How to Use Structured Data for Ecommerce

What Is Structured Data and Why Do You Need It for Your Ecommerce Store?

Structured data refers to organized data that is made to fit a particular format. Visually speaking, structured data shows extra helpful information next to organic search results to produce rich snippets. If you are searching for a hair salon, you may see hours of operation, reviews, and service pricing. Those extra tidbits of information are rich snippets pulling from the structured data that is implemented on each page of your website.

Structured data, when implemented correctly, helps represent your business on search engines. It is also a great opportunity to allow your website to rank higher in search engine results pages. Enabling rich snippets allows search engines to understand your website’s content when it is crawled. It is important for your products to contain rich snippets so that they stand out in search results to customers and future prospects. In fact, one study has shown that when rich snippets are enabled correctly on a product page, organic traffic increased by 20-30%.

Utilizing Rich Snippets for your Ecommerce Store

When implementing structured data and rich snippets as part of your SEO strategy, it can be quite intimidating at first. Rich snippets can include articles, blog posting, news articles, events, products, videos, services, reviews, aggregate ratings, restaurants and local businesses. For the sake of this blog post, since we are focusing on ecommerce, we will be looking at the 5 most important rich snippets for your ecommerce shop.

1.    Product

Start by ensuring that your products rich snippets are being properly placed in search engine results. You don’t want to confuse your product snippets with blog post snippets. Merchandise snippets show more detailed information than blogs and articles such as price, availability, and condition. If you take the time to make sure that you have the correct information for this snippet then the results will outweigh the time spent. The better-positioned product with relevant descriptions will increase click-through rates.

Take a gander at the two examples above. The first example from Target has rich snippets including rating, price, and availability with a decent description.The second example from IKEA just displays a vague description of large vs runner rugs. Which result would you click on? The Target link with 4.7 Rating, 53 reviews, an affordable price and in stock availability? Or the IKEA link which may require hours of continued searching while you read reviews and try to price match?I think we all know the answer to this one.

2.    Ratings and reviews

As shown above in the product sample, reviews really persuade customers whether to purchase a product or not. Third-party testimonials sell the product and can be more compelling than ad copy. Establishing credibility and trust is the most logical way to sell a product. Once that initiative is completed (and snippets are implemented), it’s all downhill from there.

Let’s say that you are an office manager and one of your roles is to purchase the coffee for the break room. Now, you are trying to please everyone in the office, which means getting Susie her Kona Blend and Josh his Hazelnut brew. In order to accomplish this task, you need to find a variety pack. You may not have heard of before, but their 672 reviews and 200 varieties of K-cups sure does catch your eye! Click through and purchase, and now you can be the caffeine hero of the office!

3.    Pricing

How much is it? That question is, if not the first, certainly one of the first queries a customer will ask when shopping. Especially if they are online shopping and have hundreds of different stores to choose from. Odds are, buyers are going to purchase from the store that has the lower price even, if they have to wait a little longer for that product to travel to their home from across the country.

Williams Sonoma did it right with displaying the product price and in-stock availability, which shoppers no longer have to search the sight for more information. And who doesn’t love candles? A nice relaxing spa-like atmosphere with a lavender scent is calling my name right now. You are just one click away from that spa like feeling!

4.    Availability

Nothing is more infuriating than when you find exactly what you’re looking for, only to realize that the perfect rustic lantern that was going to complete your entryway is out of stock. This snippet allows customers to know up front if the merchandise they are searching for is available. This takes away a lot of the frustration of online shopping, but also creates better-informed decisions on behalf of the shoppers, because now they can find exactly what they are searching for.

To use the Williams Sonoma French Lavender Candle as an example again, you can see that right next to the price is the availability snippet that reads “in stock.”

5.    PPC

Pay Per Click has always provided a lot of decent information to search queries. And it should—you are paying for those ads. Google AdWords provides rich snippets that will catch the eye of any online shopper. Sitelinks and location extensions, just to name a few, will give the purchasers an idea of what other services or products your store offers, as well as your location, in case they want to make an in-person purchase. This type of ad snippet allows for both online and offline transactions.

Notice how this search result for “dining room table” gives a few different options. Pottery Barn allows you to explore not only dining room tables, but other furniture as well, such as coffee and accent tables. And if you wanted to go look in person but weren’t exactly sure where to start, Home Depot showcases where they are located and what time the store operates. Finally, the ad from Overstock shows that you can save big on Dining Room Tables with free shipping over $45.

Structured Data Helps You Highlight the Most Important Information about Your Store

The online world really is your oyster—you just have to represent your online store in a manner that speaks to your audience in order to make their online shopping experience as smooth as possible. Rich snippets allows you to make that happen.

If you aren’t sure where to start implementing these ecommerce rich snippets, you can look to Googles Structured Data Markup Helper. This tool will help add the markup to your site. From there, it is best to look at which of your products are most popular so you can make sure they are getting the most visibility.