Does Structured Data Help SEO? Here’s A Quick Breakdown

By Digitrio

Updated Date: 11 October 2023

Yes, structured data does help SEO! Think of it as a secret language between your website and search engines. With the right implementation, it can help your website to communicate effectively on Google. With the right implementation, it can help your website to communicate effectively on Google, enhancing its visibility for your Singapore audience.

Retail businesses that use structured data have improved their organic traffic by 30%, which leads us to question—why isn't everyone doing it?

The answer is actually pretty simple: there are people who don't know about it, and there are people who don't know how to implement it.

In this guide, we'll demystify structured data and showcase how it can be a game-changer for your SEO efforts. We’ll guide you on understanding what structured data is and provide actionable steps for its deployment. Whether you’re a business owner striving for a stronger online presence or a marketer keen on refining your digital marketing prowess, this article will be a valuable asset in your SEO toolkit.

Key Takeaways

  • Structured data helps search engines understand the content and context of a website.

  • Some examples of structured data markup include articles, product listings, reviews, and FAQs.

  • Structured data can provide many benefits for SEO, such as improved visibility & increased click-through rates.

  • You can implement structured data with this 3-step process: generate the markup, test the structured data, and add the markup to your website.

What is Structured Data?

Search engine with structured data markup

Structured data, also often known as schema markup, is an important concept in SEO that refers to a set of organised information that is presented in a way that search engines can easily process. Search engines will read the code you provide and use it to display search results in a specific and much richer way.

In other words, we structure data as a way of formatting information on a website. This helps search engines, like Google, understand the page’s content and context more easily. This extra information can make your offers more visible in search results, giving your website a competitive edge.

Think of structured data as a way of providing explicit clues to search engines about the content of your website.

What are Examples of Structured Data Markup?

Structured Data Markup

Description

Business Information

Business details, including opening hours, directions, ratings, and actions to order items or book appointments.

Articles

A blog, news, or sports article displayed with rich result features, such as the article title and larger-than-thumbnail images.

Products

Information about a product, which includes price, availability, and review ratings.

Reviews

An excerpt of a review/rating, with a score that is usually the average of the combined rating scores.

FAQ

Contains questions and answers for a particular topic. (Note: Google is currently only displaying FAQs for a limited number of well-known, authoritative sites)

Want to Learn more? Check out the Google's complete list of structured data markup features.

What is the Difference Between Structured Data, Rich Snippets, and Schema?

Structured Data vs Rich Snippet vs Schema - Digitrio

While structured data is the organized information on a web page using metadata, rich snippets are the enhanced search results that appear in the search engine result pages (SERPs) due to structured data. Schema, on the other hand, is a type of structured data format.

In essence, structured data is the foundation, rich snippets are the visually appealing search results, and schema is the language used to communicate with major search engines.

What are the Benefits of Structured Data for SEO?

icons for improved clickthrough rates, eyecatching snippets, enriched search features

There is a clear link between structured data and SEO. By providing search bots with a better understanding of your content, structured data can help:

  • Display applicable, relevant, and enriched search features
  • Improve search engine comprehension
  • Create eye-catching snippets
  • Increase click-through-rates
  • Have an indirect positive effect on rankings

Here's a deeper dive into how structured data helps SEO:

1

Rich Snippets and Enhanced Search Results

Rich snippets are visually enhanced search results that appear in the SERPs due to structured data implementation. These eye-catching results lead to improved visibility in search engine results. It can also earn featured snippets, which appear at the top of search engine result pages before other organic listings.

2

Boosting CTR

Click-through rate (CTR) is a metric used to measure the success of an online advertisement or web page, and it plays a crucial role in determining the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts.

Structured data can help increase CTR by providing additional information about your website, making search results more attractive and engaging for users.

3

Indirect Impact on Rankings

Structured Data is Not a Google Ranking Factor (For Now)

It’s important to be aware of common misconceptions about structured data. Many believe that it’s a direct ranking factor or that it guarantees rich results, but this isn’t the case. The true power of structured data lies in providing context and enhancing the user experience, leading to more relevant and engaging search results.

How Structured Data Indirectly Affects Rankings

While structured data is not a direct ranking factor, it can indirectly affect your website’s search engine rankings by helping search engines better interpret the content of your web pages. This improved understanding can lead to more relevant search results, higher click-through rates, and increased user engagement, all of which can have a positive impact on your website’s overall search engine performance.

3 Types of Structured Data Formats

JSON-LD vs Microdata vs RDFa

When it comes to structured data formats, there are three main types: JSON-LD, Microdata, and RDFa. Each format has its unique syntax, data storage capabilities, and complexity levels. We will examine each type in detail and highlight their unique characteristics.

1. JSON-LD

JSON-LD, or JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data, is a scripting language that helps publishers share essential information with search engines. It offers numerous benefits, such as keeping your structured data separate from the HTML code, making it easier to read, troubleshoot, and update.

To add JSON-LD to your webpage, simply place it within a script tag in your page head or body. Google prefers JSON-LD for web content, making it a popular choice among website owners.

2. Microdata

Microdata is a type of markup language that helps to organise information on a webpage. It uses tags to single out elements and their values from other elements, making it easier for search engines to understand the content better. However, it has its drawbacks. Each entity or attribute of the content needs to be tagged separately within the HTML body of your pages, unlike JSON-LD, which can be implemented with one block of code.

Despite these challenges, microdata remains a viable option for some applications, such as recipe pages, where it can help search engines understand the importance of specific elements.

3. RDFa

RDFa, or Resource Description Framework in Attributes, is an extension to HTML that helps search engines and web applications understand the structured data on a webpage. By adding attribute-level extensions to HTML, XHTML, and other markup languages, RDFa enables you to express data like:

  • People
  • Places
  • Events
  • Recipes
  • Reviews

While not as widely used as JSON-LD, RDFa remains a valuable option for certain applications.

How to Implement Structured Data on Your Website

flowchart to implement structured data - Digitrio

Even though implementing structured data on your website might appear intimidating, it can be accomplished with the correct approach.

By following these 3 steps and utilising the available resources, such as Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper, you can ensure that your structured data implementation is successful. Let's get into it!

1. Generating Markup

Generating markup is the first step in implementing structured data on your website. You can write your own script manually, use search engine tools, or employ markup generators like Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper, Schema.org, and Schema App. Each option offers varying levels of control and ease of use, so choose the one that best fits your needs and skill level.

Remember, quality markup is essential for effective communication with search engines.

2. Testing Structured Data

After generating your markup, it is essential to test your structured data to confirm that it has been correctly implemented and meets the standards of search engines. Tools like Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool and Rich Results Test Tool can help you identify any errors or issues in your markup.

By thoroughly testing your structured data, you can have confidence that search engines will correctly interpret and display your content in search results.

Pro Tip: The Google Search Console "URL Inspection Tool" can also help you find errors in your structured data.

3. Adding Markup to Your Website

With your tested markup, it’s time to add it to your website. This involves integrating the structured data into the HTML code of your pages. Once the markup has been added, it’s essential to test it again using tools like Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to ensure that search engines can accurately interpret the data.

Congrats! Now You Know More About Structured Data for SEO

Digitrio Technical SEO services CTA

You're now one step closer to helping your business improve its SEO!

However, while structured data is appealing in concept, it is often not implemented. Many businesses still choose not to add structured data to their websites because it seems like a hassle or they are hesitant because it is more technical.

If you also prefer not to deal with the technicalities of structured data, you can seek SEO professional help and advice from our team at Digitrio. We provide a listening ear to all your technical SEO issues. Start a conversation with us today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the Difference Between Structured and Semi-Structured Data?

Structured data and semi-structured data are two types of data that can impact SEO. Here are the key differences between the two:

Structured Data

  • Structured data is quantitative in nature, using numbers and predefined fields

  • Structured data is in the language search engines use, making communication between them and your site better and faster

  • Structured data helps search engines understand how to display content

  • Structured data is used for rich snippets, rich cards, AMPs, knowledge graphs, and more

Semi-Structured Data

  • Semi-structured data is a cross between structured and unstructured data.

  • This is data that doesn't have a rigid structure but instead relies on some organization

  • Emails, social media posts, and web pages are everyday examples of semi-structured data

What are the Best Practices for Using Structured Data in SEO?

Prioritize Important Schemas

When implementing structured data, it’s crucial to prioritize the most important schemas for your website. Here are some examples:

  • Product markup

  • Search action

  • FAQ schema

  • Event schema

By focusing on the schemas that are most relevant to your website’s content and goals, you can maximize the impact of your structured data efforts and ensure that search engines can accurately understand and interpret your content.

To stay up to date with the latest recommendations and best practices, be sure to consult resources like Google Search Central documentation and other search engines’ guidelines.

Monitoring and Maintenance

Regularly monitoring and maintaining your structured data is essential for ensuring its accuracy and effectiveness. Here are some steps you can take to keep your structured data up to date and in line with search engine requirements:

  1. Follow the guidelines set by Schema.org.

  2. Constantly monitor your markup for optimal performance.

  3. Regularly test your structured data using tools like Google’s Rich Results Test.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your structured data is accurate and effective in improving your search engine visibility.

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