Blog

What is structured data used for in SEO?

Categories: SEO Articles

Structured data has been a massive trend in the world of SEO in 2019, and it will continue to remain a large part of any SEO strategy in 2020 and likely even 2021. Structured data is a means of marking up HTML in a way that is recognised by major search providers. On-page mark-up enables both users and search engines to understand what’s on a webpage, enabling Google, Bing and others to display this structured data in the form of rich snippets.
Without structured data, search engines will have a difficult time understanding what information your page is portraying. In order to markup your webpage, you should firstly find the type of markup you want to use on schema.org, whether its for a recipe, product or video. Using the guidelines, you can mark up your content with the appropriate script. If you’re not too tech-savvy, you can always use a markup generator software to make the process easier.

Types of structured data

There are 2 main forms of structured data markup. The most common two are referred to as JSON-LD and Microdata.

JSON-LD

JSON-LD script is used in the page header within a <script> tag and is the format that we at GSM like to use! This is used for APIs & web pages and is typically faster than its Microdata counterpart. This is often easier to implement as you can simply paste the markup within the HTML code. You must firstly determine what you want to mark-up then simply copy and paste the block of script into the header of your HTML document.

Microdata

Microdata communicates all the same information that JSON-LD does, but the data is added inline on the HTML page. This tends to complicate adding and removing lines of structured data; however, this can be facilitated with Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper. Microdata is rarely recommended over JSON as microdata often leads to a slower page speed.

Rich snippets


Rich snippets are the end goal when adding structured data and it is a large reason of why structured data is so revered in the SEO community. A rich snippet is when the Google search results page includes additional data which is pulled from structured data found on a page’s HTML. A normal
snippet includes meta title, URL and description, whereas rich snippets includes extra information, making them more eye-catching than normal search results.

Examples of Structured data for your website

Organization Schema

Organization schema is used to offer Google more/clearer information on the company that the website represents. It doesn’t matter so much where organisations schema is used – only that it must not be used on every page. We recommend that organisation schema is placed on the homepage, and the contact page is second best.

More Organisation Schema vocabulary can be found here.

Website Schema


Similar to Organization schema, we recommend that Website schema is put only on the homepage of your website. You can do all sorts of interesting things with Website schema, such as offering a search tool for your website on the Google results page. An example of such can be seen below:

The “target” URL should read as follows: https://websitename.com/search/?q={search_term_string} for example.

When you ask the question “what can structured data do for my website’s SEO?”, the answer is almost limitless. Although, it is important to not that while there is no guarantee that structured data will result in rich snippets, the outcome is definitely worth the effort.

If you need help implementing structured data on your website, please do not hesitate to get in contact with Global Search Marketing.

Google Premier Partner