6 minute read
Structured Data is all the important SEO information on a webpage organized in a way that makes it easy for search engines to read.
What? Whether you want to call it Rich Snippets, Rich Results, Schema Codes, JSON tags, or Structured Data, these codes are an essential tool for your eCommerce business.
Why? As pointed out by our podcast guest Barry Schwartz, Structured Data is a necessary, yet sometimes underutilized SEO tool.
Will This Affect Me? If you are an eCommerce business with a website, Structured Data could greatly improve your SEO ranking.
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"SEO is harder and more competitive today than 10 - 15 years ago, 60% of marketers agree."
CEO, Rusty Brick
What is Structured Data?
If you are a marketing newcomer then the term “structured data” may sound like a bunch of information organized neatly together… and your intuition is right! Essentially, structured data is all the important SEO information on a webpage organized in a way that makes it easy for search engines to read. The easier it is for search engines such as Google to read, the higher your page will rank in SEO.
Structured data is a standardized format for providing search engines information about a webpage and its content. This information could be anything, such as:
- Product names/prices
- Product descriptions
- Contact details
- Customer reviews
- Stock availability
This data is written in a programming style language known as Schema.org, which is a collaboration between Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo! to help provide the information search engines required to understand the content of a webpage and provide the best search results possible.
What does Structured Data do?
So, if I write some Structured Data for my eCommerce website, will I suddenly jump to the top of the search engine results page?
I know we may seem magic here at Optily, but unfortunately, structured data isn’t a direct ranking signal for search engines. It does help with your search query relevancy signal though.
Let’s take an example:
If a consumer types “desk chair” into Google, they will be shown websites most relevant to that search query. The top result will most likely be an eCommerce site selling desk chairs, possibly Amazon.
Do you see what happened? If Google can understand that your website is an eCommerce store with desk chairs for sale, it will rank your site higher for this keyword. Structured data makes it explicitly clear to Google what your webpage is about.
Making life easier for search engines to see the exact information you want to portray on your website will benefit your eCommerce business.
5 Popular eCommerce Schema Markups
As mentioned above there are many different types of schema data that you can incorporate into your business website. Here we’ll run through some of the most common markups:
1. Rich Snippets
A rich snippet is a relevant search result that appears at the very top of a Google SERP.
By typing any product description into Google search, you’ll see at least one type of rich snippet appear, which will usually show some of the text from the webpage as well as an image.
This provides a more “rich” search result that consumers will be more likely to click.
Breadcrumb navigation (from the famous children’s book Hansel and Gretel) is a feature located at the top of most web pages that informs the user exactly what pages they’ve been on to end up where they are within the website.
This is used instead of showing the full URL which may be long and complicated.
As we can see in the example below the user is in: Books > School Books > Secondary > Art & Design
3. Site Search
This innovative design inserts a search box under a website result within the search query page.
This allows users to quickly search the website without even having to click into the page.
4. Review Schema
This simple schema shows a quick “star review” of your website in the search engine. It allows customers to quickly determine the quality of your products/website.
A high-rated website will increase the click-through-rate for your eCommerce business.
3,880 people review the MacBook Air on Amazon.com giving it an impressive 4.8/5 stars!
5. Local Business Schema
Have you tried Googling “Best to go food near me” when you’re really hungry? You’re probably met with something similar to what’s shown below.
This is a local business schema, and it’s used to enrich your Google My Business listing with essential store details such as opening hours, ratings, and menus.
"Nowadays the algorithm is much smarter, making SEO ranking more difficult for eCommerce businesses."
CEO, Rusty Brick
How to add Structured Data to your eCommerce website
So, I’ve convinced you as to why structured data is so important, brilliant! But how do you add it to your website?
There are many ways to do this including a range of different plugins, but the easiest way I found is to use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper. If you’re a master coder, or you have an experienced Dev team, then you can absolutely go out and do this yourself. This tool is just an easy and user-friendly method to get you started.
Using the tool is super easy–just follow this Structured Data How-To Guide:
- Click here to go to Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper.
- You can choose if you want to perform this action for a website or email. (I’m going to presume the website route.)
- Select which type of data you will be adding to the webpage from the list shown above.
- Enter either the URL or the HTML of your website where the content will be added.
- Begin tagging the important data on your webpage prompt by the data requested by the tool.
- Select “Create HTML”. Google will generate the appropriate structured data HTML that you can add to your website.
- Add the HTML to your website in whichever method you prefer (e.g WordPress).
- Bonus: Check that your structured data is fully optimized using Google’s Structured Data Testing tool.
P.s. You can use Google’s testing tool on any webpage you have, even if it is already created. Adding this important data makes Google’s life easier so they let you test for free!
I hope you now understand the importance of Structured Data and you won’t neglect it in the future.
It can seem complicated at the beginning, resulting in you procrastinating and pushing this down your priority list. However, I hope, that this blog has helped to demystify what is Structured Data for eCommerce.
Since you’re looking into optimizing your website by structuring your data for Google, you’re probably trying to improve overall. Optily’s solution has shown really great results in super-short periods of time for past customers in increasing their ROAS and reducing the time wasted on manual attribution with spreadsheets. Let us know if you want to try it out with no obligation, free for 2 weeks!