Ever seen those eye-catching stars and text snippets in Google and wondered, “how can I make my website stand out like that?”
Those “extras” are called rich snippets. And it’s surprisingly easy to use rich snippets in WordPress – you just need to put in a little legwork to give Google and other search engines the information they need.
In this post, we’re going to give you the rundown on how to add rich snippets in WordPress. To make that happen, you’re going to learn a few things:
- What schema markup is and how it works behind-the-scenes to get you rich snippets
- The different types of rich snippets (and how they connect to schema markup)
- Step-by-step how you can add schema markup and rich snippets to your WordPress site
Let’s get going so you can have your rich snippets in no time!
What Is Rich Snippets?
Ok, this section is going to use three different, but interconnected terms:
- Rich snippets
- Structured data
- Schema markup
I know you might not be a techie, so I’m going to keep things beginner-friendly. But it helps to know what all’s happening under-the-hood, so to speak.
Let’s start with the term you know – rich snippets. Rich snippets, also called rich results, are the actual additions that humans see in Google and other search engines.
They come in a lot of different formats, which I’ll discuss in the next section. But some of the most common rich snippets are:
- Review rating stars
- Recipe information
- Product specs
In order to give you rich snippets, search engines rely on something called structured data. Structured data is a type of behind-the-scenes code that you can use to communicate with search engines.
Schema markup is a specific type of structured data. But if you’re not a techie, it’s simpler to just think of schema markup and structured data as the exact same thing. We’ll exclusively refer to it as schema markup from now.
Your human visitors never see schema markup – but search engines use it to better understand the context of your site. For example, schema markup tells search engines – “that number is how long the recipe takes to cook”, but “this other number is how long the prep time is”.
Search engines then take this extra context and use it to give your site rich snippets.
- Schema markup gives search engines more context about your content
- Search engines use the information from schema markup to give your site rich snippets
- Humans see rich snippets, but not schema markup
What Are the Benefits of Rich Snippets?
There are many different benefits to using rich snippets. The main benefit is that it will improve your SEO.
As Google prefers content that conforms to its search formats, you will appear higher in search results. Movie reviews, for instance, are far more likely to appear higher on search results pages if they use the movie rich snippet. Other types of content are similar.
The other major reason to use snippets is that it will help attract new and different audiences.
Some people are attracted to videos, while others like short questions and answers. Normally, a visitor has to visit your site to see exactly what the content will look like.
With rich snippets, however, you can give a nice preview directly on the search results page. This will increase the likelihood that a visitor clicks on the link and comes to your page.
Hello! My name is Sujay and I’m CEO of Astra.
We’re on a mission to help small businesses grow online with affordable software products and the education you need to succeed.
How Many Different Rich Snippets Are There?
Let’s go through each one individually! We’ll learn what structured data is used for and also show you examples of each type.
An article is a news article from a media website, sports site, or blog. These are displayed below the “Top stories” carousel and have rich content search results, including headline text and larger thumbnail images.
Books include basic information about the book including publish date and publisher. They also enable searchers to purchase a book directly from the search results page.
Breadcrumbs are those little navigation links that indicate where the linked page is in relation to the entire site. For example, Home > Blog > This Post.
Carousels are a design element that displays content in a list or gallery. As they are a design style and not content itself, in order to use this feature, you must combine it with one of these other ones: Recipe, Course, Restaurant, or Movie.
This is for educational courses. Courses appear in a list provided by you and can include details such as the title, educational provider, and a brief description of what the course is about.
A dataset is a large amount of organized information, such as weather reports.
This is a collection of ratings or reviews of a company by its employees. It is displayed on Google’s job search page results.
This is an event, such as a concert or art festival, that takes place at a particular time and location.
A fact check is a summary of a claim made by a website Google considers credible.
FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions. It is a page that has common questions and answers about a certain issue or topic.
Home Activities are an interactive result that displays home activities that you can do at home, such as workouts.
This covers content that includes a set of steps to complete a task or accomplish a goal. They can include video, images and text.
This displays the license metadata/information for an image and also links to the image viewer, which has more information about the image.
This allows companies to post a job ad. Job seekers can see your logo, reviews, ratings, and other details about the company and position.
This item is still in beta, but it is used to create content that helps people discover jobs or career fields.
On this item, you can display details about your small business. These include opening hours, directions, ratings, appointment bookings, item ordering, and more.
This displays your company’s logo in the search results and also in the side panel.
These are walkthrough guides that help students and teachers with math problems.
This carousel shows movies from search results. You can include the title, director, images, and some other information about each film.
This is used to show region-based averages and salary ranges for different job types. It is aimed primarily at job seekers.
This item is for podcasts. You can include a playable link or also show them in other Google Podcasts platforms like the Google Podcasts app or Google Assistant.
You can use this item to add structured data to practice problems in math and science.
This item is for products. You can include the price, reviews, availability, and some other information.
Question and Answer (Q&A) pages contain content in a question-answer format, which is displayed by Google in related searches.
Recipes should contain full instructions for making food or drinks. They can be displayed as an individual item or in a carousel.
This is a short snippet of a review from a review website. Reviews can be about books, recipes, movies, products, software apps, and businesses.
Sitelinks Search box
This is the search box that appears below your site in search results. It allows people to limit their searches only to your site.
Software App (beta)
This one is still in beta, but it lets you display information about an app. You can include ratings, a description, and a link to download it.
This is designed for text-to-speech software. It identifies content that can be read aloud using Google’s Assistant program.
Subscription and paywalled content
You can use this to separate the content on your site which is hidden behind a paywall or subscription.
Show videos in search results. You can specify video segments, live stream content, and give the option of playing the video directly.
How to Add Rich Snippets to WordPress the Optimal Way
There are different ways that you can add schema markup to WordPress, but Google’s recommended method is something called JSON-LD:
The benefit of JSON-LD over the methods that most other WordPress rich snippets plugins use is there’s no need to add any new content to the front-end of your site.
On the other hand, you’re forced to add a new human-visible box to your site’s content just to get rich snippets with plugins that don’t use JSON-LD.
To add Google-recommended JSON-LD markup to WordPress, you can use Schema Pro.
Here’s the whole process, step-by-step…
Step 1: Install Schema Pro and Run the Setup Wizard
To get started, install and activate the Schema Pro plugin.
Once you activate the plugin, go to Settings → Schema Pro. Then, click on the Configuration tab and click Start setup wizard to configure your site’s basic information:
The data here won’t help you directly add rich snippets to WordPress blog posts, but it’s helpful for other types of rich results – like breadcrumbs and sitelinks.
The setup options are pretty simple. But if you hit any snags, just click on the question mark icon and Schema Pro will let you know what the setting does:
Step 2: Create a New Schema
Once you’ve finished the setup wizard, you’re ready to add your first schema. This is the information that will help you add rich snippets to WordPress.
To get started, head to the Schemas tab and click Add New:
Step 3: Choose Your Schema Type
On the next screen, you’ll need to choose what schema type you want to add. Remember when we talked about content types at the beginning of this article? This is where you choose what schema markup information you want to add.
Basically, just pick the content type that most closely matches the type of content you want rich snippets for.
For example, if you want to get those review rich snippets, you’d choose the Review option. Or, if you write recipes, you’d choose the Recipe type.
Schema Pro lets you create multiple different schemas and apply them to different content types. So if you publish more than one type of content, just pick one of them for now.
I’ll do Review for this tutorial as that’s a pretty common use:
Step 4: Choose Which Pages to Target
Now, you get to decide what content you want to add this schema markup to. You have a lot of flexibility here.
You can apply the schema markup to all your content. Or, you can only apply it to:
- Post types
- Individual Posts
You can also mix-and-match:
- Enable Rules – the schema will be added to content that meets this rule.
- Exclusion Rules – the schema will not be added to content that meets this rule.
Because I’m using a Review type example, let’s say that I only want to apply the review schema to posts in the “Review” category of my blog.
To do that, you would:
- Select Specific Pages… from the drop-down
- Search for the review category
- Select the review category from the auto suggest list
Once you’ve finished, click Next to finalize your location choice(s).
Step 5: Map Schema to Your Content
That finishes up the wizard! Click the Complete Setup option to finish things out:
On the next screen, you’ll see a list of all the information that’s associated with that content type (remember – a review content type needs different information than a recipe content type, etc.).
Schema Pro will try to automatically map this information to your existing content whenever possible.
For example, you can see that Schema Pro will make the Reviewer Name the same as the Author name from WordPress. That means you don’t need to manually enter the reviewer name when you publish your review.:
For the other information, you have a choice. You can either:
- Have Schema Pro add a new custom field to the WordPress editor (this is the best option for most users – it’s very simple)
- Map that information to an existing custom field, including those you’ve added with Advanced Custom Fields or Pods (this is a great option for developers)
If you’re not a techie person, you can safely leave these as the defaults, which will be to add a new custom field to the WordPress Editor.
Step 6: If Needed, Add Extra Information in the WordPress Editor
Now, when you go to create a new piece of content that meets the rules you specified, you’ll see some additional custom fields where you can enter new information.
For the review rich snippet, that means the:
- Item name
- Item image
- Review rating
For all the other information (publish date, reviewer name, etc.), Schema Pro will automatically pull the information from your WordPress site – you don’t need to do anything.
Step 7: Use Structured Data Testing Tool to Verify
You’re all set now! To finish out the process, you can use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to verify that you properly added the schema markup.
Just plug in your content’s URL and Google will tell you all the schema markup it finds on the page:
And that means Google has all the information it needs to give your site rich snippets!
Now you know how to add some awesome rich snippets to your site! That wasn’t too bad, was it?
Once added, anyone searching for you on Google will see your stylish new content and design.
In this post, you learned about Schema markup and why it’s used by Google to display snippets. Then, we talked about the 15 different kinds of snippets and which one you should use for your website. Finally, we walked you through adding schema markup and snippets to WordPress.
Are your snippets now displaying correctly? And did you find the process easy to follow? Let us know in the comments if you had any issues or questions about schema or rich text snippets!