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What are Rich Results? Our Guide to Schema & Structured Data

by Zachary Fry
Schema & Structured Data

You may have heard of the term Rich Results, Schema or Structure Data before but are maybe unsure what these mean and how important they are for you to consider for your website and its overall SEO potential.

In this initial guide, we will answer some of the key questions surrounding these terms that have been floating around for a while.

Firstly, Google Rich Results...what are they?

It is extremely likely that you have come across rich results in general searching across Google. These can appear in the form of a map with locations, products, reviews as well as many other variations depending on what you are typing into Google.

Basically, Rich Results are these to ensure that information is displayed in a clear and informative manner. It will adapt each search term into a different experience and is intended to ensure the user is able to locate what they are aiming to find without as much clicking or even going onto a site altogether.

As well as changing what is displayed between each search term, we also often see a difference between what type of device you are searching on. One big example of this will be how Google will display a featured image next to your search result. This can influence your CTR (Click-through-rate) as people are able to see a visually engaging element to your site to entice them into viewing the site. Although this has become a common element of mobile search, with the rise in cross-platform experiences, Google have added this feature to desktop search results as well.

What are the main types of Rich Results in search?

There are many different types of rich results within Google search, probably too many to list out in detail within this guide but we have included some of the most important and useful below:

  • Ratings & Reviews - These appear as a star rating within the search listings and are usually relating to topics such as Movies, products, recipes, software, events, books and local business to name a few. These are more often than not generated using schema from a review/directory website such as IMDb for Movie Reviews.
  • Videos - These are usually either pulled in from YouTube itself or are generated using the video schema markup code on your website. These are featured when an engaging and useful video is included on a website landing page. The thumbnail, description and other video details are included within the videos section of the SERPs and often appear separate to normal listings.
  • News - Often appearing within a carousel in Google’s SERPs, these display the top trending stories relating to the phrase searched. These could be general news, blog or sports articles; displaying with a thumbnail image from the post as well as the headline text and how old it is.
  • FAQ / Featured Snippet - These will appear within the main search results as a drop-down accordion section. They are often populated with key questions relating to the term or phrase searched and once clicked will reveal a key snippet of information that Google identified as a good source of information. This allows users to see key information and answers without navigating onto the website to read it.

Those are only the tip of the iceberg and with the ever evolving nature of Google’s SERPs we are regularly seeing the addition of new variations of rich results snippets such as courses, events, fact checking as well as many many more!

So how do I get Rich Results for my site?

Well, there are 2 key mechanisms in play here that you will need to ensure you are implementing within your website to increase your chances of appearing as a rich result.

Firstly, you will need to ensure you are researching and reviewing the search terms and phrases you are trying to target. Look into the types of sites ranking for those terms, are there any semantic or relating keywords, and what rich results are displaying. You will then need to use the information you have gathered to check your site and the right landing pages are optimised both technically and within content for Google to associate your site with that search query.

The next key element to increase your chances of displaying as a Rich Result is going to be adding schema or structured data markup code to your website...

SEO Data

What is Schema / Structured data, and how do I add it to a website?

So now we need to ensure your site has the correct technical code to display rich results. This code is called Structured data or Schema markup and it is a standardised format that provides information about your page and site to allow Google to understand what type of content and information you are providing.

There are many variations of structured data, for example, if you want to ensure Google can recognise your site is based in a certain city or location, you may want to use the ‘LocalBusiness’ markup as this will provide that correct information for the SERPs.

There are a number of ways to be able to generate the data you need without knowing the exact code needed; we recommend using a Schema Markup Generator Tool, which are free to use. Using these tools allows you to automatically create the code to be able to provide the relevant information, and will just require you to insert the code on the right page of the site.

If you use a CMS system for your website, such as wordpress, you can also use a range of plugins that make it possible to generate schema or structure data automatically using the content already in the website.


To summarise, being able to gain visibility in Google search results via Rich Results will really play a part in improving overall engagement to your website.

Using the steps provided above, you can get closer to achieving this, but it may take time and tweaking to see the results and as we know with all SERP rankings, it comes down to Google’s algorithm and there is no guarantee you will be able to see the Rich Results you are exactly looking for by just making a few tweaks.

As part of our comprehensive SEO campaigns we ensure Rich Results and technical optimisation with Schema is always considered. Get in touch if you would like to discuss a strategy for your website!

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