What is Structured Data?
Structured Data, otherwise known as schema markup, is often referred to as "the language of search engines". It is a vocabulary that makes it easier for search engines to frame, understand, and accurately match web page content to a relevant search.
What is the difference between Structured Data and Unstructured Data?
The difference is simple. Structured Data is structured data, where unstructured data is unstructured data.
"Stelios Englesos is a developer at One Medical."
The reader, whether human or robot, is required to put the above information in order. Structured Data, in contrast, will organize all these properties. For example “Stellios Englesos” is the name, “Developer” is the role, and “One Medical” is the company.
Why is Structured Data Important for SEO?
The internet is growing in size and becoming more complex every day. Google has limited time and limited resources to pursue its mission of organizing the world's information in an easy and accessible way. It still struggles to show the most relevant and helpful links in every search. Structured Data is important for SEO because it helps Google become more efficient.
As we mentioned before, structured data helps search engines understand content better, and in turn, helps us by presenting our content accurately, presenting our content with more information on the results page. Not only do we improve the Search Bot experience, but we also improve the user experience, our content is presented in the results list with more accuracy and more information.
To summarize, these are the advantages of structured data:
1. Search engines understand all parts of our business, our brand, and our content better
2. Search engines match content more accurately to relevant searches
3. Search engines include more information on the results page about our content, such as reviews, FAQs, event time, etc.
4. These improvements help Google build a better, more accurate graph and dashboard for our brand
5. These improvements lead to more ranking keywords because search engines associate our content with more topics
6. These improvements lead to more organic impressions and organic clicks because on the results page there is more information for example reviews (stars), the content stands out resulting in more organic traffic
How Structured Data Improves On-SERP SEO?
On-SERP SEO is the organic strategy of covering as much information as possible on the first page of results for each of our targeted keywords in order to attract attention and clicks from our targeted audience. Structured data improves On-SERP SEO by selecting for our content over 30 rich results (also referred to as rich snippets), which maximize the functionality and visibility of our links with more interactive, viewable, and more detailed information embedded directly into the results page. To see what effect it has on Google Search, go to Search Console go to Performance > Search Display, there we can see how many impressions our structured data has had and how many clicks. You can see in the photo below an example of how our content can look in Google search with structured data.
Is structured data a ranking factor?
Υes and no, structured data is NOT a ranking factor yet, but it is recommended by Google developers and indirectly helps and improves the ranking of our website
To explain it further, by presenting machine-readable information, search bots can understand the meaning and content of our page better, match the content with relevant searches, and display beautifully enriched results. All these are directly related to the ranking of our website such as clicks and direct traffic, because Google uses data to display the results in front of a more competent audience and these links are enhanced with features such as FAQs, ratings, reviews that help users to solve their queries quickly and be enticed to our website.
Regardless of the ranking question, if your goal is to increase the visibility of your website in search engines and indirectly improve the ranking, it is a critical advantage to have on your website.
How do we implement Structured Data?
In order for structured data to be effective and recognizable, and especially by Google (87% of the population uses Google), the structured data markup must describe the content of the page and include information that is visible to the user.
There are many ways to implement structured data on a page but the recommended way is with JSON-LD
JSON-LD is not intended to be visible to humans, it is designed for search engines. JSON is a text format and LD stands for linked data.