Imagine searching on Google for a recipe. The recipe shows you a picture of the dish along with the ingredients, directions, calories, temperature, and prep and cook time in the search results. Or what about a movie? When you browse the search engines for a good movie, do you see key information about the movie such as the producer, writer, production company, and star ratings? If it’s a new movie, you might even see the playing times and theaters where it’s currently playing. This information you see in the search results is known as structured data (or rich snippets/schema markup).
Structured data is beneficial because it quickly provides searchers with useful information about a page’s content. When they see this information, they’re able to get a preview of a site’s content without having to click on it. This saves a considerable amount of time.
Does your site implement structured data to help create a positive user experience and more interesting search results?
DOES YOUR GOOGLE SEARCH RESULTS IMPLEMENT STRUCTURED DATA?
Google works hard to understand the content of a page. It can’t read or interpret content the way we do. Instead, it uses code to categorize content and structure it in a way that allows users to easily understand what it’s about and find what they’re looking for. This is ultimately a search engine’s job – to deliver the best content with the fewest number of clicks possible. If a search engine can make search results more visually appealing and helpful to users, then it’s done its job. That’s what structured data can do.
Not all websites utilize structured data, but if you implement it in yours, your search results will stand out from others and, as a result, get more traffic.
EXAMPLES OF STRUCTURED DATA
From displaying star ratings to displaying stock levels and pricing for products, structured data can optimize your search results to make them more eye-catching to searchers. Here are some of the ways you can implement structured data on your website:
- Articles: If your website has a blog, you can use structured data to enhance the appearance and visibility of your features in search, with top-stories carousels, larger images, and larger headlines.
- Organization: Enhance the appearance of your official website in search results and show that you’re a legitimate business.
- Local Business: This structured data is useful for businesses with a brick-and-mortar location. It includes things like star ratings, address, phone number, opening hours, and types of payments accepted.
- Products: For physical products, this structured data markup shows the average rating of a product, the price, and the stock availability in search.
- Job postings: If you’re hiring and want to make it easier for searchers to see your vacancies, you can use schema markup for job openings. You can also show your logo, reviews about working for your business, and a link for job seekers to head straight to your application form.
- Events: Structured data for events show up in time and activity-based search results (i.e., “concerts this weekend”) or within Google Maps.
HOW TO EVALUATE YOUR CURRENT SEARCH RESULT LISTINGS
Use Google Search Console to gain insight into your site’s performance and how it’s faring in terms of traffic. You’ll also get to know your click-through rate (CTR), which is the number of clicks your site receives vs. the number of impressions. If your CTR isn’t where you think it should be, you may need to further optimize your site with structured data.
Within the Google Search Console user interface (UI), click the Enhancements tab. This will show you the improvements to make on your site that could lead to rich results. It’ll also show you any problems with structured data and provide you with guidelines on how to fix these issues.
Need additional help with making your site look better in search? Contact us today!