How to use structured data for SEO and rank higher in Google

With the proper implementation of structured data, search engines can use them to better understand the content of your page. As a result, you will improve Google ranking of your website.

Marking your products, reviews, events, job postings, etc. with structured data for SEO in the Schema.org dictionary makes your site instantly understandable to search engines. This means that they can tell exactly what each part of your site is about. Search engines no longer need to guess that the list of products is a list of products, now you can confirm that this is indeed the case.

Proper implementation of the data may not lead you immediately to the SEO improvements, but indirectly make your site the best among the search results.

Advanced search results allow search engines to select a result from a list of links in an easier way. If your list is “rich,” and your page matches what your list promises, then you have provided a current result for the user. And this, in turn, will lead to a decrease in the bounce rate. A lower bounce rate tells Google that your site can be considered authoritative, that is, with a high search engine rating for reliable information.

SEO - image

In addition, since the structured data is still gaining momentum, you have a good chance of gaining an edge over the competition. Think about it, if you have, for example, a hairdresser, and you have included in your markup your 300 five-star reviews, then you will be significantly ahead of your competitor, who has not added reviews. Google collects this microdata for SEO and shows it directly in the search results. If you were looking for a hairdresser in Google, which one would you choose? The one that has no reviews, or one that has 300 good ones?

Different types of structured data Schema.org

If you look at the Schema checker, then you will surely notice that there is a lot of information that you can add to your site in the form of structured data. Although not everything really matters. But before you begin to implement structured data, you must clearly understand what you should include in the Schema markup for SEO. Do you have a product in the online store? Or do you have a restaurant? Or maybe you work in the service sector? Or do you have a website with your favourite cheesecake recipes? Whatever it is, you need to know what you want to do and explore in detail all the possibilities to get better SEO service for small businesses or a big one. Be sure to check the documentation of the search engines to clearly understand what they need from you.

Do not choose little known, but choose those that are relatively easy to implement. Some Schema.orgs appear on less than a thousand sites, while others appear on millions. You can put the main Schema.org into groups such as Creative Activity and Commerce, and then you can find the most common markup elements for Schema.org in these groups. The following are the most important of them.

Creative activity

Creative concept - illustration

The first important group is “Creative activity”. And it covers the widest group of creative activity – these are things that were created by someone or something. Below you will find the most common, but this list is much longer. You will also find the characteristics of works of art, sculpture, games, conversations, software, and more. However, the expanded information in the search results is not attached to most of these characteristics, so they are less valuable. But, as mentioned earlier, if your site has items in the categories below, be sure to tag them on Schema.org.

Articles

The article may be news or part of an investigation report. You can recognize both a news article, a technical article, or even a blog post.

Books

A book is a book, whether in paper form or on digital media, like an electronic book. You can include in the markup any information about the ownership of a particular book. Starting from the author who wrote it, ending with an award he received for its publication.

Courses

Very soon anyone who offers courses can use the new Schema.org. Google is currently conducting small tests with selected participants to see how this element of Schema.org works.

Datasets

Google recognizes structured data for databases and can use this to help better understand them. Find out more information on this topic on the Google developer pages.

Data blocks in Gutenberg WordPress editor

In the new WordPress block editor, you will find new structured data, including reference materials. By following the step-by-step algorithm, users will be able to perform a specific task.

Musicmusic - illustration

Music also undergoes structured data processing. There are several Schema.orgs of interest for music, such as: MusicRecording, MusicAlbum, MusicEvent and MusicGroup.

Question and Answer Pages

Question and answer pages are great for getting “rich” results. According to Google, the question and answer pages are very different from the frequently asked questions pages, where you can find several questions and answers on the page. More information on this topic can be found in the documentation on the Google Question and Answer page.

Recipes

By adding the data of a particular dish to the recipes on your culinary site, you can get your recipes, which will be placed directly in the search results. Moreover, thanks to the appearance of “rich” results on mobile devices, your recipes can be presented on the phone screen in the best light. For example, you can add bright mouth-watering images of your dishes.

Sound performance

Google is currently testing the implementation of Schema.org voiced data. With this code, you can tell the search engine that some of the content is specifically written to be voiced using digital assistants such as Alexa, Siri, Cortana, or Google Assistant. This will be an integral part of your voice search strategy for the near future.

TV and movies

Movies and TV shows also get their own structured data. Searching for a movie in search engines will provide a “rich” result with reviews, posters, information about actors, and even the ability to directly book tickets for the show. You can also tag lists of the best movies or your favourite TV shows. Moreover, your visitors can view the content directly by adding structured ViewAction or Watch Action data.

Videovideo image

You can do various interesting things with video. Google, in particular, is working on new ways to display video in search results, for example, using AMP. Google can use your videos in AMP carousels and top story listings.

Podcast

Have a podcast? Why not mark your podcast with structured data so that Google can do cool things with it, for example, display a description of each episode and even add a play button.

Commerce

The second main group is commerce. In this group, you will find several important types for the layout from Schema.org.

Events

Laying out your event lists using Event Schema.org can cause search engines to display your events directly in search results. This is a real must-have for those who have a nightclub, a venue for events or any other type of business that regularly organizes events.

Enterprises and organizations

If you earn on your site, then most likely you have your own business. If you are a website owner or just work on a company website, then you will be interested in organizing a business using Schema.orgs. Virtually every site can benefit from doing business with Schema.org. If you do it well, then you can get an excellent knowledge graph or other types of advanced list in the search engines. You will have the opportunity to add special structured data to your contact information so that customers can contact you directly from the search results.

Job ads

Job ads banner

Do you have vacancies on the site? Label them with structured job data so that they display well on Google.

Goods

Schema.org for goods is almost as important as for enterprises and organizations. Using Product Schema.org, you can give your products additional information in search engines, which are necessary, for example, to create “rich” fragments. Think in advance about all search results that are related to additional information, such as prices, reviews, availability, etc. If you have products, then this should be the main part of your structured data strategy. Don’t forget to tag your product as well.

Reviews

To date, reviews and ratings play an important role in the search process. Companies, service providers and online stores use testimonials to attract more customers and show how credible their offer is. Getting these five stars on search engines may be the missing link in creating a truly successful business.

What do you need to include in the markup?

database structure image

Seeing the list for the first time on Schema.org may seem a bit intimidating to you. The list is quite huge, and the possibilities are endless, so it is very easy to get confused. To overcome this, you need to go back to the basics. Think about what constitutes your site, business or product, and write down the characteristics and features that you consider important, and then move on.

However, there are several sections that should be prioritized in your plan in order to correctly add structured data to your site. If you start with these three, you will immediately embrace the basics and then be able to draw on them. Definitely better to start with structured data for your business information, products and reviews. This will give the greatest effect in the short term for your SEO optimization.

How to implement structured data?

Structured data image

Do not be alarmed, but here we will talk about the technical part. In fact, there is nothing wrong with adding data to your pages thanks to JSON-LD. This JavaScript-based data format makes it much easier to add structured data because it forms a block of code and is no longer embedded in the HTML code of your page. This will make it easier to write code and save it, as well as an understanding of both users and technology.

You can add Schema.org structured data not only to the WordPress engine, but also to many other cms systems, such as Joomla, Drupal, open cart, and so on, as well as self-written sites.

On sites where there is already structured data, in fact, this is the basis for further development and promotion. This is better than unstructured and sometimes incomprehensible projects for search engines.

Tools for working with structured datatools for website - scheme

Schema.org is not so difficult to work with, but if adding code manually seems frightening to you, then you can try some of the tools listed below. If you still do not know how to do this, contact your web developers for help. Perhaps they will fix it for you in minutes.

Generators

  • Google Data Highlighter
  • Google Structured Data Markup Assistant
  • JSON-LD schema generator

Validators and Google testing tool for Structured data

  • Structured Data Testing Tool
  • Google Search Console Rich Cards
  • Google Rich Results Tester
  • Markup Checker for Webmaster Bing

WordPress Structured Data Plugins 

  • Yoast SEO (Yoast SEO uses JSON-LD to add Schema.org information about finding your site, your site name, your logo and your social profiles to your web pages.)
  • AMP automatic plugin
  • AMP for WP – Accelerated Mobile Pages. It has many features and more flexible settings.

External linksLink building illustration

Most search engines have their own developer centre, where you can find more information about internal work and the implementation of structured data. You can read more in detail to see what works and what doesn’t. You must abide by their rules because the improper implementation of Schema.org can lead to penalties. Always check your code in the structured data testing tool to make sure it is correct. Correct errors and regularly save code on your site to make sure that it is still in working condition.

Conclusion

You can no longer avoid structured data or pretend that they do not exist. If your site really means something to you, then you should examine the structured data in detail and find the best way to make the most of Schema.org to run your business.

If you implement the data correctly, it will bring a lot of benefit to your site, both now and in the future. Search engines are constantly developing new ways to present search results and most often use Schema.org data for this purpose.

However, if something went wrong or you are simply hesitating in implementation of structured data, contact our Nashville SEO agency and we are glad to help!