Structured data for Ecommerce and its effects on SEO

Google’s Structured data, formerly known as rich snippets is crucial for an E-commerce website, why? because you can display the product details directly in the search results. The only asset you have as an e-commerce store are products listed on the site and if you can get it displayed directly in the search results then it can give you 3 benefits:

  1. More eyeballs
  2. More Click through rate on results
  3. Better Search Engine ranking positions

Any E-commerce site (or any business as a matter of fact) would die to achieve above benefits. The best part is that it doesn’t require hiring a large agency or having a large bank balance, you just need to invest few hours from your time to implement it on your store.

Let’s look at the different type of Schema types for an E-Commerce site:

1. Product

Product Structured data search result

2. Item Availability

Item Availability Product Structured data search result

3. Pricing

Pricing range in Google structured data

4. User Reviews and Ratings

Have you seen the 5 stars in the above images? Yep, that’s the user ratings and reviews.

5. Images

Image Product Structured data search result

Don’t freak out! Google has not changed its design. This is the shopping search from the Google, they have modified the search results to give justice to the product listings. Why would a customer click on a product that has no image…… get it? 😉

6. Videos

Video Preview Product Structured data search result

7. Search bar in Sitelinks

Search bar in Google search results

8. Editorial Aspect in Product

Author review Product Structured data search result

9. Discounts & Offers

I remember Google was displaying the discounts and offers schema in the search results. I have even come across to some images that prove that it existed. However, I just couldn’t find it this time. Maybe they were testing it? I don’t know but if you are gonna integrated the Schema.org structured data and you offer discounts and products then you better add this markup as well.

10. Bonus for Advertisers

Adwords advertiser structured data in search results

Does it have anything to with the SEO for E-commerce?

Implementing the Structured data (formerly known as Rich Snippets) to your e-commerce store is an easy and effective way to improve the CTR (click through rate) of your result in Search.

Improved User Experience 

It is not possible to stay on the first result for every query, sometimes you are second, fourth or even eighth but that alone is an accomplishment in itself considering that it is very hard to get on the first page of Search result.

If the certain number of your pages rank well in the Search results then your job doesn’t end there. A human being on the other end has to click on those results and find it useful for them which can then be measured as a result.

If your site will have structured data implemented then that person on the other end is highly likely to see and click on it because it gives more information than other results which helps you stands out from the friendly competitors in SERP.

If you look at above situation from the Google’s perspective, they want to give a better and precise result for the users query so if you are giving more information in a structured format that is easy to understand and digest then you are helping Google to improve the user experience.

A virus called ‘Thin Content’ that is infecting your E-Commerce Business.

We all know that Content is a king, but why? that’s because people are looking for answers to their questions and there are few ways of providing those answers, the most common solution to provide answers is either in written format or in videos, so those two ways of providing information that is called content.

The point that I am trying to make is that people are trying to “Search” on Google and your page must provide those answers in the content format. Most E-commerce websites suffer from a problem called Thin Content which is or can kill the revenues of the business.

So, how should you tackle this problem of Thin Content? Here is a well-written article by Alan Smith on SEJ that explains the Thin content for E-Commerce, how it affects the SEO of your business and the steps you can take to improve it.

But…if you are still wondering if Structured data really has any effect on SEO, then wait for this last part.

If you ask “Is there any effect of Structured data on SERP?” to a webmaster tools analyst or anyone from the Google webmaster tools team, then they would straight up say ‘NO’, what they actually mean is that Structured data is not a direct ranking signal, meaning that adding the structured data alone won’t give you a position on the first page of search results.

But what helps you get into the first page of the result are Bounce rate and CTR which are the ranking signals and Structured data can impact both of them, So, the Structured data is an indirect ranking signal in my opinion. This is just the beginning of it, the future of structured data is bright.

How to Implement Structured data on E-commerce Website?

My Guess

I will give you the example code format for the each schema type. I’m guessing that you must be knowing how to read the code and add your own values into it. If my guess is wrong, then let me know so that next time, I will improve the tutorial for you, so then you can just copy / paste the code and it will run out of the box. The reason why I haven’t done that for this tutorial is because it will take a lot of time and I don’t know if it is required or not, so I will appreciate if you could help me get an idea of your skills.

Which format to use?

There are three types of formats that you can use for adding structured data: RDFa, JSON-LD and Microdata. All three of them are the semantic vocabulary for adding the same thing but there is a difference in the implementation process. I prefer the JSON-LD format because it is easy to use and manage, that’s the one that I would recommend you to go with.

I will show you how to implement each Structured data type. Let’s jump into it:

1. Product & Price


Product Structured data

2. Item Availability


Item availibility in Structured Data Testing Tool

3. User Reviews and Ratings


Reviews and ratings i Structured Data Testing Tool

4. Offers


Offers in Structured Data Testing Tool

5. Images


Image in Structured Data Testing Tool

6. Search Bar


Search box sitelinks in Structured Data Testing Tool

 

Over to you!

How do you handle the structured data for your E-commerce store? What’s your opinion on its effects on SEO?. If you have any other tips or tricks regarding this subject, then please share it with us in the comments.

If you have any questions or doubts, then please leave a comment or directly ask questions by emailing me on ahmed@ahmedkaludi.com.