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Introduction to Structured Data

Audience: Marketing & SEO

Technical depth: ★☆☆☆☆

Structured data is one of the unsung heroes of your ecommerce empire. While invisible to your ecommerce shoppers, structured data tells many analytical systems—especially Google—how to understand your website. This is especially true for user-generated content. To get star ratings and review counts from your Product Detail Pages (PDPs) to show in organic search results when shoppers search for your products, your PDPs must include structured data. Structured data helps search engines know what your pages are about. Search engines use structured data to identify which pieces of information should be displayed on their search engine results pages (SERPs).

When you see rich results—formerly called rich snippets—in a Google search, these are powered by structured data. For product ratings and reviews, rich results can include star ratings and aggregate rating details. Rich results help your pages stand out from others in the search results, but structured data does not directly boost your page ranking.


Rating stars, average rating, review count, and price are all powered by structured data.

Emplifi builds its own structured data that appears on your website. We use the schema vocabularies at, which can show up in a variety of formats. Emplifi supports JSON-LD and inline microdata formats. Schema vocabularies help search engine providers agree on what data structures they expect to see, and help web developers know how to structure the data in their sites.

For ratings and reviews content, search engines pay the most attention to the AggregateRating entity. When your product appears in search results, the search engine provider can choose to display rating and review details alongside the result entry.

The presence of structured data is required for rich results, but search engine providers control whether and how they use structured data. Emplifi does not control the display of rich results on SERPs. Google provides structured data guidelines for products and review snippets. If you follow their guidelines, you have a better chance of getting desired SERP results.

Background resources

If you are unfamiliar with structured data and its search engine optimization (SEO) implications, here are a number of excellent resources. These articles explain what structured data is and how it’s related to SEO.

What's next?

Now that you have a handle on why structured data is important, see Working with Structured Data to learn how to set it up on your site, and Maintaining Structured Data for steps on troubleshooting common issues.

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