The goal of search engine optimization is to elevate the content you produce on the Web to the best possible search engine result pages (SERPs). All businesses and brands know the value of “being on page 1″, and many of them are putting valuable company resources toward that goal.
While being on page 1 of Google searches is important, and underlooked element of your SEO is how your search results actually appear on the SERPs.
This is where Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool comes in handy.
This tool allows you to simply enter a URL in to a field and with the click of a button, display how your page will be displayed on the SERPs to searchers.
Let’s look at an example:
Here we see a blog post published a week ago about Instagram’s new layout changes. By inputting the URL (http://www.digitalsherpa.com/blog/news/instagrams-new-profiles-looks-a-lot-like-facebook) in to the Structured Data Testing Tool, we’re able to see exactly how the blog post will display to searchers and the social media accounts connected with it. You see that the description of the page, which is controlled by entering your ‘meta description’, will not display because it is dependent on exactly how the user is searching.
Don’t see a user photo connected to your content? There’s a simple fix. Head over to the Google Authorship page and make sure your Google account is connected to your blog to ensure all the right data is shown.