Structured data is a missed opportunity for many companies, even those already focusing on their websites’ search engine optimization. While taking advantage of schema markup to enhance search results isn’t uncommon, many companies ignore the opportunities they have to improve their online presence. One of the best ways to use structured data if you own a business with a physical location that customers visit is to leverage structured data for your local SEO.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO refers to search engine optimization practices meant to boost the rankings of a site for keywords related to a specific region, town or city. It is often designed to boost the Google My Business listings of companies and ensure they show up in SERPs when customers search for terms related to the business.
What is Structured Data?
Structured data is data that has been placed on a website using schema markup. Google can pick up that data and display it on search in ways other than standard search results. When you search Google and see tables, graphics, business listings, calendars of events and other types of search results, it is typically the result of a website using structured data.
Local Business Cards
The best way to leverage structured data to boost your local SEO is to place “Local Business” schema markup on your site. There numerous forms of schema markup one can use to place structured data on their site, but Google recommends J-SON-LD. When a company uses schema markup to denote that their local business information on their site, they can receive a “local business card” at the top of Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Local business cards run across the top of a SERP, similar to Google Shopping ads. They are formatted into a small square box that will contain the name, address, and contact information of the local business. If your site ranks well and has a local business card, it will show prominently at the top of the page before users even scroll down to the standard organic search results. These cards’ prominence leads to higher click through rates and more traffic for both websites and existing business listings.
Ratings and Reviews in SERPs
Another excellent way to leverage structured data to enhance your search engine optimization is to ensure you’ve marked up any positive ratings and reviews for your business on your site. By adding schema for reviews and aggregate ratings into your schema markup for your local business, ratings and reviews will appear both as part of your local business cards and even under your site’s organic listing. If you have strong reviews and ratings, this can help convert more users into site visitors, as it will immediately increase customers’ trust in your brand.
Your local business’s SEO can benefit from strategic use of structured data. Enhancing your local search results will help improve click through rates and draw more potential clients to your brand. If you find out about more search engine optimization techniques to help your business, schedule an appointment with Mountain Media.