What is structured data or rich snippets?

by Zach

In the early days of search engines, the data showed on the SERPs (search engine results pages) was nothing more than a title and a little blue link. Today, every site Google returns has a little bit of text with it. The more effective that text is, the better your ability to get people to click on your site will be. Structured data is the data the search engines use to create that text, and the text itself is known as rich snippets. Here’s a closer look at how your dispensary can use this information to increase your online reach.

What Is Structured Data?

When search engine bots come across a website, they need data to help them understand the site and what it is all about. Since search engines are not humans, they need data presented in a language they understand. Search engines read Schema, which is essentially translating your site’s content into code. The code is how the search engines decide what content to display on your search engine results.

What Are Rich Snippets?

Snippets are the little blurbs that show up under the blue hyperlink on SERPs. However, rich snippets also include things like star ratings for your business, your locations, or your hours of operation. This information has a big impact on whether or not a search engine user will click on your website.

When someone Google’s “CBD edibles recipe,” your site may show up but is the description enough to convert the searcher? Does it have cook time labeled? Is it rated? Providing rich snippets is just another way to improve your website’s SEO.

How to Use Structured Data to Get Featured Rich Snippets

Structured data tells the search engines what your page is about. It also tells them what to display in your snippet. If you use structured data well, your snippet will be a better reflection of what is on the page and will be more enticing to the reader.

So how can you make this happen? Use to find the Schema vocabulary that will appeal to the search engines. Then, use markup code to add that vocabulary to the code of your site. If you are not a coder, you can use the Google Structured Data Markup Helper to generate the code and add it to the page. You can also find plugins that add the code to your page if you are publishing via WordPress.

Once you have the code in place, Google does the rest. If you aren’t pleased with how the snippet is showing, tweak the code to include more information. It takes time, but if you put in the effort you will be rewarded with a snippet that reflects the content of your site very well.

How Does Structured Data Help SEO?

Structured data is not considered a ranking factor. This means it does not directly benefit your rank location in Google. However, it can help your overall SEO plan less directly.

When your structured data helps you achieve rich snippets that are full of helpful information, you will get more clicks. Clicks show Google your relevancy, so you will rank better. Similarly, structured data can help you get into the coveted Knowledge Graph on the SERPs. This helps you increase your branding. Finally, structured data gives Google a better understanding of what your website is about. This helps the search engine show your information for relevant searches, even those that are particularly vague but related to your dispensary’s site.

Optimizing your dispensary’s site so it ranks well in the search engine is an ongoing process. You have to take the time to do it well, but the rewards are worthwhile. Structured data and rich snippets are just part of the picture, but they can be helpful to achieving your goals.