Formal ritual gets talked down about in parts of the Pagan community; there are people who believe that prescribed actions and words make it very difficult, if not impossible, to connect with the spirits or deities one is calling to. While I'm not opposed to informal ritual - obviously, since it makes up a decent chunk of my practice - I believe that it doesn't have the same energy or impact as formal ritual, and doesn't allow the same sort of experimentation that working within a structure can offer.
I express my Heathenry first and foremost through the model of ADF Druidry, which sounds a bit ironic, but actually works very well for me. ADF is a pan-Indo-European organization, which means the Heathen Gods fit squarely in its purview. The unifying factor in ADF is its conception and framework for ritual - it is the same framework for all groups, everywhere there is an ADF Grove. That structure is loose enough to allow many Indo-European pantheons to work within it (there are Heathen, Hellenic, and Vedic ADF Druids.. and more cultures that are less common!) and yet structured enough that it's easy to recognize an ADF-style rite once you're familiar with the Core Order of Ritual. I have been working within this structure for more than three years now. At first, I loved the Core Order because it made things easier for me. I didn't have to plan an entire ritual, I just had to write prayers to fit the appropriate parts and everything was ready to go. After working in this framework for years, I love the Core Order because the formality of it, the structure it provides, has freed me in so many ways. It's like a heartfelt song to which I know all the lyrics and can belt at the top of my lungs, instead of meekly stumbling along and cringing every time I get a word wrong. Even when doing informal, small ritual, the Core Order in a very condensed form comes naturally to me - invite the spirits, give them offerings, ask for or thank for blessings, and bid the spirits farewell. This structure has given me a ritual mindset to operate in that ultimately has made my rituals more effective and easier for me to slip into. Like tarot decks with their defined structure but endless variations, ritual is easier to understand when it's similar each time.
Of course, everyone is different and not all people will benefit from a formal structure or way of doing ritual. But I believe it can be a powerful tool, and one that many Pagans may be overlooking. It doesn't have to be "call the elements, cast a circle" and it doesn't have to be ADF's Core Order either. I do think it can be a good learning experience to just pick a format and stick with it for awhile, even if it doesn't seem to resonate at first; you never know what will come out of that structure after you've become completely comfortable with it.