Rich Media: What Is It & What Content Does Google Support For Rich Snippets?

Man Looking At A Rich Snippet In Google Search Results

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Rich media is a term that refers to content that is more than just text. These features include videos, audio, games or anything else that involves user interaction. You tend to get a stronger response from advertisements that use rich media because they are more engaging. These are often found in the format of paid display ads.

Rich results appear when a search engine returns results that contain videos, carousels, knowledge graphs and other more engaging formats. You can significantly improve the likelihood of a rich result by using structured data, also known as Schema markup. This is a code that allows the search engine to understand what content is on the page and where it is, so the features can be used to create a rich snippet. These results take up more space in the search page and are more prominent than standard results.

Rich Media: Are Videos The Future Of SEO?

You might have noticed that when videos appear in the search results, they look a bit different. Sometimes there’s a carousel with a selection of videos that answer your query. Other times, you might get a result that shows you a few videos with a short description. More recently, you’ll see videos with time stamps on, telling you exactly which part of the video you need to watch to answer your question.

These results are often at the top of the search page, giving them more prominence and higher CTRs (click through rates).

You’ll also find a plethora of video results by refining your search to Videos. Only videos appear when a user searches in this way, eliminating any competitors that don’t have this feature. If you think that having video content on your website will target these searchers, it’s a great idea to get some on your site.

Website design

What Makes Videos Good For SEO?

There’s two main factors. First, embedding a video that’s hosted on another site – YouTube, for example – on your website increases the number of backlinks you have. More backlinks can lead to an improvement in domain authority. Second, people tend to spend more time on a page if they’re watching a video. Both of these factor into an increase in trust and authority for your domain.

You can also markup videos with Schema, which improves your chance of a rich result.

What Is Schema?

Schema markup is sometimes known as structured data. To put it simply, Schema is a piece of code that tells Google what is on the pages of your website and where it is. It can be written in a few different languages, but is most commonly seen in JSON-LD or XML.

Schema Markup

If you’ve got the technical skills to implement Schema markup, you have lots of opportunities to achieve rich results on Google. These can appear in different ways, depending on what the content is and how it’s marked up. It’s important to make sure that you’ve used the correct markup and that you’ve implemented it properly. Even one very small error can cause your Schema code not to work, so it won’t have any effect.

The way that Google and other search engines interpret Schema changes regularly, so make sure you’ve got a record of every piece of Schema code on your site. It can be a lengthy process replacing old markups, but it will be made even longer if you have to search for its location as well.

What Do Rich Results Look Like?

They can appear in many different ways. The way that you mark up your content will make a difference. For example, the contact details for your company would make a different snippet to a cake recipe.

It’s important to put the correct code on each page of your site. If you incorrectly markup a page, crawlers won’t understand what’s on your website. Search engines want to be useful and accurate, so if they get confused about the content they’re reading, they probably won’t take any risks. Inaccurate Schema is more likely to be ignored than given a chance at a rich result.

Does Schema Guarantee A Rich Result?

No. It’s up to Google to decide whether your website is worthy of a rich result. As well as having accurate Schema markup, your website will also need to be trusted by Google. If your content isn’t engaging, useful or correct, Schema markup won’t override that.

Implement A Rich Media Strategy Into Your Website

Now that you’ve learned a bit more about rich media, video content and Schema, it’s time to consider how they can work for you. 2023 is a great time to get video content onto your website. Implementing a rich media strategy could increase your traffic and user engagement, leading to higher conversions.

Written by Alice Farley


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