To increase visibility on Google and other search engines, structured data through Schema.org is crucial. When incorporating this data, Google will be able to use it and the algorithm will gain a deeper understanding of your website based on context clues. You can use this data to build descriptions for events, products, reviews, and more. More importantly, if you want your business to rank in “position zero” on search engines where people first look, structured data will be critical for landing rich search results such as snippets, knowledge graph listings, interactive mobile results, and voice-activated actions.
If you want to successfully integrate schema structured data into your website, the following guide will help you get started.
What Exactly Is Structured Data?
Put simply, structured data helps describe your website to Google and other search engines so they understand what it’s about. However, you can’t simply write descriptions for search engines like you would with people. Instead, you need a specific type of vocabulary to make your website truly comprehensible to these algorithms. The key to this is Schema.org, which describes certain items in greater depth, such as products, business listings, and reviews. Using these descriptions, search engines will be able to determine exactly what your website is about, using it for a variety of tasks, including setting up alerts for users about a certain topic.
Through the proper use of schema structured data, search engines will be able to build a complete picture of your website and business. In the process, you’ll be able to achieve higher rankings with features that you might not be able to achieve without this data.
The Importance of Structured Data for Products and More
If you neglect to use the kind of language that Schema.org uses to communicate website contents to search engines, these platforms will have a very limited comprehension of your website. Structured data essentially helps ensure your website “makes sense” to Google, Bing, and other search engines. For instance, structured data confirms whether a review is, in fact, a review. It also helps connect different elements of your business together to form a more cohesive picture.
Ultimately, structured data is integral to search engine optimization (SEO). It’s especially important for eCommerce websites that involve transactions and many unique products. Product schema gives search engines critical information about an eCommerce platform’s products that you want your audiences to see. Product schema can detail information about product images, ratings, reviews, pricing, availability, and other factors. Using product schema, not only will eCommerce websites have a better chance of ranking their products, but they’ll also enable customers to make more informed buying decisions.
Keep in mind that while schema may not help you achieve higher rankings directly, you’ll be able to maximize your website’s visibility in search results with rich snippets and other rich results. People are more likely to trust these results because of their prominent location and information, leading more people to visit your website. They can also better determine if a result is what they’re looking for with a rich snippet or other feature that shows them a preview of the result. This would help reduce your website’s bounce rate as people coming to your website stay. In turn, a reduced bounce rate would help boost webpages’ organic rankings. It would also help boost your website’s reputation among search engine users who find your results to be the most relevant among competitors.
The Different Types of Structured Data
There are many kinds of structured data that you can use to describe your website to search engines. Prior to using it, it’s important to understand what exactly you should use depending on the nature of your website. Different types of sites will use different data, whether they’re business websites that sell products or services, blog content, job listings, or another type of platform.
For example, you could use a variety of commercial markups for businesses. These could include events, businesses and organizations, products, job postings, and reviews. If your website is a platform for a kind of creative work, you also have plenty of markup options. Creative elements that you can describe via structured data may include articles, courses, books, how-to guides, music, recipes, and more.
Product schema for eCommerce sites could also include a variety of product-related data, including the name of the product, description, image, ProductID (for Amazon or other listings), reviews, price, brand name, and availability.
Based on the kind of structured data you want to use, consider the data hierarchy. As an example, the structured data for a local restaurant could appear as:
- Restaurant Name
Following this structure would help search engines fully understand the restaurant and everything associated with it.
How to Implement Structured Data
To start using structured data to your advantage, there are some steps you can take with the help of Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper. With this tool, you’ll be able to add HTML markups to incorporate schema structured data.
The basic steps for using the tool are as follows:
1. Choose the Type of Data and Enter the Website Address
After opening the tool, open the website tab. From there, you can select the type of structured data you want to use when adding markups. You can then enter the website’s URL or HTML code and select “Start Tagging.”
2. Highlight Various Page Elements and Choose Corresponding Tags
After selecting “Start Tagging,” your website will appear on the left, with corresponding data to the right. Next, begin highlighting certain elements on the page and assign appropriate data tags, which could include items based on what the tool recommends. Also, select “Add missing tags” to add any tags that might otherwise be hidden on the webpage.
Once you’ve added all necessary tags, select “Create HTML,” which you’ll see in the upper right corner.
3. Add Markup to the Page
Next, select “Download,” which will download the structured data in an HTML file format. You’ll then be able to publish the markup by using Schema.org as a guide to help you integrate it into your webpage’s source code or CMS, but it’s crucial to test it before doing so.
Select “Finish” to complete the process, at which point Google will suggest some “Next steps” to take.
4. Test the Markup and Fix Issues
The Google Structured Data Testing Tool will enable you to test your markup. You can do so by entering either a webpage’s URL or HTML code and select “Run Test.” At this point, the tool will display HTML markup on the left, with detailed analysis on the right that highlights warnings and errors in red. From there, fix any identified issues.
After completing each of these steps, you can integrate it and give Google and other search engines plenty of time to crawl the website and process the structured data. Keep in mind that this process could take as long as weeks, and you may not see results for even longer.
Alternative Methods for Adding Schema Markup
In addition to the Google tool, other options are available to help you create schema markup. For instance, you can use a WordPress plugin for your website that enables you to add schema to a webpage’s header or footer for manual creation. One of these plugins includes Schema App Structured Data. Another potential method involves using Rank Math PRO, which offers more automation.
After implementing schema using these or other potential methods, you can monitor the markup’s performance via Google Search Console. Remember, it’s always important to test the markup before placing it on your website, which will help make sure you avoid any errors that may otherwise result.
Help Your Website Succeed With Structured Data
With properly implemented structured data, you’ll equip your website to flourish in search engines. However, there are many other tasks that go into good SEO, many of which can be overwhelming for those who aren’t familiar with them. If you’re worried you don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to solid SEO and other marketing efforts, Vigor Seorchers is here to help. To get started on a custom marketing solution for your website, contact us today.