Here is your how-to stand out on Google in 3 steps guide! Ever noticed that many of the listings you see on the search result page (SERP) all look pretty similar? With all these websites fighting for the best ranking, how you present yourself, could be even more important.
Listings that do stand out, are on the very top, which are paid through AdWords. From there, it’s an even battle. Luckily there are tools available, you can tap into, that help you distinct among the rest. Getting a high ranking in search engines through SEO is step one. Getting to stand is the next step.
The tools you should have on your site are (of course) Yoast, for editing your title tag and the meta description, a plugin that allows you to customize and expand the information that is included with your listing, better known as the “snippets” and the Google My Business account you need to get for getting more attention from the local search audience.
Grabbing the attention from visitors through an attractive page title, a strong meta description, “Rich Snippets” and the searches with are performed locally, is so easy to do with your website running on WordPress, by adding these easy to configure functionalities to your online business.
This customization will not only make you look more professional, it also helps to get a better click through rate. Time to include this in your online marketing strategy, so lets get you started!
Stand out with a strong Page title and attractive meta description
The best plugin for SEO is Yoast. Installing and activating Yoast is one of the first things you should do after you have all your security in place.
This plugin can help you improve your ranking and how your listing is displayed on the SERP. Setting up your pages and post with the help of Yoast is the starting point for your search marketing activities.
Every listing on the SERP, consists of a title and meta description. These HTML attributes inform people what the page is about. Google claims that these attributes are not too important for ranking, compared to the actual content on the page. So for ranking, we focus on the content. But to stand out, we should focus on them.
Make sure that the lenght is sufficient of these attributes. Too short, and there won’t be enough information, too long and Google will only show a portion of it.
The page title, also knows as H1 or <H1>, is the line that shows up in blue, at the top of the search result (under the URL). It stands out most, so make it to the point and accurate what your page is about. Use strong language here, things like: top 10, how to and to enter the current year to make it look current, are good examples.
All your pages should have a different title, this helps Google differentiate between the pages that are on your site. Don’t forget to always include the keyword in the title.
Right under the page title, is the meta description. It is in this 160 character space, where you can influence the user click through rate to your website. This should also include the keyword.
What are Rich Snippets?
Search engines like Google are now able to display more information about your page in the search results, based on the structured data. Rich snippets are elements created from structured data, that appear in a search result, allowing visitors to see a small review of the useful content on the page.
Instead of only having on the page title, the meta description and the URL show up, other data elements from your website are added. Besides this structured data being very useful, it also makes you look professional and you stand out from the others, resulting in a higher click through rate.
These elements can be customer reviews, opening hours, publication dates, recipes, author, isbn to name a few. Good examples of websites that use structured data are pages about recipes. When you search for a recipy, like onion soup, you will get back the results with many of them including additional data such as ingredients, time to make, reviews, a picture of the final result etc. These are rich snippets that are created from structured data. No mather what business you are in, structured data can help you.
What do those rich snippets look like?
Information that is added to your listing in Google is shown up in a way that makes sence and easily to absorb. You see actually a small preview of information on your website. Here are three examples of what it can look like.
Search results that shows the structured data of an event, showing the snippets date and location.
Places to go out and have a good time, are often reviewed by people who went there. Why not make the most out of them and show them in your snippets on the result page.
When your page is about a certain recipe, you can adjust the snippets to show relevant information about it, such as time to prepare, calories, and a picture showing the end result.
How to set it up the Rich Snippets
There are two ways for you to set this ups, through a plugin or in Google Search Console. I recommend to install the plugin, because this is actually pretty straight forward. There are a number of plugins available, with slight differences between them. Many of them have a premium version for which a payment is required. Here are some of the plugins I found which you can find and download from the plugin page in your WordPress backend.
Once you installed and activated the plugin, it will bring you to a set up page. The elements you want Google to show, are called “schema’s”. So if you see a recipe in a search result, this is an example of a schema. Now you have it setup, you can start adding the schema’s to your posts.
Schema Markup Rich Snippets
I use this plugin. This is a perfect plugin, that is easy to use and lets you choose between all the popular schema’s.
Once installed and activated, a new section appears above every blog post in the backend. Here, you can choose what type of article you are writing (a recipe, planning an event, or informing about some kind of software program), and what elements you would like to show up on the SERP, next to your listing.
From there, you can add the description you want to display. Then, all you have to do is insert the shortcode into the content of the blogpost and you are done!
There is no clear evedince that adding structured data have an impact on SEO. But, it is clear that the click through rate increases when a site uses rich snippets. As mentioned, getting on the first page is the first step, the next step is to stand out on that top page.
Google my business account
Whenever you perform a search query, the first results are usually located closest to you. The local search is performed based on information website owners enter into their Google My Business account.
Just like the schema’s, additional information is added to these listing, such as reviews, opening hours, navigation instructions, and a clear button that navigates to the site. But, unlike the schema’s, there is a entire section marked of, just for these listings. So, whenever people search for a business, it are the local search results that show up first, and dominate the page.
An important feature of this local search, is a map which displays where the business is located. All of this, takes up a large portion of this section, and can show a number of businesses on the same map.
Besides this valuable information, people will be more likely to leave a review about your company/website. Therefore, having a Google My Business account, is a good way to start collecting customer reviews, and is ideal for both online and offline business.