The following result appeared in a search for the name of our business, NetElixir. This additional box with helpful information including our address, phone number and hours of operation is created by using structured data markup.
What is Structured Data?
Structured Data is a type of microdata code a webmaster implements on a site so that Google can bring up vital information for users on a corresponding SERP result.
There are many other well-known ways that structured data can be used for various web pages in order to let search engines access the information that is most important to searchers. Other familiar uses for schema include:
- A venue or business listing a schedule of upcoming events (shows, concerts, special guests).
- A food blog marking up recipe information like time needed to complete recipe and ingredients.
- A media search site, like IMDb providing information about a movie, TV show or famous artist.
- A restaurant listing reviews of their venue to catch the attention of local eaters.
How Does Structured Data Work?
We all know that Google is constantly crawling and updating its index of all your site’s pages and content, but when Googlebot comes across a term or phrase surrounded by the correct markup, it is able to attribute the appropriate meaning and in turn display that information to users in a new way. Instead of Googlebot seeing a string of words as well…a string of words, structured data markup input for a business location allows Google’s crawler to read the series appropriately: the number, street name, city and state will be returned and identified as a local business’ address directly on the SERP page.
Using Structured Data Can Help You:
Increase CTR. Schema markup offers a variant to the normal title and description format on the SERP; it offers searchers an eye-catching display as well as additional information.
Reduce Bounce Rate. When users are making that split-second decision (to click or not to click), chances are they’ll choose wiser when more informed. Structured Data can provide searchers with the right info to help them decide your product or service is what they’re looking for— which means more of the right traffic arriving to your site and less bounces.
Rank Higher on the SERP. Because Google favors sites who strive to offer a better user experience, using structured data can only help your Search Engine Optimization efforts to reach your highest SERP rank.
The World of Schema.org
Back in 2011, the big search engine players Google, Bing & Yahoo came together and created the site Schema.org as a database resource for webmasters to use in reference to markup code. Schema.org is a user-friendly tool that provides a guide to exactly what search engines need to effectively recognize, return and display schema markup as a relevant user interface.
Schema.org is an expansive collection of markup options that show what you can use to stand out on the SERP for just about any type of data.
In the highly competitive ecommerce space it’s vital to have a prominent SERP presence. Using schema markup allows webmasters of ecommerce sites to expand the number of details that they can provide on a search results page.
The above shows part of the Schema.org interface for marking up a product or service— ecommerce webmasters should consider adopting the following schema types:
- User reviews or ratings for a product
- Product pricing
- AdWords Shopping Campaigns
- Product videos or images
- SKU identifier
- Product color
- Product name & description
You can use the Structured Data Testing Tool located in Webmaster Tools to see what your schema markup will look like live on Google.
An SEO + User Experience Win-Win
Using schema.org for ideas, schema markup on your site is an easy way to make your mark on the SERP and provide the most valuable information possible for your searchers.