We are all publishers. Ten or twenty years ago writers and content creators had to rely on traditional “publishers” to amplify their messages. Traditional publishers were newspapers, magazines, books, and to an extent – broadcasters (TV and radio).
Today the story is very different. Self-publishing is all the rage. Take the blog post you are reading at the moment for example; in this day and age it’s relatively easy to publish your own eBook or blog – so what’s the catch?
Yep – you heard me. Right now there are about a million people writing about the topic you’re passionate about. Trans rights? Best pumpkin pie recipes? Best libraries in Orlando, Florida? Done, done and done.
So how do you make people land on your content – rather than the content put forward by your competitors?
Well, there are a few ways. The most important factor is (of course) to have brilliant, unique, engaging content – but being the best writer in the world will not get your content discovered. For people to find your content you will either have to be published on a big traditional website, such as The Huffington Post, CNN or the BBC, or you’ll have to make your content highly discoverable via Search Engine Optimisation.
Do I need a rich snippets tool?
SEO is what send messages to search engines to rank and promote your content above others who may be writing on the same subject. These google rich snippets make a difference, too.
If your site has a high Domain Authority, this is a great start, but many small time bloggers can make major headways by employing a few simple SEO strategies to their existing content to send the “right” messages to Google and other search engines. A snippet tool might be a good place to start.
Rich snippets – hang on, what are they?
Rich snippets are a way to markup your existing content and “package” it in a way that Google and other search engines can “read”. Think of a library index card. This is basically a summary that tells the user what they might find in the book, alongside critical info such as who wrote the book (author), when it was published (publish date), what the title is (title) and notable facts on the text (such as experts quoted, themes).
“Rich Snippets is the term used to describe structured data markup that site operators can add to their existing HTML, which in turn allow search engines to better understand what information is contained on each web page,” according to Positionly.
What is structured data and how will it help me rank?
Search engines have taken this a step further and now a rich snippet might display information such as whether the content is a review, or a blog post, or a product. “When Rich Snippets are employed, Google is now able to display a bit more information about the actual result.” This structured data testing tool is one worth exploring.
Rich snippets are primarily used for reviews, videos, local businesses and things that get a rating. “Although this may change in the future, using the schema helps to ensure that your site is always ready,” explains Search Engine Watch.
From Google itself, “When you use structured data to markup content, you help Google better understand its context for display… you do this by marking up content properties and enabling actions where relevant. This makes it eligible for inclusion in Rich Snippets.”
If you use WordPress, there are many plugins you can get for free that will allow you to add rich snippet data to your posts. This is basically a rich snippets testing tool which you can use to optimise your posts’ appearance in search results (Google, SERPs). You will find access to places to download a rich snippet tool quite easily.