Term: Structured Data
Definition: Structured Data refers to any data that is organised and formatted in a way that’s easily understandable by search engine crawlers.
Alternative Names: Schema Markup, Rich Snippets Markup
Expanded explanation: Structured data is a standardised format for providing information about a page and classifying its content. This data can be used by search engines to understand the content of the page and gather information about the web at large. This data is often written in a markup language such as JSON-LD or Microdata and adheres to schemas defined by Schema.org.
Benefits or importance: Using structured data can help search engines better understand your content, which can lead to richer search results (also known as “rich snippets”) such as product reviews, ratings and pricing, which can significantly improve click-through rates.
Common misconceptions or pitfalls: A common misconception is that structured data directly improves your website’s ranking. While it does not directly affect ranking, it can enhance visibility on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), which in turn can improve click-through rates and website traffic.
Use cases: Structured data is widely used to provide additional details about articles, events, products, recipes, reviews and more.
Here is an example of a JSON-LD structured data snippet for a book:
"name": "The Catcher in the Rye",
"author": "J.D. Salinger",
"bookEdition": "Mass Market Paperback",
"publisher": "Little, Brown and Company",
Best practices or tips:
- Use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to check your markup for errors.
- Only use structured data where it makes sense and provides value to the user.
- Ensure your structured data aligns with Google’s guidelines.
Limitations or considerations: Not all types of structured data are recognised and utilised by all search engines. Moreover, improper implementation of structured data can lead to a website being penalised by search engines.
Comparisons: Structured data can be compared to meta tags, as both provide information about a webpage to search engines. However, structured data provides more detailed information and can lead to rich snippets in search results.
Historical context or development: Structured data schemas were introduced by Schema.org, a collaborative effort by Google, Bing, Yahoo! and Yandex, in 2011.
Resources for further learning:
- Structured Data Services – Our agency offers Structured Data implementation and consulting to help businesses enhance their visibility on search engine results.
- SEO Services – Ask us more about our SEO work and how you can attract more organic traffic to your site.
Related terms: JSON-LD, Microdata