Structured data is starting to appear more frequently in Google’s search engine listings, as a featured snippet for example. At its very core, structured data helps Google better understand the information on your website. When Google understands your content better it can display it in unique, eye grabbing ways.
Many website owners don’t really understand structured data or its importance to assist in overall marketing goals. This article will address the basic details of structured data and explain what you need to do to succeed.
Structured data has a lot of different uses. When it was first introduced a few years ago, it was quite restricted, but now you can use structured data for things like, jobs and recipes. More and more people are getting on board with structured data and it is now found in about a third of total websites crawled.
This is because many can see the value in it for search engine optimisation (SEO) and understand just how easy it is to actually implement. However, with one third of websites using structured data, it does mean that two thirds aren’t. If you are in that category, it is certainly beneficial for you to change your way of thinking and use structured data.
Have a read below at some of the benefits of including structured data on your website:
Better Click Through Rate
If your listing is a rich snippet, it is certainly more eye catching. Even something as simple as having an image included in structured data and shown up in your mobile listing is a great way to draw eyes to your website.
As well as this, if your website is included as a featured snippet that shows up at the top of the page, this doesn’t technically count as an organic listing. So this means that your website could show up multiple times at the top of the page (once in the featured snippet and another as an organic listing).
If this situation occurs on a mobile device, your website is taking up most, if not all of the space above the fold. This makes it even more likely that a user will click on your listing, because it is all they can see!
Being included in rich snippets has the ability to improve your conversion rate. This is because of the knock on impact of the increased number of people that see your listing.
So, if more people can see your listing and it is a positive experience and they find what they are looking for, they are more likely to make a purchase. Structured data also potentially means more exposure. People can see more details about your website in the listing.
As touched on before, featured snippets is probably the best thing to strive for when implementing structured data on your website. While structured data isn’t a necessity for websites to have, with the opportunity to be listed as a featured snippet, you certainly would want to give it a try!
As well as this, results from voice searches are taken from featured snippets. So if you are looking to move into the way of the future with voice search, you will need to get serious about structured data and featured snippets as Google uses this to give verbal answers.
Tips For Structured Data
Like many things in SEO, you can go overboard. Be careful not to abuse the use of structured data on your website because it can be seen as spammy in the eyes of Google and could result in your website seeing manual action.
What this manual action means is that your information included in structured data would not be shown in Google’s search engine listings until it has been properly cleaned up. So it is important to only stick to the types of structured data that is actually relevant to your business.
It is also important that you are continually updating your structured data. Things change all the time and you don’t want your search engine results listing to be displaying the wrong information. To check if you have properly changed and implemented structure data, you can use Google’s Structured Data tool.
If you are looking to get started with structured data yourself, one of the best places is Schema.org. They list all the different types of schema which helps to build the structured data on your website. This site also includes an example of the actual code you would need to implement.
It is important that you no longer ignore structured data, it simply has too much potential today for you to simply sweep it under the rug. No matter the type of website/ business you operate, there will be structure data for you!
But remember not to go to overboard as this could result in manual action from Google. While structured data can seem confusing there are websites out there that can help.