What is structured data markup?
Structured markup is a type of code which is added directly to your website’s HTML markup. It helps search engines understand your site’s content.
Structured markup is a user focused improvement. It tells search engines what your content means rather than just what it says. Without structured markup, a search engine would not be able to determine whether a page is referring to Jaguar the car or the animal.
Search engines generate rich snippets using information which has been coded using structured markup. Google also uses this information to populate their knowledge centre.
Structured markup can be applied to many different types of web content including; articles, local businesses, restaurants, TV episodes and ratings, book reviews, movies, software applications, events, and products.
The benefits of using structured data markup?
Structured markup is recognised by search engines including; Google, Bing, Yahoo! and Yandex. Interestingly, Google execs have recently hinted that structured markup may soon become part of their ranking algorithm. And as you know, in the world of digital marketing, when Google says jump, we ask how high?
Although structured markup is not yet an official ranking factor, websites with using it rank an average of 4 positions higher than those without it according to a study by KissMetrics. Website’s who are utilising the rich snippet feature in SERPs have also reported a 30% increase in their CTR!
Despite these glaringly obvious benefits, a report by Searchmetrics found that only 0.3% of all websites actually use the schema markup! Meaning those who do implement structured markup will have a massive advantage over their competitors.
Don’t just take our word for it. Look at the SERP on the right, would you be more likely to click on the result with the additional information or one of the two without?
How can I add structured data markup to my site?
If you own an ecommerce site, structured markup could be added to your product name, brand, sku, model, description, price, availability, reviews, rating, images, videos and special offers. Including this additional information in search engine results pages is almost guaranteed to increase your CTR.
Structured markup can be added to Events page to show their date, time, location, description and price. Again this is a great way to improve the user experience and entice people onto your site.
Markup can also be added to restaurants, bars, hotels and pubs. It can highlight opening times, contact details, room booking information, menus, table booking information, images, reviews, ratings, and price range. Adding these features mean users will be able to book tables and hotel rooms through Google’s knowledge centre making the user journey a whole lot easier!
Local businesses can use structured markup to highlight their company logo, address, contact details, maps, reviews, and images. Including this additional information will increase user’s trust in your brand and hopefully generate more sales!
Articles and blog posts on your site can also benefit from adding structured markup. Google recommends marking up the headline, alternative headline, images, description, date published, and article body. Marking up your articles and blog posts will put you on bar with the big dog in journalism and get your voice heard!
Hopefully this post has given you some food for thought. If you would like structured markup to be added to your site, speak to Generate UK.