Can Rich Snippets Make You Richer?

Monday, November 21st, 2011
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Every online merchant’s dream is to have their product pages listed first organically for every search query that potential customers execute.  Because the merchant doesn’t control the search engine algorithm themselves and most industries have competition, this dream is elusive.  However, even if your product page doesn’t rank first for every desirable query, there are things you as a merchant can do to get your listing to “pop” more on the page and hence increase your click through rate.  A product page ranking #2 or #3 in the search engines may get more clicks that the #1 ranked item if the listing stands out.  So how can you get your listing to stand out?

One way is by using Rich Snippets.  The search engines have agreed upon a special set of tags that can be used for specifying things like price, image, and review information. The syntax for these tags can be found on the site  In our opinion, the most important set of tags to implement are the ones pertaining to aggregate rating.  These enable Google to put a “star” rating next to your products in your snippet on the search engine results page.  The price element shows up in gray and does not really “pop”.  However, the stars do instantly grab your attention.   A shopper who sees a listing with 4, 4.5, or 5 stars without having to drill down is much more likely to click through.

Unfortunately, implementing rich snippets built into your product detail screen does not guarantee that Google will use them on their Search Engine Results page.  Generally speaking, the more information you provide in the snippet, the more likely they are to display the rich snippet information.  If you are having a hard time getting your customers to review your products, consider implementing a review reminder feature in your ecommerce software to build up reviews for each product.  Google also offers a rich snippet testing tool which is helpful for ensuring your syntax is correct.

To answer the question in the title of this article, enabling rich snippets alone on your product detail screens probably isn’t going to make your rich.  However, there is a good chance it will increase your click-through rate and revenue!

Note: If you are an existing Nexternal Client, Rich Snippets are built into your product detail screens by default.

After receiving a degree in Industrial Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Alex began his career as a technology consultant with Accenture. In 1999 he left Accenture and founded Nexternal – a cloud-based eCommerce Platform company. Alex is passionate about eCommerce and online marketing. He is now a Senior Vice President of HighJump, managing the Nexternal business unit.