What is structured data and why is it increasingly important?
As has been widely reported in the media, Google is planning the biggest shakeup in it's search algorithm in over a decade, increasing it's focus on "semantic" search. In practice it is likely that Google will continue to increase the emphasis on facts and answers (relating to people, places and things) at the top of their search engine results pages (SERPs). With the increasing prominence of structured data on SERPs it is crucial that your website is optimised to make data about your company, and it's services, available to all major search engines in a structured format.
The easiest way to demonstrate how structured data can affect your business right now is to look at how Google uses this data to present "Rich Snippets" in results pages. Take a look at the example below for a search for a "tikka masala recipe":
The first result contains no structured data, while the second result does (an image and number of reviews), resulting in much higher levels of user engagement. Since they first launched in 2009 the range of Rich Snippets available has grown to include Reviews, People, Products, Businesses and organisations, Recipes, Events, Music and Video.
Results for our clients
Dock9 has been using structured data formats on our client's websites to increase user engagement with their sites on SERPs. An excellent example of this is our client, DoubleGlazingCompanies.com, which is a company comparison and review site for the double glazing industry.
By structuring the review data in the source code of the website in a certain format, the search engine result displays with a visual star rating, the name of the reviewer and the date of the review. Our client's result on the page is visually more prominent than their competitors.
Similarly, for our client Largemortgageloans.com, structuring the format of a video on their page means that a preview is shown directly in the SERP. Again, our client's result is more visually engaging than their competitors.
How can structured data help my business?
As shown above, by incorporating structured data into your website we can already increase user engagement with your company in search engine results. And with Google reportedly planning a major update which would increase the prominence of such data it is important that your business is prepared.
For a free appraisal of how structured data could enhance your website please complete a Project Planner or get in touch.