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My website is a large one (with thousands of pages) and is performing reasonably well in SERPs for several competitive keywords. So far I haven't thought about structured data and rich search results. Are they worth the effort? I know they don't increase rankings but could make the results look appealing. Is there any benefit other than (hopefully) increasing the organic CTR by a small percentage (though not guaranteed)? Or am I missing a point that the CTR is going to multiply 2X or 3X after implementation?

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The best estimates I've seen is that high-value rich snippets drive 10% to 30% more traffic from search engines due to increased click through rate (CTR).

Most pages don't have an appropriate high-value rich snippet to implement. Google has a pretty small list of rich snippets that it will show. The best rich snippets are for pages about things like:

  • Products for sale
  • Recipes
  • User reviews
  • Local businesses
  • Job postings

Implementing more generic low-value structured data for breadcrumbs, articles, or logos may not even give a measurable bump in CTR.

Is it worth it?

Implementing structured data is often trivial. There is often a plugin for it that you can add to your CMS. Even if you have to program it yourself, the data is usually already in the page and all you have to do is change the markup. I've implemented far bigger changes in hopes of just a fraction of a percent increase in traffic for a large site.

I tend to worry more about making my site's data programatically available which makes it easier to scrape and misuse. I recommend only implementing structured data when there is a compelling benefit such as a measurable bump in search engine traffic.

Sources

I find that marketing firms tend to oversell structured data. There are a lot of articles touting its benefits. Very few give numbers and cite studies. Many make questionable claims and imply that structured data helps rankings even though no evidence of that exists.

I think this is because structured data is very actionable. Consultants can implement it for you and show that they have done something while hyping its potential. As such, approach articles about structured data and rich snippets with skepticism.

Here are a few articles that actually cite numbers. I based my 10% to 30% CTR increase estimate on these articles:

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  • Thanks for the detailed inputs with actionable references. I will go through the linked resources, cross-compare with my site's prospects and decide on implementing rich snippets.
    – Kannan
    Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 12:07

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