What do you first think of when you hear the phrase “structured data”?
According to Randolph (2017), Structured data, also known as schema markup, is code that provides search engines with clear information about your page, allowing the search engine to understand more the page's purpose and context. Schema markup can also be used to improve the appearance of your list of search results, such as by adding stars, which can result in more clicks. This is a new form of optimization. However, not many people are aware of it, even though it is one of the most powerful forms of SEO available today. This method can help boost your website on search engine results pages (SERPs).
In other words, structured data is a method to organize a group of data and put it into several categories.
This article will explain more about using structured data, and how it can benefit your SEO campaign.
Why You need to Use Structured Data
While Google doesn't see structured data as a ranking factor, structured data affects important ranking factors indirectly. There are many reasons why your website is better off using structured data:
1. Increase Click Through Rate (CTR) with structured data for SEO
FAQs and product markup are some examples of schema markup that can produce a complete summary of search results. In addition, a complete summary can improve the appearance of your search results listings, such as by adding value, inventory, or pricing information. This information can lead users to your page.
Their clicks can help your page achieve a higher CTR, which is one of the metrics that Google measures.
If your page gets a higher CTR than the page above it, it sends a signal to Google that your page is more relevant to search. In response, Google boosts your page, helps you rank higher and attracts more website traffic.
2. Help improve time on site
Increase your visitor’s session time with structured data for SEO. Just like CTR, Google also monitors the duration of a visitors session. It wants to see if people stay on your website or return to search results. In some cases, for example, users will click on one result, realize that it doesn't answer their question, and then return to the search result and click another.
Schema markup also helps visitors by providing useful information for visitors to convince them to click on your website, and can make them come back to your website and stay on your website longer.
How Does Structured Data Help SEO?
Search engines like Google and Bing invite webmasters to use structured data by providing benefits for websites if structured data is applied correctly.
Some of these benefits include improved search results and content-specific features, such as:
- Enhanced search results: Includes styles, images, and other visual enhancements
- Information cards: Variations on enhanced search results, similar to rich snippets and designed for mobile users
- Enriched search results: Includes interactive or immersive features
- Knowledge Graph: Information about entities such as brands
- Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs in your search results
- Carousel: A collection of multiple rich results in a carousel style
High results for AMP: For your AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) to appear in the carousel and with high yields, you must include structured data
These enhanced search results can also increase click-through rate (CTR) and drive additional traffic, as they are more visually appealing and provide additional information to searchers. And an increased CTR can also indirectly increase your ranking, as a signal of user behavior.
Therefore, there are lots of benefits that website owners and visitors receive when structured data is applied. In addition, structured data also has an impact on increasing the SEO value on your website.