SEO techniques have evolved ever since the first search result was displayed. So, if somebody says, “Links and meta tags are the only things that matter in SEO!” It is time to give the guy some insights on the new updates in the world of SEO.
When we talk about new features in search engines, it directly addresses Google. Other players, except for China’s Baidu, are nowhere close to competing against the California-giant- with regards to user engagement.
Google in the last two decades of their search engine dominance, has rolled out a slew of updates and algorithms. All are aimed at improving the way you see search results.
Their constant urge to innovate and to understand the content better has resulted in their all-invasive influence on the search industry.
Using Structured Data is one of the latest techniques employed by Google. It believes that doing so can better serve its purpose to provide the most engaging results and continue its reign as the best search engine in the world.
How does Google understand the content better than any other search engine?
We already know that there are 200 or more factors that determine which website should show up first on Google search results.
If you go into the details of these 200 ranking factors of Google, it could open a bunch of Pandora boxes; one leading to another.
The fact is that we don’t need to know all the ranking factors to get your website on top of Google’s search results.
We know that Google considers external links, meta title, description, and various other factors to understand your website content better.
However, let’s specifically talk about the latest, and most useful, feature deployed by Google – Structured Data.
If you are looking to rank in Google in 2018, it’s recommended to have it enabled on your website.
If you have to ask, “Can structured data make any impact on my brand visibility?” My answer to you will be a big, “YES.”
Google is a machine, and for machines, data is the only signal for understanding content. With the voice-based search, set to jump forward in the coming years, it’s essential to define your content.
Using schema markup is the most efficient and effective way to take control of your website information that is featured on Google. This makes Google understand your brand better than ever.
Structured Data and Unstructured Data
Structured Data has been around for many years now. If you are hearing it for the first time, this is because it is only now that search engines have started using it extensively.
Google currently supports data that is structured for websites that deal with recipes, jobs, restaurants, articles, and products.
There are many more in the queue and will be rolled out by Google in phases. The ultimate aim of Google is to rely more on structured kind of data and to provide users with the best possible results, along with additional details surrounding to it; for example, reviews and price tag.
Above all, if you’re missing out on this type of data, you could be trailing behind in your search engine results against your competitors.
Advantages of Structured Data in the era of voice search
Enabling such data for your website also means that you are preparing yourself for a future where 50% of the searches will be done through voice search.
Yes, you heard it right. With Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and OK Google now taking the search industry by storm, it has been predicted that by 2020 half of all the searches made on the internet will be done through voice-based devices.
By having proper data deployed, you will receive the benefit of Google, or any Voice-based search platform, appropriately matching your website to the relevant voice queries. Amazon has already confirmed that it is currently using schema structured data for local businesses in Alexa.
What are the benefits of using structured data on your website?
It has been reported that sites that have implemented it have witnessed a growth rate of 5 to 10 percent when it comes to click-through-rate.
It has also been reported that clicks have increased by 43 percent, impressions by almost one percent, and an average position has also increased by 12 percent.
Google has been emphasizing the importance of using such data for a long time. The Search Console has a dedicated section to give the webmasters an overview of how their schema is performing.
Google is also notifying the webmaster about schema changes that need to be implemented to tap into better search results.
Here are some of the success stories after the implementation of Structured Data. Click Here
How implementing this kind of data in AMP can boost mobile traffic?
Google displays AMP pages in search results to provide a fast and reliable web experience for its users. By implementing schema in your Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), Google can display search results in carousels and rich snippets.
Even though there is no confirmation on whether sites with AMP will rank better than the competitor, in the future Google updates may include it as well. By having this sort of data, AMP sites can benefit from features like reviews, ratings, and prices.
How to check this data?
Have you already implemented structured data on your website, but can’t find changes in the search results? There could be an implementation error that you might have to fix by consulting your developer. So, how will you see the error?
Fortunately, Google has provided a tool for webmasters to check if the structured data has been implemented with the recommended codes and details.
The Structured Data Testing Tool, which is a free feature of Google, allows you to insert URLs and run tests to confirm the validity of it.
In addition to this, webmasters with access to Google’s Search Console can check the performance of their structured data. They also get to see the pages of their website with errors and fix them according to the recommendations.
Google uses such data that is coded in JSON-LD format, Microdata, and RDFa to understand the content of the page. Google recommends JSON-LD format because it dynamically injects codes into the page content.
In a gist, Structured Data could be your key to reach the target audience in the future. With online competition increasing in almost every industry, additional information about your website might give Google, and other, search engines more reasons to rank.
- Its implementation can increase the click-through rate of your website
- It will improve your site’s visibility
- It will translate into knowledge graphs, featured snippets, and voice searches. This will make your website sail through to the future.