Structured Data: What, Why and How
Search engine optimization is a vast subject. There are so many elements that contribute to how well your website ranks in organic search results, and there are so many strategies you can use to increase your rankings. One of the most important things you can do for your SEO efforts is making sure that all of the information on your web pages is structured properly.
Structured data plays an important role in this process by helping search engines better understand what each page on your site contains and how it should be indexed and ranked. Read on to learn more about structured data markup.
What is structured data?
Also known as schema markup, it’s a way to describe your site, so search engines can better understand it. This code helps search engines crawl, organize, and display your content more effectively.
Structured data tells search engines what your data means. For search engines to understand your site, you need a vocabulary that describes the content in a way that makes sense to them. Big search engines use a vocabulary called Schema.org, which converts your content into code that they can easily understand. By reading the code, search engines display search results in a more specific and richer way. When schema markup isn’t used, search engines can only read what your data says and have to work harder to understand what it means.
Why is structured data important for SEO?
A structured data set is crucial for SEO, as it will make it easier for Google to understand what your website and pages are about. For Google to display a page in the search results, it needs to know what it is about. Using structured data is like talking to Google, telling Google what your site is about. This will help you rank higher.
Structured data will also change how your snippet (your search results) appears. It will provide more details to the customer. It will be more specific. It will therefore increase the chance of a customer clicking on your results. More clicks will eventually result in even higher rankings
How structured data support SEO?
Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and other search engines encourage webmasters to use structured data and reward websites that implement it correctly by offering benefits to those websites.
Among the benefits are enhanced search results and content-specific features, such as:
- Enriched search results: Includes immersive and interactive features
- Rich search results: Includes images, styling, and other visual enhancements
- Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs in your search result
- Rich cards: Are mobile-friendly versions of rich search results similar to rich snippets
- Carousels: A carousel is a collection of multiple rich results
- Knowledgeable graph: A knowledge graph represents information about an entity, such as a brand.
- Rich AMP results: The best way to have your AMP appear in carousels is to include structured data.
Enhanced search results can also increase your click-through rate (CTR) and drive additional traffic since they are enhanced with more visual appeal and provide more information to searchers. In addition, a better click-through rate can also indirectly boost your rankings since it is a signal of user behavior.
Implementing structured data on your website is also an excellent way to prepare for the future of search. Google, in particular, continues to move in the direction of hyper-personalization, which solves problems and answers questions directly.