Structured data is gaining importance across the digital industry. Still data says, 50% of brands are not using structured data. Basically, structured data is very beneficial at higher click-through rates, greater search visibility, faster indexing, and voice search domination.
SEO results depend on the compatibility of the website with the search engine algorithms.
The more your website can synchronize with the search engine, the better will be the SERP results in your favor.
Structured data is one of the markups that help search engines to understand the way to display the content present over the different websites across the internet.
What is Schema.org?
All the big search engines have developed a collaborative community called Schema.org. On it you can find the entire structured data markup making it a large collection of pieces of code.
Marketers visit this community to find markup for any particular web page. Typical sellers of predefined products and services can easily find the code in schema markup. This will integrate your web page design with the appearance over the SERP.
All you need to do is just copy the code and make changes according to your preferences. Few of the schema markups are Microdata or RDFa and most advised is JSON-LD.
The impact of structured data on companies
After implementation over largest companies into finance and documentation niche by SEJ, here are few interesting outcomes you can see:
- 400% net growth in rich results in organic traffic overall.
- 160% growth in impressions and 150% growth in clicks for answers.
- 41% growth in impressions and 28% growth in clicks for Magazine.
Now the SEO person would think such a great organic growth is visible must be due to content update and new links. This is solely the result of implementing structured data. If the companies go vice versa, results immediately start declining.
How does Google use Structured Data?
Google uses the data snippets and labels appearing in HTML code of the website to deliver the information. Google understands your content better and faster to enhance your website visibility in SERP.
Structured data directly targets the SEO process to get rich results from SERP. Google finds the structured data on the web and then uses it to understand the website content. Information about companies, books, clothes, all are included in Markup.
For example: JSON-LD is a structured data snipped used for recipe:
Let’s understand the high-level structured data definition to explore its properties. At its core, it’s simply organized information. But what’s the difference between structured, unstructured, and semi structured data?
Structured data vs. Unstructured data
Structured data is organized information, on the other hand, unstructured data is everything else: PDFs, images, videos, files, presentations, etc. When you dump all the tasks into a backlog and prioritize the tasks into periodic workflow, there is how structured and unstructured data lookalike.
Structured data vs. Semi-structured data
Semi structured data is intermediate of the structure and unstructured data. This data does not represent any rigid form but relies on the tags, metadata and attributes. Most of the data we produce on the web is unstructured information, and we still find a way to represent it with the help of metadata on web pages, attributes on links — and the end product is semi-structured data.
How does Structured Data support SEO?
Google, Bing, and other search engines encourage website owners and marketers to use structured data. This type of implementation benefits the website with structured data to appear correctly.
Few of the benefits are listed here:
- Rich search results: Includes styling, images, and other visual enhancements
- Rich cards: A varied range of on rich search results or rich snippets specifically designed for mobile SERP
- Enriched search results: more intuitive and intellectual information.
- Knowledge Graph: Information about a brand or something similar
- Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs in your search result show the right source in right way
- Carousels: It is a collection of multiple rich results in a carousel style
- Rich results for AMP: It also enables your site to appear in AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) with rich results.
Enhanced search results leverage the click-through rate (CTR) and drive traffic to the site. As the structures data make the information visually appealing. Improved ranking and CTR represent the improved user behavior.
Structured data implementation to the pages makes your site future ready as the completion in the digital marketing industry is increasing day by day.
The Top Benefits of Using Schema
Numerous businesses and brands are gaining benefits by implementing structured data to their site. Ecommerce industry is benefited by this technique most.
Get Your Content Indexed Faster
The web contains 5.74 billion pages, and Google cannot crawl the entire web. Not because it cannot, but because crawling is expensive and there is a lot of low quality content. The search engine needs to keep such content out of the index.
Outrank Your ranking Rivals for Target Keywords
Several SEM tools allow creators and marketers to create the quality content with content outlines, tailored briefs, suggested keywords, etc. having structured data will help Google to crawl your page faster and you will rank higher than your competitors without visible factors behind results.
Higher CTR and conversions
Rich results draw the attention of the audience and create an urge in the user to click over that information. The process directly enhances the click through rates (CTR). Listings draw attention faster, especially when you have great reviews on your product. Higher traffic will raise the chances of more and more lead conversions.
Get Featured Snippets win the Voice Search Queries
There are various content strategies to create a rich content in order to get listed in the featured snippets. Users want the most concise information in SERP, so structured data helps the content get listed into snippets as 7 out of every 10 users prefer voice search mode.
Control Your Information
Structured data is the base of search engine success, where the machine understands content. Brands can control the way the public is interpreting information provided by them. When you are giving right information to search engines with structured data, then you save bandwidth also.
What Method Should You Use to Use Structured Data for SEO?
Now, as you know how structured data helps in SEO and what benefits it can deliver you, it is time to understand how to use this:
Define Which Pages Need Schema Markup
You don’t have to add Schema Markup to all the pages. It doesn’t make sense. There are certain pages and blogs that benefits from this strategy.
An article that lays down case study of your blog vs. a how-to-article detailing some DIY tips; which one will you go for. The ideal page to add schema markup to is the latter one. Alongside, there are several pages or a few ones on your site that could benefit from this implementation.
Define Your Structured Data
Now, when you have decided which page will benefit from adding schema markup, you have to select the type of schema markup for that. To get a clear insight on this, you can take reference from Google’s search gallery.
It’s Time to Code It
Now, when your page and data is selected to add schema markup, you should jot down to start coding that. For this, Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper tool will come as great help for you, which display the data as:
Follow the process like:
- Pick your data type
- Add page HTML or URL
- Click on – ‘Start Tagging’
You can take help from the ‘Learn more’ section on the page to get more insight and step-by-step guide on this.
Time to Test the Structured Data
Nothing should be executed or left to run without testing it. And it stays true here too. And for this too you can take help from another of Google’s tool – Structured Data Testing Tool.
This process or step is important as you can’t leave Google confused because of activities like copying or formatting data incorrectly. This will impact your SERP ranking, as this will lead to incorrect snippet information which could be disastrous for you.
Testing is an easy and step-by-step process, for which:
- Open the tool
- Enter your code snippet or page URL
- Click on – ‘Run Test’
Then you will get a complete result display of side-by-side comparison done by Google – Left-hand side showing the structured data code snippet or HTML and the Right-hand side showing the items, warnings and errors, along with the snippets (if detected).
There are several tools that you should explore and use for adding schema markup. Some of those we have added above, while some others are Google’s AMP testing tool, Yandex structured data validator, Schema.org’s markup validator, and Facebook’s open graph debugger. If your site is on WordPress, then Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress could be really helpful to you. Alongside these tools, you can also make use of Screaming Frog, and top keyword research tools that provide SERP analysis.
Structured data holds a key importance in today’s times for SEO strategy and could help you to stand out from the rest, delivering key answers to search queries. Discuss this about with your digital marketing agency, and know whether they stress on this strategy and what tool they use for this.