Whether you are looking to draw in more organic search traffic or just improve your general SEO, using rich snippets properly can make your site stand out on search engines. Using them correctly can get you the results you want from your Shopify store.
What are Rich Snippets?
Rich Snippets, or Rich Results, are sets of additional data that get added to Google search results. These are the prices, star ratings or miniature links that appear underneath the description of the webpage itself.
A rich snippet can make your website stand out, as well as clarify information to potential customers before they visit your site.
For example, showing a positive overall rating for a product or a “Free” price on a limited-time free offer can help you secure more customers without actually making any changes to the Shopify product in question.
Types of Rich Snippets Shopify users need for eCommerce
There are a lot of types of rich snippets that you can use for your ecommerce stores, and it all depends on the kind of product pages (or regular web pages) that you are trying to promote the most on search engines.
There are some types that really stand out compared to others, offering structured data for specific uses. These major types of rich snippets include:
Review snippets show the 1-5 star ratings of whatever product is on those product pages, allowing new traffic to see if a product is rated well before they even read the page description.
Product Offer Snippet
Product offer snippets include details about things like price, stock amount, or even product images in certain cases. An image will only display in certain contexts, but having an image in the data anyway enables it to appear when possible.
This snippet is meant to show off key business details, such as addresses or contact details, at a glance.
FAQ snippets answer common questions about certain products or just answer general questions without forcing the user to visit your site first.
What is Structured Data?
Structured data is the information that a structured snippet relies on. When you add rich snippets, you need to add structured data along with it to have actual content there.
Humans can read the description on product pages and understand what an online store sells, what the webpage is offering, and things like product availability and star ratings. However, robots – and the search engines that use them – cannot.
When you add structured data to your website, you are including the information that search engines can use to start adding rich snippets in search results. This allows the rich snippets to accompany each search result that brings up that webpage.
This is to prevent rich snippets from taking unstructured data straight from the webpage, which may not even be accurate. By forcing you to submit structured data, search engines ensure that search results are accurate and controlled by the site owner.
The basics of structured data on search engines
Structured data format
There are three core formats of structured data: Micro
The Microdata format and the JSON-LD format are the two most popular, with RDFA lagging behind. Most Shopify themes and apps will be using one of these two, so the majority of Shopify stores use either JSON-LD or Microdata.
Microdata is a little harder to wrap around existing content and most themes, meaning that the majority of ecommerce store owners will try to use JSON-LD when possible. It only makes sense to go for the simplest option for handling structured data.
Data vocabulary is how search engines understand your structured data. This terminology is different to Shopify, so be sure that you use the right vocabulary for properly structured data formats.
For example, a product brand needs to be called a brand rather than a vendor. Looking at the Schema vocabulary list is the best way to go since most sites, theme options, and apps will support Schema perfectly fine.
The data type refers to the kind of structured data that you are supplying for future use in a rich snippet. In most ecommerce store contexts, you will have a specific list of options that you use most:
- Product, for describing each product.
- Offer, describing your product price, options, etc.
- AggregateRating to summarise each product’s overall rating and reviews.
- Article, to describe posts and articles on the webpage.
- Organization, listing relevant or important company details.
- WebSite, for searching the website itself through a smaller website-specific search bar that might appear in Google search results.
- BreadcrumbList, to describe website breadcrumbs. This marks the page’s place in the site’s structure and hierarchy, which can be important for any webpage that is the child of another webpage or that is meant to be reached via going through another page rather than navigating straight there.
- FAQPage, describe frequently asked questions and any relevant answers found on your page or across your whole website.
Recommendations for Shopify stores
While all ecommerce store owners need different things, there are some rich snippets that make perfect sense to use.
Common sense is important when working with rich snippets because one rich snippet may offer something completely different to another, similar-seeming rich snippet.
Always choose the rich snippets that suit your business and page best. While Google rich snippets are flexible, you still want the right rich snippets for each context.
Note that these are only an example. The way you build your store, especially on paid plans, depends on everything from your Shopify theme to the specific organic search audience you are targeting.
While search results stand on their own if you do proper SEO, rich snippets can elevate your online store and secure more organic traffic via rich results. Below are some example options, although you are free to ignore any example and choose the rich snippets that suit your store the best.
Website: to let users search within your website straight away through a rich snippet sitelinks search box.
Organization: to explain the details of your company, including things like contact details that might be important for customers that need to report a problem or get in touch to make an inquiry.
BreadcrumbList: to create a breadcrumb link back to your homepage and potentially a parented collection, marked with product schema so that search engines understand what part of the website they are looking at.
FAQPage, to give customers immediate answers to some common questions that might relate to the page that the rich snippet is pointing towards.
Product: to describe the product in greater detail or to at least supply a few core details for the rich snippets themselves.
BreadcrumbList: the same as above, but with a focus on collections and sub-connections.
Offer: to list stock and pricing in search results.
AggregateRating: to show review ratings from that product page.
BreadcrumbList: the same as above, marked with schema as before.
Article: to describe the article title, author and contents within the snippets.
Checking your existing structured data
It is often a good idea to look around your store for existing structured data or content that can be used as this data.
For example, product snippets can take details from product descriptions on the product page, and blog pages might have a URL that you can use for a shorthand title snippet.
How you handle this is up to you – choose whatever would help you earn the most traffic for that page URL.
Google Search Console
GSC provides an enhancements feature that can break down any potential errors in your rich snippets.
This is a good way to figure out the URL of any page that is causing poor-quality or broken rich results.
Google Search Console will warn you of any pages on your Shopify Store that are not presenting the right rich results with organic search results, allowing you to find any issues where you missed or poorly formatted a rich snippet.
You can test an individual page with the Google Rich Results Testing Tool, done by entering the URL into the Google tool itself.
This will tell you if a page is using structured data and if it can display rich results.
It will also break down things like product schema type, making it easy to review your own rich snippets as needed.
How to add structured data to Shopify
Adding structured data to Shopify just requires some quick code-pasting.
You will not have to write much (or any) code yourself, so if you can’t code, do not worry.
Remember, if you have conflict issues or other problems after following code details mentioned below, review your steps.
If it still is not working, get help from a coding expert. Every site is different, and one store might work in a way that most other store sites do not.
Add to the page description
Using a JSON-LD schema generator is the easiest way to get the right code into your page description.
You simply get hold of the code, then paste it into the page description by switching to HTML mode.
Add to the theme
With the theme, you will have to add it by going to Online Store > Themes > Actions > Edit Code.
Then, you go to the product-template.liquid file, which contains the Product Schema snippet that itself contains the code you need.
Other schemas can be added quite easily. For example, breadcrumbs.liquid works with breadcrumb snippets, while organization-schema-liquid is for the organization snippets.
Do not be afraid to Google any specific issues you may be having. Setting up the code can feel like a confusing process at first, and even something as small as your product page theme could have a minor impact on how this entire process works.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have set up structured data, but why don’t I have a rich snippet?
If your rich snippets have not appeared yet, then there can be several reasons for this.
The first is that your Shopify store has not been crawled yet, so the updated page has not been applied to the results.
The second is that Google does not think the snippets are relevant and is not displaying them.
The third is high competition, which can result in fewer snippets and results overall.
The fourth is that you used the wrong kind of page or structured data for a specific keyword.
The fifth main reason is that your Shopify store is not trusted enough and does not have enough “authority”, something that also influences your overall organic traffic and appearances in results.
Finally, there is always the chance that you used the above code incorrectly and broke something during the setup process.
Do I need to worry about GSC warnings?
Warnings in GSC are usually just recommendations for things that would improve your conversion rate.
Errors are the real concern since these tend to mean an actual flaw with the site and should be investigated straight away.
Why are there multiple / duplicate structure data tags on my page?
Different theme and app options may conflict, causing code or tags to repeat.
This can influence how your site appears in any search result and might get you penalised by a search engine if the issue is interpreted as intentional spam.
Get a developer to look at the code and remove any excess tags. Having clear, unique tags tells Google exactly what your traffic should see on a search engine, and duplicates can lead to confused search engine results that use a mix of unrelated data.
Do I need an app for this?
The availability of this kind of work means that no app is necessary. In fact, using an app can actually be detrimental in some cases, especially if it would cost a high price to get.
While these snippets might not be as important as deeper website SEO or advertising campaigns, they are still vital for seeing success in a lot of markets.
Not only do they have SEO value as a whole, but these snippets are incredibly cheap to manage, with a price tag of £0 if you are simply adjusting the data on your site.
Even with paid tools, it becomes incredibly easy to secure more customers by presenting a cleaner “image” of the page: the rating, the price, and other information that can draw them in.
Using these snippets effectively can lead to major improvements in your overall conversion rates, with no real downsides to speak of. That alone can make rich snippets incredibly valuable and surprisingly versatile.