Structured Data: Basics & SEO Tips

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Updated 2/3/2024

Find how structured data affects SEO and how you can use it to improve engagement. Entice searchers with well-structured, appealing content.

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Structured data, in SEO, refers to any data that is organized or formatted in a way that makes it easily understandable by search engines. It’s a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying its content.

Structured data can enhance search engine understanding and lead to rich search results, increasing your webpages’ visibility and click-through rates.

Why is Structured Data Important?

It is becoming increasingly vital for several reasons:

  • Enhanced Search Engine Results: By implementing structured data, your website can qualify for rich results in search engines. These results could include additional information, like star ratings, images, or other pertinent details, which make your website more attractive to users.
  • Improved Search Relevance: It helps search engines understand your site’s content, leading to improved relevancy in search results.
  • Voice Search Optimization: As voice search becomes more prevalent, structured data provides the precise information needed to fulfill these queries.

Common Formats

There are several different formats. Here are the most popular:

  • Schema.org: This is a collaborative effort by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex to provide a shared vocabulary for organizing information. It’s currently the most popular and widely accepted format.
  • Microformats: These are simple conventions used in HTML to represent commonly published things like people, events, and blog posts.
  • RDFa: RDFa is a W3C recommendation that adds a set of attribute-level extensions to HTML, allowing you to embed rich metadata within web documents.

Implementing Structured Data

You generally need to select a format (such as Schema.org), and then add the relevant structure to your web pages. Here’s a basic step-by-step guide:

  1. Identify the Type of Content: Look at the content of your webpage and identify what type of thing it represents (e.g., a product, a recipe, an event).
  2. Choose the Relevant Schema: Visit Schema.org and find the appropriate schema for your content.
  3. Create Your Structured Data: You can use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to create your code. Simply select the data type, paste in the URL or HTML of your page, and then start tagging items.
  4. Add to Your Page: Once you’ve created the code, you must add it to your webpage. This usually involves adding a script tag to the head of your HTML document.
  5. Test Your Code: Use Google’s Schema Markup Testing Tool to verify that your code has been implemented correctly.

Best Practices for Structured Data

  • Use the Most Specific Type: Always use the most specific applicable type and property names from Schema.org.
  • Ensure Accuracy: It should accurately represent the page’s content. Misleading or incorrect structured data can lead to penalties.
  • Keep It Up-to-Date: Ensure that your code is always up-to-date with the latest content of the page.
  • Use on All Applicable Pages: Make sure your templates use structured data. Using it on one page is good, but the more you can implement it across your site, the better.

Bottom Line

Understanding and implementing structured data is becoming an increasingly important part of SEO. By adding it to your site, you can enhance your search engine results, improve search relevancy, and optimize your site for voice search. ?

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