Why Structured Data is Crucial for SEO Results

Jen Saunders
Reading Time:5minutes

If you are clever you have likely done extensive research into your buyer audiences to create highly-targeted content, and you’ve probably built some valuable links. Chances are also high you’ve optimized your web pages and you are pretty dang sure that all your SEO bases are covered.

But what about structured data? Hmmm?

The ability to rank for the right audiences is becoming increasingly difficult as Google continues to update its core algorithm. Structured data helps improve rich search results, as well as rankability for web pages and blogs.

Search result quality has evolved. Today, the SERPs often include information that goes well beyond brief descriptions. Aside from a standard meta description, the cooking time and number of calories in a recipe and customer reviews on retail goods are appearing in the search results.

Structured data also allows for ranking in multiple places on page one of Google. For a few years now businesses have been trying to rank for the coveted spot in Knowledge Graph–a box on the right side of the page that provides additional search information people find highly valuable.

Structured data (or Schema) and structured content will help you improve your online visibility. Here are some compelling reasons why you should use structured data AND use a structured method for your blog content to improve SEO results.

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First, What is Structured Data for SEO?

When you incorporate structured data into your HTML, you give Google additional information about what your page’s content consists of, and who it’s for. When web page information is adorned with structured machine-readable data, Google can properly understand topics, context and even intentions. Making the most of structured data is challenging in today’s time which is why growth-focused organizations work with SEO agencies focused on generating revenue who know how to use structured data to leverage organic search efforts.

In most cases, using structured data means you utilize Schema markup by adding the proper coding to your pages. However, innovative platforms like WordPress have various schema and rich snippets plugins that allow webmasters to add structured data without time-consuming coding efforts.

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Structured Data Helps Google Determine Relevance

One of the greatest value points structured data offers is showing Google relevancy. Remember, ever since Google baked machine learning and AI capabilities into its core algorithm, the search engine has grown better at pairing the best results to compliment the emotional needs behind searches.

Structured data helps facilitate this. For example, there can be various groups searching for scuba diving equipment, but each cohort can have specific pain points. While one search group may want a scuba regulator that won’t freeflow in cold water, another audience may want a cold water regulator that works with a din valve. Then you can have groups that want regulators for warm tropical conditions, and others who want regulators that can perform in all conditions. Structured data will help Google know what kind of content to rank for specific, key phrases and search terms as well as context relevant to user needs.

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Structured Data Improves Your Ability to Be Competitive in the Rankings

You can rank well on page one of Google, but there are nine other organic results, and potentially paid results that you need to compete with. While it is true that most organic results ranking above the fold garner more clicks, results that have images and additional information get even greater engagement. Structured data can give you that edge by adding things to your link like recipes, reviews, sales prices, images and other forms of rich snippets. You can also learn to create backlinks for SEO that reflect your structured data’s content to give it more fire power.

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Structured Data Improves Your CTR

Improving your click through rate (CTR) is the first step to ensuring a winning SEO strategy that attracts high quality traffic likely to convert to revenue. While meta descriptions and ranking for the right search terms certainly play a crucial role, structured data also lends to improved CTRs. We already spoke a little about how structured data helps businesses stay competitive in the SERPs. But structured data can indirectly improve your ability to rank by getting more clicks and therefore generating user engagement signals.

Various studies performed by leading SEO agencies in Los Angeles produced a finding that CTRs improve by an average of 32 percent when structured data is added to web pages. They also found that rankings for page level keywords improved by an average of 28 percent. Adding Schema to your main web pages is a crucial SEO play to enable maximum results.

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How to Use Structured Data to Improve SEO Results

According to a Quora Survey, only 18 percent of organizations investing in digital marketing services are utilizing structured data. So right off the bat if you commit to using Schema, you have a leg up on the competition. But to really maximize your SEO results, you need to know HOW to use structured data. Here are some considerations:

  • If you plan to use product reviews, choose one to display that captures a solution to your buyer’s biggest pain points.
  • Let your main keywords reflect through a buyer focused context
  • If local SEO is part of your strategy, be sure to set the geo settings
  • In descriptions make sure to specify who the products and services are for

While only custom plugins allow for some of these abilities, seek this method if it makes sense for your strategy. Currently there are a few robust Schema plugins for WordPress that require a paid membership, but if the additional features make sense for your organic strategy, the investment is well worth it.

Want to Learn Other Methods for Improving Your SEO Results?

If you found this article helpful, we know you will love our FREE guide on WEBITMD’s modern approach to SEO. Our approach doesn’t just end with rankings; our growth driven strategies are customized to your business while focusing on converting organic traffic to paid revenue. Download the guide below, and call us with any questions.
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About
Jen Saunders is the Director of SEO for WEBITMD bringing more than 15 years of search marketing experience. She spent 13 years in Europe earning her PhD while looking at lots of old neat stuff. Jen enjoys simple things, like trees, sunrises, and the delicate lull of a 16th century harpsichord. Jen enjoys meditating and studies Buddhism. She is a certified master scuba diver, dolls make her nervous, and she enjoys craft beer. Jen has two cats, Chairman Thaddeus Whiskers and Lord Joffrey Gaius Pitty-Paws. They are her heirs.