Do you write gadget, music, movie or book reviews on your WordPress site? It’s well known that results from trusted review sites, like Yelp, often dominate organic search results pages (SERPs) in local search today.
Trust is a significant factor in boosting search rankings and Google considers review sites more trustworthy than others. If you want your review site to be seen as trustworthy, you have to speak to Google in a language that it understands.
Google says that it “wants to help users quickly find insightful critic reviews by aggregating snippets from top reviewers.” They also state, in no uncertain terms, that “to make sure your reviews are surfacing in these features, you must identify and summarize your reviews using structured data markup on your official website.”
Google has even hinted that it may decide to use structured data in its ranking algorithm some day. They have a very useful video explaining how your critic review and video actions can be surfaced on Google to help users find your content.
Watch the video here to understand how the structured data or Schema.org markup added for these reviews appears on your mobile device.
What is Schema Markup?
Schema.org is a joint project between all the major search engines that helped introduce a standard format for adding structured data to websites. Rich Snippets are one form of Schema markup.
It’s clear that, if you want your reviews to be found in Google’s search results – both desktop and mobile – human-readable reviews are no longer sufficient to do that. Instead, your blog must include structured data about each review.
To make sure your self-hosted WordPress blog shows up in Google’s aggregated reviews, you need to add Schema.org markup or Rich Snippets to the pages where your reviews are hosted.
How To Add Rich Snippets To Your WordPress Site
The easiest way to add structured markup for reviews to your WordPress Blog is to use a plugin to help you add the data to your review posts. The plugin that I recommend to help you do this is the All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets plugin.
• Software Application
To add this plugin to your blog, just search for it from within your WordPress Dashboard and install it. It will add an extra field in your WordPress post editor that allows you to choose the kind of markup you want to add to your post.
Since you’re adding the review markup to your post, this is how you need to select which markup you want and complete the fields.
Once you’ve saved your review post, this is how the data will appear at the bottom of your blog post. Click here and scroll down to see an actual example of the results created by this plugin.
The plugin adds a star rating that will appear along with your review in the SERPs. This makes your review more eye-catching, helps it stand out from the rest of the search results and get higher clickthroughs (CTR).
There are a number of other free and paid Rich Snippet plugins that you can use if you prefer. The main thing is that you need to do this immediately, so your reviews start getting indexed more effectively.
Check out another blog on how to add rich snippets to your WordPress site and which are the best schema markup plugins for that.
You’ll also have to edit all your previous reviews to add the Schema markup and the star rating you decide to give to each product reviewed. But its effort well spent.
Of course, if you have just added the review markup to your blog, don’t expect the results to show up immediately in the SERPs. It takes a while for Google to crawl and index your pages.
Google also recommends that, once you have edited your template to include the markup, you should test that Google can understand the reviews correctly. To test your markup, submit the URL of your marked-up blog post to Google’s structured data testing tool.
Sometimes small mistakes, like misplaced commas, can cause the markup to show errors, and you can correct them if they show up.
As I wrote in the post here, adding structured markup or Rich Snippets can make your website more attractive to search engine users and increase clickthroughs, and possibly, rankings.
Rich Snippets have also been shown to provide a 26% lift in clicks on the second search listing, according to a Blue Nile Research study.
Google is supporting Schema.org markup because it helps users of their search engine make more informed decisions and helps them find trusted, new sources of information.
As Barbara Starr states, in her article on Search Engine Land, if you want to make Google happy, be sure to add structured data to your web pages. It helps increase the trust factor of your website or blog, which is a significant factor for search rankings.
Rich Snippets are now an essential part of any SEO strategy. If you’re not using them on your WordPress site, and your competitors are, you’ll get left behind in the search rankings.
Did you find this post useful in helping you implement Rich Snippets on your blog? If so, do leave a comment below.