The ultimate goal of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to allow search engines to understand and efficiently crawl the website’s data. The ever-changing search engine algorithms make it a necessity to up the game constantly. One such development is Structured Data.
Lately, both the search engine bots, as well as users, are more attracted towards data that is well organized, this is where the use of structured data comes in. So what exactly is Structured Data, and what are its benefits in SEO? Read on to find out all about it.
What is structured data?
Also known as schema markup structured data is a code, which helps the search engines to crawl, organize and display your website content so that the users can find the information they are looking for within a glance. For example, if the user is searching for a recipe of chocolate cake, a structured data will give a rich snippet, that has the cooking time, the number of calories, and ratings.
Benefits Of Structured Data
Till now, we have learned a lot about Structured Data, but why must you use structured data? And what are its benefits?
- Helps in increasing page relevancy: The search engines need to know the contents of the website so that it can show up relevant searches. Using Structured Data, you are providing detailed information about the contents of your website, making it easier for the algorithm to match the content to right searches.
- Gives an edge over other search results: Even after ranking in the first in the search results page, your web page needs to compete with other pages. Implementing structured data will give you an opportunity to add images, ratings, reviews, etc., which can help grab the user’s attention.
- Helps to create a Google Knowledge Graph: This is an innovative tool from Google which helps in collating all the facts, relevant information about places, businesses, events, and people and present them in the form the Knowledge Graph. Structured Data helps in populating the knowledge box of your business.
- Improve performance of Adwords: You can also use Structured Data to incorporate additional information within your ad copy to help the recipients to understand your products better.
- Email marketing: Structured Data can also be used to provide detailed information to your customers through your emails. For example, few airlines and E-commerce companies send emails which will have your flight timings, name or your order details respectively.
What do numbers have to say?
There are many success stories of businesses who have improved their search results and traffic volume using Structured Data.
- The page conversion rate increased by three times
- The Google organic conversion rate was 4.5 times more than it has been previously
- Increase of a 35% monthly organic traffic (1)
Some examples of how structured data looks like
Structured Data can be used for various industries to increase the search engine results; here are a few examples.
1. When writing about any product, using Structured Data, you can display some of the specifications along with its rating.
2. For local businesses, the scheme data would contain the address, opening, and closing hours, ratings, logo, contact details, and approximate pricing.
3. E-commerce websites are greatly benefitted by Structured Data as the categories are displayed individually and directly linked up to those pages on the website.
Incorporation of Structured Data Onto Your Website
One does not need advanced coding skills to add Structured data into a website. If you are using the Google search engine, then it has three chosen formats such as
- JSON-LD (recommended)
Although you need not be an expert coder, implementation of Structured Data requires HTML knowledge. Thanks to a few third party tools you can implement Structured Data with minimal coding experience, these tools provide a collection of Html tags which help the search engines to markup the website pages.
Here a few tools which can help you build Structured Data.
- Data Highlighter Tool: Using this tool, you can highlight the different areas of the website that contain data. You can then tag these with labels that are helpful for the search engine to generate snippets.
- Structured Data Markup Helper: This tool works on website pages and HTML email templates. All you have to do is login and follow the simple steps to identify and tag the appropriate section on the website. After you are done, you can either copy and paste the code on to your website, or download and save it.
- WordPress Plugins: There are certain WordPress plugins such as WP Rich Snippets and Schema App Structured Data, which help in keeping the posts and pages up to date without the hassle of writing code. Another noteworthy plugin is schema.org, which can be used in a few simple steps to create Structured Data. It even provides a preview of how your page will appear in the SERP.
Structured Data Testing Tool:
Once you have created the required HTML code for your structured data, it is recommended to test it. Google Provides this tool, which can help you identify any warnings and fix them. Once all your warnings are fixed, you can then paste the final HTML code onto your website.
Structured Data is a great innovation which can help your website’s ranking. However, your regular SEO practices must be continued to leverage the full potential of Structured Data.