Structured data is a visibility factor

Mandalorian meme: Structured data, this is the way

Schema structured data may not be a ranking factor in the traditional sense, but it is most definitely a visibility factor.

If it weren’t for structured data – and good IA and SEO best practices – Paramount+ and CBS episodes wouldn’t appear in video-rich Google Search results. Instead, Google would only display YouTube videos, as they do for every other streaming service. 💅

Video rich results
Video rich results in Google Search for the TV series, Evil

The reason why structured data creates visibility in Google is that it disambiguates unstructured page content and increases the algorithm’s confidence that it’s relevant to the searcher’s query. And with certain types of entities like video, it provides Google with additional data it can use to verify the content.

Google Search processes and visualizes structured data for its results in many ways, but most sites don’t fully take advantage of them. Perhaps the lowest hanging fruit regarding Google Search and structured data is optimizing the blue link search snippet. Putting the extra effort can bring significant attention to a search result snippet and increase its click-through rate (CTR).

This Level Bolt review provides an excellent example of how you can enhance a search snippet by adding more relevant structured data to the page.

Level Bolt review search result snippet
Google Search blue link snippet that’s optimized from using structured data

That review page uses the following optimizations to enhance the snippet:

  1. BreadcrumbList further highlighted with emojis
  2. Pros and Cons using positiveNotes and negativeNotes
  3. Review using Rating
  4. Listing the reviewer using author
  5. Deep links using URI fragments

I’ve found that CMS plugins that automatically generate Schema structured data are good but are limited. I’ve had the most success creating custom blocks in WordPress, which is how I added the structured data to that review. And if all of this sounds too complicated, consider hiring a structured data specialist like Dave Ojeda.

Bottom line, maximizing the structured data opportunities for your site is worth it, even if you have to hire someone to do it for you.