Rich snippets are used by marketers to increase click through rate (CTR) to their domain in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). For users of Google searching for great content, products and services, rich snippets give them a sense of what’s on the page and helps them decide if it’s relevant to their search query.
Although rich snippets do help with CTR I can’t help but notice an oversaturation, making the playing field much more even.
So how does your brand stand out in the SERPs? For me, the answer is branded snippets.
Why branded snippets?
These snippets can help build brand awareness at the first step of the funnel, Google search, and can be created by using colours, fonts and elements found in your brand guidelines.
If you are producing quality content your rich snippets should theoretically appear in multiple searches for your target audience. This visual repetition will help build brand awareness, as well as making you appear as a thought leader in your field, resulting in the magic click.
To illustrate this point, I'm going to pretend we are running a food website called EZY FOOD, which creates videos, blogs and recipes.
Authorship rich snippets are used on blogs and news articles to show the user what the author looks like before they click the link.
If all your writers have consistently branded profile pictures (i.e. the same solid colour background) you can aesthetically dominate a search page should you start to appear in users’ multiple searches. If you appear multiple times on one search page with branded snippets, you will greatly increase the chances of the user choosing your content.
Top tip: It can be hard to convince your staff to set their personal profile pics to a branded one. An easy way to get around this is by having separate Google Plus work accounts.
Video rich snippets take up the most real estate making them (in my opinion) the best possible snippet to obtain. By filming all of your videos at the same aspect ratio you can create a standard template, which you can use to easily create your custom video thumbnail each time.
Top tip: By self-hosting your video content the snippet will send the user to your website where they can convert, rather than leaking your traffic to YouTube.
Recipe rich snippets display an image that represents the meal to be created. When branding the image you want to appear as the snippet, I recommend using as little text/logos as possible with high transparency to avoid the image possibly not showing.
The same principles of making a template to mass produce rich snippets for brand awareness can be used on almost any channel. Try using the concept on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.