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What is Structured Data?

by | 2 Jul, 2022

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Structured data is a code that you can add to your website to help search engines better understand your site’s content.

Adding structured data to your site can give you an SEO boost by helping search engines understand your site’s content and thus be more likely to show your site in relevant google search results.

Types of Structured Data

There are many different types of structured data that you can add to your site, but some common examples include adding schema markup to your HTML code or using microdata formats such as RDFa.

Structured and unstructured data is not only used by search engines but also by other web services that can make use of this code to better understand your site’s content.

For example, if you have a recipe site, adding data that is structured to your recipes can help them show up in Google’s Rich Snippets results.

Example Of Unstructured Data:

An example of unstructured data would be a paragraph of text on a web page.

This text could be about anything, and there is no easy way for a search engine to understand what the content is about or how it should be ranked in search results.

Example Of Structured Data:

In contrast, an example of structured data would be a product page on an eCommerce website.

This page would typically have information such as the product’s name, price, and description. This information is easy for a search engine to understand, and it can use this information to determine how to rank the page in search results.

Why Is Structured Data Important?

Structured data is important because it helps search engines better understand the content on your site.

This can be especially helpful if your site’s content is not well-organized or if it is difficult for search engines to crawl and index your site.

By assisting search engines in comprehending the content of your site and increasing the likelihood that they will display your site in pertinent search results, adding structured data markup to your site can help you significantly improve your SEO.

How to Use Structured Data in SEO

There are three main different ways that you can use structured data to improve your site’s SEO:

  • JSON-LD
  • Microdata
  • RDFa

JSON-LD

Google recommends using JSON-LD. It’s also the simplest to set up because there’s no need to “tag” HTML elements, as there is with other structured data formats.

Instead of tagging HTML components, you simply insert a big block of code that informs Google, “Hey, here are the major things you should know about the items mentioned on this page.”

Google will read the code and then match it up with the content on your website.

Here’s an example of JSON-LD code:

<script type=”application/ld+json”>

{

“@context”: “http://schema.org”,

“@type”: “Product”,

“name”: “Widget”,

“price”: “9.99”,

“description”: “A widget that does something cool.”

}

</script>

Microdata

Microdata is a set of tags that you can add to your HTML code to provide additional information about the site’s content.

These tags are added to HTML elements, and they are read by search engines to better understand the page’s content.

Here’s an example of microdata:

<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Product”>

<span itemprop=”name”>Widget</span>

<span itemprop=”price”>$9.99</span>

<span itemprop=”description”>A widget that does something cool.</span>

</div>

RDFa

RDFa is another set of tags that you can add to your HTML code to provide additional information about the site’s content.

These tags are also added to HTML elements, and they are read by search engines to better understand the page’s content.

RDFa is similar to microdata, but it uses a different syntax.

Here’s an example of RDFa:

<div vocab=”http://schema.org/” typeof=”Product”>

<span property=”name”>Widget</span>

<span property=”price”>$9.99</span>

<span property=”description”>A widget that does something cool.</span>

</div>

Which Format Should You Use?

All three formats will work to improve your site’s SEO, but JSON-LD is the recommended format.

It’s the simplest to set up, and it’s what Google recommends. If you’re not familiar with coding, then you might want to hire a developer to help you add structured data to your site. If you’re comfortable working with code, then you can add JSON-LD code to your site yourself.

You can find more information about how to do this in Google’s Structured Data documentation.

What Are the Benefits of Adding Structured Data to Your Site?

There are a few benefits of adding structured data to your website:

1. Better Visibility in Search Results

One of the most important benefits of adding structure data to your site is that it can help you achieve better visibility in search results.

If you add JSON-LD code to your site, Google will have an easier time understanding your site’s content.

This can lead to higher rankings in relevant search results, which can in turn lead to more traffic to your site.

2. Rich Snippets in Search Results

When you implement structured data to your site, a benefit is that it can help you achieve rich snippets in rich results.

Rich snippets are special features that appear in search results, and they can help your listing stand out from the rest.

For example, if you add structured data for reviews to your site, Google may show star ratings next to your listing in search results.

This can help you attract more clicks, which can lead to more traffic to your site, ending with rich results.

3. Improved Accessibility

When you implement structured data to your site can, it can also improve its accessibility.

Some people use screen readers to browse the web, and structured data can help these users understand your site’s content. For example, if you add structured data for reviews to your site, a screen reader might read the star rating aloud to the user.

This can help make your site more accessible to a wider range of people, which is always a good thing.

4. Better Organization of Your Site’s Content

Finally, adding structured data markup to your site can help you better organize your site’s content.

If you have a lot of content on your site, then adding structured data can help you group it together in a more logical way. For example, if you have a recipe site, you could use structured data to group all of the recipes together.

This can make it easier for people to find the content they’re looking for, and it can also make your site more user-friendly overall.

5. Increased Engagement With Your Site’s Content

Another benefit of adding structured data to your site is that it can help increase engagement with your site’s content.

For example, if you add structured data for reviews to your site, Google may show star ratings next to your listing in search results. This can help encourage people to click on your listing and read your reviews, which can lead to more engagement with your site overall.

Testing Your Structured Data

Insert your code or URL into the Structured Data Testing Tool and see if the markup is valid.

If you use WordPress, there are a few plugins that can help you add structured data to your site. One of the most popular is the All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets plugin. This plugin makes it easy to add structured data to your site, and it includes support for a wide range of different types of content. If you’re not a fan of plugins, then you can also add structured data to your site web pages manually.

You can find more information about how to do this in Google’s Structured Data documentation.

When it comes to adding structured data markup to your site, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

1. Make sure that the code you’re adding is valid.

If your code is not valid, then it will not be interpreted by Google correctly, and it could even lead to penalties.

2. Make sure that you’re only adding structured data to content that works with relevant search queries.

For example, if you’re adding review stars to your site, make sure that the reviews are actually about your site. If they’re not, then you’re just wasting Google’s time, and it could lead to penalties.

3. Make sure that you’re not overdoing it.

Adding too much-structured data to your site can actually hurt your SEO efforts. Google may see it as spam, and it could lead to penalties.

Conclusion

When it comes to adding structured data to your site, less is usually more. When done correctly, adding structured data to your site can be a great way to improve your SEO efforts.

It can help you attract more traffic, it can improve your site’s accessibility, and it can help you better organize your site’s content.

Mihael D. Cacic
“Digital Marketing Mad Scientist”

Physicist turned SEO Content Marketer. For the past few years, Mihael worked with many big SaaS and service businesses helping them rank higher and get more customers. Now here to share his secrets on how to make hyper-profitable blogs in hyper-efficient ways.

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