Why Structured Data?
One of the essential aspects of having a successful SEO strategy is structured data. Structured data is one of the many signals Google, Bing, and Yahoo look for on a website to help them understand what a page is about. The more confidence they have in what you are trying to convey, the better they can match it to search query intent. Siri and Alexa also use structured data to provide answers for voice searches.
What is Structured Data?
Structured data is HTML code that takes information and organizes it for search engines to understand the page’s subject better. Search engines, unlike humans, don’t see a rendered page as colors, fonts, images, and white space to understand the page’s topic. Instead, they have the more difficult task of reading the code and try to decipher the content. The markup labels what the data is, making it easier for them to identify. From the structured data, Google can create a rich snippet. Rich snippets present users with more details than the typical listing seen in the SERPs.
You Are In Control of the Details
While Google and other search engines may limit the types of structure data they accept, you ultimately control what details are shown to a user. For example, if your business makes and sells a particular product, then the structure data to create a snippet can show users the price, available offer, color, material, and reviews in the Google Knowledge Graph. By providing more detail to search engines via structured data, websites increase content or product’s chances of being better matched to the user’s search queries.
Impact On Your SEO
Every strategy strives for rankings in the top three spots. Page content’s ability to answer a search query is the most important thing to rank in the highest position. Adding structured data helps provide search engines with structured information relevant to search queries, which will most certainly benefit your average rank.
Another impact structured data can have on SEO is increased conversions. We talked earlier about details for products that search engines look for and mentioned reviews. Google can show your product with the aggregated rating from your website. Having the aggregated rating in the rich snippet will tell customers how good your product is based on previous purchasers’ experience. Having a high rating will likely influence the user to convert and purchase the product.
Leveraging Structured Data For Voice Search
The use of voice search is increasingly becoming more popular. In the United States, one-third of the population uses voice for search and is continuing to grow, emphasizing the importance of adding structured data to your pages. Structured data helps identify content that Google, Alexa, and Siri can audibly playback. A food product company would benefit from using structured data for voice search, placing it on blog posts focused on recipes. Users looking for an apple pie recipe can be served up your Grandma’s Apple Pie recipe giving them a list of ingredients and the steps to make the pie. This would be an opportunity to get the brand in front of the consumer and sales conversion if the recipe calls for one of the products.
Google is currently developing Speakable structured data for news articles. The schema is in beta and only available for devices set to English in the United States. This markup could soon be the schema of choice for articles or pages that are around topical subjects.
In summary, adding structured data to your website will help Google better understand your content and synch content to a user’s search query. It also presents the opportunity to be visible at multiple levels of the customer journey or sales funnel.
If your team is interested in getting assistance with structured data and other SEO initiatives, you can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org; we’re more than happy to help you with your SEO and digital marketing needs.