If you’ve ever noticed a Google search result that was enhanced or expanded you’ve witnessed a rich snippet. For those unaware, SERP enhancements like aggregate 5 star review ratings, expanded sitelinks, contact information, etc… are known in the SEO world as rich snippets. Enhancements like these are valuable for multiple reasons. First, they increase the liklihood a user will click on a search result and therefore boost CTR for that webpage. Second, they confirm that Google has properly interpreted the information on the page and has ranked it according to relevance. Here are some examples of a rich snippet on Google:
- Aggregate 5 Star Review Ratings
- Contact Information (Address, Phone #, Etc.)
- Sitelinks (Categories, Employees, Locations, Etc.)
Attention spans have grown shorter each year so results that are enhanced in some way are going to nudge attention in their direction. Additionally, websites that can showcase more about their company before the user ever enters can begin the marketing process much earlier and gain a decided advantage. For HVAC companies in particular, this can be the difference from generating a high quality lead for your business and losing it to a nearby competitor. Adapting to modern consumers is a challenge for contractors but enhancing their search results with rich snippets can help bridge the gap.
How To Make a Rich Snippet
Unlike featured snippets which are progamatically selected by Google’s search algorithm, rich snippets can actually be influenced on the website’s end. This is achieved by implementing structured data markup within your site’s HTML code through microdata, microformats, or RDFa. The most common and effective way to insert rich snippets is through schema markup which is the insertion of microdata tags into codebase to help Google interpret on-page information. The more instances of schema that exist on a given page, the more likely it is to display an enhanced search result. Here’s how to make one:
- 1) Identify Data Worth Showcasing (Reviews, Locations, Etc.)
- 2) Markup The Data Using Schema.org
- 3) Let Google Interpret and Showcase Snippets Accordingly
Sometimes hiring a web design company to implement the code is the best option. If you go this route make sure the designers create a custom website with original codebase rather than a template. Although some templates advertise themselves as having schema markup, the amount of marked up data is limited and restricted. With a custom website, contractors will have full control over which data is marked up… which can be hundreds of instances. Individuals who lack knowledge of HTML should avoid making wholesale changes to their site’s architecture as a mistake can spell disaster for your online presence.
How HVAC Contractors Benefit From Rich Snippets
Every task performed on an HVAC website should share a common goal of increasing lead generation. SEO for HVAC contractors is about improving the bottom line and any marketing firm that tells you differently has questionable priorities. A rich snippet can benefit your bottom line in a few ways. First, it can increase the number of clicks on your webpage which will get more individuals considering your services. Next, it will make your traffic more relevant so that a higher rate of visitors convert into clients. Finally, it will decrease users who exit your page immediately since they were not lured under false pretenses. This keeps your page’s ranking higher. To review, benefits include:
Increased Traffic: Users who know what they’re looking for are more likely to visit your website
Relevant Traffic: Those same users who know what they’re looking for are also more likely to complete the call to action and become customers
Decreased Bounce Rate: Irrelevant traffic will decrease; i.e. users with no need for HVAC services who exit your website immediately upon entering
Relevance is healthy for search ranking since it tends to increase all of the metrics that Google values most. For example, users interested in your services are likely to stick around longer than those who don’t care. Google Analytics behavioral metrics show us that users who stay on a page longer also complete events like calls to action at a higher rate than those who exit quickly. Local heating & cooling companies can make a living off of relevant leads. Achieving relevance through scehema markup not only helps sustain search ranking but it also helps increase conversion rates, both of which will influence an HVAC company’s bottom line in 2019 and beyond.