All the talk about the complexity of structured data and the schema markup is just that, just the talk. Once you understand the basics and how they affect search engine optimization, everything becomes pretty simple. Anyone can use structured data on their websites. Read on to find out how.
What is structured data?
The creation of structured data can be traced back to 2011. It was around this time that various search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo! came together to compile a standardized list of the various entities they jointly agree to support. This was called Schema.org.
But even after all these years a lot of confusion can still be felt about the whole concept and when it can be used for SEO purposes. Structured data, by definition, refers to all data that is organized. Essentially, categorize data so that it is easier to understand.
Importance in search engine optimization
When it comes to SEO, structured data refers to the established format in which information about a particular page is presented. This gives the search engines a better understanding of what the website is about.
It has proven extremely helpful as it is based on the usefulness of the content that Google and other search engines determine where the website ranks. Only it is relevant and can help people solve their questions. It will then be ranked higher to improve the user experience.
Things that are marked in structured data
Several objects as well as information can be marked with structured data. Some of them that are currently supported by Google are listed below:
All of these are examples that can be displayed with a higher visual attractiveness than organic results in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Because they're more aesthetic, they're called rich snippets.
Influence of structured data on SEO
Structured data affects SEO in the following ways:
Structured data in and of itself cannot improve your rankings. We're saying that if you just add structured data, you won't improve your rankings. Only when Google deems the content relevant will your rankings improve. However, the chances increase when you use structured data.
Increased click through rate
The click rates depend heavily on the aesthetics of the options. As structured data provides users with more visually appealing results, the click-through rate for the featured websites increases automatically.
As the click rate increases, so do the conversions. This is also due to the quality of the answers made available to users due to the structured data framework. If people find what they're looking for, they're more likely to increase conversions.
The fact that Google is showing a result above must mean something, at least it does in the minds of users. And they are not wrong. Google pays a lot of attention to what appears above as it gives this website a more trustworthy and authoritative look.
The three ways to structure data
The different types of data structuring are listed below:
This is the one recommended by Google. This is the easiest to do because there is no need to tag HTML elements, which is a must with the other formats. JSON-LD only uses a large block of code that informs Google about the highlights of the page.
In contrast to the JSON-LD recommended by Google, in which the entire content is entered in one large block, the marked data is distributed over the entire page by Microdata. This is why complex applications can get very messy pretty quickly. However, there are certain SEO plugins that use microdata to create a website's schema markup.
As with microdata, this schema syntax distributes markup HTML elements across the page. However, this is probably the least used syntax. However, if you come across Facebook's Open Graph meta tags, you may come across them there as they are based on RDFa.
How do I add structured data to a website?
There are several ways that you can add structured data to your website. One method where the platform is already being used by millions of people around the world is with the help of WordPress plugins.
This is because WordPress has several dedicated plugins for this purpose. Structured data of the schema app is the one that stands out. When using these plugins, a basic understanding of structured data can be very helpful as you can then review the markup yourself and make changes if necessary.
For those not particularly familiar with WordPress, Google has its own Structured Data Markup Helper that has been proven to help many webmasters add schema markup to websites. It is very easy to use and is the most widely used.
While structured data is extremely powerful, it isn't exactly SEO's top priority for most websites. But that doesn't mean it has no value. Implement a flagged scheme as it's pretty simple and can prove helpful in extending the reach of your website.
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