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What is Structured Data and Why Does Your Site Need It?

In a perfect world, your quality content alone would be enough to dominate in the search engine results pages (SERPs). People who visit your site can read and grasp onto what you may be conveying in your content, but search engines still don’t have the same processing power as people. 

Search engines are getting better at understanding connections between subjects, searches, and sites, but they don’t possess the powers of human reasoning. Many of the algorithms we encounter on the web need certain cues and clues to better contextualize what a page on your site is trying to convey. 

Structured Data, in this instance, tells a search engine what content is on a webpage, what it all means in relation t

What Is Structured Data? 

Structured data is formatting data into an organized and defined structure and written in a way where search engines can understand it. Search engines read the code you put on your site and then display it in the search results

By having structured data on your site, the search engine may produce richer results or snippets, which in turn will enhance a webpage’s presence in the search results. 

When it comes to SEO, the most common structured data formats you will encounter are JSON-LD, Microdata, and RDFa. Something to keep in mind is there are all kinds of structured data-- structured data for books, movies, products, and even reviews. 

No matter what type of structured data you use, it will give search engines more concrete information about your website and your business. 

A good place to start out when you are thinking about adding structured data to your site is  Schema.org, since it has various resources on what schema/structured data would best benefit your site. 

Once you have an understanding of what structured data you should use, you can then use structured data to create a markup on a page on your site, which simply means putting a group of tags that state and categorize each element. 

By having these structured data markups on a page, this lets Google know and use that information to deliver more precise search results to users. 

Implementing structured data on your site allows a search engine to provide the information needed to form rich snippets in the SERPS, which in turn could enhance your ranks and entice users to click more on your site or content.

LD-JSON  

Microdata 

Why Does Your Site Need Structured Data?

You may be wondering why your site in particular needs structured data, if you already have a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy in place. 

Well first, structured data helps search engines with specific tidbits of information about a page on your site, your site in general, or business/organization. 

In using structured data on your site, you will not only help the search engine pull out needed pieces of information, but also provide users with the information they need in order to conduct a search or to make a decision about choosing your business for a project of theirs. 

Structured data on your site can also help your site enjoy higher and more relevant traffic. These are just a couple reasons why your site needs structured data if it doesn’t already. 

While structured data is not a direct ranking factor, it can also influence other elements of your website’s ranking factors, such as enhancing accelerated mobile pages (AMP), helping your site appear in Google’s Knowledge Graph, and improving your site’s click-through rates (CTRs). 

With many of us searching on our mobile devices, site speed has never been more important, especially when someone may consider leaving a site that takes longer than three seconds to load. For this reason alone, many businesses have implemented AMP on their site in order to overcome critical mobile speed obstacles and to improve the usability of their site pages

Google even says that by having structured data with AMPs can help enhance the appearance of a page in mobile search results while offering the ability to appear within rich results. If your site gets the chance to appear in rich results for a well-search term, this could bring a great amount of search traffic as a result. 

For a site to appear in a highly competitive search result spaces, getting a leg up over the competition is crucial. 

One way you can do this is by establishing your site’s presence with Google and appearing in Google’s Knowledge Graph, which allows Google to find your company’s information and display it in specialized parts of the search results when someone searches for you. 

Structured data can be crucial for improving a site’s click-through rates and rankings. 

According to Neil Patel, the best way to increase your click-through rates is to research and use keywords, most importantly long-tail keywords. Also, the point of structured data is to provide concise pieces of information to search engines, so they can get to the point about what your site and company is all about and quickly provide users with the information they need in order to make a decision. 

That being said, structured data ensures you can make your organization more prominent to potential customers, and increase your click-through rate by up to 30%. 

Where Can You Go to Find Schema Markup Tools? 

Now that you know why your site needs structured data, you may be wondering where you can go to implement and make sure your structured data fits correctly for your site. 

The first place we suggest you go to is schema.org, where you can find structured data templates that will fit the type of content that is on your site. This is an easy way for you to copy a template and adapt it to the specific details of your content. 

Then, once you have the structured data template you want, you can then use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper  to test out what kind of structured data best fits your site, company, and industry. 

Next, consider looking into free schema markup generators that can help you as you input the information needed for structured data on your site. 

Once you have your structured data all set up, run it through Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to see if you’re missing any information and verify that your data is correctly formatted.

Keep in mind, Google prefers one schema markup language, JSON-LD, over the rest. 

Last but not least, make sure to have an overarching structured data for your site, including basic information about your company, so search engines have a surface level understanding of who and what your company is. 

 

How Can Your Business Benefit from Structured Data? 

In implementing structured data onto your site, you can help search engines get and show the information the user is looking for. 

Structured data offers an array of benefits, such as featured snippets,  improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO), voice search, increased relevacy in the SERPS, and a higher click-through rate

Although appearing higher in search results is not guaranteed, structured data can help not only your site, but also your business get more visibility and awareness among your intended audience. 

Get Started with Structured Data Today 

Whether you were new to the concept or knew of how structured data worked, we hope you learned something to help your site and business.

While implementing structured data onto your site does not send direct ranking signals, structured data helps search engines better understand and show your content to users. 

Structured data not only helps search engines, but also benefits your site and business. 

If you need help with putting structured data, please feel free to reach out to us here at Neoreef. We can help you take the steps you need to put proper schema markup on your site, and structured data is a service we offer to all existing clients. 

 

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