You may have previously heard about structured data, JSON-LD, and even Schema. However, you may not be completely familiar with the definition of these terms. What is structured data, and what does it do? What is its connection with SEO? If you would like the answers to these questions, keep reading.
What Is Structured Data?
Structured data is basically code that is structured into a specific type of format; it is written in a certain way so that search engines are able to understand it. Search engines like Google and Bing can read the code and then utilize it to display search engine results in a specific and richer format. This type of code can easily be placed on your site.
Consider you have a site with a large number of recipes on it. If you add structured data to a web page with one of those recipes, the search engine results may change. The result will be far richer in regard to the content is being shown. This is why it is called rich results and rich snippets.
If we are keeping with the theme, let’s assume we are dealing with a lasagna recipe. Apart from the title, the description, and the URL of the search result, you will notice from the search engine result how long it will take to make it, the number of calories the food contains, etc. To obtain a rich snippet like that, structured data must be added to your web page.
There are numerous types of structured data, but it is always a type of code. There is structured data for movies, reviews, books, and products in online stores. In all of these cases, though, structured data has the ability to add more details to the result in the search engines.
However, Google doesn’t always create rich snippets of pages, even if structured data has been added. There is never a 100 percent guarantee. Ultimately, all of you can do is add the structured data to your page, cross your fingers, and hope that it will be picked up by Google.
What Can Be Done with Structured Data?
Structured data allows you to “speak” to search engines. You can let the search engines know the ingredients in a recipe, how long it takes to prepare the recipe, and how many calories will be in the dish. Google can grasp that data instantly and decide whether to show it within the search engine results.
Therefore, structured data is a tool that can be used to inform Google detailed information about a web page. Google is then able to utilize that information to create search results that are rich and information—and web users love rich snippets.
What Is Schema.org?
Schema.org is a project that was developed by big-name search engines. Here, you will locate all the various structured data markup that is supported by these search engines. Therefore, this makes Schema.org a significantly large collection of various pieces of code.
Schema.org can be used to locate the markup needed for your web page. For example, if you sell t-shirts on your website, you can show the color of the t-shirts that you sell and the sizes that are offered in your rich snippet. You can take a closer look at Schema.org/product to see the possibilities.
You can also copy code examples on Schema.org. After copying the code, you will need to adapt the code to your particular preferences.
Schema.org is a classification of code formats that big-name search engines are able to understand. You can locate examples of what the code should look like, and there are various other types of structured data, too. For example, Open Graph and Twitter cards, which are used by Facebook and Twitter, respectively.
What Is JSON-LD?
This is among the markups on Schema.org. It is one of the many ways to write code. On Schema.org, you will locate other types of markup as well, such as RDFa and Microdata. Here, at WebDetail, we suggest that you always use JSON-LD since it won’t break the site as easily as the other markups. In addition, this is the markup format that is preferred by Google. WebDetail SEO automatically adds significant amounts of structured data JSON-LD to your website. This is not possible with other types of markup.
What Is the Importance of Structured Data and SEO?
Structured data is essential for SEO simply due to the fact that it makes it easier for search engines to understand what your website and web pages are about. Google needs to determine what a page is about in order for it to appear in search results. Utilizing structured data is similar to speaking to Google, or letting Google know what your website is all about. This will help with search engine rankings.
In addition, structured data has the ability to alter the way your search results, or snippet, looks like. It will essentially show additional information to web users—more specific information, to be exact. In turn, this boosts the chance that web users will click on your search engine results, and of course, the more clicks that you receive, the higher you climb in the rankings. We are starting to more structured data-powered rich snippets to pop up, so it is imperative that you keep a close eye on this.
How Can You Use Structured Data?
It sounds difficult to put structured data to use, but the truth of the matter is that anyone can do it, as long as they have the proper training. You need to get the proper code, then you need to adapt that code, and you will need a way to get the code onto your website.
We have already written a number of posts about JSON-LD as well as Schema.org, which will help in ensuring that you understand more about structured data and utilizing in.
Not a Code Warrior? Just Use a Plugin!
The majority of structured data markup can be added to the website utilizing plugins. As previously mentioned, WebDetail SEO automatically adds the most essential structured data for your site. Our local plugin, for example, utilizes structured data to show your store’s location. There is no need to write code in order to obtain that rich snippet; instead, simply utilize out plugin, fill out some important details, and we will take care of everything for you. And, there are numerous other plugins that can assist you in utilizing structured data without ever having to deal with code.
If you would like to learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact us at WebDetail.