1.What is structured data for SEO?
It is a form of data which is useful in the World Wide Web. It means combining a name with a value which can aid the search engines to recognize and index the content. Super example is Microdata which is a form of structured data that works with HTML5. Collaboration between Google, Yandex, Yahoo, and Bing has been developed to bring forth Schema.org so that the search engines can understand the content to get featured in the SERP. The web pages get enhanced and enriched with the help of Schema markup to the HTML and the pages reflect in the SERP.
In simple language, “Structured Data” means data which have been organized. When the data is organized and categorised properly so that it can be understood easily, it is referred to as structured data. A kind of markup is implemented on a web page which enriches the information of the content. In order to make the content easily understandable for the search engines, formats and syntaxes are used.
Types of syntaxes supported by search engines:
Common vocabularies which can be used with the above-mentioned syntaxes are:
For SEO purposes, Schema.org is one of the most popular approaches to structured data markup.
Microformats.org vocabulary is used by websites for marking up product reviews.
The Schema.org vocabulary site use markup through syntax Microdata format or JSON-LD. The Microdata was highly recommended one for SEO purposes but Google’s JSON-LD approach is most recommended because it has been developed and improved over the years. The noteworthy point is that Bing does not support JSON_LD.
2.What is the difference between Schema, Microdata, and structured data?
Structured data means pairing or combining a name with a value which helps the search engines to recognize and index the content. Microdata is a kind of structured data that works with HTML5 and Schema.org is a project which is equipped with agreed upon definitions for microdata tags.
3.How does structured data support SEO?
The search engines want the sites to use structured data and also provide incentives to the sites which make use of the same. Structured data is most useful to markup all types of content in the sites. Search result can be benefitted in more than one way:
- Images, styling and visual enhancement can impact the results.
- Rich results are achieved specially for the mobile users.
- Graphs are also featured in the results which can be brand-specific too.
- The presence of breadcrumbs in the search results
- Results can be displayed in carousel style as well.
4.What is structured data’s effect on rankings?
- This has been a subject of much discussion. Though there is no strong evidence that the markup can improve the rankings, yet there are indications that rich snippets attract better click rate. The snippets are mostly the ones created by Schema. Snippets with enhancements are able to garner more Click-Through-Rate (CTR).
- Moreover, structured data has the potential to make the site user-centric as it is enriched with such features. Users can easily shift and transfer structured data between websites and applications.
- Google can easily understand structured data. If the content is understandable for Google, then it can easily enrich the features of the web page and it can get featured in the search results.
|Sсhema.org and JSON-LD is the best combo for designing most of the websites.|
5.What are the common uses of Structured Data?
Any website can easily benefit from structured data and few of the benefits are mentioned below:
- Knowledge Graph: If the website is a business brand or a personal one, information can be edited on the right-hand side of the SERP. Google makes use of the structured data for filling the Knowledge Graph Box.
- Rich cards and rich snippets: Content in websites is available in the form of articles, product reviews, videos, recipes, ratings, and products. The presence of rich snippets allows the sites to show up in the SERPs.
- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): When the site makes use of AMP, the designer would want to involve structured data markup in both the AMP pages and regular ones. Thus the site will get an enriched featuring in the SERP.
- Social Card: If the site is having links and connections with the social media platforms, then ensure that the social markup is used in the respective platforms. Examples are mentioned below:
- LinkedIn: Open Graph
- Facebook: Open Graph + Validation Tool
- Pinterest: Rich Pins + Validation Tools
- Instagram: Open Graph
- Twitter: Cards + Validation Tools
- AdWords: The structured data can be included in the AdWords also. The owners of the ads can include more information to their product which can increase the CTR also.
6.How to create structured data pages?
- First of all the guidelines to create the structured data has to be followed. If the page is about a Recipe, then the guidelines for the creation of a recipe page has to be followed.
- The code has to be validated with the help of Structured Data Testing Tool. The code has to be pasted in the tool and simultaneously the Validate button should be clicked.
- URL Inspection Tool should be used to see how Google sees the page. The page should be clearly accessible to Google without any blockage offered by no-index, robots, or login requirements. Request for an index of the page if the page looks fine to Google.
- Once the page has been indexed by Google, find errors with the help of Rich Results Status Reports. If the structured data crawls through without any errors then update the sitemap so that Google can easily crawl the pages on a regular basis. But if the otherwise happens then fix the error. Retesting on URL inspection and request for another index till the reports occur fine. Then the rest of the pages can be deployed.
- The errors should be monitored at regular intervals so that the issue can be fixed. Especially after updating the code, the monitoring is a must.
7.What are the Myths and misconceptions about Structured data and SEO
Myth 1: it is not a guarantee that implementing structured data will bring rich snippets. At times, the data may not be visible and not appear at all.
Myth 2: Some people think that structured data is a signal to get ranking in SERP. Although stats and research has proved that rich snippets do bring SEO for the site, yet structured data by itself is not a sign of ranking in the result pages.
Myth 3: It is a common belief that Google can figure out structured data without any extra effort. Thinking that Google has got enriched features and it can do all the work by itself is not the right approach at all.
Some important definitions
- Schema: schema.org is a vocabulary which supports the markup of structured data in the HTML documents.
- Microformats: it is a markup syntax and a vocabulary. It adds semantic information to the HTML documents.
- Microdata: it supports the markup of structured data in HTML documents and is an HTML5 specification.