema.org/PostalAddress" itemscope="" itemprop="address">
  <div itemprop="streetAddress">Street Address</div>
  <div><span itemprop="addressLocality">City</span>, <span itemprop="addressRegion"></span> <span itemprop="postalCode">Zipcode</span></div>
 </div>
</div>

Both examples include the name of the business, its telephone number and address, and the days it is open. However, the latter version is more concise and ‘readable’. What’s more, Google prefers you to use JSON-LD when creating your schema markup, as it’s easier for the search engine to understand.

Using WordPress Rich Snippet Plugins

While you could use a schema generator to create your markup data, rich snippet plugins for WordPress can streamline the process and help you create individual snippets for each piece of content quickly.

Of course, choosing the right plugin is important. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few tools you can use to generate your own rich snippets for WordPress.

1. Schema – All in One Schema Rich Snippets

While most schema markup plugins have a free and a premium version, Schema – All In One Schema Rich Snippets is entirely free. However, it only enables you to create microdata markup. If you want to use JSON-LD, you’ll need an entirely different plugin, called Schema Pro. It’s available for a one-time fee of $79.

Pros:

  • Is completely free
  • Includes comprehensive support
  • Benefits from frequent updates
  • Features a lightweight design

Cons:

  • Only enables microdata
  • Doesn’t offer a huge amount of options

If you’re looking for a simple solution that’s easy to get started with, All in One Schema Rich Snippets might be your pick. However, you’ll need to keep in mind its fairly limited options.

2. Schema App Structured Data

If you’re looking for a tool that lets you create customizable JSON-LD schema markup, then Schema App Structured Data may be your preference. The developers provide you with the necessary training to use the plugin, so even if you don’t know how to code, you can feel confident when implementing your markup. However, the premium version doesn’t enable you to customize your schema markup.

Pros:

  • Provides you with start-up training
  • Offers plenty of customer support
  • Helps you generate and place your JSON-LD markup

Cons:

  • Comes as a very limited free version, or a pricey premium version

Schema App Structured Data is one of the easiest tools to use. Not only do you get support when you need it, but the plugin will also place your markup for you. With that being said, this is one of the most expensive options if you want to access customization options, with the premium version starting at $30 per month.

3. WPSSO Core

One of the key benefits of WPSSO Core is that it can handle multiple languages. This plugin also provides additional assistance with your SEO, such as Open Graph tags for Facebook, Twitter, and more. Additionally, the premium version has a price tag of $59 for a single site, which is pretty affordable.

Pros:

  • Handles multiple languages
  • Includes a setup wizard for easy installation
  • Offers extra SEO support
  • Is reasonably inexpensive

Cons:

  • Is a relatively ‘heavy’ plugin
  • Includes a potentially-overwhelming number of options

If English is not your native language, or your website targets non-English speakers, then this plugin may be your best choice. Unfortunately, due to its size, it could potentially slow down your site. Therefore, you’ll want to start by testing it out on a staging site.

4. Schema & Structured Data for WP & AMP

Finally, Schema & Structured Data for WP & AMP lets you work with 33 different types of schema, with options to suit local businesses, news articles, recipes, and more. However, several of these options must be purchased separately, via premium extensions. You can also get access to everything this plugin has to offer for $99.

Pros:

  • Offers 33 different schema types
  • Includes a setup wizard for easy installation

Cons:

  • Locks some schema behind a paywall
  • Can be difficult to use if you don’t know how to code

If you need access to lots of variety, this may be the plugin for you. Just make sure you know what schema types you’ll require, and budget accordingly.

Do More With Your WordPress Site

If you want to attract lots of visitors to your website, you’ll need to put plenty of work into its design and optimization. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone.

Here at WP Engine, we offer you the very best when it comes to resources for developers and website owners of all types. Get started with our plans today!

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