Blog | Marketing Madness

Catch Your Customers’ Eye on Search Results Pages (Structured Data)

13/05/2015

Businesses can use structured data to help draw their customers in. To help you find out how to do just that, we have created this blog post.

What is Structured Data?

Structured Data is a way of giving various pieces of useful information to search engines, which they can then use to provide the user with a more engaging user experience within the search results.

The chances are, you’ll already have a meta description for each page on your site (added manually or automatically generated by Google). A meta description consists of a short sentence with maybe a snippet of the first paragraph.

But by adding Structured Data or ‘microdata’ to your webpages, search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo! will be able to gather more details on what is on the webpage, and use this information to make your listings in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) much more engaging.

This data could be an address, telephone number, product rating, or details such as cooking time and calories (if the page contained a certain recipe), and more.

There are many ways to implement Structured Data, including:

  • Schema.org
  • Microdata (recommended by Google)
  • Microformats
  • RDFa (Resource Description Frameworks in Attributes)

If you’d like to check and see if Google is picking up your structured data, you can use their dedicated Structured Data Testing Tool, which will let you check that everything is working as expected.

How does Structured Data look in search results?

Here’s an example of where BBC Good Food have made full use of the Structured Data capabilities:

Structured Data in SERPs

And here’s what a similar recipe page looks like without structured data:

Structured data

Which of the two examples above do you prefer? Without a doubt, I’d personally click the first example every time. This is down to a few factors, including the fact that there’s a visible 5* rating (made up of 625 individual votes, which makes it reliable), a photo of the finished brownies, and of course the title “Best-ever brownies” – you can’t get better than that!

Business benefits of using Structured Data on your website

As you can imagine, Structured Data can be of great benefit for many industries. If you have an eCommerce store and sell a range of clothing for example, you could feature ratings in search results, along with pricing, sizes, price range etc., all before the potential customer has even clicked through to your website.

Structured data is important to your business as it is one of a few ways to increase your CTRs (Click-Through Rates) from organic Search results. If users can see that a recipe (for example), has a 5/5 rating, people will be more likely to choose your site over others which may have recipes with a lower star rating. You can check your CTRs using Webmaster Tools to monitor the impact of Structured Data on your website.

Remember, increased exposure in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) not only makes your website look interesting, but also leads to an increased Click-Through Rate (CTR), which will result in more traffic and leads for your website.