What is Structured Data in SEO?
Structured data refers to utilizing markup on a website so that there is more detailed information regarding the website’s content. The markup allows search engines to have a greater understanding of the website’s content so they could benefit from relevant content, rich snippets, and knowledge boxes. FAQ’s are a great way to implement structured data. When a user asks a question in Google, the site’s FAQ immediately pops up in the search results if it is properly structured. These features increase user engagement and lead to more website traffic. Structured data is also important for the future search of your website, as Google is trying to develop a more personalized search and answering questions directly.
How Does Structured Data Help SEO?
Search engines incentivize websites to use structured data by providing benefits when the sites implement structured data correctly. The following benefits lead to search result enhancements and content features: rich search results include images and other visuals; rich cards are mainly used for mobile access; enriched search results include interactive data, and breadcrumbs are useful to track a user’s journey on the website. These benefits drive traffic to your site and improve click-through-rate because your site becomes more visually pleasing while also including more information thus creating a better user experience.
What Are the Different Types of Structured Data?
There are standardized concepts to classify the type of markup needed where implementations are referred to as syntaxes and the classifications of relationships are known as vocabularies. The three syntaxes a search engine will support are:
The most common vocabularies used with the syntaxes are Schema.org and Microformats.org. The vocabulary, Schema.org could be paired with Microdata or JSON-LD while Microformats.org goes with the syntax, microformats.
How to Implement Structured Data on your Website to improve SEO
First, let’s focus on Schema.org. This vocabulary structures data into different types that represent different types of content. When marking up a page, you should include the title name and a few attributes to differentiate yourself. Head to the schema for structured data properties to find which properties you should include for your website. You can then begin the code once you have figured out what “types” and properties to use.
Next, to add a markup to your page you will either use Microdata or JSON-LD. If using Microdata, you should nest your content within the relevant meta tags inside the data. JSON-LD code would be added to the head of the page instead of nesting the code in meta tags. Moz.com does a great job of showing how your code should look when using Microdata and JSON-LD, Moz- Structured data for SEO.
Tools for Structured Data on NetElixir
NetElixir offers a Structured Data Generator on LXR Marketplace. The tool can be found at Structured data testing tool. This tool allows users to markup important information on their website to help search engines crawl the site easier and provide a higher ranking for more understandable, relevant, and organized data. This tool also includes the Schema.org properties mentioned earlier as well as required and recommended properties suggested by Google. Some features of this tool are improved SERP’s, increased conversion rates, and it can help any website achieve these goals. This tool is imperative for small business owners who want their site to stand out amongst competitors and especially for e-commerce companies.
You can begin by selecting the type of markup you want to generate, and then enter details about your website. Secondly, you insert the JSON-LD code into your website and test the implementation with the structured data testing tool. This testing tool will ensure that search engines understand the code and markup so that they can utilize the information better and ultimately increase your rankings and website traffic.
To conclude, structured data is one of the fastest-growing tools for SEO. With countless benefits such as increased ranking, click-through rate, and conversions, it only makes sense to utilize this great feature. Google and other search engines no longer look for sites that have overused, fluff data that is just packed with keywords. Now, these search engines have detailed algorithms that reinforce informative, quality data that is interesting, helpful, and relevant to what the user is looking for. They are looking for sites that care about creating a positive user experience. These are the sites that are increasing their rank in the SERP’s. One of the ways to get your site moving up in the page results is by making the most out of structured data so Google and the other search engines fully understand what your site is about and to make it more informative and organized to crawl and for the user experience.
Written by Alyssa Schiera, ELITE Intern