Have you googled a recipe lately and seen that it brings in the ingredients without you even needing to visit the webpage? Google does this by using rich cards made up of structured data. If Google knows the content of your site, it can pull in results that match a search and show a little more information to help entice users to navigate to your site.
Using structured data tells Google exactly what is on your site, rather than Google having to guess. This gives you some control over how your site is shown by the search engine. Some of the many categories that become rich cards include recipes, blog posts, news posts, and job postings. Adding structured data markup to your site does not guarantee your content will show as a rich card, but it does improve your chances.
Google tailors its search results to show the results that it thinks are best for a user. Using this structured data does not directly affect your search engine results page (SERP) ranking, but by providing it, users will have a much richer searching experience. And that usually means they are more likely to click on your links.
Rich cards can be enabled with minimal information. For example, a recipe only requires a name and an image. However, Google also recommends including the the rating, author, cook time, description, nutrition, prep time, and ingredients. Adding more structured data allows your page to show up as a rich card even when users are searching by something specific, like ingredients or calories.
Click Rain recently implemented some of these structured data types on the new Lewis Drug website. We added structured data to their job postings, and now those individual postings are showing as rich cards in the Google job search listings. As a result, each listing shows additional information, including the position’s location and description.
We also implemented structured data for their individual stores. Google is now able to list stores and show their map locations, as well as provide a link to each one’s specific store detail page on the Lewis Drug website.
When using structured data, the more recommended properties provided, the higher quality the possible search result. However, that is a lot of recommended information that you may not have. Google suggests providing as much complete and accurate data as you can. It is better to provide good data than attempt to fill all the recommended properties with inaccurate data. Note that, if your items are missing required properties, they will not show up as a rich result.
Structured data is a great way to make your website’s content more engaging; talk to us today about how we can implement structured data on your site.
Ever wondered how to get this for your business?
Allow us to explain.
Those special blocks are called rich snippets. Why are they important? Well, Google is pretty good at understanding the general topic of a site's content, but bots aren't so great at understanding context. To help crawlers understand, markup languages were developed to explain it to them. This is called structured data, which helps you earn rich snippets in your search results.
Structured data is a generalized term that refers to any organized data that conforms to a certain format. It doesn't have to be online. You select the language you want and follow the rules of that markup language.
For example, the most popular structured data language is schema.org, and this vocabulary can be implemented with different encodings. Google recommends JSON-LD.
Okay, so that's getting pretty technical, and you'll probably need to have someone versed in these languages help you—or spend a lot of time studying the documentation. Is there an easier way?
Google does also offer a tool within search console called data highlighter, which allows a site owner to apply structured data without changing the code. Basically, you highlight sections of your site and tell Google what data is there. But, there are some limitations you'll need to be aware of.
First, your highlighting will break when anything in your page's formatting changes. And second, your highlighting will only apply to Google and will be invisible to other search engines.
Structured data is not a ranking factor. However, structured data can help your SEO efforts by earning rich snippets in your search results, including information in a knowledge graph card and providing better contextual understanding to search engines. It can also increase engagements and click-through rates on your results, and those are ranking factors, so it can have an effect. Depending on your business, you might want different rich snippets. We've helped clients get locations, job postings, blog articles, and more marked up for rich snippets.
Talk to us if you want to explore the riches! Thanks for watching, and we'll see you next time.
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