The term “Microformats” can sound intimidating at first, I know. Fortunately, the term is really just techie speak for  organization. Also known as microdata or rich snippets, this small bit of source code is used to organize content on the Web. You’ve seen the left-hand column in Google that gives you the option to view News, Images, Recipes, and so on. Using microformats allows you to tell the search engines what type of content is on your page(s).

You don’t have to be a developer to learn these small, yet very powerful, rich snippets of code. While Google has stated that it does not use rich snippets as a ranking factor, there are many SEO advantages. Even though the code doesn’t affect where your pages land in the SERPs, they can affect how your listing may appear.

Markup for Products:

With product markup, you give Google detailed information about the products on your site, such as reviews, price and availability. This information may be used in SERPs to help users find relevant content. Having this information show up on the search results page is a sure-fire way to increase CTRs.

Rich Snippets, Microformats, Microdata for Products

Authorship Markup:

Use this microdata to have information about the author appear in search results. Start by creating a Google Profile, complete with a head shot so readers get to know your dazzling smile, and verify authorship by associating it with your profile. It’s not guaranteed, but using these snippets means your content could appear in regular search results and Google News results, like this:

Microdata - Microformats: Authorship

Markup for Local Businesses:

Local is all the rage. Everyone is on the go with tablets and smart phones, and local businesses are capitalizing with local search. One of the ways local businesses can do this is with microdata. According to Schema.org, local refers to “a particular physical business or branch of an organization. Examples of LocalBusiness include a restaurant, a particular branch of a restaurant chain, a branch of a bank, a medical practice, a club, a bowling alley, etc.”

Local Business Microdata

Local businesses can use the code to include items such as the business name, address, phone number and ratings – all of which may be rendered in the SERPs, ultimately providing customers with the information they need.

There is a fair bit of helpful information in Google’s Webmaster Tools, and you can find even more in-depth details about microdata at schema.org.

Microformats can be used for all kinds of content, from music to reviews and from people to organizations.

Which rich snippets do you use?

~Aimee