The steady decline in organic CTR has been a real challenge for search engines (SEO) over the past few years.
With competition in organic rankings increasing, the best way for SEOs to continue to excel is to shift their focus to SERP features And Rich resultsaccording Tanner ZoromskyDirector of SEO at Merkle, a customer experience management company.
Technical SEO is an effective way to increase this type of visibility with Structured data and schema markup. It is to explain:
- “We mainly want to make search engines’ lives easier with these technologies because as a result, they will reward us by ranking our content higher in the SERP and we will have more interaction from searchers.”
Here’s a summary of how to increase the visibility of structured data and testing schemas for SERP, as provided by Zoromski on SMX Advanced.
Research is changing
Research is always evolving. As the new features roll out, structured data can provide sites with the edge needed to communicate effectively and efficiently with search engines, Zoromsky explained:
- “I want to highlight here that Google continues to test and implement changes to search, and is relying more on information extracted from sites. We’re seeing more results that look like product listing pages – which provide clues as to the direction Google is looking to take with its product.
- “This means we need to ask how do we stay ahead of this. How do we communicate more effectively with search engines? And how do we make sure that despite these various changes, we are still present and appearing first?”
Understand the breadth of the scheme
The SEO expert went on to explain the importance of knowing what schemes are available and how to deploy them properly for maximum impact:
- “There are over 32 different types of charts that can be implemented to interact with over 16 different SERP features.”
- “Whether we’re publishing articles, blogs, or reviewing movies, it’s important to understand what scheme we can leverage to help search engines index our sites.”
Winning with product outline
SEO can run product schema, images, and descriptions across all pages to win feature snippets—otherwise known as zero positioning, as Zoromski explained:
- “Implement this kind of scheme to prevent traffic from going to competitors.”
- “Make sure your brand does its best and answers the questions consumers want to know about their products.”
- “Plus, make sure that the narrative stays on-site and on topic that your brand needs, so you win zero. Blueprint is the way to do it on this.”
Results to shout about
Zoromsky shared a case study that he personally worked on, in which his team was able to double organic sessions for a recipe website by correcting microdata and replacing it with structured data:
- “My team was challenged to review and process some incorrectly nested microdata that was causing errors in videos and article markup on a blog.”
- “When we looked at the SERP for this keyword, all of the top organic listings had structured data — there was no organic listing in the top search results, which underscores the need to implement structured data and be visible.”
- Our approach was to recommend to the customer that they remove the microdata and replace it with JSON LD encoding instead. As a result, we introduced JSON-LD templates for structured data types: Article, Video, Recipe, as well as Recipe with Video overlapping.
- As a result, structured data for recipes and articles resulted in a 101% increase in free sessions.
- “This is very clear evidence that having the scheme on those pages actually increased their visibility and engagement with researchers.”
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From a testing standpoint, Zoromsky advises building and monitoring your own SEO testing to track performance and take multiple factors into account, such as:
- Determine the affected metrics and dimensions.
- Build custom reports to monitor KPI performance.
- Determine testing schedules to ensure results within a specified period.
- Control internal and external variables such as developer releases and site promotions.
- Make room for assumptions that could affect results.
- Transfer results across teams.
Artificial intelligence and the future of the blueprint
following last Advances in artificial intelligenceZoromsky added that the scheme will certainly play a role in this area going forward — a situation that SEOs need to monitor closely. He completed:
- “With all the hype around ChatGPT, Bing and Bard, we’re seeing ramifications and impacts across the digital world – and SEO is sure to be affected.”
- “Search behavior will change as AI provides more answers in natural language rather than a list of links.”
- “As SEO specialists, we need to make sure that our sites in the future are equipped and able to react effectively to these various changes. So stay tuned and make sure you are on the cutting edge of this.”