Maximize Shopify Store’s Potential: A Guide to Implementing Structured Data for Rich Snippets

Search Engines work hard to understand the content of your web pages, so they can serve your web pages’ content more effectively to their users. And, this is where Rich Snippets helps business owners provide contextual information about their web pages’ content to search engine bots using Structured Data. Still not convinced? Let me explain how Structured Data helps online businesses grow by enhancing their SERP results.

Search Engines use the contextual information provided by you to “glorify” your SERP results for users. They help you grab the attention of the search users, especially when your competitors are not using structured data to their advantage. Technically, there is no fixed length for a Google SERP.

However, a basic Google SERP snippet is 160 to 230 characters long – including your web page’s breadcrumb structure, your web page title information, and the meta description. Whereas, a rich snippet (SERP snippet containing rich information i.e. additional information) can contain more than 230 characters, which in some cases might even go from 400 characters on average to above 600 characters depending on the rich information it contains. Although Google says there’s no fixed length for SERP snippets.

Check the above image for example where both the search results contain 420 and 300 characters respectively. The more space your web page result covers on SERP, the lesser space you leave for your competitors. Rich snippets effectively compete with your competitors while providing more information to your target audience about your products. And while doing this, you get the chance to make it more attractive. For example, check the second image – how the web page result of Reliancedigital.in is more eye-catching than that of apple.com, which ranks higher.

Now, go back to the first image, and notice that the result from Verge.com is a product review

whereas Croma.com is a seller who typically has listed the price of the product in their search result and stated that the product is currently available for purchase. For a buyer searching with the intent to buy the product, the search result of Croma.com is more valuable and relevant than that of Verge.com even though their search result is more attractive due to the Star-rating schema.

This slight difference can impact your CTR and Conversion Rate exponentially and provides you with more chances to increase your revenue. In a case study published by Google itself, they stated how an Online Women’s Magazine named StyleCraze increased its CTR by 1.2 times just by simply implementing How-to Structured Data on their pages. In another similar case study, they stated how MX Player boosted their Organic traffic 3 times using Structured Data for their videos.

In a case study on Conversion Rate Optimization, they stated how ZipRecruiter, a job search platform increased its conversion rate by 4.5 times by implementing structured data on its job listing pages and activating Rich Snippets for its SERP results. It is clear that Rich Snippets are a useful tool to gain an advantage over your competitors in Search Engines and grow your business and revenues.

So, are you ready to see growth in your online sales? If yes, check below how you can identify the valuable structured data schema markups for your Shopify website and implement Structured Data for your web pages.

Identify Suitable Schema Markups for Rich Snippets

First of all, you need to identify structured data schema markups and the properties that you’d need for your Shopify website to implement structured data to your web pages and enable rich snippets.

Here is a list of structured data schema markups based on the pages in a Shopify store.

Structured Data Schema Markups for Product Pages

Product Schema

Product Schema is the most important schema markup for any E-commerce website including Shopify, helps you specify product-related information on your product pages for Search Engines.

Product Schema Example showing two examples of organic search snippet with rich results for search query "Apple MacBook Air M2". First results shows web page with 9/10 Star Rating and name of the reviewer. Second result shows web page with product details like storage type it has, size of the RAM, type of processor it has, and internal storage size along with its price in INR and availability in stock.

It lets you specify various properties of your products, including product name and description, image, color, product GTIN, brand, size and measurement, product material, product ID, SKU, weight, name of the manufacturer, etc.

In the following examples, Google is showing the option to compare Samsung Galaxy S9 with other similar phones for search query "Samsung galaxy s9", and has fetched product products details for Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+, Galaxy J600 and S9 4G. The represented product details include screen sizes, generation of the broadband tech, and storage capacity.

It has a few more specific types that let you represent some specific information about the product, such as the following:

  • ProductCollection, using which you can even represent your product combo and items
  • included in it.
  • ProductGroup, lets you represent the variety of products in an entire package.
  • ProductModel, lets you specify the model information about your products, making it easier for users to search for your products simply by the product model number.

You should know that if you have listed multiple variants of a product on your product page, then you can only specify the properties of a single variant using the Product schema. To be able to specify information for each product variant, you must create a unique page for each variant of the product.

Note: If you are using Product schema markup on your product pages, it is important to also specify one of the following properties for your products – Review, Aggregate Rating, or Offer.

Review Schema

The Review schema helps you specify that the product listed on the product pages has been reviewed by the real users, based on which you can calculate and specify an aggregate rating for the product to show on your SERP snippets and provide a basis for your products’ credibility.

Using the Review schema, you can specify the name of the user (the author property) who has given the review, the name of the product that is being reviewed on the product page, the rating (the reviewRating property) given by the user in the review, date when the review was published on the product page, the content of the review (the reviewBody property).

Google understands the ratings on a 5-point scale i.e., the 5-star rating or the percentage format. So, if you use a rating scale in your reviews different from the 5-star rating, then you must specify bestRating and worstRating review properties from the Rating schema to help Google understand the values for the lowest and the highest rating score.

Moreover, if you are asking users to review your product based on their positive and negative experiences, then you can also specify it in your Review section, so the search engines can identify whether the review text has a negative or positive context using the negativeNotes and positiveNotes properties of the Review schema.

Note: If you have specified the Review schema on your product pages, then make sure the reviews are listed on the product pages and the users can read the reviews on the page. Failing to do so might result in a manual penalty from Google.

AggregateRating Schema

The AggregateRating schema lets you specify that the product has an average rating based on multiple ratings and reviews given by the users on the product page. Google then uses this information to show an average rating of your product in its SERPs.

Using the AggregateRating schema, you can specify the name of the product being reviewed on the page, the total number of ratings (ratingCount property) or reviews (reviewCount property), and the average rating value in numeric or text format using the “ratingValue” property.

You should know that the value for the reviewCount property must always be higher than zero. So, if you have no reviews on your product page, it will show an error that the value for the reviewCount property must be positive. In such a case, it is best to disable the aggregateRating markup for that product using a logical expression.

If the rating scale you have used in your aggregate rating calculation is different from the default rating scale of 5-point, then you should also specify the numeric value for the lowest (worstRating property) and highest (bestRating property) value of the rating scale.

Note: It is mandatory to use the aggregateRating property of the AggregateRating schema if you have used the Review schema on your product pages.

Offer Schema

The Offer schema helps you specify the availability of the product in your stock, or if the product is being sold based on a pre-order basis.

Moreover, you can also specify the price of the product you are selling and the supported currency.

If you are a Marketplace, then you can also specify the total number of offers from the different sellers along with the minimum and maximum price for the product.

FAQPage Schema

The FAQPage schema is used for specifying the FAQ section on the product page and search engines use this information to show FAQs related to that product when a user is searching for the product with the web page’s result. However, at times, Google can also list your FAQ in its “People also ask” section of the SERPs.

When using the FAQPage schema, you will have to use the “name” property from the Question schema to specify the question on the page, the “acceptedAnswer” property to specify the accepted answer for that question with “text” property to specify the content of the accepted answer.

You should know that FAQPage schema shouldn’t be used if the users are allowed to ask a question and provide its answer by themselves on the product page. Also, each question on your product page must only have a singular answer.

Structured Data Schema Markups for Home Page

Organization Schema

Organization schema is used for specifying the information about your company or business. Using this schema, you can specify the name of your company, address, website URL, image, logo, contact information – telephone and email, type of the organization, description of the company, and social media accounts.

This helps Google build your company’s knowledge graph.

Moreover, when specifying the details of your company, you can use the third-party business listings of your company to provide context and credibility as a confirmation for the search engine bots. For this, you can use the “sameAs” property of the Organization schema and give reference to more credible third-party listings of your company such as Crunchbase, Clutch, G2, Trustpilot, or even your company’s Wikipedia page if you have one.

Moreover, if your organization has various subdivisions and departments, then you can even specify them using “department” property. A correctly implemented Organization structured data looks like this.

If your company has a unique type, such as an NGO or Research Organization, then you should use the more specific type of Organization schema to specify your company. Here are the various Organization structured data schema types:

  • Airline
  • Consortium
  • Corporation
  • EducationalOrganization (Has 6 more unique structured data types)
  • FundingScheme
  • GovernmentOrganization
  • LibrarySystem
  • LocalBusiness (Has over 100 unique structured data types)
  • MedicalOrganization (Has 8 more unique structured data types)
  • NGO
  • NewsMediaOrganization
  • OnlineBusiness (Has 1 more unique structured data type)
  • PerformingGroup (Has 3 more unique structured data types)
  • Project (Has 2 more unique structured data types)
  • ResearchOrganization
  • SearchRescueOrganization
  • SportsOrganization (Has 1 more unique structured data type)
  • WorkersUnion

Note: Businesses (including branches of an organization) that operate from a single physical location, should always use the “LocalBusiness” Schema Markup over the “Organization” Schema Markup.

WebSite Schema (for Sitelinks search box)

Google Search might automatically show a Sitelink search box in your company’s search results; however, using the WebSite schema can help feed Google the information about your company, understand your website or Android app, and ultimately control a few aspects of the Sitelink search box in search results.

Sitelink search box lets the user perform a search on your website right from

the Google SERPs, and presents all your web pages related to that search term, without the user having to visit your website.

However, it’s the best fit if your website has hundreds of pages and is

properly indexed by Google. This schema should always be implemented on your website’s home page. To be able to implement it for your Android app, you must have a functional website associated with it.

You should know that when using the “WebSite” schema markup on your website, you also use the “potentialAction”, and “query” properties of the “SearchAction” schema markup, which lets the users perform the searches.

Structured Data Schema Markups for All Types of Shopify Pages

BreadcrumbList Schema

BreadcrumbList is a type of ItemList schema that lets you specify the hierarchy of your inner pages. This helps search engine bots identify the relationship between a parent page and a child page, such as the relationship between category pages and product pages in each category, and navigate between pages when it crawls your website for indexing.

A primary benefit of it is that Google often shows the Breadcrumb structure of a web page in its SERP snippet. So, if you have correctly specified the breadcrumb structure of your Shopify pages, it helps users identify the page where they will land after clicking on the SERP snippet of your website.

WebPage Schema

The WebPage schema can be used for any type of page since it helps search engine bots understand the structure of a web page. You can use its various properties such as mainContentOfPage to specify the main section of the page, primaryImageOfPage to specify the cover image of the image, and specialty to specify the subject expertise of the web page, etc.

You should know that if you are using WebPage schema on your web pages, then the majority of other schema types are to be defined inside the scope of WebPage schema, including Breadcrumb, WebPageElement, ItemList, Organization, etc.

Moreover, WebPage schema has more specific types to define the different types of your web pages accordingly. These are as follows:

  • AboutPage: Used for specifying the overview page of the company.
  • CheckoutPage: Used for specifying the “Checkout” page.
  • CollectionPage: Used for specifying the collection pages.
  • ContactPage: Used for specifying the contact page of the company.
  • FAQPage
  • ItemPage
  • MedicalWebPage
  • ProfilePage: Used for specifying the profile pages of the company, such as company staff’s
  • profiles or board members’ profiles on the website.
  • QAPage
  • RealEstateListing
  • SearchResultsPage

VideoObject and ImageObject Schema

As the name suggests, the VideoObject and ImageObject schemas are used to specify a video and image on a web page respectively and make it easier for search engine bots to locate the media objects on your website to present in Google SERPs.

Since search engines can’t see the images and watch videos like us humans, these schema types let you give context about your media objects to

the search engines for a better understanding of the content inside it. It is important since Search Engines these days focus primarily on media content to enhance their users’ SERP experience such as images and video search engine pages by Google and Bing.

The VideoObject lets you specify if the video is a live recording, contains fun home activities for users to perform at their homes, the key moments in your video, and if the video contains educational content (the target users being

students and teachers).

The VideoObject schema markup is quite useful especially if you often

create instructional videos related to your products. Whereas, the ImageObject schema markup lets you specify the images used on your web page and provide context for them such as the name of the image, alt text, image caption, image dimensions, and even image thumbnail.

Structured Data Schema Markups for Collection Pages

ListItem Schema

ListeItem helps you specify that there is a list on the page, consisting of multiple products in a serialized order, instead of a single product. This helps search engines identify that the page consists of a list of products, where each product in the list might have its basic information such as the name of the product, its numeric position in the list, product image, product page URL, link to the next and previous item in the list, etc.

Structured Data Schema Markups for Other Types of Pages

How-to Schema (for Instructions Pages)

The How-to schema is used for specifying any product-related instructions on your web pages. Google can show this information in any of the two ways – List format or Crousel format.

Using this schema, you can specify the title of the how-to instructions with the cover image, the total time to follow the instructions, products or tools necessary to follow the instructions, and the title for each step in the instructions with the content of that instruction, image, and URL.

You can also use this schema to specify the steps in your instructional videos.

Note: You can specify only one how-to on a single product page.

Check Your Shopify Theme for Existing Schema Markups

Various Shopify themes now come with a built-in Rich Snippets tool. So, check if your Shopify theme already includes this. You can either check your Shopify theme documentation to see if it includes such a feature. Or, run all of your various Shopify page types through the Rich Results Test tool to ensure that your Shopify theme already includes the basic structured data in the theme code.

If not, you will have to add structured data to your Shopify site. You can do it either using a Shopify app for Rich Snippets or SEO or you can do this by modifying your theme to manually include the schema tags in your Shopify website code. I would recommend using a Shopify App for Rich Snippets or SEO that is simple to use to implement structured data.

Add a Structured Data App to Shopify Website

Find a Shopify App that’s best for you. I have named a few apps that are most used for adding structured data to a Shopify website. These apps use JSON-LD structured data format to specify your product information.

Yoast SEO

Install Yoast SEO for your Shopify website, for free from the Shopify App store. After installing Yoast SEO, go to the settings and visit the “Schema” section, then follow the below steps to configure the tool.

  1. Click on the “Site Representation” option, and provide the following information about your Shopify store – the name of your business, the logo, and social media profiles.
  2. Click on the “Schema Output” option and check all the enabled schema settings for your website. By default, Yoast SEO has all the schema output settings enabled.
  3. Now, go to the “Content Settings” section and configure your schema settings for each type of page you have. You can tweak the schema settings for the following pages:
    1. Home Page
    2. Blog Posts
    3. Any other individual pages

Note: You can’t tweak the schema settings for product pages and collection pages.

JSON-LD Express for SEO

You can install the app from the Shopify App store after making a one-time payment of USD$35. Once you have installed the app, follow the next steps.

  1. Search the app in your Shopify Dashboard Searchbar, and click on it to visit the app dashboard.
  2. On the dashboard, activate the app by selecting the “Active” radio button, and clicking on the “Submit” button to save your settings.
  3. Now, scroll to the “Business Details” section below it, and provide the link to your Shopify store logo along with the minimum and maximum price information.

SEO, Schema, JSON‑LD

You can install this app for free from the Shopify App store. After installation, follow these steps to set up schema settings for your store:

  1. Visit the app dashboard and identify the schema settings that you’d need to enable. The following must be specified to provide basic structured data settings for your Shopify store.
    • Breadcrumb Rich Snippet
    • Product Rich Snippet
    • Product FAQ Rich Snippet
    • Local Business Rich Snippet
    • Logo Rich Snippet
  2. After enabling the schema settings, customize the schema settings by filling in the necessary fields in each schema setting. You can’t customize the setting for Breadcrumbs and Product FAQ Schema.
  3. Now go back to the app dashboard and click on the “Add Snippet” button for Product FAQ schema to add product FAQs.
  4. Now set up the FAQs by providing the title of the page where you want to add product FAQs.
  5. Once done, search the product in the “Product Search” field if you want to associate the FAQ with a specific product.
  6. Now click on the “+” sign and provide the text for the question and its answer.
  7. Click on “Save” to submit the settings.

I would recommend using a Shopify App that suits you the best but also comes with a one-time fee instead of a monthly subscription.

Validate Structured Data using Schema Markup Validator/Rich Results Test

Once you have generated the structured data schema markups for your Shopify pages, you can test the generated code block of schema markups using either Schema Markup Validator provided by Schema.org or Rich Results Test by Google.

I would personally recommend testing your schema code block using both tools. The simple reason being the Rich Results Test validates your schema markup code for Google SERPs only as compared to the Schema Markup Validator that validates it for Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex.

However, since Google SERPs have snippets that are far more advanced than other Search Engines, Schema Markup Validator is best suited for general testing purposes. In contrast, the Rich Results Test is best suited for creating schema markups for Google’s SERPs that include various types of featured snippets and provides a more visual representation of your web pages in Google SERPs. It even lets you test your pages for Desktop as well as Mobile devices.

Valid Your Shopify Pages Again for Any Errors or Warnings

After successfully implementing the schema markups on your different types of Shopify pages, now test those pages using the Schema Markup Validator and Rich Results Test again to ensure any errors or warnings that you might have.

Adding Structured Data to Your Shopify Website Manually (Recommended for Shopify Experts)

Create Structured Data Schema Markups for your Shopify website

You can create structured data markups for your Shopify websites by simply using Structured Data Markup Helper from Google, a visual tool that lets you generate schema markups for your Shopify pages.

Apart from Google, many other companies have made their versions of the Structured data generator that are pretty simple to use.

Using any of these tools, you can create structured data for different schema types that you’ll be using on your Shopify store.

Visit Shopify Admin and Customize Theme

Now, visit your Shopify store’s admin dashboard and click on the “Customize Theme” button under Customize Theme section that will take you to the Themes management page.

Edit Shopify Theme

On the Themes management page, you’ll find the name of your Shopify theme along with relevant settings. Now, click on the “Actions” dropdown menu and select the “Edit Code” option from the dropdown list.

It will take you to the page where you can see your theme files.

Select theme.liquid in the Layout folder

Now, you’ll find a theme file named “theme.liquid” under the Layout folder on the left sidebar. Select the theme file and you’ll see the theme design code written in it. This theme file is best suitable for adding schema markup for header and organization.

Or, you can add it to the theme file named “header.liquid” under the Section folder.

Locate <head> tag

Now locate the head section in the theme file, defined using the “<head>” tag. Although, we can define the schema markup anywhere in the head or body, defining it in the head is the best practice, so it gets easier for search engine bots to locate the schema markups on your web pages.

Paste the Structured Data Schema Markup Code

Now paste the schema markup code in the head section of the file.

Save the theme file

Now save the theme file to submit the changes.

Verify Schema Markup

Once you have saved the file, now you can test your web page using Schema Markup Validator or Rich Results Test to see if the implemented schema markup is working properly.

Note: To add schema markup manually to your Shopify theme, you need to add the structured data schema to the correct theme file. For example, for structured data related to products, you can add it to the theme file named “product.liquid”.

Choosing a Suitable Structured Data Format for Your Shopify Website

Check which format of structured data is good for your Shopify website based on what type is preferred by your current Shopify theme.

Microdata

Microdata is the implementation of schema markups in HTML format. Since HTML is a pretty common language for anyone familiar with Web development and designing, it is easy to implement schema markups in your website using Microdata.

When specifying information about your products or website using Microdata format, you must define the information using the following tags:

itemscope

This tag lets you define the scope of the schema markup type being used to access the relevant properties. It is necessary to use this tag in the main div of the item along with the itmetype tag.

Also, when specifying nested structured data, it is important to

clearly define the scope of the structured data type, so that they don’t clash with one another, such as using the Question and Answer schema inside the scope of FAQPage schema.

itemtype

This tag lets you provide the context of the information mentioned on the page. The structured data class is passed to the tag as a value so search engines can understand what the provided information is about.

itemprop

The itmeprop tag let you access the different properties of the schema types you are using to mark up your information.

JSON-LD (Highly Recommended)

JSON-LD is another most simplified implementation of Schema markups that use JavaScript (JS) notations. Google recommends the implementation of Schema markups in JSON-LD for two reasons:

  1. In JSON-LD, schema markups and their values are defined together in a single script as compared to Microdata where schema markups are defined with the data values visible on the page for the users, making it easier to express for Google search bots.
  2. JSON schema markups can even be used even if certain data is being dynamically added on the web page using <script> tag like price information on button click, unlike HTML.
  3. RDFa (Resource Description Framework in Attributes)

This Schema markup format is recommended only to embed the RDF statements in HTML, XHTML, and other XML types.

Common Shopify Structured Data Errors and Warnings

Missing Field Warnings

Missing field warning populates if you forget to specify a necessary property correlated to another schema property from a Schema Markup type that you have specified on the web page. Some of the common missing field warnings are as follows:

  1. Missing field “url
  2. Missing field “name
  3. Missing field “brand
  4. Missing field “item
  5. Missing field “aggregateRating
  6. Missing field “itemReviewed
  7. Missing field “author
  8. Missing field “acceptedAnswer.text
  9. Missing field “position” (in “itemListElement“)

Value in property ‘reviewCount’ must be positive

This error occurs when the value you have passed on to the “reviewCount” property of the AggregateRating schema, is lower than 1. That is, the aggregate rating given to the page is based on at least one review. If any of your product pages have no review, it will throw this error message in Google Search Console.

Incorrect Value Type

This error occurs when you have passed an incorrect value type in a schema property, such as the “ratingValue” schema property can only accept values in numeric (decimal value using the “.”) and text format. So, if you have specified decimal value using “,” (comma) instead of “.” (full stop), it will throw this error message in Google Search Console.

Invalid object type for field “author”

This error occurs when you have specified the “author” schema property without providing its corresponding schema entity.

Either “name” or “item.name” should be specified (in “itemListElement”)

This error occurs when you have specified an item in the ItemList without providing the value for its “name” property.

Conclusion

We have seen how structured data can provide you with an advantage and exposure against your competitors by enabling rich snippets for your Shopify website. Not only it is easy to understand, but it is also easy to implement especially using Shopify apps. However, it is important to know that the correct implementation of structured data will always result in a benefit, whereas incorrect implementation can create confusion for search engines in understanding your web pages.

As the Search Engines are growing more rapidly and making improvements to build more smart SERPs for their users, it has also provided a way for online businesses to increase their online sales and tap into growth just by making their websites more relevant for search engines using simple improvements. And, structured data is one great proven example of that!

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