The Ultimate Guide to Structured Data for E-Commerce Websites
Do you want to increase your conversion rates from organic search results on Google? Search engines like Google crawl and index websites, including eCommerce stores, to make sense of the information on the pages. Implementing structured data might be the missing piece to your SEO and content marketing strategy.
Structured data for eCommerce websites provide clues for the Google search console to understand the information on the web pages. That way, the Google search results will return your content in a more valuable and engaging way to the inquirer. You’ll gain two things in one move: improved targeting in page ranking and better engagement.
This piece might get technical, but you should strive to understand its logic. That way, you can quickly provide valuable input to your website developers and optimize your product pages. Here is everything you need to know to implement structured data in eCommerce online stores.
What to Know About Structured Data
Search engines understand a web page by crawling through the information on the page. This process can be challenging for the crawl bot, like the Google search console, especially when you have multiple product pages.
E-commerce Structured data is a way to provide information about your eCommerce site in a standardized, machine-readable format. Search engines read this code and display rich results (enhanced results). Hence, you can say that it improves the search engine’s understanding of your content.
Structured data is also called schema markup because it is written in Schema. It can improve the search results experience by providing extra information like product ratings, locations, reviews, etc.
The enhanced results can include rich snippets, carousels, videos, and other helpful and engaging information on your page. Also, structured data has different encoding formats, like JSON LD.
Google regularly updates structured data for different website contents. In 2021, it launched structured data for job postings.
Why is Structured Data Important for Your Ecommerce Website
Consider the top eCommerce websites or platforms. These sites have hundreds of product pages with different content.
Two things can happen to the information on these pages:
- The search engine crawl bot will misinterpret the data.
- The information will be lost.
A simple example is telling the difference between a jacket, boot, trousers, toothbrush, etc. With Schema markup, you can provide additional information about an item, like color, size, brand, etc. Then, the search engine will understand your content better and deliver it on the relevant search engine results page.
Google has various case studies to show you the improvements that can come with schema markup. Ultimately, you may have better click-through rates in the search engine results. That is because of the extra information the search engine adds to create a rich result.
Types of Structured Data
Search engines have many structured data types (schema types), but you don’t need all of them for your eCommerce website. The ones you need are those relevant to your products and overall content.
Everything is about search engine optimization (SEO) for your online shoppers. With that in mind, here is the essential structured data for eCommerce sites:
Product Schema Markup
The product markup provides details about your product. This vital information can include the price, product name, description, currency, category, color, brand, reviews, etc.
Regarding images, use multiple high-res images with 16x9, 4x3, or 1x1 aspect ratios. You can also add the availability status (out of stock or in stock) to the product schema markup.
The local business schema markup reveals information about your business. This can be operating hours, departments in the business, reviews, etc. Google can show a rich result containing this information, enhancing the appeal of your eCommerce site.
Another thing you can do to help your visibility is register with Google My Business. You can add your physical store location and codes to the Google Merchant Center.
With 64% of consumers using Google My Business, these additions can increase click-through rates and ultimately drive more traffic to your business's website.
Adding reviews to structured data can boost the content of rich snippets. Review markup falls under product schema markups, but they are worth pointing out.
Showing up in the SERP results can encourage potential customers to click on your online store. Think about the yellow stars that appear in the search results for a product.
You need live product reviews on your online store to provide quality ratings in rich snippets. Also, avoid manipulating the review schema markup with fake reviews or spamming the reviews on your store.
Typical Google search results for a brand often bring up the homepage of that brand. That might not be the case if other sites compete for the same keyword.
A homepage structured data markup can help your page stand out. You can add information to the organization schema markup, including website URLs, targets, and query input.
You can connect your social media and other platforms using this structured data. We also recommend including contact information. That way, users can place a call directly from the result page on their mobile device.
Let’s assume you want to get to the checkout page for a product. You’ll click through a couple of pages before arriving at that destination.
Breadcrumbs refer to the pages you pass before getting to your preferred page on an eCommerce website. Hence, breadcrumb schema or breadcrumb List markup provides the data for crawl bots to understand how pages stack up. This is called page hierarchy, and it applies even more to eCommerce websites.
The crawl bots can display a more accurate hierarchy in search results. Also, customers can easily navigate product and category pages without confusing the two. For display in the search engine results, the breadcrumb schema must contain the position, item, ID, and name.
How to Schema Markup
How-to content is essential to any SEO content marketing strategy. If you have them on your site, leveraging the how-to markups can give you an extra notch.
The rich search results can appear as a carousel if you have images on the page. You can also use the How To markup to provide tutorials on specific routines related to your products. It could be cleaning, changing a component, redeeming a warranty, etc.
This structured data adds extra information on product price and availability. It typically appears below the meta description and can draw buyers in.
Information you can include in this markup includes price, availability, URL, SKU, product condition, etc. You might not need this markup if you’ve included these details in the product data.
We know the category page contains keywords for different products. Hence, it is often the most search engine-optimized section of eCommerce stores.
Creating a markup for the category page is more complex than the product page. However, you can use frequently asked questions. This addition can help you achieve rich results.
A few months ago, Google allowed adding FAQ structured data markup for non-FAQ pages. While that is welcome, what benefit does the FAQ markup provide?
FAQs take up more space in the search results. That increases visibility for your brand and can also answer lingering questions for eager customers.
Adding product videos is a proven way to grow eCommerce sales. You can capture them in the rich results using the video schema markup.
Google favors YouTube videos more in search engine result pages (SERP). Consider hosting some videos on YouTube while capturing them in the structured data markup.
How to Add Schema Markup
You can pick up structured data markup from Schema.org, a collaborative effort by search engines. Here’s what you can do after selecting the appropriate code:
- Type in the required properties. Ensure you add them in the correct sections (HTML elements).
- Test your code for errors.
- Fix any errors.
- Use the URL Inspection Tool to test a few deployed pages. This will reveal how Google views the page.
- You can submit a sitemap for future changes.
Google supports the following formats for:
JSON-LD is the recommended structured data markup format on Google.
Microdata is an open-community HTML specification. It is used to add structured data to the HTML content. Furthermore, the format uses HTML tag attributes for the properties you want in the schema markup.
You can use microdata in the <body> or <head> elements.
RDFa supports data linking via HTML attributes. These attributes are the same as the user-visible content that appears for search engines.
RDFa is an HTLM5 extension typically used in the page's <body> and <head> elements.
Tips for Creating Structured Data
Web developers code structured data using in-page markup. That is done on the page that contains the primary information.
While creating structured data or schema markup, avoid having blank or empty pages for them. Also, don’t add schema markup for any information that is invisible to the page user. It doesn’t matter if the information is accurate.
You can conduct a rich result test to validate your schema markup on the pages. The testing tool can also preview a feature Google search to view the result visually. Overall, it is worth trying while implementing structured data on eCommerce websites.
Structured data is not keyword targeting, as some would think. Instead, it is code written to facilitate crawling and indexing by search engines. You can create rich results with them and improve the visual appeal.
Monitor your inventory when including availability in your product markups. Also, avoid using product markups for category pages.
Do it right, and you’ll appear better and more refined in the SERPs. Another trick will be using FAQ markups to appear more prominent.
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