Since the 19th of December, 2017, “rich results” has been the new name for all of the special results shown on the search engine results page. What were formerly known as knowledge cards or featured snippets, are now rich snippets, rich cards, and enriched results. But what are these, and what have they got to do with local businesses? Well, here at Pumpkin Web Design, we are Preston’s web design, web marketing and SEO professionals. We work with companies and businesses across the region, to improve their digital presence. As a result, we have produced this guide to rich results for local business SEO.

What are rich results?

Rich results are search results that Google has enhanced in some way. Take rich snippets for example. In short, a rich snippet will appear above the first organic result, in a position known as rank 0. The rich snippet will display summarized information or an answer relevant to the searchers question. This is drawn from relevant information Google crawl-bots find when trawling through the website. This can also include an image, taken from the website, to add value to the searcher.

Is this beneficial for local businesses?

For a local business, landing a rich result can lead to a huge boost in your website traffic and consequently your sales.
Rich snippets are the highest rank a company can achieve organically, and can result in more click-throughs. In addition, even if the click-throughs don’t increase, your company exposure will.
If your local business website normally ranks in a lower position, but has provided an excellent summary in answer to the relevant question, Google can still take this information to create the featured snippet. This means that sites ranked lower than the top 3 can appear above others, if they are chosen for the
rich snippet spot.
In addition, the site itself will still appear in the usual position on the SERP, providing twice as much visibility for the company.

So how can local businesses land a rich result?

Well unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee a rich result spot. The Google algorithm uses a lot of different factors to determine what to display to each specific user at a time, and so even if you can see a rich result, it doesn’t mean that your customers will.  In fact, in the Structured Data General Guidelines, Google state:
“Using structured data enables a feature to be present, it does not guarantee that it will be present. The Google algorithm tailors search results to create what it thinks is the best search experience for a user, depending on many variables, including search history, location, and device type. In some cases, it may determine that one feature is more appropriate than another, or even that a plain blue link is best.”
Having said that, there are some ways that you can improve your chances. These include:
⦁ excellent content
⦁ the correct structured data

Excellent content

It should go without saying that for a website to survive and thrive online, excellent content is a necessity. In fact, it has long been established that original, relevant, and well written content is necessary to secure a good position on the search engine results page. So if you want to land a rich snippet, the content you create needs to be of an extremely high quality.
In relation to the rich snippet directly, Google is looking for a direct and concise answer to the posed question or search query. If your content provides this, and is easily summarized then you stand a better chance of landing the target rich snippet spot. In fact, many rich snippets are only around 50 words long. This means that you need concisely and accurately answer the query in those 50 words. Before expanding in the rest of your article or post.
In addition, although Google does pull some paragraphs for rich snippets, lists are more common. As a result, you should make sure you use the correct HTML mark up to create your lists, including ordered and un-ordered lists, bold/strong, and descriptive lists.

Structured data

Structured data is part of your page markup and it can be used by Google to understand the content and the structure of your page. This is also used to enable rich results. As a result, if you don’t have the structured data included already, and you want to secure a rich result spot, you will need to add this. This is because the chances of being chosen without the right markup are extremely slim.
However, simply adding the right structured data will not lead directly to your website being selected for a rich result or rich snippet. There are other factors that Google will also consider.

In summary

A rich result will display text and images from your website above all the other results. This will make it stand out to searchers and can improve traffic and sales. Although there is no way to guarantee a rich result spot, you need to ensure your content is optimized and suitable for a rich result, and also that you use the correct structured data.
For more information, or to work with a professional, knowledgeable team, get in touch with the experts today, here at Pumpkin Web Design.
Pumpkin Web Design Ltd is a small and highly results driven digital agency working for like minded clients in Preston, Manchester, Chorley, Southport, Blackburn, Wigan and the UK. Our services include web design, SEO, content marketing, video production, brand design and much more.