Whether it’s loyalty schemes or a flexible workforce, companies are always considering the next big idea. One strategy that is proving increasingly useful is structured data. This allows you to make sites more search engine friendly and more visible than improve customer experience as a result.
Read on to learn how structured data can work for you and your business.
Structured data definition
Structured data, or schema markup, refers to a type of code added to the web pages of a site. It is used to make a web page more digestible for a search engine. Web pages that use structured data can pull your information (and display it on a search engine results page, or SERP) more easily than usual.
A web page does not need to use structured data to function properly or to appear in search results. But websites that use it under the TensorFlow framework have an edge over those without, in the same way that using the best business cell phone plans sets you apart from the competition.
Structured data in action
Structured data affects the information that appears on a search engine results page. If you’ve implemented structured data on your website (and your website is of high enough quality), it increases the likelihood that your website (and its information) will appear more prominently. Other actions such as optimizing web performance and using Small map The execution ensures that people stay once they visit.
It’s important to understand that you can check all the relevant boxes and still not appear in a rich snippet. The inner workings of any search engine are (at least to some degree) mysterious, but using structured data gives you the best chance possible. You should also continue to work on other SEO tactics like considering the right long tail keyword.
Today’s SERPs display information in different ways outside of organic search results. Using structured data can help you appear in many of the following items.
- rich snippets
A popular way search engines use structured data is for rich snippets. These bits of information appear above organic search results in a SERP and are of particular value to businesses.
Simply put, rich snippets tell web users that your website is valuable. Let’s say you’re running a web-based phone service, snippets will allow you to provide product reviews, availability information, or an answer to a question, likely to encourage people to visit your site and use your phone plans or services. However, the exact nature of a rich snippet will vary depending on what your site has to offer.
Rich snippets are also invaluable for voice assistants. This is because Siri and the Google Assistant get answers to our queries from rich snippets. Structured data ensures that your business enjoys the widest possible reach.
The popularity of rich snippets reflects a broader desire for convenience in our interactions with technology.
We want to get relevant information from websites with as little effort as possible, which often manifests as reduced mouse clicks.
We also want to learn and communicate on our own terms, which results in things like asynchronous communication. Structured data (and the rich snippets it produces) is a great way to provide this convenience to today’s users.
A carousel contains a combination of images and captions related to your search query, all of which come from a single website. They appear on mobile devices, but typically support a narrow band of content types, like movies or recipes.
If the content on your site supports carousels, they’re a great way to share multiple pieces of content simultaneously. Learning about ecommerce product description best practices can also help in this area.
Videos are a particularly popular form of online content, so it’s no surprise that they appear prominently in SERPs. Many people use online video as an entry point to an unfamiliar topic, reflecting their connection to structured data.
Marking up your video content in the right way can add other enhancements to it. You can tell people if a piece of content went live and where its most useful elements take place. This, in turn, helps people make an informed decision about whether they find it useful.
4. Knowledge Panels
These work in a slightly different way than rich snippets, which appear on the right side of a SERP. However, they perform a similar function: answer questions without the need for additional clicks. The main difference is that knowledge panels tend to provide information about a specific person or entity, such as a celebrity’s birthday or a company’s stock price.
How to add structured data to your website
As you can see, structured data is an essential component of online business. If you want to add it to your website, there is a learning curve to doing so. However, the benefits are hugely significant.
1. Structured data types
To begin, we need to understand the nature of structured data itself. Structured data comes in a few different varieties, some of which may be more suitable for your site than others. You can use a site called Schema.org to find the data you need, especially if you’re looking for something specific.
JSON-LD is one of the best structured data types to use; is very popular with Google, and given Google’s prominence in the Internet search landscape, it’s a safe bet. It’s also very unlikely to have an adverse effect on how your site works, and you don’t need to add it to the text that users can see, which can make adding it easier.
There are other structured data types you can use, such as Microdata and RDFa. However, if you are new to this task, JSON-LD is still the safest option.
2. Google Structured Data Tools
Once you’ve decided on a data type and data source, you can add structured data to your website using a specialized tool. Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper allows you to do this with ease.
To get started, you need to decide what type of data you want to mark. You can designate a few different data types, including articles, products, and job postings. Then you need to paste the URL of the page you want to modify.
Once the page appears, you can highlight different parts of it and assign relevant data labels. You can also add missing tags manually if you think something important is missing.
Once you’re happy with your data labeling, you’ll receive a text snippet; this is the structured data that we have been discussing. You can download it as an HTML file and paste it into the CMS or the source code of a web page. Your website should now be much more search engine friendly.
If you’re not sure you’ve done this correctly, you can test the data you’ve created in the Structured Data Testing Tool. This link allows you to diagnose any problems with the structured data you have created. Another tool on this page allows you to test Schema.org structured data if you prefer.
If you’ve ever had to participate in web testing, you can appreciate the value of this activity.
3. Other structured data methods
There are a few other ways to add structured data to your website.
If your site is powered by WordPress, you may want to use a plugin to add structured data to it. Some plugins come with instructional videos, while others feature a high degree of automation framework design and implementation. This is worth investigating further if you use WordPress on your websites.
Other CMS have their own methods for adding structured data to their sites. Its complexity varies from site to site: Wix and Squarespace sites are fairly easy to add structured data to, while sites like Weebly and Blogger are more complicated. If you’re not sure which CMS you should use, research their structured data support along with a web application security testing can help in the decision-making process.
If you’re feeling more ambitious, you can also manually add structured data to a site’s header. This is more time consuming than the options we’ve discussed, but it allows you to work with more options and gives you more data drive growth And control. Schema.org will help you generate the relevant code in this context, and certain plugins can help you manually insert this data more easily.
Structured data is a major new frontier when doing business online. It ensures your site is visible in the places that really matter to today’s customers. When combined with other orchestration technologies, it can give a big boost to your company’s reputation.
Although there is a significant technical component, certain tools, WordPress or web hosting features, and plugins can make using structured data much easier. It’s important for companies to embrace this learning curve to give their businesses that edge. With patience and perseverance, structured data will be one of the best elements in your trading toolkit.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
pohan-lin Senior Web Marketing & Localization Manager, Databricks
Pohan Lin is Senior Manager of Web Marketing and Localizations at Databricks, a global provider of PySpark and AI that connects the features of data warehouses and data lakes to create a data lake architecture. With over 18 years of experience in web marketing, online SaaS business and e-commerce growth. Pohan is passionate about innovation and dedicated to communicating the significant impact data has on marketing.