How Structured Data Improves B2C SEO
There has been a significant shift in B2C marketing strategy from physical retail to e-commerce in recent years. As a result, customers are spending more time on the internet, which means search engines are an important starting and ending point for most buyer’s journeys. Given the sheer amount of content and advertisements on the number, the biggest challenge through all of this is reaching and engaging your customers. Attention is the asset. This is what makes SEO valuable. By getting to know what they are searching at every stage of the funnel, you can reach them with perfectly tailored, personalized content to educate them, generate further demand for your brand, and ultimately drive conversions for your products and services.
Businesses that aren’t already optimized for online shopping and ordering need to be. This is where technical SEO comes in. It doesn’t matter if you deliver an exceptional user experience. All that effort is wasted if Search Bots can’t crawl and index your web pages. So you need to ensure your website can be easily found and understood by Google. This way, all those FAQs and reviews and blog posts, as well as pages with product and service information, are indexed and matched with relevant search results.
In this post, we will be looking at one technical SEO strategy in particular, the use of structured data markup to help search engines contextualize your content and even amplify it in applicable search results.
Incorporating Structured Data Into A B2C SEO Strategy
Structured data is the preferred language of communication between internet content and Google’s Search Bots. This doesn’t just help Google understand your website. They take it one step further to your benefit. When websites markup their content with this machine-to-machine learning language, Google qualifies it for a new organic search experience called rich results which embed features like FAQs, How-Tos, Ratings, and Reviews directly in the search results alongside the standard blue link. There are currently over 30 rich result types and almost all of them are applicable and valuable to B2C businesses.
Layering your website content with structured data markup and qualifying for rich results is one of the best ways to stand out from the competition in search results. These enhanced features help make your business the preferred option for target customers to shop because you are effectively satisfying their queries faster and accomplishing more of the research and purchasing phases of their customer journeys directly on the search results page.
Think about the value of showing smarter content like a list of frequently asked questions or product pricing and availability embedded below the blue link. Think of the benefit of capitalizing on user-generated content that does the content marketing for you like ratings and reviews positioned similarly on the search results page. These enhancements significantly distinguish your results from other links that customers are scrolling through, generate more impressions, and encourage more click-throughs to your site. Google has spoken at length about how, in this day of age, satisfying immediacy is even more important now than brand. Rich results serve this purpose.
Let’s look at how structured data can serve your brand at every stage of the buying process in the organic sales funnel.
Top Of The Funnel Structured Data Example
It’s all about awareness. At the top of the funnel, most B2C consumers are “window shopping” — they’re looking at a wide range of products that could fulfill their needs. You want your brand to gain visibility and get on the radar of your target audiences. The SERPs are your first point of contact with potential customers and structured data helps with the first impression. Say you represent a direct to consumer bone broth company. You could markup a bone broth recipe on your site to qualify for the associated rich result, which would embed the directions in an applicable search result. When your target audience makes that query, they will see that recipe standing out among the other blue links and likely engage with it. This is just one example of how rich results can help you stand out and also be useful on top of the funnel search results.
Middle Of The Funnel Structured Data Example
It’s all about consideration. Now that someone knows about your brand, this is the phase where they are considering whether or not to purchase from you. This is where you really want your brand to stand out. Structured data can help you differentiate from the competition. Say you represent a watch company. You could layer your product page with markup that qualified for rating and review rich results. This level of transparency and social proof embedded directly on the search results page could be a deciding factor when your target audience is using it as a reference point against the standard blue links of competing watch companies.
Bottom Of The Funnel Structured Data Example
It’s all about conversion. At this final stage of the buying journey, customers are very close to making a purchase. They’ve narrowed down what they want to buy, consumed some helpful informational content, looked at ratings and testimonials, and now they are about to buy from you. At this point, the customer might still be considering another option or company to purchase from. To ensure they’ll pick you, it’s helpful to make your purchasing process as frictionless as possible. Structured data can help via product markup. Say you are a t-shirt company. You can include crucial details from your product pages directly with rich results that embed information like availability and pricing alongside your blue links. If the buying decision comes down to convenience, this type of rich result can be a deciding factor.
In B2C marketing, the sales cycles are short or even spontaneous, the products and services tend to be less expensive, and buyers are typically looking to fulfill an immediate need. There is a short window to influence the purchasing decision. Structured data plays a pivotal role in holding customers’ attention and satisfying intent because rich results pull more information from your website directly into search results for them to consider and act upon. As we mentioned earlier, if attention is king, immediacy is queen. A structured data strategy serves both.
Rich Results for B2C SEO
As previously mentioned, there are 30+ rich results that you can qualify for via structured data. Here are 7 that move the needle most for B2C software companies:
- Product markup. Markup as much of your product content as possible to show information like dimensions, size, color, photos, and other applicable elements directly on the search results page.
- Ratings and Review markup. Selling a product without reviews and ratings online is difficult. Incorporating customer reviews and ratings in the search results signals quality and a good reputation.
- Pricing markup. Most customers are comparison shoppers determining what they want at the best possible price point. Prominently displaying this information in the search results demonstrates good faith and satisfies related queries faster.
- Video markup. Not everyone likes to read. That’s why it’s important to have videos showing tutorials, product or service demonstrations, and explainers directly on the search results page.
- FAQ markup. Having answers to the questions of your target audience readily available on the search results page raises your topical authority and increases qualified traffic to your website.
- Local Knowledge Panel Features. Elements like phone number, hours, address, maps, reservations, ordering, and photos of the business can be listed directly on the search results page. In today’s fast-paced world, displaying all of that information on the search results page offers instant visibility to your brand and obscures ads that would otherwise populate on the right-hand side of the page.
Huckabuy’s Structured Data Software Solution
SEO is a fundamental digital marketing strategy for most B2C operators. Selling the importance here is not difficult. But new technical initiatives have gained importance in recent years and structured data is one of them. Standard tactics aren’t going to cut it. More and more of the actions that take place in a traditional marketing funnel are happening directly on the search results page. By leveraging structured data, you can qualify for rich results that will enhance your blue links with more actionable and helpful information directly on the search page to help target customers satisfy the queries (and even transactions) faster than ever before.
If you are wondering how to incorporate structured data into your own B2C marketing strategy, Huckabuy has an automated structured data markup solution that facilitates the most fundamental and optimal conversation your website can have with the Google Search Bot. With the right conversation in place, it crawls and understands your content fully, makes new keyword associations, and raises your visibility in the organic search channel via rich results.
In today’s age, adding this technical piece to your overall B2C SEO strategy can set you far apart from the rest of the competition.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is B2C Marketing?
The strategies and tactics businesses use to promote products and services to individual people. One of the most important elements of a B2C marketing strategy is the use of search engine optimization (SEO) to reach, communicate with, and convert your target audience into customers.
What is the difference between B2C Marketing and B2B Marketing?
In B2C marketing, there are fewer decision-makers involved, the sales cycle is typically much shorter if not spontaneous, the products and services tend to be less expensive, and customers are often seeking solutions to immediate needs. Overall, there is a smaller window to influence consumer behavior.
What is B2C SEO?
B2C SEO is the process of reaching target customers through organic search. The best B2C SEO fulfills a purchasing need directly in the search results.