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What Is Structured Data And How Does It Affect SEO?

You may notice blurbs detailing a company’s hours of operation, location, and customer reviews on search engine results for that company. The search engine’s ability to do this is related to structured data. Structured data allows website crawlers to document the information about your website to put it in those blurbs. It’s not enough to just put your company’s information on the site with text because the website crawlers AI cannot assimilate that information. So, it’s essential to use a schema markup code to give context to the information on the website itself so that you can benefit from its appearance on search engine results.

When the website crawlers have a better understanding of your website in context, they can more accurately suggest your site in search engine results. It can even suggest specific pages on your website when given enough background. Therefore, websites that use a schema markup rank better than a site without it. Using structured data is like having a business card, and the schema markup code is like sending business cards to the printer. It’s the essential step that creates the medium through which you can interact with more potential customers.

With structured data, there are three basic categories to understand. First, you should understand the available formats and which one fits your needs best. Search engines support three structured data formats: RDFa, microdata, and JSON-LD.
• RDFa is an HTML5 extension that uses HTML tag attributes to linking data to create a rich snippet.
• Microdata is an open community HTML extension that works the same way RDFa does, by using tag attributes to name elements on your website.
• Finally, JSON-LD is in JavaScript, rather than HTML. It is more straightforward to use because it doesn’t require the use of attribute tags. It is also separate from the HTML body of the website itself, which makes it easier to keep track of in the code. These are some of the reasons that JSON-LD is the most popular format. When searching for information on structured data, be sure to stick to one format. Also, be advised that JSON-LD is easier for the popular search engines to read and is most comfortable to use if you’re not a coder.

The second category you should know is the basics of structured data terms. The “itemscope” command arranges your content according to the topic. To categorize your content according to types, like audio file or video, use the command “itemtype.” To go into detail about the properties of your content (which you should do), use “itemprop.” There are countless properties you can attach to your content, such as director, genre, length, etc.

The third and final category you should understand is the structured data guidelines, which fall under technical and quality guidelines. Under technical guidelines, there are some things you should understand to make the best use of structured data.

You should post structured data on the page that you want to describe. Although in some cases it’s OK to have the structured on another page, you should document this fact. If you have duplicate pages (which, ideally, you should not), then have the structured data on both pages. Although one page will usually be considered canon by website crawlers, the other page may end up higher in search engine results anyway, so it makes sense to have the structured data on both pages.

Use to your advantage to make sure you’re using the most relevant types and properties for your website. Also, make sure that any access control methods you use, such as robot.txt, don’t interfere with website crawlers reading your structured data.

Since structured data comes with documentation, be sure to read over the guidelines for that aspect of the process. When you add structured data to your image markup, it can show up in your snippet in the SERP. Make sure that it is unblocked so that it can show up when the website crawlers read the schema markup.

Also, make sure the URL you add to the markup belongs to the instance of the image you used. It is also possible to add more than one schema markup to a page, as long as each markup refers to content that viewers can see. You should add a markup for each element on a webpage. For example, if there is both text and a video on a webpage, add a markup for each.

Qualitative Guidelines

Website crawlers have relevancy standards for elements, so be sure to keep that in mind when assigning types to content. Schema markups should always be up to date. Also, your markup should be related to the content of your webpage and shouldn’t be misleading. Clickbait can result in your page not appearing in the SERP. Finally, your content and data shouldn’t contain any targeted hate speech, pedophilia, sexual violence, bestiality, or cruel or violent acts. If you follow these guidelines and implement structured data efficiently, it should improve your SEO remarkably.