In the world of search engine optimization, structured data is a crucial element for success. Webmasters use structured data, also known as ‘microdata’, to add additional information or markup tags to a website. Search engines then read these markup tags and display them as rich snippets on the search engine results page, or SERP.
Why does structured data have a positive impact on search engine rankings?
With structured data in place, search engines are able to easily identify what type of content is provided on a site so that it can be displayed accordingly on the results page. For example, video content would display in the SERP with a thumbnail image and a play symbol, due to the structured data that identified it as a video.
Rich snippets constructed from structured data make your content more interactive on the SERP, which allows it to stand out against text-only listings. This interactiveness results in better click-through-rates, and ultimately a positive impact on your site’s search engine rankings.
So, what are the best tactics for using structured data? Check out our 5 simple structured data strategies you can start implementing right now to improve your rankings!
Structured Data Strategies:
1. Think like a searcher! Use structured data to summarize the main content of your page in a way that would make sense to the end user.
2. Make sure that the information you want to display is always up-to-date: Google won’t show snippets for time-sensitive content that expires.
3. Only use original content. Google forms rich snippets by focusing on the data present on the targeted page, not on data linked on the page.
4. When marking up an image URL as a property, the image must actually belong to the instance of that property type.
5. If you have multiple entity types on a single page, mark up all entities on the page so that Google’s algorithms can better understand and index your content.
Google also recently made several updates to their Structured Data Testing Tool. These new features include:
Validation for all Google features powered by structured data
A cleaner display of structured data items on the page
An updated view that highlights markup problems right in your HTML source code
Google selects the most relevant data it can find to display on the SERP. If the markup data you provide is deceptive or hurtful to the users’ search experience, Google won’t show your snippets at all. However, if your website provides Google with accurate and helpful structured data, then Google will display this information to your end users for you. If getting a higher CTR is your main goal, including rich snippets in your website design is an essential step in the process!