Rich snippets: what are they and how to use them?

Technische SEO 5 minutes reading time

To achieve the highest possible Click-Through Rate (CTR), it is important that you stand out within the search results. The search results page is becoming increasingly crowded, but how do you stand out? Rich snippets offer the solution. We explain:

  • What rich snippets are.
  • What the difference between rich snippets and featured snippets is.
  • What the advantages of rich snippets are.
  • What types of rich snippets there are.
  • How to add rich snippets to your pages.
  • Which rich snippet plugins and extensions exist.

What are rich snippets?

Rich snippets are the usual search results in Google, to which extra information is added, in addition to your meta title, meta description and URL. This data is derived from structured data on a page. The most common rich snippets are reviews, recipes and FAQ items.

Google aims to provide the user with the right information and a good user experience. By showing rich snippets, Google makes it easier for users to choose the most relevant search result. This is what makes rich snippets a way to stand out in search results and an important part of search engine optimization.

The difference between rich snippets and featured snippets

People often think that rich snippets are the same as featured snippets, let us be clear: this is not the case, at all. Rich snippets are shown together with your normal search result, like in the example below:

Zoekresultaat met rich snippets

Featured snippets are answers to questions a user asks. Through the featured snippet, Google provides an answer without the user having to click through. A featured snippet result is always at the top of the page, at the so-called position 0. Featured snippets are also used for voice search, among other things. An example of a featured snippet is:

Featured snippet in de zoekresultaten

In summary, the differences are:

  • A featured snippet is displayed at the top of the search results and directly answers the user's question.
  • A rich snippet enriches the search result and gives more clarity about what a user can expect on a page.

Benefits of rich snippets

A normal search result in Google consists of three parts:

  • The URL.
  • The meta title.
  • The meta description.

An example of a normal search result is:

Normaal zoekresultaat zonder rich snippets

As you can see, this is straightforward. Rich snippets are normal search results with additions, like the search result below:

Zoekresultaat met rich snippets

The added information to your normal search result makes your search result stand out more. The search result attracts the user’s attention and therefore increases your CTR. Rich snippets do not ensure a higher position in the search results [1].

Rich snippets also have a number of other advantages:

  • Users know what to expect on a page within seconds, which improves conversion.
  • Product snippets show the number of reviews, which contributes to the reliability of a product.
  • Users select a search result that suits their needs in seconds.
  • It is possible, but not proven or confirmed, that rich snippets have a positive effect on your ranking eventually. Because users prefer your page over a page that ranks higher than you.

The different types of rich snippets

To choose the right rich snippets for your website, it is important to know about the possibilities. There are several types of rich snippets that you can use depending on the website you have.

Not all rich snippets are relevant for every website. You don’t need to show recipes on a website about business insurance. Therefore, it is important that you choose the right rich snippets. We will explain the most common rich snippets below.


Review rich snippets show review stars in search results. It is possible to show an individual review in the rich snippet or a collection of all reviews. The review snippets show a rating in the form of a star rating with a maximum of 5 stars.

The review snippets are most often used with products (through product structured data), but are also used for books, films, recipes and local businesses.

Zoekresultaat met rich snippets


With product markup, you can show additional information about a product in the search results. It shows the rating, the number of reviews, the price and stock status. For composite products, where the price depends on the chosen option(s), it is possible to show a price range. In the example below, you can see that the price is €11,- and that the product is in stock.

Zoekresultaat met product rich snippets


On different recipe websites, you sometimes see extra information about a recipe, such as an image, the amount of calories or the baking time. This is added with the recipe markup and makes the recipe clearer.

Zoekresultaat met een recept rich snippet


If you organize events, the event rich snippet is a must-have. It shows important information, such as the location, date and name of the event. The events are clickable, so the visitor is forwarded to the right page right away.

Evenementen rich snippet

Rich cards

Different types of content are eligible for the rich card snippets. When you publish articles, it is possible to add article structured data so that they are displayed at the top of the search results. This will make your article stand out, and you will get more clicks to your website. This is what it looks like in a search after the corona crisis:

Zoekresultaten met rich cards

Other applications of rich cards

Rich cards can be displayed in several ways and are also used for, among others:

  1. Books.
  2. Recipes.
  3. Courses and training.
  4. Movies.
  5. Events.
  6. Facts.
  7. FAQ items.
  8. How To items.
  9. A question with multiple answers.

Frequently asked questions

It is possible to set up your pages with a FAQ structured data markup, so that Google shows questions and answers in the search results. This way, you meet the needs, doubts or questions of your users, and you stand out more.

FAQ rich snippets


To make the page URL in your search result look cleaner, use the breadcrumb structured data. Instead of a URL separated by dashes, a clean description of one or a few words that you have entered the markup is displayed.

Rich snippets met breadcrumb structured data


Since search engines cannot read videos, the video markup helps them to understand them better. By adding markup to your videos, outside of YouTube SEO, they will be displayed in the search results:

Video rich snippets

Local businesses

As a local business, you have the opportunity to add information about your opening hours, location, prices and reviews with local rich snippets. The image below, from Google, shows this.

Rich snippets voor lokale bedrijven


As an organization, it is possible to help Google understand your company better. Think of contact information, a logo and your address. This information is used to better show your company in the search results.

Rich snippets voor organisaties


Although there is discussion whether vacancies also fall under rich snippets, the job opportunities of Google Jobs are also interesting when you have an open job position. By adding a markup to your vacancy pages, you ensure that your vacancy is displayed in the search results.

Google Jobs in de zoekresultaten

How do I make sure my pages get rich snippets?

By now, it is clear that rich snippets offer many advantages. But how do you ensure that you apply one of these rich snippets to your website?

To make your rich snippets visible, you need to add a structured data markup to your website. Structured data is a code your visitors do not see, it is, however, read by search engines. This structured data must contain the necessary information, some elements are mandatory to show your rich snippets and other information is optional. Google processes the structured data markup and thus all the information in the search results. There are three ways to add structured data:

  1. Via JSON-LD.
  2. Via Microdata.
  3. Via RDFa.

Both Microdata and RDFa are additions to the HTML layout of your page. JSON-LD is a piece of code you need to add to the page. JSON-LD and Microdata are the most widely used.

Adding rich snippets with JSON-LD

JSON-LD structured data is added to the source code of your website and is located between <script></script> tags. This JSON-LD structured data can be added to the <head>, <body> or <footer> of your website. An example of FAQ structured data in JSON-LD is:

<script type='application/ld+json'>
"name":"What is the question?",
"text":"This is the answer."
"name":"Can you ask another question?",
"text":"Of course!"

Adding structured data using JSON-LD is generally the easiest and fastest way. You can add the JSON-LD code to the HTML code of your website or load it into Google Tag Manager.

Adding rich snippets with a Microdata markup

Adding rich snippets using a Microdata markup is done by adding pieces of information to lines of HTML code. Suppose you have a product page that says that the product scores an average of 4.7 out of 5, then you have to add several Microdata elements. The example below shows one of the required Microdata additions.

Microdata markup voor rich snippets

Adding Microdata markup is generally more time-consuming and less straightforward than adding JSON-LD. That is why Microdata markup is chosen less often.

Plugins and extensions for rich snippets

For the most common CMS systems, there are plugins or extensions available with which you can easily add structured data markup to display the rich snippets. We explain each frequently used CMS below.


There are numerous SEO plugins for WordPress. The following plugins are the most commonly used for adding structured data:

  • Schema.
  • Schema & Structured Data for WP & AMP.
  • Rank Math.
  • Schema JSON-LD Markup for Google Rich Results, Rich Snippets, and Structured Data | WPSSO Add-on.
  • Schema – All In One Schema Rich Snippets.


Within the Magento marketplace, there are several extensions that add structured data:

  • Atwix Rich Snippets.
  • Magmodules Rich Snippet Suite.
  • Amasty Google Rich Snippets.
  • WeltPixel Rich Snippets.


Although Shopify is a closed platform, unlike for example WordPress and Magento, it is possible to install apps that add structured data. There are several apps available for Shopify:

  • Smart SEO.
  • Schema Plus for SEO.
  • SEO, JSON-LD, Schema.
  • JSON-LD Express for SEO.
  • JSON-LD for SEO.


The Lightspeed platform is very similar to Shopify. This is a closed platform which offers the possibility to install apps. Apps for rich snippets are:

  • MyProductReviews.
  • Custom Review Widget.
  • eKomi Connector.

Moreover, many Lightspeed themes also support rich snippets by default.

Official rich snippets documentation from Google

Google has drawn up official documentation for all types of structured data and rich snippets, containing guidelines and explanations for developers on how to implement them. This documentation is available in English. Each document shows examples and explains how to implement it (also for Google AMP pages).

Validating your structured data markup

After you have added the markup to your page, it is recommended to test whether your page qualifies for rich snippets. You can see if your page is eligible for the rich snippets with Google’s Rich Results Testing Tool. It is possible to enter a URL, where the markup is already implemented, or a piece of code to see if you have set it up correctly.

When you qualify for rich snippets, you will see the message “Page qualifies for rich results”. Your page may be eligible, but that the rich snippets are not shown. This is up to Google.

Rich Results Testing Tool

Monitoring the performance of your rich snippets

After you have added the rich snippets, it is recommended to monitor their performance in Google Search Console. In the Performance report, you can see the performance of your rich snippets:

Search Console prestaties van rich snippets via zoekopmaak

In the left menu, under “Optimizations”, you can easily see which pages contain a valid markup and which pages contain errors or warnings:

Fouten van rich snippets controleren in Google Search Console

Rich snippets: what is the conclusion?

We can conclude that rich snippets are an absolute addition for your search results and an important part of technical SEO. It is not difficult to add them, and it will generate more traffic to your website. Make sure you implement the possible rich snippets for your website to benefit from a higher CTR.



Jarik Oosting - eigenaar SEO bureau SmartRanking

This article is written by Jarik Oosting

Jarik is an SEO consultant at and founder of SmartRanking. With over 12 years of SEO experience, he and the team of SEO specialists at SmartRanking help companies from small to large become more findable. He specializes in strategies, analysis, technical SEO and migrations.