How To Use Rich Snippets And Structured Data For eCommerce Sites

In this second post in the series on rich snippets I will explore how they can be used for eCommerce sites as well as the potential benefits of implementing structured data on your site.
In the first post in this series on rich snippets I outlined what rich snippets are and some of the benefits of using them, including:

  • Increased visibility in search results
  • Increased click through rates from the SERPs (By as much as 30%)
  • Reduced bounce rates

In this post I want to talk about how rich snippets can be used specifically for eCommerce sites, which have a lot to gain from having information such as user reviews and ratings information shown to potential buyers in the search results.

If you own an eCommerce site you may already submit a feed to Google Merchant Centre, if so it is relatively easy to have rich snippets data shown in the search results.
Through the merchant centre feed, information shown below is pulled in automatically:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Availability

Google will display the information available in your Merchant Centre feed. Here is an example of how Google displays the data in search results:

rich-snippets - levis urban outfitters example - miks post - april

As an eCommerce site owner you can go a step further by collecting reviews on your site from customers who have purchased products by adding in microdata, hproduct microformat or RDFa GoodRelations mark-up to provide searchers with further information. For example, product ratings and the number of reviews each product has, as well as other properties such as images and the condition of a product.

Here is an example of search result which is using schema.org to present rich snippet data in search results:

rich-snippets - polo ralph - house of fraiser example - miks post - april

Implementation

A full list of the items that can be displayed for products through rich snippets is available at http://schema.org/Product

If you are considering implementing rich snippets on your eCommerce site then you should test it out on one product and use the Google Rich Snippets testing tool to ensure it has been implemented correctly. Once the rich snippet data starts to appear in search results you can then roll it out across all of the products on your site.

If you have added rich snippet markup to the pages on your site and it hasn’t appeared after a couple of weeks, you can submit the data to Google for review by visiting
http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/request.py?contact_type=rich_snippets_feedback

There are many sites out there that haven’t implemented rich snippets and so now would be good a time to start testing to give your eCommerce site a competitive advantage in search results.

For more information on each of the different markups visit:

http://schema.org/
http://www.heppnetz.de/projects/goodrelations/

Google has also provided a set of quality guidelines for rich snippets, which are available here:
http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2722261

As well as guidance on implementing rich snippets for products:
http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=146750&topic=1088474&ctx=topic

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