The Use of Structured Data from Large Fashion Retailers – Case Study of River Island, Next and Cloggs
I like structured data, not because I have published 5+ articles (and more to follow), but because they are more than keywords. They are all about data that can be interpreted by search engine spiders and since they can be interpreted by search engine spiders they will be able to deliver more relevant results to users and above all these results appear in the form of rich snippets.
When we are looking for products from large fashion retailers the v majority of the snippets that we see on search engine results are plain, right? They look something like that:
*If we are lucky, we may see a snippet related to breadcrumb navigation J
However, how much better would it be, if we saw rich snippets in the search engine results, where more information would appear? According to other fellow SEO professionals, there has been a 30% increase in CTR (sorry, I don’t have the results of this research, but if I do, rest assured that I will upload it), by including structured data in the source code of each page.
So, by including microdata mark-up (or JSON-LD, or microformats or RDFa) we will be able to see these rich snippets below.
Rich snippets can be a game changer for large fashion retailers, since the competition is fearless. The key thing for all (large and small) fashion retailers is to understand the importance of rich snippets when they appear on search engine results.
Search engines are quite transparent, there’s meritocracy and no one can guarantee that a large fashion retailer can beat a smaller one just because this large has the resources to do so. In that sense, the proper use of structured data can help even smaller fashion retailers to get better CTR than the large ones, if the implementation is done right.
Without any further ado, we are going to work on 3 case studies of large fashion retailers, like River Island, Next and Cloggs. We will see the missing opportunities and great opportunities that can arise with the proper use of structured data for their product pages.
Two of these large fashion retailers (River Island and Next) are not taking advantage of the full potentials of the use of structured data. The other two case studies will indicate the best practices that are being implemented in the use of structured data.
Lack of Structured Data – River Island Case Study
First of all, with River Island (it’s one of the retailers I love their products), I picked a random product page in order to check their source code and see if they have structured data that could give us rich snippets:
That’s the plain snippet that we get for this page:
It’s almost a plain snippet (I said almost cause we see the breadcrumb snippet), because if we go the respective source code of this result and type ‘schema’ you can see that we don’t have any result. This means that the content of this product is not marked-up. We can be sure about that, when we check the source code of this product page (see below):
Lack of Structured Data- Case Study of next.co.uk
Another large fashion retailer whose products I am a big fan is Next. While I was checking on Google for various products from Next, I noticed this missing opportunity, with the lack of marking up their content.
Similarly to River Island, I did the same thing.
I checked the plain snippet of this product page:
But, I wanted to be sure about it and thus I went to the source code of the respective product page. (Let’s bear in mind that I am not looking for social rich snippets, like Twitter Cards, Open Graph Tags or Rich Pins which all are related to social media), but I am checking the for microdata mark-up within the source code(you can save time, by using the words: ‘schema’ or ‘itemprop’).
Unfortunately Next was not our case either, in terms of properly using structured data within their source code. Thus, the lack of marked-up content –either with microdata, JSON-LD, microformats or RDFa), brings us to the current result, which is the appearance of plain snippets in the search engine results.
Best Practice Case Study for Structured Data – Cloggs
Apart from large fashion retailers, there are other retailers like Cloggs, that do mark-up their content and they are rewarded in the search engine results by having their products appear in the form of rich snippets.
For confirmation purposes, I used indicatively a random product page from Cloggs.
As we see from this rich snippet, they have done something right because we see the rich snippet.
We see rich snippets related to:
- pricing and
You must have noticed that they use HTML code marked-up with microdata:
<div itemscopeitemtype=”http://data-vocabulary.org/Review-aggregate“> – It basically indicates that this item is a review but in this case it’s an ‘aggregated review’ because we are talking for multiple product pages that contain a collection of reviews and thus it should be in a review-aggregate format. It makes sense, right? For multiple product pages containing a collection of reviews, we use the review-aggregate format.
The proper use of the data-vocabulary.org, the predecessor of the schema.org (it could easily an item type on schema.org), for this property (Voting) can be reflected on the search engine results.
The price property is part of the schema.org/Offer (Offer is our item type) contains the price in the source code. The proper use of the item type including our property (price) can be reflected on the rich snippet that includes the price.
You must have also noticed that British Pound appears in the result (and not the Dollar sign for example) – that’s because the within the item type for the Offer, the people from Cloggs have included the Price Currency item property :
|<meta itemprop=”priceCurrency” content=”GBP”>|
The item property of Availability, under the section of the item type (schema.org/Offer) is properly placed within the source code. The right implementation can be reflected upon the indication on the rich snippet.
Someone would ask how come I don’t see an image? Here how it goes. Under the item type (schema.org/Offer), we could create an expected property (ImageObject) place it within the source code and that would make our product appear also in the form of an image on the search engine results.
As you may have seen smaller retailers have been using more systematically structured data for their product pages and thus they are rewarded with rich snippets, whereas larger fashion retailers are missing a great opportunity…
Should you have any case studies from large fashion retailers, where there’s the opportunity of improving the CTR in the SERPs, do not hesitate to share.