In the past, Google would only produce ten blue links per page as the results of a search query. However, the search engine has evolved to display more and more varied results. It is no longer enough to rank for those ten blue links.
In today's search results, there are many factors that businesses, including law firms, need to address and optimize for. Among them are rich snippets.
What Are Rich Snippets?
Rich snippets are Google Search results that are enhanced with additional functionality or data. These results offer more information, are more valuable and exciting. Using rich snippets as part of the law firm's search engine optimization (SEO) strategy can help boost organic click-through rates (CTRs).
Generally, going after rich snippets by using structured data markup is meant to improve a law firm's SEO. Structured data is coding highlighting specific types of data on your firm's page, making it easier for Google to understand the context of the data.
However, according to Google's John Mueller, rich snippets are not a direct ranking factor even though Google uses "structured data to better understand the entities on a page and to find out where that page is more relevant." Even though structured data is not currently a ranking factor, it helps communicate on-page content. It is possible that in the future, Google might use structured data for pager ranking.
Different Rich Snippets
While there are several types of rich snippets, we will consider two in this article reviews and events.
Reviews are critical as they show a firm's star ratings below a snippet in a search result. Ratings can range from one star to five stars. See an example of a review rich snippet:
Events are also important to a law firm if they provide seminars or pro bono services for their clients. Events rich snippets offer information on various events and cite their location, time, date and more. See example:
Rich Results Versus Rich Snippets
Rich snippets are just one type of rich results. Often rich results and rich snippets will be used interchangeably. Various types of rich results can be found in Google's Search Gallery.
Rich results add more information and/or functionality to search results. Sometimes they can even add a new feature. For example, How To carousels.
How Do Rich Snippets Work?
Each type of rich results can add more information to an existing search result. Using snippets allows you and your firm to be proactive in giving Google data in a way where you control it. You and your firm provide the necessary context. This way the Google AI is not left alone to determine what is important.
However, rich results and structured data are not a direct factor influencing page rank in Google search results. Nevertheless, rich snippets can increase page clicks. Local SEO for your firm can see good benefits when using structured data markup.
Optimizing Rich Snippets
To optimize rich snippets, first, you need to create your structured data markup. Then you test it. If it works, deploy it.
Start with Schema.org structured data and follow the instructions by using the schema.org vocabulary. Everything you need to create a rich snippet for your law firm is there. All the data is predefined for various industries and topics. Google supports the schema.org structured data because it is mapped to what Google has in its database. All major search engines support this as well. Once you have the information you want to input, do the code markup with either JSON-LD or standard HTML structured data.
When everything is plugged in and ready to go, test your data. It is easy. Just copy your code or the URL, paste it in the correct fields and click test code. If you have errors in the data, fix them and repeat until it comes up correctly. Lastly, deploy your data.
If you want to know how the snippets perform, use Ahrefs, Semrush or tag tracking with Google Tag Manager. Just follow the instructions and find out how your rich snippets are doing.
Rich Snippets Are a Great Way to Improve Online Visibility
Law firms should conduct a thorough analysis of possible opportunities for utilizing rich snippets. As mentioned in this article, events and reviews are a great place to start.
Rich snippets offer a chance or increasing your online visibility and standing apart from the competition.
As with all things dealing with SEO and how to tweak it, if you run into issues or do not understand how to make rich snippets work, contact a reliable, reputable SEO company to give you a hand.