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What Is Structured Data?
Given the fact that the majority of shoppers research products online, typically starting with a search engine, it makes sense that you would want to show your products pertinent information directly in search, rather than hoping your customers will click on your link to find what they wanted all along. In addition to using well thought out titles and descriptions, you should also consider using structured data to accomplish this goal of a better user experience. While stuctured data, as a whole, encompasses a huge variety of data that is useful in many more ways, this article will focus on how to leverage it to improve your listings in Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
We'll start with an example Google search result:
The product title is great (it includes a call to action, the tree's common and latin names, as well as the name of the merchant selling it) and it has a useful bit of text describing the tree, complete with targeted keywords used in a way that don't sound unnatural.
But, what if we could make the listing even more useful to our target audience?
What if we could show them something like this:
Now, we've got all of that useful information that made the original listing great, but we've also included product ratings, our price, the fact that this product is available to be purchased, and a link to view other products. The benefits of this are pretty broad, including a better user experience, a result that stands out visually, and a reduced bounce rate for click-throughs.
How Do I Implement It?
Glad you asked! Given the fact that your Bigcommerce store already holds this data in variables, it's far easier to set this up in your store than it would be in a traditional webpage.
From your control panel, navigate to DESIGN > TEMPLATE FILES and edit Panels/ProductDetails.html. Paste the following piece of code at the very bottom of the file, and save.
<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Product">
<meta itemprop="name" content="%%GLOBAL_ProductName%%">
<meta itemprop="description" content="%%Page.MetaDescription%%">
<meta itemprop="image" content="%%GLOBAL_ThumbImageURL%%">
<div itemprop="aggregateRating" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/AggregateRating">
<meta itemprop="worstRating" content="1">
<meta itemprop="bestRating" content="5">
<meta itemprop="ratingValue" content="%%GLOBAL_Rating%%">
<meta itemprop="reviewCount" content="%%GLOBAL_ProductNumReviews%%">
<div itemprop="offers" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Offer">
<meta itemprop="price" content="%%GLOBAL_ProductPrice%%">
<meta itemprop="priceCurrency" content="USD" />
<link itemprop="availability" href="http://schema.org/InStock" />
<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Organization">
<meta itemprop="name" content="%%GLOBAL_BrandName%%">
...And there you go. That was it!
How Can I Test It?
If you want to see the structured data in action, go to http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets and enter in one of your own product URLs. You'll see a result similar to this: