What Is Structured Data and How Can it Improve SEO?
by Julie Weishaar
March 15, 2022
What Is Structured Data and How Can It Improve SEO

Structured data is an essential aspect of Search Engine Optimization that website owners should not neglect.

Many SEO experts use structured data to improve their clients’ website visibility and stand out in the search engine.

What is Structured Data for SEO?

Structured data, also referred to as Schema Markup, is the implementation of markup on a website to provide additional information about a page in a structured manner.

It organizes data in categories or types on the Google search engine.

Structured Data does not help your content rank higher on search engines but allows your ranking to display more structure.

An example is when you go Google to search for the keyword phrase ‘how to cook bacon in the oven’ you will find something like the image below:

structured data

From that image, you can see that results are classified under ‘Recipes’ with titles and unique photos in a grid view.

Such structured data is classified under the Recipe Schema Mark-Up.

Other common schema marks up include:

  • Organization Schema Markup
  • Schema Local Business Markup
  • Schema Person Markup
  • Breadcrumbs Markup
  • Schema Products and Offer Markup
  • Video Schema Markup
  • Schema Article Markup
  • Event Schema Markup and more

Google Supported Structured Data Formats

Most search structured data use the schema.org language. Meanwhile, only three formats are accepted by Google and use the Schema.org language.

These formats include: JSON-LD, RDFa, and Microdata. The best among them is the JSON-LD.

JSON uses JavaScript for inserting schema markup in a web page header tag.

It is often recommended that you use the lightweight format to avoid breaking any codes on your website.

The Microdata inserts schema to your web page by integrating it into your HTML homepage.

Using this will require you to have basic or advanced coding knowledge.

RDA is the least preferred option by Google as it uses HTML5 format for Schema Data.

So, let’s see how this Structured Data can help to improve SEO results.

Structured Data: How It Can Help Improve SEO Results

The primary importance of Structured Data is helping search engines understand your content or webpage better.

It gives the end-users a rich view of the Search Engine Result Page (SERP). Meanwhile, below are other ways it helps to improve SEO results:

Increase In Click-Through Rate

CTR has always been a key performance indicator in the world of Search Engine Optimization.

There are many ways to improve CTR, and using structured data is one of them.

Using it makes your contents appear more attractive on the SERPs than the usual ‘Title and Meta description’ result.

Markup like FAQs prompt users to find answers to specific queries on your website.

Product Review markups that display star ratings, product listings, and pricing will catch your prospects’ attention on the search engine result page.

Boost Ranking on Google

While Schema Markup is not a direct ranking factor, it increases your CTR, which is one of the ranking factors.

When your click-through rate is high, Google receives the signal that your website provides the information searchers seek.

So, if you are already ranking in the first position, your ranking will be maintained; if not, it will be boosted.

Increase Traffic and Leads

It is common knowledge that one of the goals of practicing SEO is to increase traffic and generate quality leads.

But how is this possible with Structured Data? The simple answer is ‘higher CTR means more quality traffic and leads.’

The markup for Local Business provides information about your business that makes prospects want to click and find out more about your offerings.

Increase In Dwell Time on Your Website

People will land on your website due to the structured data they found on a search result.

They are likely to spend a lot of time sourcing relevant information because of their genuine interest in what they clicked on.

This may not be the case of a usual search result where users click on a result and bounce out because the result didn’t meet their expectations.

For instance, when you use a product markup, it tells your customers about the available products before they click on the website.

Using Structured Data to Improve SEO

Below are some steps to get you started.

Choose A Page You Want to Mark Up

You should select the page getting the most traffic on your website to get a good result.

Visit your Google Search Console or Google Analytics to identify pages with the highest clicks and most traffic.

Include The Page to Google Structured Data Markup Helper

This tool will help you generate your desired Markup by inputting the page URL.

You are expected to generate the markup by highlighting certain elements and assigning a category to them.

Use Your Desired Structured Data Format

After creating the markup, you can then use a format by clicking ‘HTML Code’ and changing it to JSON, Google’s most preferred format.

Using Google Structured Data Testing Tool

Use Google’s tool to help you confirm if the code generated works

Update Your Webpage

This step is easier on WordPress because you can install a plugin to insert the code on your preferred webpage.

Conclusion

Structured data is essential for SEO to increase your website click-through rate, which eventually boosts other Key Performance Metrics like website traffic, dwell time, and sales.

While it is not a direct ranking factor, it is a way to boost the retention of your ranking on SERPs.

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