Google’s Free Tools for Creating Structure Snippets

puzzle-piecesFor those of you who haven’t already discovered “snippets”, you’ll find this post very useful. Snippets are a great feature to improve what is displayed on a  search engine result page(SERP) when a query matches your content.  Deploying these html code snippets is also a good way to strengthen your SEO efforts.  Snippets are html markup that provide Google with specific information about content on your web page.  Snippets come in two flavors, “rich” and “structured”.

Snippets – An Overview

Rich snippets are an invention used to provide the search engine (for this post I’m focusing on Google) with key data about your web page content. The advantage is defined, concise, specific, organized results to the query. The end result is better information to the user before following the link. A good example is concisely providing dates, times for a concert or event.

Structured snippets are used to provide granular level detail about a search topic. An excellent example of this: product specs for a given product.

Building Snippets

The first thing to consider is the content on your pages, and which provides the best information (value) to your visitor about the topic/event/product/solution. Next to consider is the format to present the data to Google.  Microdata is the most popular and I would stick with that.

Now you’re ready to take advantage of the great free tools from Google.

Use the link above to open the helper. Then enter the web page url. The helper go step by step though the process building the snippet.

snippet-task

The first step will be to display the webpage. You’ll then find a friendly guide at top of the page from which you can click on the key content and assign specific meta values.

Google comes preset with a number of values, but you can also make your own. Below is a list of the default values:

  • Name
  • Image
  • Description
  • URL
  • Brand
  • Offer
  • Aggregate Rating
  • Review

A suggestion … when doing this, complete a section at a time. If you skip around, you’ll find the tool can get lost!  If this happens, just remove the selected items and start over.

When done, you’ll be presented with an option to download the markup to use on your web page.

Testing Your Work

Lastly, it’s a good idea to test your new creation, to ensure that Google can properly interpret the markup. Luckily Google also provides a free tool for that very need!

Digging deeper

If you’d like to learn more about structured markup Google provides a useful write up in the Webmaster Tools area.

 

 

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