Can Rich Snippets boost Ecommerce ROI?

Rich Snippets will be increasingly displayed in search results

Rich snippets are the extra information that, when available, show immediately under the title on a search engine listing above the usual meta page description.

Rich snippet in Google shopping result

Rich snippet in Google shopping result

They give visitors and potential customers an outline of the content of the page they are about to visit.

A growing number of online ecommerce analysts agree that rich snippets are fast becoming an important, if not an essential, part of search engine optimization (seo) for ecommerce marketing.

Although not widely used at present they are set to see a higher take-up as ecommerce developers roll out support and site owners begin to understand how they could benefit from them a bit more!

But, what are Rich Snippets?

They are html data markup tags. Effectively, they are additional tags that can be added to existing html coding that when used will be easily recognized and understood by the major search engines providing extra information relating to the content of the page.

Google, Yahoo & Bing announced they were adopting the new web coding microformat last June 2011, and outlined the various options, formats and coding types supported.

They agreed to the new microdata format to extend current coding standards, to help them categorise web page content more intelligently and display more relevant content to users.

And, more recently SEOmoz produced an infographic, Rich Snippets in the SERPs, highlighting how they are impacting on search engine optimization (SEO).

The types cover a wide range but those of most interest in terms of ecommerce are: Product, Offer, AggregateOfferReview, AggregateRating, Availability. And, if a local business others: Place, LocalBusiness can also offer shoppers additional important information.

Conversion rate optimization

Using these new types of content tagging, rich snippets can be a great way to boost the overall effectiveness of an ecommerce web site or campaign.

The focus of any ecommerce business is conversions and any increase in conversion rate directly impacts on ROI (return on investment). The more targeted a rich snippet can make a particular web listing, the more likely that a searcher will click on that result.

With more targeted visitors your conversion rate will increase along with a decrease in the bounce rate as people know exactly what to expect before they make the commitment to click. Some companies who have implemented rich snippets report a 20-30% rise in click-through rates.

It’s 7 times less costly to convert existing visitors and customers than finding and attracting 7x more search traffic. So, any increase in your conversion rate will directly contribute to your bottom line.

Conversion Rate Increase ImpactRich snippets in ecommerce can represent a valuable investment as part of your online marketing content strategy.

For little extra effort or cost (see right) working on your site’s content to engage more, better provide the information potential customers were searching for, will attract more visitors, keep them on-site longer and invevitably raise conversion rates & profit margins.

Some concrete ways in which rich snippets and ecommerce go hand in hand:

  1. Rich Snippets give users quicker access to product information.
  2. Rich snippets increase the click-through rate from organic search results pages.
    The difference between having a rich snippet and not having a rich snippet can mean presenting relevant information that you would otherwise not get into the mind of the customer.
  3. Search results with rich snippets increase your listings visibility.
  4. Web sites using rich snippets report a 20-30% rise in click-through rates.
  5. The right snippet about a product, company or website can weed out irrelevant clicks and create a more successful pay-per-click (ppc) campaign.
    If you are running campaigns that are based on a PPC model, you want to attract the most engaged consumer that you can get. The right snippet can get information to the customer before he or she clicks, increase click through rates, and provide a more targeted visitor and potential customer.
  6. If your competitor is providing additional details in the search results, they will impact on your potential market share by simply providing the customer with more relevant information.
  7. Rich Snippets can have a positive impact on your bottom line!

If you are looking to show off your latest product, attract more targeted visitors and give a boost to your bottom line, you can do so using rich snippets more quickly than many other methods.

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