Structured Data for SEO | The Complete Guide

SEO Structured Data

Written by Jeremy Earle, JD

March 30, 2022

What does it mean to have structured data? Structured data for SEO has been referenced in articles on search engine optimization (SEO), and you’ve probably seen it when viewing search results, but what is it, and how does it operate on a site like yours?

These and other topics are addressed in this introduction to structured data for beginners (or schema markup).

Please continue reading to discover the fundamentals of structured data and how to utilize it. Additionally, check real-world structured data examples to obtain ideas on how your firm may use structured data to improve the SEO of your website. Rank Fire can assist you if you’re seeking for expert SEO services to optimize your website for you.

To learn more about our revenue-generating SEO techniques, call us or email at 833-777-RANK.

What is structured data?

Any data, from numbers to characters stored in a defined field of a record or file, is referred to as structured data.

What is structured data for SEO?

Structured data for search engine optimization gives extra information or clear cues to search engines about the content of a page, such as whether it contains a recipe or a series of how-to instructions.

How does Google use structured data?

A search engine like Google employs structured data snippets and data labels that appear in your page’s HTML code to offer this information.

These different characteristics about your website assist Google in fine-tuning the appearance of search results in search engine result pages (SERPs). You may provide consumers with extra value when they search on Google using structured data for Google.

How does structured data for SEO work?

To grasp how structured data works, it’s necessary to refresh one’s memory on how websites show in search results.

To appear in search results, a crawler, spider, or bot from a search engine (such as Google) must crawl and index your website.When bots explore your website, they collect and index all of its information, from the text to the photos to the structured data.

The search engine then uses its algorithm to analyze the data.

Search engines alter their algorithms  since deciphering a website isn’t always straightforward. Structured data may also assist crawlers and search engines in executing their jobs more efficiently. Using structured data, you may give instant, easy-to-understand information about your website.

Instead of assuming what your website is about, a search engine can see whether it has a:

  • Recipe
  • A how-to manual
  • Ratings
  • Pricing
  • Contact information
  • FAQ
  • Event
  • Plus a lot more

The search engine may subsequently use that information to simplify a user’s search.

For example, if you’re searching for an essential lime pie recipe, you undoubtedly have a few preferences that you didn’t think of when you started your search. They may, for example, need a dish that takes less than an hour to prepare. They’ll almost certainly want one that’s tasty as well!

For a basic search like “key lime pie recipe,” SEO structured data may supply all of this information.

For example, in the structured data sample above, you can see that Google includes:

  • The user rating for each recipe
  • Cooking time for each recipe
  • The calorie count for each recipe

Google couldn’t deliver this information with any certainty if it didn’t have organized data. It would have to estimate if a website specifies the cooking time or whether user comments and ratings describe the recipe’s quality.

When discussing how structured data works, it’s important to note that Google’s search results don’t constantly adapt. Even if you provide structured data for a page, such as product pricing, Google may choose not to include it for various reasons, including search intent.

Why does structured data for SEO matter?

In most cases, businesses learn about structured data while researching SEO.

When it comes to SEO, the goal is to boost your search engine visibility. Being on the second, third, or fourth page of search results is not enjoyable.

That’s why you should take advantage of structured data’s SEO benefits:

Explain your page’s content and layout

Thanks to structured data, Google has all the information it needs to analyze your website.

Providing Google with a detailed analysis of your page will improve your search results ranks. That’s because structured data eliminates any doubts about the format and content of your page.

Because you transcribe and translate your content using structured data, Google understands what it’s about.

You may utilize structured data to eliminate uncertainty about your page and its purpose, whether it’s a recipe, an event, or a how-to. Google can authenticate that your page publishes a recipe, promotes an event, or provides a how-to guide, for example, by examining the content and structured data on your page.

Maximize your real estate in search results

While structured data won’t rocket your page to the top of search results (other off-page and on-page SEO elements will), it will provide you the opportunity to optimize your visibility in search results.

By examining the effect of a featured snippet, you may get a sense of the difference that indeed organized snippets, such as videos, can make. You’ll see a highlighted snippet at the top of 50 percent of search results, which obtains its data from one of the search engine’s top-ranking websites.

This snippet provides a linear response to your query.

When a featured snippet appears, it significantly influences user behavior.

Most people will click on the highlighted snippet instead of the initial website.

As a result, when a highlighted snippet appears, it reduces the initial website’s click-through rate (CTR) by 8%. This behavior may considerably influence site traffic for famous (or even unpopular) queries.

Structured data may assist your business in capitalizing on the same user behavior.

For example, a movie customized with structured data may appear at the top of search results and quickly attract people’s attention. On the other hand, a corporate contact snippet may give rapid replies while also leading consumers to your website and social media.

Even though Google doesn’t promise that structured data will be used, it’s worth your effort to optimize your content using it. Adding structured data to your websites also doesn’t take long, particularly if you have basic programming abilities.

We don’t only want to brag about how fantastic our work is.

Preview your page for users

You expect prompt replies whether you’re seeking for an emergency plumber to fix a broken toilet or a blog post with lawn care tips. You, like everyone else, don’t want to waste your time. That’s why Google considers user experience an essential factor in its ranking algorithm.

For various reasons, structured data for Google may assist your website give a better customer experience.

  1. You provide Google with a detailed blueprint for your page.

This template ensures that Google understands your page without any ambiguity. With that amount of knowledge, Google can quickly decide if your page provides value to people, It may help it get a better ranking in search engine results.

  1. You give a valuable preview of your page to visitors.

For example, a rating organized snippet might offer necessary trust signals about your items or services. On the other hand, a recipe organized excerpt may assist consumers in determining if your dish satisfies their time limits and nutritional choices. All of these data may persuade a person to visit your website.

These SEO advantages make structured data a crucial component of your SEO approach.

How to use structured data for SEO in 4 easy-to-follow steps

Are you ready to start using structured data on your website? Begin by following these four steps:

1. Choose your page

You must first select which pages will benefit from structured data before adding it.

For instance, if you write a how-to post on gutter cleaning, you may include the how-to schema markup on that page. In contrast, if you have a blog post that summarizes all of your company’s recent events, you may omit to add any structured data to it.

Depending on your needs, you may have hundreds or simply a few pages on your website.

In any case, you’ll want to keep track of your structured data efforts, particularly when it comes to replacing older sites. Making a document in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets may assist. For example, you may provide the URL, the structured data added, and the date it was changed.

2. Select your structured data

The next step is to choose your structured data.

Steps one and two of this method may overlap in certain circumstances. For example, you may choose the sort of structured data you wish to utilize when creating pages. Choose the technique that is most effective for you and your team.

In Google’s search gallery, you may see all of the structured data formats offered.

3. Open Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper

You can start coding after you’ve chosen your pages and structured data.

This procedure is made a little easier using Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper tool. This free application may also be used to leverage structured data in email correspondence, such as for travel or hotel confirmations.

It would help if you used the Structured Data Markup Helper tool to complete the following steps:

  • Choose your chosen data type from the drop-down menu, such as event or product.
  • Include your page’s URL or HTML code.
  • Select “Begin Tagging” from the drop-down menu.

After your website or HTML has loaded, you may proceed to the following steps:

  • Underline the relevant text.
  • From the drop-down menu, choose an appropriate tag.
  • To manually enter tags that you can’t highlight, click “Add missing tags.”
  • Select “Create HTML” from the drop-down menu.

The structured data will next be loaded into one of two forms by Google:

  • JSON-LD: A JavaScript notation recommended by Google for structured data. This code is placed in your page’s head> or body>. Google uses this format because it can read data that has been dynamically added by JavaScript code or an embedded widget.
  • Microdata: Microdata, like JSON-LD, may be used in the head or body of your website. Microdata, unlike JSON-LD, is an open-source HTML standard rather than a JavaScript notation.

While microdata is an option, you should utilize JSON-LD, Google’s preferred and default alternative.

You may now choose between “Finish” and “Download.”

The “Finish” option will offer your team instructions on adding schema markup to your website. It displays as a pop-up, so don’t panic if you click it and lose your structured data.

To obtain your structured data, click “Continue” and then “Download” once you’ve reviewed the information.

The document will be downloaded in HTML format. This markup may then be copied and pasted into your page by you (or your developer). Remember to place this code snippet in your page’s head> or body> tags. If you’re unsure about adding this code, get assistance from your developer.

You may now re-upload your page with your structured data.

4. Test your structured data

Testing is an essential component of structured data.

If you format or duplicate your structured data improperly, Google will hard understand it. Leaving Google perplexed might lead to a drop in ranking, reducing organic traffic and resulting in inaccurate snippet information in search results.

Fortunately, Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool makes testing your structured data a breeze:

  • Navigate to and click on the Structured Data Testing Tool.
  • Type in the URL of your page or a piece of structured data code.
  • Select “Run Test” from the drop-down menu.

Following that, Google will provide you with a side-by-side comparison of your page.

Your HTML or structured data code snippet will be shown on the left-hand side. Meanwhile, a list of errors, warnings, and objects will be shown on the right-hand side. If any structured data snippets, such as a recipe or a product, are discovered, it will also display them.

You may see how each piece of structured data will look in search results by previewing it.

You want to check for faults first and foremost.

If you see any issues, go back to the Structured Data Markup Helper Tool and correct them. You may also use schema.org, a structured data industry resource beyond Google. It does, however, offer markup for Google-supported structured data, such as recipes.

You may evaluate your structured data and add the relevant markup using schema.org.

You’ll want to repeat the testing procedure once you’ve updated your markup (if necessary). If the issues and warnings persist, speak with your company’s developer to see if they can assist you. A specialized SEO service, such as Rank Fire, may also help.

This step-by-step procedure might be scary, particularly at first.

However, adding structured data to your websites will become a quick and straightforward procedure as you get more expertise. However, if you want a more basic option, tools are available to help you.

For example, to add structured data to your WordPress site, you may utilize the free Yoast SEO plugin.

5 critical rules to remember when using structured data

Remember to follow these five principles for the best outcomes with structured data for SEO:

  1. When structured data represents the full content rather than only a portion of it, use it.
  2. Make all structured data available to the user, such as cooking times.
  3. Use JSON-LD, microdata, or RDFa to add structured data.
  4. On sites with structured data, avoid using access control mechanisms, such as index.
  5. Use structured data to create suitable content, such as recipes for recipes vs. how-to recipes.

As with any SEO strategy, it would help if you avoid black hat SEO tactics like keyword stuffing and content burying.

What are the types of structured data for Google search results?

If you want to utilize structured data, you may choose from several different kinds, including:

  • Carousel
  • Contact information for the company
  • Course
  • Breadcrumb
  • Book
  • Article
  • Peer review
  • Dataset
  • Event
  • Average rating
  • Double-check your facts
  • FAQ
  • How-to
  • Job advertisement
  • Plus a lot more

Google also extends its structured data support, which opens up new possibilities for you.

5 structured data examples that even beginners can use

It’s helpful to have some samples for inspiration if you’re new to structured data.

Take a look at the following five:

1. Corporate contact

Your firm may add vital information about your organization with the corporate contact structured data snippet. You can give users quick access to the data and links they want on your website and social media profiles.

2. Product

The product structured data snippet allows your business to communicate important information to customers. Using schema markup on your product pages, you can emphasize product price, reviews, availability, and more.

3. Sitelinks search box

Your company may make it even simpler for visitors to locate what they need on your site with the sitelinks search box structured data snippet. This structured data may also benefit your SEO strategy by offering useful keyword information.

4. Video

The video structured data snippet may take up significant real estate in search results, allowing you to steal visitors from your competition. Users may also utilize schema markup to get rapid answers to complicated inquiries, such as emptying a vacuum cleaner, cleaning a gutter, or changing computer settings.

5. Events

Your firm may use the events structured data snippet to highlight future events. Local companies may benefit significantly from organized data snippets like these. With this schema markup, you can be front-and-center in search results whether you’re holding a sale, a speaker, or a class.

Get all the benefits of structured data (without the work) with an SEO agency

Structured data is essential for businesses to generate visitors, leads, and revenue from their websites.

Your organization can improve your site for search engines and people using structured data. This additional optimization may help you rank higher in search results and increase organic traffic.

Rank Fire may assist your team if they cannot incorporate structured data on your site due to time restrictions or a lack of programming expertise. With our SEO services, you may make full use of structured data and outsource the time and resource-intensive process of optimizing your whole site and content for SEO.

Rank Fire is a trusted option for organizations to utilize SEO to improve their company and online presence.

To learn more about how our award-winning staff can assist you, contact us online or  833-777-RANK

 

 

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