Let’s start this article with a question, what is schema and why it is important?
Schema is a set of codes that you can add to your website to tag content, so we had this before with meta tags, the cards, and rich snippets, and this is no different. The only element of this that has changed is that the Google, Yahoo, and Bing have worked together to create this code so you know that it’s gonna be read the same way by all the search engines.
It’s great because some of those other elements could be neglected by some engines and if you added a lot of meta tags to a page it could count against you because of all the redundant code that some of the engines would use. So you know that schema codes can be read by the freak or search engines, which is fantastic.
So you can tag various types of content such as these here, Events organization, people, places and reviews of products and there are loads more on schema.org as well, so you can really take your pick.
If you add these tags it means that when people search for those terms you have a little bit of extra information for search engines on your page for that specific “search term”. Trust me, that can make a lot of difference.
The downside is that everything you tag could appear in the search engine results. For example, if you tag reviews and someone leaves a one-star negative review on one of your product or review pages, People aren’t going to click through on that result to learn more. But personally, I feel by implementing Schema markups tags to your site’s pages you are going to gain a lot more than you are going to lose.
What are Rich Snippets?
It is a structured markup tag mainly used to show specific information related to any product or product catalog. You can check Google’s guidelines on how to properly use it and implement it on your website. It is also one of the most commonly used technique to increase CTR and to improve page views. It’s easy to integrate, looks really good on SERPs and also helps to improve your On-page SEO effort.
According to Google, in order for it to show rich results related to your content, you must markup your page with any of the supported formats.
Google has also created a free tool for webmasters called structured data markup validator tool. With the help of this handy tool, you can test your web-pages where you have implemented rich snippet or any sort of schema markup tags. The structured data testing tool will then perform validation of the tag and if it finds out any error, it will show you the exact line where the error occurred.
You should note that microdata won’t be visible to the eyes of your site’s reader or visitor and so it won’t affect the look and structure of your content. It’s only visible to search engines and carries few extra information regarding your topic or review and helps search bots to better understand your content.
Best Rich Snippets Plugin for WordPress
Now you must be thinking that this task is not so easy and that’s completely true only and only if you are planning to generate schema markup for each of your pages manually. But why waste your time editing your pages manually when you can use a rich snippets WordPress plugin. I mean that’s why you created your website on WordPress because you love automation.
There are lots of free and premium rich snippet WordPress plugin to help you but in this article, I am going to share only five, easy to use plugins.
Note: Before installing and using any rich snippet extension make sure to identify the pages where you want to add the markups. If you try to spam or abuse this technique, Google will for sure penalize your website. I am telling this because I have seen one of my client’s site getting penalized for abusing this technique.
According to the Google’s guidelines, you should use rich snippets tags to provide quality information to your readers. Personally, I will suggest you use these tags on a review or a product page. You can give it a star rating or percentage ratings and it will be displayed on search results accordingly. This is most likely going to improve your CTR and will for sure improve your sales.
It’s an extremely easy to use, all-in-one SEO plugin which comes with a powerful schema markup generator. You can choose from 7 different data-types ( Article, Product, Video, Service, Review, Recipe, Event & Software Application ).
After choosing the appropriate data-type, all you need to do is to add in the required details and SEOPressor will automatically generate 100% valid JSON code and will even add it to your page.
But that’s not all as it can even generate Dublin core metadata and can add them to your pages. Currently, it supports 17 different types of Dublin Core.
2. All In One Schema Rich Snippets
It is one of the most popular WordPress extension. It has more than 80,000 active installs and has received the 4-star rating based on 132 reviews.
It is a simple, easy to handle plugin built for only one single purpose. Once installed and activated it will add an extra row named “configure rich snippets” just below post editor. From this row, you can select your desired schema type and then accordingly you will have to fill in the required data.
It offers very clean form to fill in all the required information, for example, reviewers name, item going to be reviewed, etc. Once you fill in the valid information this extension will embed schema.org microdata properly in your articles.
3. Rich Reviews
One another powerful plugin, which gives you and your website visitors the ability to add reviews on single posts or pages, categories and globally.
With the help of this addon, you will be able to display the aggregated rating which your customers, readers or subscribers have given to your online business on search result pages. According to this case study if any online business appears on search pages along with rich snippet then it usually enjoys 10% to 30% increase in CTR. Personally, I think this alone is a solid reason to install this addon on your site.
Below I have listed some of its important features.
- You get complete control over the design as you can change the colors and rating system.
- The design can be further customized with the help of external CSS stylesheet.
- You get the option to change the rating system from starts to the numerical value.
- Reviews can be displayed anywhere on your site with the help of shortcodes.
- Once the review is added, appropriate microdata is generated or updated and is added automatically to the site’s source code. You don’t have to configure anything.
- Administrator gets complete control over the moderation of reviews. Admin can delete, edit and approve any review submitted by website visitors.
4. WP Customer Reviews
It is one among very few rich snippets multi-user or WP multi-site compatible and unlike other extensions in this article, it is developed specifically to allows your customer to add their reviews on any of the product page ( or just any page ) on your website.
It allows you to set up any page or post to receive your customers’ testimonials, comments. This plugin replaces your site’s comment system and then allow your customers/visitors to write a review on your service and even allows them to add custom rating based on their choice.
As a website owner, you get full control over the customizations and moderation of comments or ratings.
Below I have outlined few of its powerful features.
- Its compatible with multi-user or multi-author websites and blogs.
- You have full power to moderate each and every submitted review.
- It’s fully functional and compatible with every caching plugin.
- It works flawlessly with almost every free and premium theme.
- Uses an external stylesheet file, this allows you to customize the look and appearance of the box and reviews as per your design need.
- Gives administrators option to add their own custom fields to review box.
- It automatically generated 100% valid microdata related to business and product reviews and add them to your site. This makes it perfect for both personal and business website.
- Offers multiple anti-spam rules and methods to prevent any automated comment and rating entry.
- It generates XHTML valid codes, which make sure that search bots are able to crawl your pages without any problem.
- It also supports shortcodes.
Its one of the most downloaded addon in its category and is trusted by over 60,000 personal blogs and online businesses. To experience the full potential of this extension I will suggest you first download and install it on your localhost.
5. WP Product Review Lite
Its a product review extension developed and maintained by a WordPress theme developer called ThemeIsle. It is a regularly updated, well maintained and well-appreciated extension. It has more than 60,000 active installations and has received 4.5/5 based on 93 reviews.
The free version of this addon gives you control over basic customizations like the ability to change colors, fonts, etc. Furthermore, you can add reviews on any type of product or service on your site.
The premium version is loaded with more cool features like integrated support for Amazon products, comparison table, shortcodes, ability to upload/choose custom rating icons, etc. The biggest advantage you get with premium version is 12 hours priority support, for 12 months and that directly from the developer of this extension. It means if you are planning to integrate features of this addon in any of your custom theme or any template then you can just ask for the support and you won’t have to do the guess works.
6. Author hReview
A powerful plugin developed by the administrator and author of “famousblogger”, Hesham Zebida. This wp rich snippets plugin is really famous because of its features and lots of amazing customizable options.
It allows you to display the review box in your post. You can even align it and can place it above or below the post content. Once you have installed and activated it, a new column will be added in every post or page edit area. It will be generated by author hreview. The box will allow you to add the custom votes, description, authors name, product version name, product name and finally the price.
It also has one premium version which offers a lot more custom features. But personally, I don’t think you will ever need it as its free version has everything you will ever need to display star rating on SERPs.
You can install any of the plugin listed in this article but my personal favorite is SEOpressor. It an all-in-one solution for me. It allows me to add 8 different types of structured data to my website and at the same time helps me with keyword research, social media optimization and overall on-page SEO of my site.
Once you have published your content with appropriate structured data, I will suggest you to use google rich snippets testing tool to check how your content will appear on search results.