SEO: Schema Markup & Rich Snippets Guide – A Rough Guide

SEO Schema Markup & Rich Snippets

Got Schema?

It does the body (copy) good. 

Seriously though, Schema markup is full of nutritional SEO value for site’s content, yet most companies have barely scratched the surface with it. 

Schema Markup is the origin, and Rich Snippet is the result.

Schema markup and rich snippets are related but distinct concepts in the world of search engine optimization (SEO).

Schema markup is a structured data format that webmasters can add to their website’s HTML code to help search engines understand the content better. It is essentially a set of standardized tags that provide information about the content of the page, such as the type of content (e.g., article, recipe, event), the author, the date published, etc.

Schema markup helps search engines to display more relevant results to users, which can improve click-through rates and traffic to a website.

On the other hand, rich snippets are a type of search result that includes additional information beyond the usual title, URL, and description. Rich snippets are created using schema markup, but not all schema markup results in rich snippets.

For example, a website that uses schema markup for a recipe might be eligible for a rich snippet that includes the recipe’s rating, cooking time, and calorie count.

Similarly, a website that uses schema markup for a local business might be eligible for a rich snippet that includes the business’s phone number, address, and hours of operation.

Schema markup is the structured data format that provides information about the content of a web page, while rich snippets are the enhanced search results that can be generated using schema markup.

This guide will delve into the practicalities of integrating rich snippets into your SEO playbook.

Let’s dive in!

What Are Rich Snippets?

Rich snippets are like Cliff’s Notes for search engines, helping them quickly grasp the essence of specific sections on your page. Forget just keywords; think context! is additional information you can provide to help Google & other search engines to appropriately understand content on your website.

This structured data markup clarifies what your content is all about, allowing search engines to present it in richer, more informative ways.

Imagine this: instead of a plain, text-only search result, you see one bursting with details. We’re talking star ratings for restaurants, event dates and locations, or author bios for books.

All thanks to those helpful snippets.

So, ditch the basics and embrace the rich!

Instead, imagine appearing as a product listing, complete with an enticing image and a price tag and reviews that grabs your attention.

And let’s not forget about this other option, which throws in schema review stars for good measure.

Imagine Google presenting your search result with all its juicy details right on the search page.

That’s the power of rich snippets!

These bite-sized bits of information, coded within your website’s HTML, transform your result from a simple blue link into an attention-grabbing gem.

The best part? Users are much more likely to click on a result that gives them a quick peek at what’s inside.

So, sprinkle some rich snippets on your website and watch your click-through rates sizzle.

Who Can Use Rich Snippets?

What are rich snippets?

Rich snippets are visually more appealing search results with additional valuable information displayed alongside the title, description, and URL. 

The extra information comes from structured data on the page.

While anyone can add rich snippets to their website, they won’t necessarily guarantee that coveted top 5 slot on Google.Rich snippets are a privilege earned, not a right given.

But it’s not just about adding markup – it’s about adding value.

Google values rich snippets that provide relevant and helpful information to searchers’ queries.

They keep a watchful eye on these snippets, and to stay in their good graces, website owners need to follow their guidelines.

For instance, take a look at some of Google’s guidelines for displaying business reviews:

Experts thoughts about crawling and indexing process:

“There are many, many great things schema does, but the speed of indexing a site isn’t really one of them.

A URL needs to be crawled, parsed and possibly rendered before the schema can even be seen, and a search engine by that point already has done the heavy lifting, schema adds nothing here.

There’s a bit of truth that Google can parse URL-like strings from the markup, and occasionally try them for crawling, but if you’re relying on that for discovering a URL you care about, you’re going to have a bad time”

“There are many, many great things schema does, but the speed of indexing a site isn’t really one of them.

A URL needs to be crawled, parsed and possibly rendered before the schema can even be seen, and a search engine by that point already has done the heavy lifting, schema adds nothing here.

There’s a bit of truth that Google can parse URL-like strings from the markup, and occasionally try them for crawling, but if you’re relying on that for discovering a URL you care about, you’re going to have a bad time”

  • Patrick Stox – Another amazing technical SEO wizard. His content is always top notch!

“Every page is going to have to go through the same pipeline. The only difference it might make imo is if it’s close to some threshold on whether or not a page will get indexed. Maybe, just maybe they would look at the schema as a positive and they decide to keep a page instead of dropping it. I suppose that could be perceived by some as being indexed faster?

And I don’t think there’s evidence or any statements that would confirm what I just said is even a thing, it’s just speculation.”

  • Marianne Sweeny – Her combination of IR, SEO and Content Strategy gives her a perspective few of us have.

What Types of Information Can Be Displayed As Rich Snippets?

Rich snippets, those jazzy Google search results, come in many flavors to match the info they’re serving up.

Each type of snippet (think template) is designed to dish out the most relevant details, like:

  • Restaurants: Dig into average review scores and price ranges before you chow down.
  • Music Albums: Belt out lyrics and instantly jam to a song or two with a quick play link.
  • People: Find phone numbers and faces to match the names.
  • Local Businesses: Get the lay of the land with maps and customer reviews.
  • Authors: Meet the mastermind behind the words, complete with photo, name, and links to other works.
  • Recipes: Whet your appetite with a pic, the recipe itself, ratings, and how long you’ll be in the kitchen.
  • Videos: Hit play on that thumbnail and see how long the fun lasts.
  • Products: Ratings, pics, and price tags, all at a glance.
  • Events: Get the deets on what’s happening, when and where (especially if it’s in the future).

Not all Structured data allows you to display Rich snippets. In the page templates you’ve listed, you could have:

Sitewide: nothing – Breadcrumb is usually auto-generated by Google, and/or your CMS usually generates SD on its own.

Product pages: Price, ratings, availability.

Category pages: nothing because a PLP lists multiple entities, and SD needs to refer to one at a time.

Blog pages: only specific formats such as HowTo can display something fancy. Best case scenario with the Article format (that your CMS probably generates on its own) is the date that BTW pushes the meta-description.

FAQ is worth a shot in any pagetype, make it unique to the page though and don’t count on it too much to be displayed.

How to Create Rich Snippets

Adding schema tags to your website can be done in several ways:

  1. Manual markup: Code your own tags directly into your HTML. This offers the most control but requires familiarity with schema code.
  2. Google’s Structured Data Markup Tool: Paste your website code and select element types from dropdowns. This tool simplifies markup creation for beginners.
  3. Schema plugins: Fill in blanks and let the plugin generate the code for you. This is the quickest method but offers less control over the final markup.

Understanding the core schema components benefits any chosen method:

  • Itemscope: Defines the container element holding the schema data.
  • Itemtype: Specifies the schema type (e.g., LocalBusiness, Product).
  • Itemprop: Links specific data within the itemscope to its corresponding property (e.g., name, address, price).

For demonstration, let’s explore adding LocalBusiness schema. But fear not! The principles learned here apply to various rich snippet types.

1) Itemscope

Wrap your rich snippet in a div with the itemscope attribute to signal its start and end to Google. This helps them understand which part of your code contains the structured data. 

Think of it like a highlighter, drawing attention to the key information for search engines.

For instance:


<div itemscope>

Your other HTML code here


This simple addition clarifies your content organisation and makes it easier for Google to showcase the relevant bits in search results.

2) Itemtype

Tell Google what kind of template you’re using with! Choose from local business, movie, event, product, and more.

Since we’re focusing on a local business here, we’ll use the LocalBusiness type from

Just grab the URL for the template and add this to your code:


<div itemscope itemtype=””>

Your Other HTML CODE Here


Now Google knows you’re talking about a local business. Everything inside this section gets extra context, which helps with error checking when you test your snippets (we’ll get to that!).

For example, imagine you picked “local business” but included a menu in your rich snippet. Google would flag this during testing because menus belong to restaurants, not general local businesses.

This way, you’re speaking Google’s language and ensuring your rich snippets shine!

3) Itemprop

Rich Snippets: Diving Deeper into Subsections

Beyond the main schema template (itemtype), we can enrich our rich snippets with dedicated subsections for specific info. Think of it as labelling sections for “name,” “date,” “address,” and “star rating.”

This way, the search engine clearly understands how to format the data, whether it’s an address, price list, or something else.

To find the right terms, simply consult your chosen template. For a local business, our code might look like this:


<div itemscope itemtype=””>

  <h1><span itemprop=”name”>ABC Company</span></h1>

  <p><span itemprop=”description”>Your one-stop shop for everything under the sun.</span></p>






itemprop=”streetAddress”>101 Main Street</span>,






<p>Phone: <span itemprop=”telephone”><span itemprop=”telephone”><span itemprop=”telephone”><span itemprop=”telephone”>000-000-0000</span></p>


Test Your Rich Snippet

Before hitting publish, give your rich snippets a once-over with Google’s structured data testing tool.

It’ll catch any errors, missing bits, or helpful hints to make your snippets shine.

How long does it take for rich snippet markup to appear in the search engines?

Achieving top positions on the SERP is fantastic, but don’t expect rich snippets to instantly materialize alongside your stellar ranking.

Google, in this video, acknowledges a potential wait time of “a month or so,” though they emphasize that this isn’t a guarantee.

Rest assured, they’re actively working on speeding up the process of displaying those coveted rich snippets.

How long does it take for rich snippets to appear?

While Google holds the final reins on which rich snippets get the spotlight, testing your implementation is crucial! This ensures you’re sending the right signals and maximizes your chances of those enticing extras appearing in search results.

Plugins & Tools For Microdata Markup

Fear not, code warriors and novices alike! Creating rich snippets is no longer reserved for the tech-savvy. A range of tools are available to simplify the process, regardless of your coding expertise.

Schema Creator for WordPress

Streamline your rich snippet creation with Schema Creator! Get rolling in a snap by answering a few quick prompts. Then, pick your preferred form – the rest adapts to your choice. Complete the fields, and we’ll handle the coding magic behind the curtain (just remember to test, as we talked!).

WP Rich Snippets

Unlock the power of rich snippets with WP Rich Snippets! Like Schema Creator, this plugin simplifies markup with intuitive fields. Just fill in the blanks and watch your content shine in search results. No coding required, just SEO magic.

Google Markup Helper

Level up your website’s richness with Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper.

It’s like having a personal code chef for your website’s data!

Pick a template, then choose a page.

Presto! Your page pops up, ready for you to highlight key info and create a tag.

Google whips up the code with your highlights baked right in.

Finally, test your rich snippet to ensure it shines as bright as you envisioned. Boom, SEO magic!

Common Mistakes

Rich snippets can be a powerful SEO tool, but watch out for these pitfalls: Here are the most frequent missteps to avoid…

Content Is Not Human Readable

For optimal readability, rich snippets should prioritize human understanding.

This includes ensuring font sizes, colors, styles, and element placement don’t hinder visual clarity. Every aspect should be readily accessible and user-friendly.

Content Is Low Quality

High-quality content and rich snippets go hand-in-hand. Just like writing for humans, your page’s content should be top-notch, and the rich snippet itself should be polished and clear.

That means avoiding:

  • Suspicious spacing: Keep it clean and consistent.
  • Information overload: Stick to the essentials.
  • Curious capitalization: Proper case is key.
  • Unprofessional visuals: Use high-quality, relevant images.
  • Spelling snafus: Proofread like a pro.
  • Grammar gremlins: Clarity is king.
  • Factual flubs: Accuracy is everything.

Rich Snippet Is Not Representative of Page Content

Steer clear of rich snippets that bait and switch. Your content shouldn’t be a dazzling mirage that fizzles when clicked. In other words, avoid overpromising in the snippet and underdelivering on the page.

Content Is Inaccurate

Double-check, triple-check, and verify again! We’re meticulous about accuracy, so you can trust that every rich snippet is 100% reliable.


Seriously though, Schema markup is full of nutritional SEO value for site’s content, yet most companies have barely scratched the surface with it. 

Christopher Smith
Author: Christopher Smith

SEO and linkbuilding expert. More than 7 years of work in the field of website search engine optimization, specialist in backlink promotion. Head of linkbuilding products at GREAT Guest Posts, a global linkbuilding platform. He regularly participates in SEO conferences and also hosts webinars dedicated to website optimization, working with various marketing tools, strategies and trends of backlink promotion.

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