In 2011, the Moz blog came out with an article: “Schema markup: why you’re behind if you’re not using it”. Almost three years later, this statement is, in my opinion, truer than ever. While doing some online holiday shopping in the past couple weeks, a single product search on Google brought me results that included 14 examples of schema.org rich snippets (and many included more than one type of rich snippet per result). With the first page of the SERP flooded with these rich snippets, if you’re an ecommerce retailer or online marketer, how do you differentiate your organic search results from your competitors’ in order to get the most traffic?
There are several schema.org markups that can be used specifically for creating rich snippets for ecommerce products. Many can be used with each other or alone. The best way to determine which to utilize to maximize traffic depends on your product and, most importantly, your competitors. Check how your product appears on the SERP by searching for it yourself and comparing your listing against others on the page. Take advantage of markup types that are not widely used by competitors or, more importantly, emphasize a company differentiator like low price or a free shipping offer. Here are five examples of rich snippets to consider:
A Breadcrumb rich snippet will replace the URL for the path of this product on the site.
The Reviews rich snippet will show a star rating for your product and pull the number of reviews your product has.
This snippet shows the price of the product next to the result.
The Availability snippet will show whether you have the product “in stock” or “out of stock.”
This markup places a video thumbnail next to the result.
As an online consumer, what I liked most about this particular search query and the amount of rich snippets on the page was the fact that I could compare these retailers for the same product without even visiting each website. This is a bonus to retailers as it essentially means that the search engine is qualifying traffic and bringing in consumers who are ready and willing to purchase. This element of qualifying buyers can be even further optimized by the content included in title tags and meta descriptions. Again, as a buyer I appreciated that many of these results told me up front about free shipping deals.
With the changing landscape of search results, it is important for ecommerce companies to stand out and stay competitive. Remember to think about how your customers shop and what elements of information will interest them when deciding to purchase.
What do you think about using rich snippets as a differentiator in search results? Tweet me your opinion @NicoleBandy or comment below.