Increase CTR Using Schema Mark-up

Alex Barrowclough
By Alex BarrowcloughSEO Manager
5 minutes to read

These days it is getting harder and harder to stand out from the crowd in the search engine results pages, this can be even more painful if you are an e-commerce site due to the sheer competitiveness in most markets. So what can you do about it?

One really effective option you have is to introduce Rich Snippets or Schema Mark-Up as it is also known on to the product pages of your website. In this article we will discuss what Schema mark-up is, how to implement it on your website and the positive effect it has within the search engines, in addition to the benefits it offers to both potential customers and online store owners, to the key metrics for your site.

What is Schema?

It is a well-known fact that historically search engines read content but don’t understand what it is about. Moving forwards search engines are working towards understanding what the content is about to then be able to serve users the most relevant websites/information in their results pages. Schema mark-up offers a way of highlighting areas of your websites code/content which then informs the search engines of specifically what the content is about, this then gives them a much better understanding of your products or services and in turn provides more accurate and informative search results to search users.

There are 2 main ways of implementing Schema Mark-up to your website, the first option is to edit the source code of the site itself or, another options is to use the Google Highlighter tool in Google Search Console (Google Webmaster Tools).

This seems like a lot of work, and we can hear you all asking, what is the benefit for me?

There are 2 points to be made here which will make you change your mind, firstly it is incredibly easy to implement through the use the Google Highlighter tool and secondly on average a search result with a rich snippet (the result of schema mark-up) sees an increase in click through rate of 30%.

Ok, so let’s look at the further benefits.

If you were a customer, what you would like to see? Reviews? Prices? Stock levels? Would that help influence you clicking on a search result?

Imagine a customer is looking for a new pair of football boots, they have done some initial research and know the boots they want, they would enter a search query in the search engines such as ‘adidas predator instinct’..

In this scenario, if you sold this product in your online store, Schema Mark-up can really help your websites listing stand out in the search engine results pages. You (the store owner) can tell the search engines what information is important and highlight it to your customer. For this specific product you could highlight the following information:

  • Stock availability
  • Price
  • Star rating
  • Reviews

Schema doesn’t just make it easier for search engines to find and display your content from your site. It can give the user a much more in-depth sense of what the webpage contains and detailed information for specific queries/products.

It can provide your listing with more key information and help it stand out above your competitors, consequently increasing the click through rate to your product pages, content or site.

What does Schema look like?

Below is an image of the search results for a pair of Adidas Predator Instinct football boots. We have highlighted in red the additional information brought in by the use of Schema mark-up you can see the additional information that has been included in the organic listing as ‘Adidas’ have implemented Schema mark-up on their website. When compared against the search result above for Sports Direct who do not have any Schema mark-up on their page, you can see the difference, Sports Directs listing does not show any additional key information such as product rating, price or stock availability and as a result we would expect that although Sports Direct ranks higher, the adidas store will potentially have a better click through rate.

 

How can Schema Mark-up be applied?

Applying Schema using code

Schema can be added manually but it is quite straight forward to do… Schema provides a huge range of mark-up types that are organised in to themes that suit the topic of your site or page. This includes themes such as events, movies, reviews, person, local businesses and many more.

Once you select the suitable theme for your page (you can only choose one theme per page), you then choose the content on your site you would like to highlight to the search engines. When selected then take the micro-data that is provided on schema.org and apply it to the content of the webpage. With the different Schema elements added to the HTML code of your page it is then able to provide the search engines with the extra information that will then appear in your organic listings.

Although manually identifying every property on a page can seem to be quite time consuming and an irritating task, you only usually need to make the changes to a page template, then it can be rolled out across your site. It is worth applying schema mark-up to as many pages as you can to maximise the information your organic listings provide. If you are unsure how to do this you can always speak to your development team!

For more information on how to implement Schema on your site click here.

Applying Schema mark-up through Google Webmaster Tools

If you are not HTML savvy or do not have a development team at your disposal then don’t worry, a great alternative to using Schema mark-up is the data highlighter tool within Google webmaster tools. This tool is very simple and easy to use.

 

You simply have to find the content on the page which you want to help Google identify, then use the Data highlighter to tag the data. These tags include (Location, reviews, name etc.) For more information just click here.

 

In Summary

Schema mark-up is definitely a tool not to be missed. It’s a tool that enables the search engines to understand your content and push it to the correct audience therefore improving your organic listings and increasing your overall click through rate.

Schema mark-up can be used by anyone due to its huge variety of properties that are relevant to hundreds of businesses and topics. It is also worth noting that it is a free tool to use, so with it being so easily implemented why not just give it a try and see if it can have a positive impact on your sites overall organic performance and listings, what have you got to lose?

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Articles by Alex Barrowclough

Hey I'm Alex! I am an SEO Manager at Enjoy Digital. Love to talk about the ever changing digital industry, focusing on organic and paid search.