Not all website elements are created equal.
Some matter – and some matter a ton.
So what are your site’s standout elements? Here are five:
- Customer reviews.
- Product pricing.
- Recipe ingredients (if your website is about cooking).
- Your company’s operating hours.
It’s pretty obvious to you how important these elements are to your site.
But how can you make search engines understand that?
The answer is with schema markup and rich snippets.
What Are Schema Markup & Rich Snippets?
Rich snippets are the extra pieces of information that appear around your website’s link.
Schema markup is HTML code used to create rich snippets.
Take a look at this example.
Let’s say you want to buy a Darth Maul toy lightsaber.
You go on Google and type “Star Wars Darth Maul Lightsaber.”
The photo above shows you the results.
As you can see, you don’t only get links to the different websites selling the toy.
You also get a bunch of additional information to help you decide which link to click.
Amazon shows you star ratings and reviews.
Entertainment Earth includes the toy’s price, length, height, and weight.
Valuable pieces of information, right?
These are your rich snippets.
And if you add them to your site, you’ll naturally boost it higher on Google’s SERPs.
How Rich Snippets Boost Your SEO Ranking
Technically, rich snippets don’t directly affect your site’s ranking on Google’s SERPs.
However, they can still get you ranked higher on Google.
For instance, let’s say you want to bake a Black Forest cake for a loved one’s birthday.
You go on Google and type “Black Forest Cake Recipe.”
Here are the results you get:
As a busy cake-lover, which recipe would you most likely click? One that is rated 5 stars and takes 2 hours and 45 minutes to bake? Or one that is rated 4.9 stars and takes 3 hours and 45 minutes to bake?
Naturally, you’d choose the first option.
The star rating, votes, and description (all rich snippets) encourage you to go to livforcake.com for your recipe.
This is how your rich snippets increase your click-through rate.
And the higher your click-through rate, the more likely Google will notice you.
So how do you add rich snippets to your site?
The Top 5 Schema Plugins for WordPress
The great news is if you’re using WordPress, you don’t have to touch a single line of code.
Simply choose a schema plugin, and creating rich snippets will be easy.
Here are the top five marketers love.
1. Schema Pro
Schema Pro makes adding rich snippets to your site fast and easy.
In a matter of minutes, you can add your preferred configurations to all your pages and posts.
Schema Pro supports 13 useful schema types. These are:
- Reviews (music, movies, products, books, etc.).
- Recipes (you can create your own attractive schema rich card that’ll boost your click-through rate).
- Software applications (add reviews and star ratings to give your applications a boost).
- Video objects.
- Products (give searchers detailed information on what you’re selling).
- Local businesses.
- Articles (news, blogs, etc.).
- Job postings.
Price: $79/month or $249/lifetime
2. All in One Schema Rich Snippets
All in One Schema Rich Snippets is one of the simplest plugins you can find for schema markup.
Although it’s simple, it provides you with snippets for reviews, ratings, events, articles, and software applications.
One great thing about this plugin is you can use it for free.
It doesn’t have a ton of fancy designs to select from, but it does have the basics you need for rich snippets on your site.
The downside of using this plugin is it doesn’t support automation.
You’ll have to add schema markup to each page of your site manually.
What’s interesting about All in One Schema Rich Snippets is it’s made by the same maker as Schema Pro.
In fact, its dashboard heavily advertises Schema Pro.
So how to choose between the two?
Use Schema Pro if you’re running a bigger online business.
The price will be worth it for the automation, unique designs, and schema markup support for local businesses.
If you’re just starting out and want to try something for free?
Go with All in One Schema Rich Snippets.
3. Schema and Structured Data for WP & AMP
Schema and Structured Data for WP & AMP supports 33 schema types.
Three unique ones include:
- How To (list the steps in your how-to article to be featured in your rich snippets)
- Q&A (if your article is in a question and answer format, you can feature the most relevant questions and answers in your rich snippets)
- Audio object (add details about audio you upload like date of upload, length, etc. to your rich snippets)
The best part? If the schema type you’re looking for isn’t part of the 33 this plugin offers, you can request a customized type!
Here are other features this plugin offers:
- Reviews pulled from over 75 sites.
- Your own customized review rating boxes with schema markup.
- Compatibility with other schema plugins like SEO Pressor and WP SEO Schema.
Price: Personal: $99, Webmaster: $149, Freelancer: $299, Agency: $499
4. WP Review Plugin
If you run an ecommerce site, WP Review is a good plugin option for you.
This is because its main focus is increasing your consumer interaction with product and service ratings and reviews.
If you’re a blogger, this plugin is also great because you can use it to rank and rate tools, software, recipes, or anything else you review.
Here are the top features you’ll get with WP Review:
- Rating systems using points, percentage, or stars.
- Unlimited color changes for individual reviews.
- Lightweight, won’t slow your site down.
- Supported by most WordPress themes (both free and paid).
- 2 templates for review boxes to choose from.
WP review is easy to install and configure, making schema markup simple for the least tech-savvy person.
Price: Personal (one site): $49/year or $236/lifetime, Developer (more than one site): $149/year or $596/lifetime, Agency (affiliate marketer): $299/year or $1,196/lifetime.
5. WP SEO Structured Data Schema
WP SEO Structured Data Schema is a free plugin that contains all the basics you need for schema markup and rich snippets.
It supports schema types including organizations, local businesses, videos, events, and ratings.
You can also add geo coordinates, people’s names, logos, business descriptions, working hours, and more.
How to Find the Schema Plugin for WordPress That Fits You
Schema markup and rich snippets are essential to your site SEO.
They make your site look attractive.
They encourage people to click your link.
They help you stand out in the sea of other websites.
So how can you choose the one that’s right for you?
All you must do is determine your needs.
Do you have a simple site that doesn’t require detailed rich snippets? Go for a free, user-friendly plugin.
Are you an affiliate marketer with five websites and blogs? An investment in a plugin with the latest features will be worthwhile.
As soon as you’ve chosen and installed the right plugin, you’re ready to use a powerful tool that’ll make your click-through rate soar.
All screenshots taken by author, December 2019
Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365: What’s the best office suite for business?
Once upon a time, Microsoft Office ruled the business world. By the late ‘90s and early 2000s, Microsoft’s office suite had brushed aside rivals such as WordPerfect Office and Lotus SmartSuite, and there was no competition on the horizon.
Then in 2006 Google came along with Google Docs & Spreadsheets, a collaborative online word processing and spreadsheet duo that was combined with other business services to form the Google Apps suite, later rebranded as G Suite, and now as Google Workspace. Although Google’s productivity suite didn’t immediately take the business world by storm, over time it has gained both in features and in popularity, boasting 6 million paying customers, according to Google’s most recent public stats in March 2020.
Microsoft, meanwhile, has shifted its emphasis away from its traditional licensed Office software to Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365), a subscription-based version that’s treated more like a service, with frequent updates and new features. Microsoft 365 is what we’ve focused on in this story.
Nowadays, choosing an office suite isn’t as simple as it once was. We’re here to help.
Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365
Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 have much in common. Both are subscription-based, charging businesses per-person fees every month, in varying tiers, depending on the capabilities their customers are looking for. Although Google Workspace is web-based, it has the capability to work offline as well. And while Microsoft 365 is based on installed desktop software, it also provides (less powerful) web-based versions of its applications.
Both suites work well with a range of devices. Because it’s web-based, Google Workspace works in most browsers on any operating system, and Google also offers mobile apps for Android and iOS. Microsoft provides Office client apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, and its web-based apps work across browsers.
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