In the last two articles, we explored how schemas help with Google generative search experience and how to implement schemas correctly on your website.
In this article, we will discuss the KPIs that schemas impact and how to track the impact and ROI of your schema deployment.
KPIs that Schemas Impact
The first step in measuring the impact of any initiative is to set the right expectations. Schemas help search engines understand your content and surface it better in search results for relevant queries. As a result, the main KPIs that schemas impact are:
- Rich Results and SERP coverage: Rich results or universal listings are when content appears as more than just a blue text link and a snippet in search results. You can track the impact on rich results visibility on Google Search Console. Milestone’s Schema Manager has comprehensive reporting on the impact of schemas on a wide range of rich result types.
- Average Position: As a result of better search appearance, there can also be an improvement in the average position for relevant terms. However, keyword ranking is not a primary impact because it is impacted by a number of other factors like personalization, search history, device, location and more.
- Impressions: Since rich results are prominently displayed on the search results page – usually at the top – appearing in more rich results would result in higher impressions for your content.
- Clicks: As the visibility of your content in search results improves, you will see an increase in clicks to your content
- Click-through Rate: The final primary metric impacted by schemas is the click-through rate (CTR) from the search results. Impressions, clicks, CTR and average position can be tracked through the performance reports in Google Search Console.
- Potential Cost Saving: Milestone Schema Manager reports on the cost savings achieved as a result of schema deployment. This is the estimated cost it would require to acquire the additional visitors to your site through paid campaigns.
- Secondary metrics: As a result of growth in the site’s search visibility, schemas can have a positive impact on a number of secondary metrics like the total number of terms that your site ranks for, organic traffic to the site, improved engagement that can be measured by the impact on bounce rate, session duration and page views per session. Finally, as a result of the increase in relevant traffic to the site, schemas can also impact business metrics like leads, conversions, transactions and revenue. However, the growth in the secondary metrics is a by-product of the impact on primary metrics and should not be set as the main success metrics to measure the impact of schemas.
Setting Up a Baseline
To be able to effectively track the impact of your schema deployment, you should first set the baseline of the site’s performance across all the primary KPIs before deploying schemas. You could also include the secondary KPIs in your baseline report.
Setting Up Test and Control Groups
If your schema deployment is a proof of concept or pilot project within your organization, make sure you have baseline reporting of both the test group (pages on which schemas will be deployed) and the control group (pages where schemas will not be deployed). Ideally these two groups should be performing similarly in terms of the primary metrics before schema deployment.
Track Progress Against the Baseline
Once the schema deployment is complete, start tracking the performance of the site on all the metrics on a periodic basis. In most cases, monthly tracking is optimal. You could also track the impact more frequently (weekly or twice a month) to align with your internal reporting cadence.
What If the Impact is Underwhelming?
Across over 10,000 deployments, we have seen that schemas are among the highest ROI initiatives with the fastest impact. Across industries, we have seen an average growth of at least 28% in organic performance.
However, if you do not see growth like these after your schema deployment, here are some of the potential causes:
- Schema Vocabulary: Check whether you have leveraged all the schema types and their attributes while marking up your content.
- Schema Architecture and Nesting: The architecture and nesting of schemas helps search engines understand the context and relationship between entities tagged by schemas. If this nesting is incorrect, the results could be underwhelming.
- Entity Coverage and Interconnectedness: When schemas are deployed correctly, entities and content elements on the page get interconnected into a knowledge graph. Ideally, there should be no or very few disjointed groups within the knowledge graph. The more inter-connected the content elements, the better search engines will be able to understand them.
- Errors and Warnings: Finally, check for errors and warnings. You can use Schema.org’s schema validator tool or Google’s rich results testing tool to check for correctness of your schema deployment. You should also monitor Google Search Console for schema errors and warnings. Errors are a result of incorrect schema deployment. When search engines encounter an error, they ignore the schema. As a result, schema deployment with errors is as good as not deploying schemas. Warnings on the other hand could be opportunities to enhance your content and tag more optional content elements to maximize schema coverage.
If none of these measures help you identify what could be wrong, you may need help from specialists to diagnose and fix the problems. Talk to us and we will be happy to help you maximize your search performance with advanced nested schemas.
Milestone drives online discovery and customer acquisition with our proprietary digital presence platform. The Milestone platform combines Website CMS, Schema Manager, Local listings, Reviews management, FAQ Manager, and Analytics in one easy-to-navigate space.
Over 2,000 companies across hospitality, retail, fintech, and automotive industries trust Milestone to drive online growth. Milestone is proud to be a trusted partner to large enterprises, mid-market companies, and SMBs, including Marriott, US Bank, One Nevada Credit Union, VMWare, Nissan, McDonald’s, Motel6, Preferred Hotels, Sun Outdoors, and SeaWorld.
Annually, over 300 million visitors use websites developed on the Milestone CMS, 540M consumers click on content powered by Milestone Schemas, and 3.7B consumers search for businesses powered by Milestone Local. The Milestone platform is amongst the highest-rated MarTech platforms with awards and recognition from Forrester, G2, Adrian Awards, US Search Awards, Search Engine Land, CMS Wire, and many more organizations. For more information about Milestone, please visit www.milestoneinternet.com.