Every company that seeks to stand out in the market wants the best web positioning. To make the search engines’ job easier and to appear at the top of Google’s rankings, the ideal is to use structured data.
It is likely that you have heard the term, but you do not yet know precisely what it is. So I write my essay to tell you what it is, what it is used for, and how it relates to SEO positioning.
What is structured data?
Clarity is fundamental in the web world. There are ways to communicate better with search engines for the same reason. Structured data is, precisely, a specific format to give Google information about your site and improve SEO. In this way, Google understands your page and ranks it (Woorank, n.d.).
In SEO, data is tagged with text groups. This is in order to provide search engines with timely information, which allows them to deliver accurate results (Coppola, 2020).
Let’s use an example to make it easier for you to see. Someone leaves a message on your answering machine: “John called at 8:00 to ask about vacation”. The data in this sentence is not categorized, so a machine would not understand it.
With structured data, it would look something like this:
Time: 8 pm.
Message: when is the vacation.
What is the purpose of this type of data?
Being data in HTML code, they tell search engines what to show in the SERP and what this information represents. The SERP is the results returned in a search, for example, in Google.
Today, this technology has improved and provides the user with a smarter and more informative search experience.
For example, images may appear in a search result if you have a recipe page.
Users could even search for a recipe on your site by ingredients, cooking time, or calorie count. This is thanks to the tags you use with structured data (Google Search Central, 2022).
As you can see, these play a basic role in the SEO strategies of any company, as they contribute to achieving optimal positioning. Now, we will explain how to add them to your portal.
How to implement them on my website
To start implementing structured data in your web portal, the first thing to do is choose the format and vocabulary. The most commonly used for the latter is Schema.org.
We will show you how to do it with the Google wizard (Coppola, 2021):
- Enter the wizard, select the data type and enter the URL. Check that you are in the “Website” table.
- Highlight the elements of the portal and label them: now, the website will appear on the screen on your left, and on the right, the elements to highlight. Highlight, for example, the author and the date. Each time you select structured data, you will see it on the right in “Data elements.” You can add labels with the “Add missing labels” button at the bottom.
- When you have finished highlighting the elements, click on the “Create HTML” button at the top right.
- You will see on this screen the outline markup on the right side. The tool automatically produces the script as JSON-LD. But you can change it by clicking the “JSON-LD” drop-down menu.
- Then, on the top right, click “Download” to get your script as an HTML file. Then copy and paste your markup into your CMS and click “Finish.”
- Test your markup: open Google’s rich data testing tool and add your URL. Then click on “Test URL.”
- On the next page, you will see warnings and crawl details. Here you can edit errors in the HTML code before publishing the markup.
- Finally, you should wait, as Google does not detect the results of the data implementation right away. It may take a couple of weeks for the changes in the SERP to be visible.
Other advantages of structured data
We know that standing out in the market is a task to which you must dedicate specific time. Doing so will bring benefits to your organic positioning. Being visible is key, and with this data, you will give tools to search engines to understand and show all your content.
In addition, you have tools such as big data marketing, through which you will be able to inspect them.
In the future, you will also be able to analyze this data to benefit your business or company. This is because you will find answers about decisions regarding products and services and how to manage time and reduce costs.