What is structured data?

 

If you have Googled “structured data meaning,” then here’s a quick overview of it. Google Search usually works quite hard to comprehend the content of a particular web page. Users can help the search engine to do the job by providing direct cues about the meaning of a web page by incorporating structured data on it.

Structured data is essentially a standardized format for providing crucial information about a web page and categorizing the page’s content. Click To Tweet Take, for example, a recipe page. On this page, you can give details on the key ingredients, the temperature and cooking time, the calorie content of the dish, and many more.

So, structured data is the tool that you can use to let Google know detailed information about a particular page on your website. The search engine will then be able to use this information to create and deliver rich, informative, and valuable search results.

 

What is schema markup?

 

Structured data is generally stored in well-defined schemas or databases. These databases are generally tabular, having columns and rows that define its various attributes. Found at Schema.org, schema markup is a kind of microdata, which, when included in a web page, creates an enhanced description (called a rich snippet). This is what appears in Google’s search results page.

Schema.org is fundamentally a collection of codes that large search engines (including Yahoo and Bing) can comprehend. Other forms of structured data include Open Graph of Facebook and Twitter cards of Twitter. JSON-LD, which is a way of writing code, is one of the scheme markups found in Schema.org, along with others like Microdata or RDFa.

When a particular website has schema markup, you, as a user, can view what a website is about, what they do, price of stuff, and so on when it appears in the SERPs. Some users dub schema markup as a “virtual business card.”

 

The role of scheme markup in SEO

 

Schema markup and SEO go hand-in-hand. Generally, it is used for all kinds of content types, such as the following:

  • Articles
  • Blogs
  • Local businesses
  • TV episodes
  • Restaurants
  • Book reviews
  • Software applications
  • Movies
  • Events
  • Products

 

Provide higher rankings: There are hundreds of schema markup types—from online grocery and toy stores to therapeutic dose schedules. Websites that include schema markup are seen to rank better in search results pages than those that don’t use it. Structured data changes the way content snippets appear on search results. It shows more specific information to users, which increases the likelihood of a user clicking on your website link. More clicks will, in turn, lead to higher rankings.

 

Boost local SEO: Schema markup is great for local SEO too. With structured data in place, you can provide search engines with more specific information about your local business, such as its address and contact details. With a well-optimized Google My Business page, structured data and scheme markup can enhance your local SEO significantly.

 

Boost online advertising: Scheme markup is also an essential requirement for running successful online advertising campaigns. When setting up Google Ads, you need to have microdata on your landing pages for Google to verify the data submitted. Without having microdata, it is highly likely that your online advertising campaigns will not be properly optimized.

 

How to use scheme markup?

 

Schema markup elements can be included directly to the HTML code of a web page to provide search engine crawlers with additional information. There are two ways to add structured data on a website. The first one is done manually, which is editing your HTML files and adding the tags. The second one done is through the use of a plugin or a combination of various plugins.

For the manual process, you can use a tool offered by Google called Structured Data Markup Helper. This tool allows you to tag your web pages and create the required HTML code visually. However, you still have to edit your HTML codes or templates manually.

 

This is how it works:

  • Go to the structured data helper tool
  • Choose the type of schema markup you want
  • Enter the URL of your website in the URL box
  • Hit the “Start” button

 

The Structured Data Markup Helper loads your web page in the left panel, and you get a list of available tags for the selected type of schema in the right panel. You just have to highlight key areas of your website and allot them to tags. After doing this, you can see and download the structured data code. Experts recommend the use of the JSON-LD Markup format. This results in a script that you can add to the HEAD section of your web page.

If you are using WordPress to host your website, the easiest way to add schema markup is to use a plugin, which is very many in number. In most cases, you will have to include schema details in your homepage and article pages (in case of a blog) or product page (in case of an e-commerce website).

 

Bottom line

 

Applying schema markup is easier than you think, and it’s a best practice to incorporate into your web pages for greater SEO success. It may seem a tedious job, but it’s all about being patient. You can certainly reap the benefits if you dedicate some time and effort to the process.

 

 

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