This week I was listening to The Food Blogger Pro Podcast and the host Bjork was talking about Rich Cards. I stopped what I was doing and started doing some research.
First of all…
What are Rich Cards?
To discuss Rich Cards, let’s talk about the way results are displayed when you google search anything.
Standard Results will only show the meta description specified for the certain webpage.
Rich Snippets will show extra information, such as ratings, cook time, prices (in the case of product selling), etc, on top of displaying a picture.
Rich Cards are a search result format that Google uses to display content in a more engaging way, which helps to grab the attention of the user.
Rich cards are those search results that appear on your mobile at the top of the page. They are presented in a way that you can swipe to the left to be able to easily see other results.
For us food bloggers, it’s extremely important to have rich cards and rich snippets, to gain visibility in the search results. People are way more likely to click on results that display more information about what they are looking for.
Now, the question you want to ask…
How do you obtain Rich Cards and Rich Snippets when google displays your posts as search results?
To get rich results, you must add structured data to your website.
Structured data is the information you add to your website’s code to make it easier for search engines to understand it. Big search engines use a vocabulary called Schema.org. This vocabulary was collectively developed by Google, Bing, Index, and Yahoo, to be able to have a shared language that would make it easier to understand websites.
Marking up your website with structured data in the form of Schema.org will make your website instantly comprehensible by search engines. Which means, they no longer have to guess or assume that a recipe is a recipe, you can inform them of it.
Structured data is just picking up steam now and it’s highly recommended that you get on board with it and get a head start.
Keywords will always be important, but structured data is the future of how search engines will operate.
This is how a result with structured data appears on google search results.
It displays product specifications, reviews, often times prices, depending if it’s a product listing, in addition to the meta description text, which is the descriptive text piece that appears in the snippet.
If your snippet is rich with information, it’s more likely to appear high on search results. And even more likely for users to click on it, because the more information you can provide in a concise way, the better.
If you have Yoast, they will automatically mark up some of the aspects of your blog, such as your blog’s name, site search, and logo. However, if you wish to add structured data to some of your other pages, you can do it yourself after a lot of research, or with the help of a web designer.
If you use a plugin such as WP Recipe Maker for your recipes, you are also covered in that area. The plugin uses schema.org/Recipe JSON-LD metadata optimized for Google Recipe search.
So, when you choose a recipe plugin for your Food Blog, make sure it’s one that uses schema.org/Recipe JSON-LD metadata.
How to know if your cards are rich or not, and if you have structured data added to your website?
First, you need to sign up for Google Search Console.
On Google Search Console, you can check if your website has structured data and if your cards are rich.
What is Google Search Console, after all? Read this article to help you understand better why and how you should use this service.
In the words of Google itself:
“Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google Search results.”
After signing up, you have to add your website to their data.
Here, there’s more information about how you add a website property to your Search Console account.
After adding your website property, you must submit a sitemap so Google can crawl your website. And this is what you do:
You must type sitemap_index.xml on the extension of the sitemap and then submit it.
It will take a while for Google to be able to crawl your website and start showing you information about your traffic, structured data, etc.
Once this information is available, you can start to fix errors, figure out what kind of cards you have, if they are rich, enhanceable or fully enhanced. And this will help you make your website more clickable and visible in google search results.
Rich cards and rich snippets allow you to bring in more clicks to your web page, because of the engagement the extra information provides users with.
Rich Cards, which are exclusive for mobile, are a step towards the optimization of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) for mobile users.
Mobile digital media time is significantly higher at 51%, than desktop (42%) at the moment.
If you are not able to reach your audience through mobile search, you will be left behind. And this is where Rich Cards come in.