Google added a new feature to their search results: Google Rich Cards. They are similar to the rich snippets that have been popping up on the search results for the past few years.
However, now you have more information available directly in the search results to help you understand more about the rest of the website content. At the same time, a Rich Card uses the schema.org structured mark up to help Google display content in a visually engaging format.
Google recently rolled out these changes, so currently Google Rich Cards are only available for movies and recipes and products as well as a few other things. However, the search engine should expand to other categories in the future.
If you are looking to stand out in search rankings, then Rich Cards help you achieve this goal. With the right Google Rich Card, you can increase the number of clicks and searches you receive.
How to Use Google Rich Cards?
- Implement Schema Markup– Schema.org is a collaboration between Google, Bing, and Yahoo to help unify the search requirements website developers use to attract search traffic.
Fortunately, a Rich Card uses the same structured data on Schema that Rich Snippets use. Therefore, if you already set up Rich Snippets you should have the right set up to display your Rich Cards on Google.
If you are not sure if the structured data you set up for Google Rich Cards is correct, then you can use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper tool. This tool helps you create structured data for different data types including movies and recipes.
You enter in your website, and highlight specific portions of the site to ensure that you identify the proper schematics for your site.
Then you copy and paste the html code the Helper tool provides into your website.
This code helps Google understand when they should show your site in search results and how.
- Test Your Rich Cards– Google’s NEW Structured Data Testing Tool helps you test how good of a job you did with your structured data.
From the testing tool, you can find out what fields are essential for your Rich Card to appear on the search engine. The tool also includes what additional fields you can add to enhance your listing.
Furthermore, you can see from the testing tool a preview of your Rich Card in Google search.
Make sure that you use to avoid any problems in Google search results. Discover them first in the Structured Data Testing Tool.
- Submit a sitemap– While sitemaps have been an invaluable part of the search process long before Rich Snippets, they also help the search engines see which Rich Cards on your site to display in the search results.
Fortunately, you have some easy tools to help you build your sitemap.
First, you can use XML-Sitemaps to generate a free sitemap that you can connect to Google Webmaster.
Second, if you have a CMS system generally they have an option available to set up a sitemap. WordPress has a number of plugins to help you do this including Yoast SEO and Google Sitemap Generator.
- Mobile Optimized Site- We consistently talk about the power of a mobile-optimized site. Instead of repeating ourselves ad nauseam, check out our articles on Mobile Usability, Improving Your Mobile Design, and 6 Steps to Mobile Domination to see how you can benefit from a mobile website.
If you need help with setting up a mobile website, contact us for a free consultation.
- Monitor performance– Finally, Google also added a “Rich results” filter in Search Analytics to help search engine marketers analyze the results. While this is currently in a closed beta test, it should be available in the future to help businesses track the viability of their Rich Cards.
The analytics track clicks and impressions for all of your Rich Card results shown on Google.
Rich Cards are a natural evolution for Google. As they continue to look for ways to provide users with a mobile friendly rich search environment, Google knows how important it is to provide users with more information up front.
This helps the user who does not have time to search every recipe and movie to find what they need quickly and effortlessly. Perfect for a web environment.
As the program expands into other categories, Rich Cards will become even more valuable. If you have any questions about how to use Rich Cards for your business let us know how we can help.