rich snippets, seo, seo tips, structured data markup
Structured Data Markup WILL become a ranking factor in 2018
Google have indicated the sites who add structured data markup to their website pages will gain higher rankings because Google can understand your site content better, and so it will gain more impressions and increased visibility in Google Search Indexes for relevant user search queries.
What is Structured Data Markup?
You will have seen in Google Search Results that some businesses appear more prominent because they are showing additional features, such as reviews, prices, show times, recipes, events and news article snippets. These are showing because the site has applied structured data markup to these particular features, and this helps Google to crawl and better understand these key features and then displays them as Rich Snippets. A domain which shows Rich Snippets will likely see improved quality of traffic to the site and increased click through rates.
How easy is it to apply?
If you manage your site content through a CMS such as WordPress or Joomla, you will be able to either download a plugin to make it easier to apply the mark up you want, or a web developer or SEO consultant will be able to manually add the structured data markup where required. There are however specific fields you will need in order for Google to validate the data, and this is sometimes where it can get a bit tricky.
Your existing content may not provide all the information required for the type of structured data markup you want to add. For example, Google may be asking for an image, or a price, or a start and end date. Any of these could be obligatory, so you will need to initially cross-check all the criteria for each mark-up against your existing content to ensure you can populate all the necessary elements.
Different Types of Rich Snippets Available
These are the main ones which currently work well in Google. There are many, many others, but Google won’t necessarily validate all mark-up, so these are the ones that will definitely work to give your site enhanced visibility without too much effort.
If you have a regular event schedule that is constantly updating, then adding structured data Event mark-up will be really beneficial as it will highlight your organic listing with specific event information.
People are always searching for recipe inspiration. If you are a catering business and wish to share the recipes you create then adding structured data Recipe mark-up will help your recipes reach more eyes.
A 5 Star review rating can really capture the attention but the application of this one is different as you have to link to a consumer or product review feed. These reviews can’t be manually added or testimonials shown on your website. They need to have been posted by the consumer via a third party review site.
Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool
You will need to validate your mark up with Google if you want it to show in Google Search Results. It is advisable to have a Google Search Console account set up, and the site verified first. Through the search console account you can validate your applied mark-up using the Google Structured Data Testing Tool. It is as simple as pasting in the page url that contains the markup. Google will scan the page and either validate the code or show you there are issues that need resolving. Once validated, its good to go, so you just need to manually submit the page url for indexing.
You won’t necessarily see the Rich Snippets appear every time your web pages are displayed on Google, but it will certainly give your brand prominence over your competitors when they do show.
Whizz Marketing is a Google Partner Agency and is totally committed to providing a transparent, cost-effective remote support service to SMEs requiring support with marketing and SEO.
If you are interested to add structured data mark up to your site, please call Whizz on 01252 622129 or visit whizzmarketing.co.uk for further information.