Content marketers often spend an inordinate amount of time crafting and publishing articles, white papers, infographics, and other pieces of content online. I often get hired by companies who tell me that they’re concerned because their content strategy is not working. More often, I find that they’ve got fantastic content… but no one can find them online. Their sites and pages are not optimized for search engines nor social media sharing. It’s like building a beautiful store with no roads leading to it.
We’ve discussed before how searchers see and click-through on your page on a search engine results page (SERP). It’s absolutely critical that you spend time thinking about what a search engine user is thinking and how you can best attract them over your competitors and get them to click-through on your link. This, of course, means title and meta description customization. We’ve shared how effective headlines will increase click-through rates by 80% on a SERP. And we’ve written about how meta descriptions provide you with a tool that can generate curiosity and improve the chances that the searcher finds your SERP entry as the most relevant.
It doesn’t stop there, though. Google actually offers an array of additional meta tag information that you can use to further enhance your search engine result page entries. Google describes this tagging as structured data markup with the standard defined at Schema.org.
You can enhance the appearance and coverage of your official website and presence in Search results by first establishing it with Google. By adding structured data markup to your site, you can enable more of your site’s functional and visual elements to appear directly in results and in Knowledge Graph cards. This makes it easier for users to recognize your official site and reach information you provide more easily when they search.
There are dozens of enhancements that you can include in your site, each of them with specific properties and targeting specific searches for your business, product, or service offering. If you’d like to see whether or not you’re using structured data and whether or not there are any issues with it, Google also provides a testing tool.
Each piece of structured data provides you an opportunity to stand out amongst your competitors! These are the road signs to help folks find your store.