Beginners Guide To Structured Data SEO
If you’re a marketer, SEO, or someone that simply wants to improve their Google Search presence, then this short guide is for you. In this article, we’ll explain what SEO is, why you should consider it vital to your online organic growth strategy, and help you understand some of the associated terminologies.
What is structured data?
Structured data is a way of describing your site to make it easier for search engines to understand. To describe your site to search engines, you’ll need a vocabulary that presents content in a way that search engines can understand. The vocabulary used by the big search engines is called Schema.org, which translates your content into code that they can easily process. Search engines read the code and use it to display search results in a specific and much richer way. You can easily put this piece of code on your website.
Besides the title, the URL, and the description of the search result, you can see how long it will take to make the world’s best lasagna. Also, you’ll see how many calories the lasagne contains. You need to add structured data to your web page to get such a rich snippet. This also works for the products you offer in your Shopify online store.
Why Is Structured Data Important For SEO?
The internet is growing in size and complexity every day. Yet Google continues to have limited time and resources to pursue its mission of organizing the world’s information in an easily accessible and useful way. It still struggles to serve the most relevant and helpful links to each query in its search engine. Structured data is important for SEO because it helps Google serve this mission more efficiently.
As previously mentioned, structured data helps search engines understand your content better, which in turn helps them rank your content more accurately. This helps them present more information directly on the results page in the form of rich snippets. Not only do you improve the experience of the Search Bot, but you improve the user experience as well by improving the results page with more accuracy and more information for them to resolve their queries faster.
The Need for Structured Data
As technology advances and the internet grows in size and complexity, the need for structured data also grows exponentially. While Google and other search engines become smarter and more advanced over the years, their resources are still limited. They only have so much time, processing power, and energy to distribute across all the activities required to keep search engines up and running. And they still struggle to serve the most helpful and relevant results to users’ queries.
Structured data can help take some work off search engines. When you add structured data to your pages, you facilitate search engines to serve better and richer results. You also help them save resources like processing power and energy which they can use somewhere else.
The Advantages Of Structured Data
- Search engines understand all the parts of your business, your brand, and your content better.
- Search engines match content more accurately to relevant search results.
- Search engines include more information on the search results page for your content, like cooking time from a recipe page, the location from an event page, or a review from a customer success page.
- These improvements help Google build a better, more accurate knowledge graph and knowledge panel about your brand.
- These improvements can lead to more ranking keywords because search engines associate your content with more topics and sub-topics.
- These improvements can lead to more organic impressions and organic clicks because search features like rich results help your content stand out in search and resolve queries faster.
What do you do with structured data?
With structured data, you can “talk” to search engines. You can tell the search engines which ingredients there are in your recipe, you can tell them how long the preparation time is, and you can tell them how many calories the dish will contain. You can tell who made your Shopify products, for what price you sell them, and what people thought of them. Google will be able to grasp all that information instantly and can decide to show it in the search results.
Structured data is a tool you can use to tell Google detailed information about a page on your website. Then, Google can use this information to create informative, rich results. And audiences love these rich snippets.
How Structured Data Improves On-Serp SEO
On-SERP SEO is the organic channel strategy of covering as much real estate as possible on the first search results pages for any of your target keywords in order to capture the attention and clicks of your target audience. This is done by qualifying for applicable SERP features, like Google Ads, Featured Snippets, Image Packs, and FAQs, in addition to ranking as highly as possible. Structured data improves On-SERP SEO by qualifying your content for over 30 rich results, also referred to as rich snippets, that maximize the functionality and visibility of your links with more actionable, appealing, and detailed information embedded directly in the search results. To see the impact in Google search, go to Search Console, and under Performance > Search Appearance, you can view a breakdown of all the rich result types like “How-Tos” and “FAQs” and see the organic impressions and clicks they drove for your content.
What is Schema.org?
The big search engines have developed a project called Schema.org. On Schema.org you can find all the structured data markup supported by the search engines. This makes Schema.org a large collection of pieces of code.
You can use Schema.org to find the markup you need for your particular page. For instance, if you sell t-shirts on your Shopify store, you could show what color t-shirts you sell and what sizes you offer in your snippet. You should investigate Schema.org/Product and find out the possibilities. Yoast SEO for Shopify and WooCommerce SEO automatically add this to your products.
On Schema.org, you can copy code examples. After copying it, you’ll have to adapt the code to your specific preferences. You can also use SEO tools like Yoast SEO for first-time configuration or the initial setup in Yoast SEO for Shopify to help you get started with structured data.
Which Type Of Structured Data Should I Use?
Google supports both JSON-LD and Microdata structures. JSON-LD, a more lightweight solution, is Google’s preferred data format.
From our perspective —and Google’s— there’s a clear winner: JSON-LD. It’s the most elegant and lightweight solution for structured data markup.
Microdata is a way to label various HTML elements on a page using machine-readable tags. Because microdata is embedded within the HTML source code of a web page, it takes more time to implement and is more difficult to edit and remove.
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