Kenichi Suzuki: A Structured Data Case Study - How To Make Your Website Stand Out In Search

Kenichi Suzuki, contributer at Faber Company Ltd. and Google Product Expert, gives us some great examples of how Structured Data has been implemented and tested for some of Japan’s top companies. The improvement of their search rankings is something to be noted. He also speaks about the hidden benefits of structured data that we should be aware of. Check out the recording of his live talk at BrightonSEO, April 2019.

Kenichi Suzuki's Transcript

Hello everyone, first things first, thank you for joining my session. I'm honoured to have you here today. In this session, I'll talk about structured data. But before diving into this topic, let me introduce myself briefly. My name is Kenichi Suzuki. I'm from Japan. Have you ever been to Japan? We’ll be hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo next year, we welcome you. I'm a Google product expert of the official Webmaster Help forum. I work for a company named Faber Company. The company provides a content marketing tool and heat map tool powered by AI. I've been writing articles on my SEO blog for 13 years. My blog is the most famous SEO blog in Japan, I'm not joking, it's true! That's my brief introduction, now let's get started. My session covers these three topics. First, I'll show you some case studies of Rich Results generated by Structured Data. Second, I'll explain the types of Structured Data for Rich Results which are currently available. Third, I'll refer to the hidden benefits you can gain from structure data.

So, how many of you have already implemented structure data? Did any of you get any positive results? I'll show you some successful case studies of rich result. As you probably know Rich Results are generated by structured data. First, Rakuten recipe. Rakuten recipe is one the most popular recipe sites in Japan. They implemented structured data for recipe. The results were eye-opening. Traffic to all the Rakuten recipe pages from Google search soared 2.7 times and the average session duration was now 1.5 times longer than before, as a Japanese techno geek, I'm proud of Rakuten recipes accomplishments. Next, Jobrapido. Jobrapido is a worldwide job search engine operating in nearly 60 countries. According to Google, the company's overall organic traffic grew by 150% and they've seen a 270% increase in new user registrations from organic traffic. They also noted a 15% drop in bounce rate. These improvements were due to Google's new job search. Technically, job search is called job posting, job posting is also called enriched search results because it's more visual and interactive than normal Rich Results.

Brainly is a Q&A forum for students. An ex Googler, is currently engaging SEO for the site. According to him the Q&A results achieved 15 to 25 higher click-through rate compared with normal search results. Do you know Google Dataset Search? It was launched last September although it's still in Beta. You can search statistic data such as the world population or the change in temperature in the UK. You can get your data included in Dataset Search by adding data set to structured data on your pages. Thanks to Dataset Search the Academy site PLOS doubled the traffic from Google search. As you can see I've shown four successful case studies. I would not claim you can always achieve such outstanding results just because you implement structured data but I'm sure you have witnessed the potential of structured data to enhance your search performance. Google supports various types of structured data for Rich Results, I'll show you some examples. Articles with structured data can be displayed as top stories in the carousel. You also need AMP to get the articles displayed as top stories in the carousel. Look at the right screenshot rating with stars has been around since the beginning it was once called Rich Snippets not Rich Results. If you have products or services on your site you can also show price and availability in Rich Results. I know of a case study where a travel site slightly increased its CTR after adding price in Rich Results.

Rich Results for events are helpful to those who are looking for fun activities, look at the upper right screenshot. Breadcrumbs is also a kind of rich results that are displayed by marking up structured data. Look at the bottom right screenshot, restaurant list shows multiple restaurants with a large thumbnail in a carousel. Specific structure data is required for restaurant to list. Structure data is also used in image search, pictures with structured data for recipe are given a badge, the badge indicates that there's a recipe behind it. Users can now look at attractive photos, attractive photos of real food in image search and retrieve their recipe. Badges are also given to products. It said more shoppers are drawn to visuals to directly purchase the products. Users no longer use image search just to look at pictures for fun; image search has now become one of the means for transactions.

I'd like to introduce two new rich results that are currently in the experimental stage. I can't guarantee Google will actually roll them out in the future. It's possible that Google may end them as a test. Anyway, let's take a look. The first one is "how to". Apparently slack is participating in the pilot program for "how to" Rich Results. This is a first result for "how to" create, a slash command. The steps are displayed in the search results. When you tap each heading it expands into more details. The page has schema or how to add structured data, structured data testing tool reveals it. How to is a super set of recipe, recipe is applied solely to cooking such as: "how to cook fish and chips" or "how to make tempura". On the other hand, "how to" cover wider ranges such as, "how to fix a flat tire" or "how to wear a kimono". The second one is FAQ. It may seem similar to Q&A but there are clear differences between them. With regard to Q&A; multiple questions on the page are not allowed, in other words you have to use a single question per page, in addition users must be able to submit answers. In general Q&A results are designed for forum type sites such as Reddit and Stack Overflow.

In contrast FAQ results can be implemented for content that has multiple questions on the same page and unlike Q&A; users don't or can't post questions or answers. The site owner creates questions and answers, for example: typical eCommerce sites have a FAQ page where shipping rates and a delivery option, return policy and other Q&A are provided together. FAQ results are designed for that kind of page. Does it make sense? Yes, thank you. Now you want to see what a FAQ results look like, they look like this questions from FAQ are listed under the normal snippet, they are pulled from the same page, they're expandable such as "how to" results, when you type each question the answer appears.

This FAQ result example was extracted from Suntory’s website, Suntory is a major food and beverage company from Japan. The company is especially famous for its whiskey and beer, I hear Suntory’s whiskey named Hibiki and Yamazaki are popular in the UK too. Suntory is participating in the pilot program for FAQ results. With regard to FAQ results schema or FAQ page is required as structured data. Remember FAQ and "how-to" are still experimental features so there's no guarantee if or when they will become available. So maybe you are now wondering what structure data Google supports for Rich Results? How many in Rich Results do you think are currently available? Ten? Twenty? Thirty? What? Let's take a look. You can find all the rich results which Google currently supports at developers site. I put the shortened URL on the upper right corner. Do not access the page now, check it after my session please you can download my slide later. Is that okay? Nearly thirty results are available at the moment and the number is expanding. You can also learn how to mock up this structured data from the documents.

Now you know what structured data are Google supports for rich results. I assume your next question should be, which structured data is suitable for my site or my page? Google gives you the answer on the "help" page. If you publish articles on your blog, article structured data is the right choice. If you sell physical products you'll want to implement structured data for a product or review. On the other hand breadcrumbs is suitable for any site. You can read the help article from the shortened URL in the centre. Well let me ask you a question, why do you add structured data on your pages? Your answer is probably, “because I want to get rich results displayed in my results”, you're right, but I say rich results is not the real benefit you can get from structured data, there are hidden benefits from it other than rich results. What I'm going to tell you now is endorsed by Gary Illyes.

Gary is webmaster trends analyst at Google Zurich, so trust me. I had lunch with him last November when he visited Japan, he loves my country and moreover Tsukimi. Tsukimi is a kind of ramen noodles. I asked him about structured data while eating the noodles. Let's dive into the secrets I got from Gary. Google supports all types and properties of Results are only a small part of the benefits you can attain from structured data they are mainly visual benefits. The critical role of structured data is to help Google understand your content better. Eventually you can get more opportunities for high rankings. Therefore add as much structured data as possible even if it's not used for rich results. The downside of adding a lot of structured data is that it may slow down your pages so I recommend adding structured data as long as it's closely related to your business.

Alright, I'd like to wrap up my session now. Here are key takeaways; rich results have the potential to enhance such performance as I've shown you successful case studies in the early part of this session. Choose wisely which structure data to implement. Find rich results that can produce a positive impact. Add as much structure data as possible and you'll get more opportunities to be visible in the search. Don't hesitate to add structured data even if is not used for rich results. All right, this is all for my session you can download my slides from the link in the centre. Thank you for listening. Thank you.

Kenichi Suzuki

Kenichi Suzuki

Kenichi, is a Contributor at Faber Company Ltd. but mainly working as a seminar instructor/speaker and a Google product expert.