How Structured Data Leads to Improved SEO?
A lot of website owners get confused when they come across the words structured data. The fact is structured data could be a critical component of any Huntsville web design. Search engines encourage website owners to include structured data code to make it easier for search bots to understand what the content is about.
Adding the structured data code is similar to giving your business card to your customers. The code will make it easier for search bots and users to find important information about the company.
Here you will learn what exactly structured data is and how it can help optimize your site for search engine.
Structured data: What Is It?
Structured data simply refers to a code added to a website to make the content of a webpage understandable by a search engine. Also known as schema markup, structured data code allows search engines to display rich snippets — or extra information — about the webpage in a search results page.
Here is a simple example of a JSON code that provides information about a company’s phone number to the search engine.
“name”: “ABC Corp.”,
“contactType”: “Customer Representative”
Search engines will use the above code to display a rich snippet on the search results page. The following will be displayed when you insert the above code in your website.
You can see that the search results page has added information about the customer service contact number. Here is another example of a rich snippet that is displayed when you enter the structured data code to the webpage.
In short, structured data code provides clues to the search engine about the structure and content of the web page.
How Adding Structured Data Helps SEO?
Adding structured data to your website will not directly affect the search engine ranking. But it will entice users to click on your website link. This will result in an improved click-through rate (CTR) of your website.
Structured data makes it easy for search engine bots to crawl your website. In other words, it allows search engines to analyze the webpage content.
Adding structured data code will make your website visible to online users. You can most likely enjoy higher clicks to your website link displayed on the search results page.
High click-through rate (CRT) tells search engine that most visitors like your website. The result will be an improved search engine ranking.
In contrast, when hundreds of online users see your website, but most don’t click on your site, it shows that your website is not attractive to online users. This will have a negative impact on the search ranking. The main thing is that CTR matter for your website that can be increased through adding structured data code to your webs pages.
How Can You Add Structured Data to Your Website?
Structured data codes can be in different formats. Three popular code formats include the following:
- JSON-LD — The code is added inside a script tag in the head section of the HTML.
- RDFa —Supports linked data through HTML tag attributes that indicates user-visible parts.
- Microdata — An HTML specification that uses HTML tag attributes similar to RDFa. You can use the code to nest structured data within the HTML code.
Google recommends this format and plans to add support for all features. That’s why you should focus on understanding the JSON-LD structured data format.
You don’t need to go back to school and get a computer science degree to add structured data to your website. Various online tools are available that help you create and validate codes.
The best option is to get WordPress plugins such as the Schema App Structured Data tool. The online tool allows you to create structured data codes for your web pages. You just have to download, install, and activate the plug-in. Once the plug-in is installed you can either let the plug-in automatically create the structured data code by sifting through information contained in the page or create a custom code.
Another option to add structured data code to your website is to use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper.
The free online tool lets you create structured data markup for your webpage. As you can see in the image, you can add different types of data including book reviews, local businesses, products, software apps, restaurants, events, and more.
Best Practices When Adding Structured Data Codes
Make sure that you read Google’s structured data quality guidelines. This is important as violating the rules can result in a penalty due to which the website ranking may suffer.
You should use structured data that is relevant to your website. Avoid adding spammy information to the structured data code just to improve the search engine ranking. If you ignore this rule, you will receive a warning from Google and the information will not be shown in the search results page. You will then have to clean the code to make the additional information visible in the search engine.
All the information in the structured data code should be accurate. Entering fake reviews will most probably result in your code to be marked as spam.
You should also update the structured data information in case of changes. For instance, if the address or phone number changes, you need to change the information in the code as well. While Google will not warn you about not updating the changes, users will not likely appreciate outdated information presented about your website.
Lastly, you should not add information that is not included on the web page. For instance, if the JASON-LD code mentions pancake recipes, the body should also contain information about the same.
Structured data is a special code added to a website HTML code that lets search engine understands your website. Adding the code will result in enhanced information shown on the search page. This will result in increased CTR that will have a positive impact on the site’s search engine rankings.
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