Have you ever heard of rich snippets? Are you aware that your search engine rankings are probably not performing as well without them?
If you take a look at Google’s page called About Rich Snippets and Structured Data, you will find plenty of valuable information. Feel free to peruse this page, but understand that rich snippets are typically used for the following:
- Businesses and organizations
So, you can basically implement a rich snippets strategy for just about any type of page or post. For example, you can have ratings stars show up in the search engines if you review software products or TV shows. You can also include a picture of the post author to make your search result stand out more. It helps your SEO, and makes your results look a little nicer.
Here’s an example of a search result without rich snippets:
Here’s an example of a result with rich snippets:
Which one do your eyes go towards first?
Rich snippets are an essential way for drawing attention towards your search results. They incorporate visual and interactive components to add more valuable information to your search results. The goal is to take a look at your Google Analytics later and see your click-through rates improve.
It’s fairly clear that rich snippets help draw attention to your search results, but why aren’t they talked about more frequently? Well, quite simply, rich snippets have always been a pain for authors to setup. However, with a plugin like WP Rich Snippets the process is much faster and less technical.
Step 1: Choose a Plan and Activate Your Plugin
Start by going to the WP Rich Snippets plugin page on the AuthorhReview site. You can play around with a plugin demo here, and view the pricing structure here. In short, the pricing structure goes like this:
- Light Plan – Free
- Single Site – $69
- Multi Site – $139
- Unlimited – $199
Feel free to download the Free version, but the functionality is fairly limited and you can only use one of the plugins from the AuthorhReview family of plugins. When you start upgrading to the Single Site, Multi Site and Unlimited plans you really get to the meat of things. You receive all the plugins from AuthorhReview including:
- WP Rich Snippets – Add several schema markups on your site
- WP Reviews – Has functionality for editor and user ratings and reviews
- Authorh Review – Add editor reviews and ratings
Select your plan and download the plugins to your computer. Then upload the plugins to the backend of your WordPress website. You can do this by going to Plugins > Add New on the left hand side of your dashboard. Upload the plugin and activate it on your website.
Once activated, locate the warning at the top of your dashboard for validating the plugin. Click on this link.
During the signup process you were given a license API key. Paste this key into the proper field and punch in your email address. You can then scroll down to click on the Validate button. Your plugin is now completely ready to go.
Step 2: Fill In Your General Settings
Start by going to the primary WP Rich Snippets Settings page. Here you can fill in general information such as what you want your currency to be and where you want the rich snippets to show up on your website. I chose to place rich snippets on posts, but you can also choose pages, widgets or whatever post types you have such as portfolios.
If you accept paid reviews you should fill in a short disclaimer just to let people know that you’re receiving compensation to make a review. You can also specify a disclosure page and open all links in the same window if you want. By default, the links that you send people to, such as product purchase pages, open in a separate window.
Step 3: Fill in Ratings Settings
Next, click on the Rating tab to specify how you want the entire ratings system to work on your website. For example you can enable user reviews for site visitors and even make the rating required if someone wants to write a review.
What else can you do on this page?
- Bring up a popup form to prompt visitors to make a rating
- Prevent replies to user ratings
- Prevent multiple ratings by checking IP addresses
- Update your user review data with the click of a button
Step 4: Modify Display Settings
The next tab is titled as Display. This area is filled with settings to modify what you want the reviews and ratings to look like on your posts and pages. For example, I checked off that I want to show the review box underneath my blog post content. This means that the review shows up after my full blog post.
There are also various settings for hiding information such as avatars, criteria for user reviews and dates for reviews.
The true customization comes into play when you scroll down a little further in the Display area. You can change the button colors and text. My site is branded with a blue color so I also want my buttons to reveal a similar blue color. You can also use the default button icon or check for more available icons by clicking on the FontAwesome link.
The regular Button and Demo button is used right at the end of your review. It basically gives you a chance to link to a purchase page and a demo. So if you just reviewed a WordPress theme you can have a link for people to buy the theme and also to test it on with a demo.
Step 5: Setup Your Criteria
The Criteria tab is a fairly important area for showing people how your rating system works. As you can see in my screenshot I made a percentage rating system from 5 to 100 percent, where the lowest rating is Awful and the highest is Great.
Step 6: Modify the Technical Stuff (I Recommend Just Leaving This)
Although the technical side is useful for more customization, I would assume that most people would leave every single one of these tabs unchecked. It’s basically a giant list of things to disable. Feel free to read through these and disable anything you want, but I generally just leave this page since I want the full functionality of this plugin.
Step 7: Open a Post and Create Your Rich Snippet
Now it’s time to create your review or rating so that it can display on your website and turn into a rich snippet for the search engines to serve up and help your click-through rates.
Go to Posts > Add New in your WordPress dashboard. This is just like making any other blog post on your website. Create a title and fill in your description and whatever you plan on writing about for the item you’re reviewing.
If you scroll down right below the WordPress editor you will find the primary WP Rich Snippets area. This inserts a module in your page or post with a formatted review and rating system.
Start by selecting what type of rich snippet you want to make. What are your options?
I’m choosing to review the HP Chromebook 14, but you may want to review a restaurant or something else. In that case, just change your rich snippet item at the top. On the main tab, feel free to select if you want to base your rating on a percentage or rating. Select the percentage or rating for the item and then fill in the name and description.
Step 8: Pros and Cons and Pricing
The next page asks for pros and cons, which is fairly easy to just list and move on.
You can also punch in the price for the item, or include a price range if there isn’t a set rate.
Step 9: Additional Details and Media
If you’re reviewing an organization or something with a physical location you can fill in the address and store hours.
The Display tab asks if you want to upload an image, video or gallery. I included a YouTube link and uploaded an image of the computer.
The Link tab is fairly important, because you’ll want to paste in purchase and demo links to the items you’re reviewing. This may also be a link to a company or restaurant website depending on what you’re reviewing.
The final tab is to fill in the author name, which is pretty self-explanatory.
Step 10: Preview and Publish Your Review and Rich Snippet
Once you’re done with all the settings, click on the Publish or Preview button to view your work. As you can see below, the Pros and Cons list shows up nicely and the video displays right underneath.
The ratings then reveal themselves along with pricing, criteria and the buttons to purchase pages and demos at the very bottom.
This is the main functionality on the WP Rich Snippets plugin, but you can also go in there and use shortcodes to make things easier for yourself, manage widgets and activate user reviews to create a community.
A Quick Review of the WP Rich Snippets Plugin
So, how do I like the WP Rich Snippets plugin? To clarify things for people, it’s basically a product or organizational review plugin with the added feature of turning the reviews into rich snippets for the search engines.
The frontend design is not that powerful at all, since all you can change is the button color and text. I also don’t like the formatting of each review, since there is tons of white space and you can’t really move anything around.
Other than that, if you just need a quick way to write reviews and create rich snippets, this is a nice WordPress plugin for beginners who don’t want to mess with any code or work with a bulky plugin. The support documentation is quite thorough as well, so if you have any questions everything is there for you.
Are you interested in setting up rich snippets on your website? Share your thoughts on rich snippets in the comments section below. Have you tried them out and found that your click-through rates increased? If you have any further questions about how to setup the WP Rich Snippets plugin, let us know and we’ll help you out.