Structured data is something that assists Google in understanding the content on your website or blog better. It’s a vital signal if you’re interested in your website being visible within specific search features.
The question is whether all brands should utilize structured data. Is it truly worth it?
We will get into why that is in just a bit, but before we do that, you need to first understand one thing that is often misunderstood among people: structured data is NOT an SEO strategy only. The truth of that matter is that structured data is much more than. In fact, it is a foundation for numerous machines to truly understand content.
Think of structured data like a client and vendor relationship. The more data that you have regarding the SEO issues of a client, the better you are able to address those issues because you will be familiar with their previous problems, allowing you to create a successful strategy.
Brands hope that various machines like Google, Siri, and Alexa are reading and comprehending their content effectively and efficiently. However, utilizing scheme markup offers the ability to take the reins of how their data is defined, which thereby provides them control of how the machine comprehends their brand.
Structured Data and Its Many Uses
Structured data is something that has been around for many years, though it was a bit more limited a few years ago. Today, it can be found for virtually anything—jobs, recipes, restaurants, and much more.
The use of structured data is increasing and is roughly 33 percent of the frequently crawled World Wide Web. This is because large brands used their dev time and resources to test the water and tied the results back to company value, such as boosting traffic and generating conversions.
Using schema.org to structure your data can provide a number of search benefits such as reutilizing the data to boost onsite search or analytics, but it can also yield many voice benefits such as informing chat bots.
By structuring data, you’re helping to properly define your content to boost the chances of the machine correctly matching the content to relevant voice queries. Amazon reports that it utilizes schema to determine business intent locally.
The Impact of Structured Data
Recently, we issued a test for a client to determine the impact of structured data. We used local listings schema as well as breadcrumbs on their homepage. Mobile click-through rates went from 2.7 to 2.8 percent—a slight increase from Q1 to Q2. Over the next nine months, we expect a five to 10 percent increase in CTR. Other data that we pulled from the test included:
- 43 percent increase in clicks
- Near one percent increase in impressions
- 12 percent increase in average position
Did we do anything else to the page to help boost its ability to improve? After all, there are many things that can be done to improve organic performance such as getting new links and crafting new content. However, the aforementioned performance improvement is based solely on structured data implementation.
What was once the only way to get quality results from Google can now be used to boost traffic performance.
Why Don’t All Brands Use Scheme? Here Are 5 Reasons
We have come across numerous reasons as to why some brands do not utilize structured data to their advantage. These include the following:
- They aren’t technical and don’t comprehend the code that is used or how to mark the items up.
- They do not have the necessary resources.
- They fail to see or understand the benefits.
- It is not supported by their CMS.
- They’re behind the times/stuck in the past.
Thankfully, there are a few great solutions available on the market today such as Schema APP that makes it easy to mark up scale and create, control, and evaluate structured data.
Benefits of Utilizing Schema
When it comes to using schema, there are numerous benefits, especially for brands in the ecommerce industry. Here are just a few of them.
- With rich snippets showing up in the SERPs for your products, you can experience a boost in your click-through rates while also drawing additional attention to your listings. This is particularly true if you have a good product reviews.
- Rich snippets can also boost your conversion rates since more individuals will see your listings. If these listings are positive, there is a greater chance that these individuals will buy from you.
- For employment websites, since Google Jobs was launched by Google and companies such as ZipRecruiter have implemented structured job-related data, jobs are getting additional exposure and version by appearing for relevant search queries.
Get Feature Snippets and Win with Voice Search Queries
- When it comes to featured snippets, it is considered the Holy Grail for SEO. Your website will show up at the top of the SERPs—even before the organic listings. It isn’t necessary to have structured data, though it can always benefit in earning you that featured snippet spot. This will help improve your CTR and boost your traffic.
- Voice search results are typically pulled from the featured snippets, which means that you can generally be the ONLY result for a specific voice query since Google utilizes those results for oral answers.
Tips for Structured Data
With SEO, there are many things that tend to get abused. When using structured data, you want to make sure to avoid becoming spammy. Make sure that you only utilize structured data that is specifically relevant to your content. If you fail to follow this specific rule, Google may send you something called spammy structured data manual action. This type of action could result in your structured data not appearing in the SERPs until you have taking measures to clean up the site, resulting in the manual action being lifted by Google.
In addition, make certain that you have updated your structured data. Things are constantly changing, and there are constantly new things related to structured data coming out.
For instance, consider a job posting. An expiration date must be set when you post a job on Google. Since this is somewhat new, websites that don’t have this will receive an error message within the search console of Google. Therefore, ensure you are staying on top of it.
Structured data is not something that you want to ignore. Organic search continues to remain competitive, and it is getting even more so. Any extra information that can be given to search engines can assist in:
- Increasing your click-through rates
- Boosting your search engine visibility
- Showing up in featured snippets, voice searches, and the Knowledge Graph by aiding machines solve for the intent of users.
For more information, contact us at WebDetail.