Structured data refers to the markup that helps search engines better identify and understand a web page. It helps search engines interpret a web page and its content more effectively.
Structured data is considered important for search engine optimisation. However, according to an estimate, approximately 50 percent of brands are still not using structured data. There could be multiple reasons why they haven’t invested in structured data yet:
- Their CMS does not support structured data
- They do not have the technical resources or understanding to implement structured data on their website
- They do not understand the benefits of structured data
- They do not know about structured data at all
This begs the question: is structured data considered “essential” or is it just a nice-to-have feature?
Top 5 benefits of implementing structured data
Structured data has plenty of benefits. In this article, we will try to answer the above question by highlighting a few of the big benefits:
1. Better search engine visibility
It is believed that well-implemented structured data can help improve search engine visibility.
Structured data assists search engine crawlers in finding and correctly interpreting the contents of your page. This generally leads to an improved understanding of your content and indexation — which eventually leads to higher search engine visibility.
2. Higher click-through rate or CTR
Rich search results generally lead to a higher click-through rate or CTR. Organic CTR is an extremely important factor for SEO professionals and online businesses because of multiple reasons:
- First, a higher click-through rate or CTR leads to more organic traffic,
- Second, a higher organic CTR sends positive signals to Google that your web page is a better fit for that search query. As more search engine users click your page, it is more likely to get promoted on the SERPs to higher rankings.
According to a case study by Google, StyleCraze leveraged structured data to improve its organic click-through rate (CTR0 by 20 percent. You can read the full case study here.
3. Featured snippets
Featured snippets are the holy grail of search engine results nowadays. You can get a large share of search engine traffic by having your web page ranked in featured snippets. The best part is that featured snippets work and produce results for your business, even if your web page isn’t necessarily ranking in the first position.
And structured data provides an excellent opportunity to rank your content in featured snippets.
Here is an example of a featured snippet:
When Google fully understands the contents of your page, it makes it easier for the search engine to select a small snippet and show it in the featured snippet.
Note that featured snippets are not guaranteed after you implement structured data. But it does help significantly.
4. Credibility and impressions
Rich results appear unique and more professional in the SERPs. They usually get the most eyeballs and clicks. Moreover, the first impression they make is a nice added benefit to improve the overall credibility and authority of your online business.
5. Control over your content and information
Last but not least, structured data gives you an opportunity to control your information, how it is interpreted by search engine crawlers, and, to a large extent, how it is displayed on the search engine results pages.
This is equally important in the grand scheme of things.
Google wants to understand everything better so it can offer personalized search results with more efficacy and accuracy. You can help Google to achieve that goal with structured data.
This is the future of SEO, and we highly recommend controlling the flow of information to Google from your end. It not only makes things easier for Google, but it allows you to control how Google perceives, understands, and showcases your brand to search engine users.
To answer the question we posed earlier: in today’s world of search engine optimisation, structured data is not just nice to have. It should be considered essential, and every online business should go out of its way to implement structured data correctly on its website.
It helps with search engine visibility, better authority, improved search engine rankings, and higher organic traffic.
You can learn more about and implement structured data and rich results with the help of Google’s Rich Results Test tool.