What is SEO rich text? Screenshot of structured data markup code for 'Recipe' schema type and the corresponding SERP feature.

Google Rich Snippets: What is SEO Rich Text? SERP Features Guide

You’ve seen its impact but what is SEO rich text? For one, it’s an effective optimization tactic in creating Google rich snippets for your website. SEO-rich text helps your brand enhance its appearance and increase online presence. There are a variety of rich snippets available in organic Google search results. By marking up your page using structured data, you are increasing the likelihood of earning Google SEO rich snippets.

Think of the last time you asked a question in Google search. Did you find the answer immediately at the top of the page via the emphasized ‘featured snippet’? Or perhaps you were looking for a brand and found its business info on the sidebar via the ‘knowledge graph’? You might not even realize that Google Assistant and Google Home devices are extracting structured data from webpages in order to speak a response aloud.

In this article, we’ll cover important terminology and explain how to create rich snippets for your website using SEO-rich text.

how to get a featured snippet example (screenshot of the featured snippet result for keyword "what are serp features")
Example of a featured snippet in Google organic search results.

Guide to Google SEO Rich Text, Snippets, and Results

“The first result in Google organic search experiences a click-through-rate (CTR) of 27%.”


What is SEO Rich Text?

SEO-rich text refers to optimizing specific content on your page so that search engines may better understand its context, meaning, and purpose. 

Search Engine Results Page: SERP Features

It’s important to understand the various Google SEO rich snippets available on the search engine results page (SERP). SERP features come in many shapes and sizes. Here are a few examples of the most common:

  • Featured Snippet: Located at the very top of organic search results, the featured snippet enlarges the font size / result size and emphasizes the most relevant text for the user to digest instantly.
  • Product Reviews: This rich snippet displays the average star rating next to the site link in search results.
  • Knowledge Graph Features: The knowledge graph typically appears on the right sidebar in Google SERP and provides information about the business, such as a business description, address, and contact information.

Learn more about SERP features in this guide via SEMrush.

SERP features example of event schema type in Google Search (screenshot of result with two events nested below)
Example of ‘Event’ schema type rich results in Google organic search.

Search Intent & Content Relevancy

To provide users with the content they’re looking for — known as search intent — Google considers a number of factors. These considerations include:

  • Understanding of the context of your page based on its crawls;
  • Weighing the keyword and semantics in the meta data provided;
  • Extrapolating the structured data notated on the page;
  • Analyzing traffic and user engagement with your content.

Structured Data Formats

Schema markup refers to the code on your page that communicates the meaning of the various elements on your page. It’s found in the form of structured data and there are two main markup formats used:

  • JSON-LD: (JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data) encodes linked data using JSON with a webpage.
  • Microdata: (WHATWG HTML Standard) nests metadata within existing content on a webpage.

Learn more about working with JSON and annotating microdata in HTML via Mozilla Developer.

Example of SEO rich text meaning for 'Event' schema type markup (screenshot of structured data code sample).
Example of ‘Event’ JSON structured data markup code.

Structured Data Markup Types

Now that you understand the purpose of SEO-rich text, it’s time for the fun part — schema types. SERP features were quite limited when Google rolled out microformats in 2009. The most common schema types at launch were ratings, price, and site links. Since then, there have been hundreds of nested schema types made available. Structured data is a key component of local search optimization services. The main branches in the schema type hierarchy include:

Schema Types
  • Thing
    • Action
    • BioChemEntity
    • CreativeWork
    • Event
    • Intangible
    • MedicalEntity
    • Organization
    • Person
    • Place
    • Product
    • Taxon

Learn more about the numerous schema type definitions via Schema.org.

Google SEO rich snippets example of Recipe schema type in Google Search results (screenshot of spaghetti sauce recipes rich results).
Example of ‘Recipe’ schema type rich results in Google organic search.

How to Create Rich Snippets for Websites

The process for creating rich snippets really comes down to how you optimize your on-page SEO. At a high-level, here are the steps to create rich snippets for websites:

  1. Research Keywords Available for SERP Features
  2. Analyze Competitor Snippets and Content
  3. Define Audience and Search Intent
  4. Write Content that’s Engaging, Helpful, & High-Quality
  5. Incorporate SEO-Rich Text in the Content
  6. Identify Schema Types and Data Fields
  7. Markup Your Page with Structured Data
  8. Test & Validate Google SEO Rich Snippets
creating rich snippets for event schema type in Google Search Console (dashboard screenshot of validation of two events).
Example of ‘Events’ schema type validation in Google Search Console.

Learn how to earn SERP features with digital content creation services via Content Crux.

Tracking SERP Feature Performance

The final aspect of Google rich results is tracking your site’s rankings. There are many SEO tools out there that can help you monitor your organic rankings. While our top-pick is SEMrush, you can also access some information about your site’s rich snippets using Google Search Console. Here are a few tools to track Google rich result performance:

  • Google Search Console: On your site’s GSC dashboard, SERP features are nested under ‘Enhancements’ on the left sidebar.
  • Bing Webmaster: While Bing offers similar rich results as Google, the Bing Webmaster dashboard isn’t as robust for tracking enhancements.
  • SEMrush: You can conduct keyword research for terms capable of earning Google rich snippets using SEMrush Keyword Magic and track performance via Position Tracking.

Many factors may impact a user’s ability to view a rich result that you’ve earned, including location, user data profile, and device type.

Example of ‘Events’ schema type inclusion under ‘Enhancements’ in Google Search Console.

Once you’ve mastered keyword research, content optimization, and structured data markup, you should be earning featured snippets and other SERP features in no-time!  

Optimize Your Site for Rich Snippets with SEO Services

Content Crux is an expert provider of strategic SEO services across the nation. Over the years, many small businesses have turned to Content Crux to increase its online visibility. Our SEO services include optimizing your on-page content with SEO-rich text and structured data. We include research, writing, optimization, and performance tracking with our offerings. Learn more about our SEO company or contact our experts to start your project today.