What is structured data, and why is it useful? Boosting your web page’s visibility can be tough. After all, there are lots of competing articles out there. Fortunately, you can improve visibility by using structured data and schema markup. Let’s dive into these concepts below.
What Is Structured Data?
Structured data is the information taken from various elements of your web page. These elements can be categorized in a set format. They’re also usually quantitative. Using this information, search engines can better classify your content. They can pull up your web page more accurately in search results.
Structured data examples include ingredients, calories, and cooking time for recipe pages. Meanwhile, it refers to a company’s name, business address, or owner’s name for business pages.
What Is Unstructured Data?
The definition of structured data becomes clear when we compare it to unstructured data. Unstructured data also refers to data contained in web pages. However, it’s different because unstructured data is undefined. They also do not have a set format. Think of photos, audio clips, and text that aren’t organized.
Unstructured data is mainly qualitative as opposed to quantitative. They aren’t easily categorized. Hence, they’re harder to analyze without AI or natural language processing.
What Is Schema Markup?
Schema markup is a body of code that contains your structured data. It translates your structured data into a search engine’s language to let it know how to use your information. As a result, search engines can better understand when to present your data. This also showcases your content as rich results, making them stand out more.
What Are Rich Results?
Structured data can help search engines display your information as rich results. But what are rich results anyway?
Rich results are search results that also show up on the search engine result page (SERP). What makes them different is that rich results don’t only display a web page’s title and meta description. Instead, they highlight more relevant information at a glance. This helps searchers find the information they need without opening web pages.
For example, regular search results for recipes only direct you to the title of a recipe article. Meanwhile, a rich result will display the ingredients, cooking time, and how many stars the review has.
Rich results can appear as rich cards, enriched results, or rich snippets. Here’s an overview of what these various rich results look like:
- Rich snippets are search results that include additional information apart from the meta description. They add information taken from the structured data included in the schema markup.
- Enriched results are search results that offer more interactive elements. They allow the searcher to view multiple structured data items from various web pages. Common examples of information with enriched results include recipes, jobs, and events.
- Rich cards are similar to rich snippets in that they highlight structured data. However, they present the information more visually. Rich cards enhance the user experience on a mobile device.
Are There Different Types of Schema Markups?
Search engines can read hundreds of different markup types. The most popular ones include markups for logos, local businesses, products, and reviews.
For the most part, different types are segregated based on categories. The categories include the following:
- Creative Works (ex., Books, movies, music recordings, recipes, and shows)
- Embedded non-text objects (ex., Videos, images, and audio)
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Places, Restaurants, and Local Businesses
- Products, Offerings
Unfortunately, we can’t list everything because there are over 790 types. For a complete list of all the types available, click here.
Regardless, there are types for almost every industry, object, or action. Each one helps search engines understand what your content is referring to.
For example, a Logo Markup will tell the search engine what your logo looks like. This prevents it from displaying the wrong logo in search results.
Meanwhile, a Local Business markup specifies the essential elements of your business. These can include your business address and contact information. The engine should display the right information referring to your business.
What Is Structured Data Good For?
Not all digital marketers emphasize the use of structured data. But just as SEO is important to get hits, so is using structured data.
This is because it helps your website better communicate with search engines. Google will then serve more accurate results.
As such, you’re more likely to get clicks as Google presents your content to someone searching for what you offer. One example of this is Rakuten. Its website saw a rise in traffic of over 2.7 times after using structured data. People also kept its pages open 1.5 times longer.
Structured data also helps your inbound marketing. It makes searches more engaging through rich results. Rich results encourage searchers to interact with your site as they feature it more prominently.
One test even found that prominence through rich results gave them a 25% increase in clickthrough rate.
How Do You Use Structured Data?
Whether you’re developing your e-commerce website or creating blog content, knowing how to do schema markup is crucial. Fortunately, you don’t need to learn coding to use structured data.
This is because Google has built a Structured Data Markup helper to help digital marketers create schema without coding. You only need to familiarize yourself with marking up your page by highlighting the relevant information.
Afterward, the helper will generate the code needed to markup your website. Google supports three formats: Microdata, RDFa, and JSON-LD. However, it recommends JSON-LD as it is easier to edit and organize.
Once finished, add the generated code to your web page. You can copy and paste the code at the end of your text on your site’s content editor’s HTML section.
Remember to only add the schema markup to pages containing the relevant information. Otherwise, it may be difficult for the search engine to understand when to use it. You can also test your structured data. This helps ensure your schema has no errors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Different Search Engines Have Different Schema Markup Formats?
No. Most major search engines like Google, Yahoo, Yandex, and Microsoft agreed on a standardized language for schema markup.
You can find the library of different schema markups on Schema.org. Thus, you don’t need to reformat all your markups to suit various search engines.
Do All Structured Data Appear as Rich Results?
No. Search engines will not display every page with structured data as a rich result. It doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get a snippet on the SERP.
However, schema markup will boost the odds of displaying your webpage as a rich result. It will also be more likely to appear under an FAQ.
Apply Structured Data to Your Content Today
Using structured data in your content may be intimidating. Nonetheless, they make an impact on the clickthrough rate and can improve your web page’s visibility. Tanner Grey offers inbound marketing and SEO services. Call us at 844.500.1339 or contact us online to optimize your web pages today!