What makes you click a particular result on the Google search results page? Ideally, it might be the matching keywords in the title and persuasive meta description of what you might be looking for!
But there’s more to that. SERPs (search engine result pages) have evolved over time to accommodate more and more useful information and it’s easy to get drawn to results that are different and have rich markup in the results.
A commonly displayed rich snippets markup, for example, are Stars for ratings and reviews seen for product results. Location and event listings are few others commonly seen rich snippet markups in the search results.
Such rich markup is made possible by search engine standards termed as Schema.org.
Table of Contents
- Displaying Rich Snippets
- What is Schema?
- Schema Rich Snippets WordPress Plugins
- General Schema Rich Snippets WordPress Plugins
- 1. WP Rich Snippets WordPress Plugin
- 2. All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets WordPress Plugin
- 3. Schema Creator by Raven WordPress Plugin
- 4. Rich Snippets WordPress Plugin CodeCanyon
- Niche Schema Rich Snippets WordPress Plugins
- 5. WP Review Pro Plugin
- 6. WP Product Review Plugin
- 7. WP Post Ratings Plugin
- Testing Schema Markup Data
- Adding Rich Snippets Manually in WordPress
Displaying Rich Snippets
So, why should you care about displaying rich snippets?
A latest research points out that more than 36% of the Google search results incorporate Schema rich snippets that attract greater attention and traffic when displayed in the SERPs.
Adding such rich Schema markup helps to code your content in a way that can be understood by the major search engines. Among all other benefits, having a rich markup for your content certainly helps to boost the SEO of your WordPress blog.
Optimising your blog and content with proper schema markup can give you i) boost in search engine rankings and ii) increase in organic clicks on search engine results pages (SERP).
First, implementing the Schema markup can help your websites and blog rank better on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. A study by Searchmetrics revealed that pages with Schema markup rank better by an average of four positions compared to pages that do not have such markup.
Secondly, adding rich and structured markup can significantly increase your click through rate (CTR). In fact, several studies have predicted an increase of 30% in CTR with markup such as Schema Microdata, GoodRelations, and Google Rich Snippets.
Despite such highly beneficial facts of rich snippets, it's hard to believe that (according to searchmetrics study) only 0.3% of websites are making use of the Schema markups.
In this post, we will go through some of the popular Schema plugins that can help you add such structured markup to your WordPress blogs. We will also test to see if you have done it correctly to make the rich snippets appear towards the end of the post.
But first, you might want to know more about Schema itself and how it can be useful for SEO purposes.
What is Schema?
Schema (Schema.org) is a structured data standard agreed by many search engines. It is a standardised markup language to structure data across web pages.
As you can see on the homepage of Schema.org, the project is sponsored by popular search engines including Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex.
Search engines developed the data standards and a collection of shared vocabularies which include series of tags and properties to mark up your products, reviews, local business listings, etc to better understand websites and their content.
You can easily get started using schema manually by using the documents guide page on the Schema.org website. The website also provides a collection of shared vocabularies that can help you learn more about the different types of schemas and their properties.
Here’s a short video from Google webmasters team introducing you to the rich snippets.
To further improve your understanding, here are the commonly used schema.org item types:
- Organisation, Places, Business, Restaurant
- Movie, Book, or other creative works
- Review, Rating
The Searchmetrics study revealed Movies, Offers, and Reviews as most supplied schema rich snippets. See other popular rich snippets in the graphics below.
Schema useful for SEO?
Adding Schema markup adds support to display rich snippets that ultimately makes your results stand out in SERPs. What this primarily does is that it makes your results look appealing to the users in SERPs and thus significantly increase the click through rate (CTR).
For example, Google uses schema markup to display rich snippets for a WordPress app as shown in the image below. The data for rating stars is from the Google play store for WordPress app listing.
Here's another rich snippet result for the search results for our WordPress coupons page.
Such rich snippets are visually appealing and thus can account for high click through rates.
A user has only ten results to choose from (on a single page) and standing out in those results can make a difference even if you do not appear in the first position.
Apart from the study cited towards the beginning of this post from Searchmetrics, there’s little evidence if Google uses this as a ranking factor. Nevertheless, helping search engines understand your content can be beneficial in a long term for your SEO.
Now that you understand what schema is and what it can be useful for, let’s explore some useful Schema WordPress plugins that will enable you to implement it on your website.
Schema Rich Snippets WordPress Plugins
If you followed the guide of schema.org website, you must have seen how difficult it can be to remember all the HTML elements required for different schema types.
Plugins make it easier to implement schema markup on your WordPress websites. Of course, you can implement the markup manually but it would take a lot of time and effort, especially if you have loads of content on your blog.
I have researched few plugins that can make adding schema markup really easy to display rich snippets in WordPress. Here're few plugins that address most of the schema types.
General Schema Rich Snippets WordPress Plugins
First, let's look into general rich snippets WordPress plugins that work with most of the content (schema.org item) types.
1. WP Rich Snippets WordPress Plugin
If you are looking for a complete solution for schema markup and rich snippets, look no further than the advanced WP Rich Snippets WordPress Plugin.
(WP Rich Snippets is kindly providing 15% OFF on their pricing to our WPism readers. Just use ‘wpism' on checkout. More information on our WP Rich Snippets Coupon page.)
WP Rich Snippets Plugin provides you with complete tools supporting all popular schema.org markup types. Once you install and activate the plugin, you can configure all the plugin options on an information-rich settings page.
You will see a friendly Rich Snippets post meta box below each post, page, or custom post type that lets you configure the options for markup, review, and rating details.
Besides, WP Rich Snippets Plugin comes with a collection of free and premium add-ons, which adds more functionality and integrations with different content types. Here're different add-ons available for the plugin that you can use depending on your needs.
WooCommerce Reviews: This latest WP Rich snippets add-on allows you to add rich snippets for your products on your WooCommerce powered e-commerce site.
Shortcodes: The Shortcodes add-on lets you display the rich snippets wherever you want inside your post using the shortcodes.
DataTables: The DataTables add-on makes it possible to display a table of entries based on DataTables jQuery.
Software Specs: If your post or page is about software, this add-on allows you to display rich snippets that include your Software specs and a useful code changelog.
Locations: Locations add-on can be useful for businesses looking to display location-related info and markup in rich snippets. It also makes possible for your location to appear on Google maps.
Box Shortcode: The box shortcode option gives you more advanced options than the simple shortcodes option to help your display the review box wherever you want inside your post or page.
Anonymous User Reviews: If you accept user reviews on your website, you can use this add-on to allow anonymous user aggregate reviews. This makes the Name and Email fields optional for your reviews.
Customizer: The Customizer add-on allows you to change the colors of ratings and link buttons using the default WordPress Customizer.
Front-End Entry Submit: This add-on allows you to enable users submit products and listings on your website.
User Reviews Image: This simple add-on allows you to let your users add an image along with their reviews.
Call-To-Action: This add-on allows you to display a call to action after each review on your page or post
Ranking Table: The ranking table add-on enables you to add a sortable table with reviews for different products.
Display Rating: The display rating add-on allows you to display star rating by filtering content and excerpts.
Compare: The compare add-on makes it possible to display a comparison table for your products with reviews and other details.
Like you see with added options of several add-ons, WP Rich Snippets aims to be a complete solution for your rich snippets needs.
2. All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets WordPress Plugin
Like its name suggests, this is all in one schema.org rich snippets plugin for WordPress. This plugin makes it really easy to define the schema markup for your WordPress posts.
The plugin also highlights the important aspects such as a boost in CTR and improved SEO & ranking benefits.
It is a pretty popular plugin with more than 30,000 active installs at the time of writing this.
The plugin asserts that it supports almost all of the content types released by Schema.org including Review, Event, People, Product, Recipe, Software Application, Video, and Articles.
Once you download and install the plugin, you should see a configuration page as seen below. Here you can define all the settings as per your need.
Now in terms of making use of the plugin, you should fill the meta boxes below each post by choosing the appropriate schema type.
Here's a simple illustration guiding you to define two important boxes of the plugin.
3. Schema Creator by Raven WordPress Plugin
Schema Creator by Raven is another popular WordPress plugin to add schema markup to your content.
Unlike the previous “All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets plugin”, this plugin also outputs the information within the post.
To use the plugin, you need to click on the Schema Creator icon above the rich text editor.
This will initiate a pop-up with a schema creator form as shown in the image below, where you have to choose schema type and fill in the related details before you can insert the information in the post/page.
The plugin thus lets you create schema.org friendly microdata for your content that you can easily insert into your post.
4. Rich Snippets WordPress Plugin CodeCanyon
One general paid plugin that I would like to recommend is Rich Snippets WordPress Plugin, which is available for only $11 on CodeCanyon. The plugin seems to be pretty popular, as it has been purchased by more than 600 at the time of this writing.
Like its description says, the plugin helps you pimp search engine results of your website. The supported snippets of the plugin include Reviews and Ratings, People, Products, Businesses and organisations, Events, and Music.
The plugin comes with pre-installed shortcodes showing you results for different schema types. This is how you can use the plugin in three simple steps.
Niche Schema Rich Snippets WordPress Plugins
While the above plugins are good for overall usage as they support a variety of schema item types, there are also niche plugins focusing on a specific type of schema markup.
Reviews, videos, and offers are the most common types of schema markups as seen in SERP and there are several plugins focused on just one type of schema markup.
Yoast’s plugin Video SEO for WordPress, for example, that I use with this website adds video schema markup among several other features.
You can search for other specific niche plugins for different schema types but here're few other plugins that I want to highlight for review type.
5. WP Review Pro Plugin
WP Review Pro lets you create ratings and reviews that you can show within your post. Apart from the nice and clean reviews, this plugin adds schema markup to your reviews.
The plugin is feature rich, mostly targeting those who want to create review websites. It provides a way to display multiple rating systems in the post that can add the markup required for rich snippets to show up in the search engines.
The plugin is very helpful if you review products on your blog and want to add both the Rating within the post and make it schema complaint.
6. WP Product Review Plugin
WP Product Review plugin can be really useful if you review several products on your blog or website. The plugin allows you to display ratings, pros and cons, affiliate links, rich snippets and user reviews along with support for the schema markup.
The WP Product Review Lite plugin has a free version available to install directly from the WordPress plugins repository. The free plugin is one of the most popular rich snippets plugin used on over fifty thousand WordPress websites.
The premium plugin comes with advanced features such as shortcodes options, review table, comparison tables, ability to import Amazon product information and more. You can also activate user reviews from General Settings page of the plugin. You can also activate user reviews from General Settings page of the plugin.
7. WP Post Ratings Plugin
Another commonly used plugin just for the post-rating feature is the WP Post Ratings plugin. The plugin adds a simple AJAX powered rating system for your posts and pages in WordPress blog.
WP Post Ratings plugin adds a schema markup for Article type by default. There are also instructions to change the default schema to other types in the installation and FAQ section of the plugin page. The plugin is available to download for free from WordPress.org.
Apart from the above two plugins, there are several other ratings and review plugins for other niche that are capable of adding schema markup.
Testing Schema Markup Data
Now that you have installed the plugins and made your content schema markup complaint, you might want to go ahead and test it if you have done it right.
Of course, the results on Google search engine pages for your website won’t change immediately but here’s a tool that you can use to test the structured data of your website.
Head over to the Structured Data Testing Tool from Google Developers to check if you structured data markup can be correctly parsed and displayed by Google in its search results. Enter your URL in the Fetch URL box and click on validate. The tool will validate the rich markup and will let you know under results.
Adding Rich Snippets Manually in WordPress
Additionally, Google also provides another tool called Structured Data Markup Helper that makes it really easy to add structured data markup to the HTML content. You can just select the data type you want to mark paste the URL and start tagging the content.
The markup helper will then open the content with appropriate data items listed on your right that can be selected and defined as shown in the image below.
Once you are done, you can click on the “Create HTML” button on top and get the HTML code that can be placed manually.
Although convenient, the markup helper tool can be useful only if you are looking to add codes manually. For rest of us, WordPress plugins are the best way to go!
I hope the article helped you to learn more about Schema Markup and implementing rich snippets in your WordPress blogs.
If you use any other plugins to add rich snippets or have any other feedback, I would really appreciate if you could drop a line in the comments below.