Want more traffic from Google? We can all probably agree that the answer to that question is always: "YES!".
For most people, their first thought when they hear "organic traffic" is their site's rank in Google. But no matter how good your rankings are, you also need to maximize the number of people who actually click on your website in the search results.
One way to do that? Use schema markup and microdata to add rich snippets to your search placements. You can do it manually, but as is often the case, there are also some awesome free and paid plugins that will handle everything for you.
In this post, I'm going to show you what rich snippets and schema markup are, tell you why they're important, and then offer up some great plugin options to implement them in WordPress.
Let's get down to it.
Learn what rich snippets and schema are
Rich snippets are those fancy additions to search results you see in Google. You can help the search engines add them by applying something called "schema markup" to your site. Schema markup structures microdata to allow search engines to easily understand what types of content they're looking at.
You may have noticed that WPLift has implemented schema markup (though maybe you didn't know it at the time!). For instance, when you search for a theme or plugin that WPLift has reviewed, you'll see us in the search results like this:
See those stars? They make WPLift stand out from the rest of the listings on the page. Standing out means more clicks.
Schema and rich snippets aren't just for review sites, though. Here are a few examples of other schema markup you can use:
- Product details
- Addresses and phone numbers
- and much, much more
You can check out the full list at schema.org. The formats listed there are backed by all the major search engines.
Add rich snippets and get more organic traffic
I want to make it clear that schema and rich snippets don't directly affect your rank in Google (though Google has hinted it might in the future). What they will do, though, is increase the number of people who click on your site in the search results, aka your CTR.
CTR isn't just a factor for pay-per-click campaigns, it's also something you should optimize in organic search. A roundup by Search Engine Land showed that some sites increased their traffic by almost 30% after implementing rich snippets.
Now, I can't promise that all of you are going to increase your traffic by 30%. But even a 5 or 10% increase would be pretty awesome, right?
To get the benefits, you don't need to dig into any code. Just pick one of these plugins, install and configure it, and watch the rich snippets pop up on your search results in a few days.
All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets
All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets is a mouthful of a name for a plugin, but it’s also one of the most popular free plugins to add schema data. It’s basic, but it does almost everything you need (and did I mention it’s free?).
It supports schema for a variety of topics like reviews, events, recipes, and more. It also lets you preview what your rich snippets will look like in Google search, which is a great feature. It’s nice to see things exactly as the end user will.
The plugin has an active support forum and is still maintained, so if you’re ok with something barebones for free, All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets is a great plugin to use.
Schema Creator by Raven
Schema Creator by Raven is another free option for adding microdata, though it hasn’t been updated in around a year. It lets you mark up the content that will display in your post with schema data.
I would say it’s slightly less intuitive than All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets, but it can still do everything you need and it won’t cost you a dime.
WP Rich Snippets
WP Rich Snippets isn’t free, but by paying for it, you get tons of features in a slick package.
It has a variety of options to build rich snippets, all wrapped up in a very intuitive and well-designed dashboard. You can add things like:
- Store hours
- Addresses and phones
- and tons more
They also have lots of extensions that can integrate with WooCommerce, add shortcodes and data tables, show locations on Google Maps, and even more.
Add an extensive knowledge base and dedicated support and you’re getting a lot of value.
Price: Starts at $69
Schema App Structured Data
Schema App Structured Data is another free option for adding rich snippets to your site. It automatically adds basic schema data to all your posts and pages, which you can then go back and edit as needed.
It can also connect with the Schema App Editor to automatically create and validate all your schema data, though you will need to pay for that privilege, unfortunately.
Still, if basic, validated schema data is enough for you, Schema App Structured Data can do it for free. And you can always decide to pay for Schema App Editor later if you change your mind
Price: Free with paid extensions
Rich Snippets WordPress Plugin by CodeCanyon
It generates schema shortcodes that you can choose to display within the post, or leave invisible to humans (but still detectable by search engines). You apply these shortcodes on an individual basis to pages or posts - there’s no global application.
So, if you have a huge site and want to implement schema data on all your old posts, you might be in for a lot of work. But if you’re just starting out, this is a great and affordable way to easily implement schema data.
Bonus - Yoast
Some Yoast add-ons will automatically add certain schema data to your posts. For instance, if you install their Local SEO Plugin, it will automatically add address and opening hours schema data. Similarly, their Video SEO Plugin adds video data.
These won’t cover everything, but if you have one of those specific needs, you may not even need to install any new plugins.
Review-Site Specific Plugins
If you just want to add star ratings to your rich snippets, there are several review-specific plugins that will let you accomplish that. I won’t go into too much detail, but here are a few worth checking out:
None of them offer you full schema data options but give them a look if you just want something for reviews.
No matter which plugin you choose, always check to make sure your outputted schema markup is correct. You can do this with the free Structured Data Testing Tool from Google Developers. Just enter your URL and it will tell you if it finds any problems with your schema data.
Did we miss a great plugin? Do you think there's a benefit to implementing schema markup manually? Let us know in the comments!