How to Implement Structured Data & Why it is Important for SEO?

How to Implement Structured Data & Why it is Important for SEO?

The use of Structured Data can be incredibly helpful when it comes to increasing the relevance of search results and improving rankings. This is why it has a substantial amount of importance when it comes to SEO. Not only will it improve the relevance of your search results, it will also produce a variety of different types of search results that include visuals and other forms of data. Structured Data’s ability to produce a wide variety of relevant search results makes it a viable tool for any e-commerce business that wants to greatly increase their traffic and ranking. It is a powerful tool for SEO. However, it does take some time, effort, and understanding to properly use it.

Structured Data

Why is Structured Data Important for SEO?

Structured Data is used to provide additional information about a web page in order to improve the relevancy of search results from search engines. This additional information is utilized to create more information for search engines in order to return more relevant and enhanced results on SERP’s. This information is referred to as a markup. The additional data should pull relevant information from a variety of different sources and present them in search results;

  • Rich Snippets
  • Rich Cards
  • Carousels
  • Knowledge Boxes

However, it should also be noted that search engines provide incentives for websites that properly use Structured Data. These incentives include a variety of different helpful features in search results. Keep in mind that these enhanced features ultimately improve click-through rates and boost traffic, which in turn improves rankings. This makes sense because the search results are more visually appealing and provide more information. Some of these features include:

  • Rich results: styling, images, visual enhancements
  • Rich cards: variation of rich search results, rich snippets, for mobile users
  • Enriched results: interactive immersive features
  • Knowledge Graph: Information about different kinds of data or content
  • Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs in your search result
  • Carousels: A collection of multiple rich results
  • Rich results for Accelerated Mobile Pages: carousels

Markups Need to be Universally Understood

Markups need to be consistently understood and parsed by search engines and people. As a result, there are standard formats, syntaxes, classification concepts, relationships, and vocabularies that should be used to achieve this. There are three syntaxes that are supported by most search engines, as well as two vocabularies. However, it should be noted that Schema.org is the vocabulary used most often for SEO purposes.

  • JSON-LD (Syntax)
  • Microformats (Syntax)
  • Schema.org (Vocabulary)
  • Microformats.org. (Vocabulary)

How to Integrate Structured Data into Your Website Content?

Schema.org is the most commonly used vocabulary for SEO purposes and is structured with different types of content and data. Each type of data or content has its own unique set of properties. These properties have different identifying features. In order to use Schema.org, you’ll need to markup your site with identifying attributes of what you’re indicating. You should use a title but also need to include at least two other properties. There are a variety of different properties/attributes that you can use. Once you’ve determined what you want to markup, you will need three pieces of information to generate the code

(The code: Microdata vs JSON-LD)

  • Types
  • Properties
  • Data

How & Where to Insert Code?

You can insert Schema.org markup into your page in two different ways, with inline annotations or javascript tags. Google recommends using a Javascript script tag and placing the markup at the top of the page. This employs the use of JSON-LD, however, it should be noted that Bing doesn’t support this style of markup. However, it is an easier way to markup your website. A JSON-LD markup will typically be inserted at the head of an article and not integrated throughout the body of the article, although it’s ok to integrate it into the body as well. Once you’ve decided on the method you’d like to use, test it. You need to make sure that Google is recognizing it correctly. If Google is picking it up the way it should, it will look something like this. HTML can be used as well;

  • [posted by publisher ‘Google’]
  • [headline]Article Headline
  • [author byline]By John Doe
  • [date published] Feb 5, 2015
  • [description] A most wonderful article
  • [image] [company logo]

Recognizing Opportunities

If you aren’t sure whether or not Structured Data has been used on your website check the Structured Data Report in your Google Search Console. This will tell you if there is any structured data on your page and where it is. It will also help debug any errors resulting from an improper markup. If you haven’t started using Structured Data but want to improve your sites SEO, simply audit your site for opportunities where you could use this helpful tool. However, make sure you are following Google’s recommendations for proper use or you could be penalized. Remember to let the type of business you have guide your choice in the best type of Schema.org to implement.

Although employing the use of Structured Data can be a bit confusing to navigate if you are unfamiliar with it, your business may be well positioned for using a tool like this. If you take your time and determine the type of markup your business would benefit from the most, the results will make it worth your effort. However, do your homework and understand Google’s general recommendations for the proper use of Structured Data. This will help you avoid being penalized for its improper use. In addition, use the tools that Google provides to make sure that you avoid bugs and errors in your coding before you launch a page. You may even have questions regarding whether or not Structured Data has been used on your site before.

Google has a tool to determine that as well. Use everything that’s available to you to properly use Structured Data for optimal results. It’s not difficult, but you will need to follow all the proper steps to ensure its success.

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