Why Structured Data is Important?
If you follow SEO articles these days, you can see that everyone is emphasizing the importance of structured data, but why? What is structured data? How it can affect a website SEO? how it improves Google crawlers? We are going to answer all these questions in the following article.
What is Structured Data?
It is a type of data which is highly organized and can be understood by machine language. We face different types of structured data every day such as numbers, currency, dates, addresses, names and so on.
For a better understanding, you can imagine a continuum of formatted data, the least formatted is unstructured data and the most formatted is the structured data. The most attractive feature of structured data is that it is possible to manipulate, input and search among its data. Another forte of structured data is that it is a very comprehensive type of data and provides useful information as well as helping companies rely on more than only the paper-based systems.
We see the examples of structured data in databases and links between them. We manage the structured data by a programming language called “structured query language” or an abbreviation “SQL”.
How Structured Data Works?
Search engines only understand the codes, this is the reason we use structured data. It means structured data is code. Structured data is the metadata stored in the web-page but invisible for the user.
Google, Bing, and Yandex understand the same syntax which makes creating structured data for all of the search engines a lot easier. We can find the same vocabulary on Schema.org from schema lists. This website is like a reference book where we can find various schema types. A schema type is hierarchical, For example, we can find the schema for a car as follows:
Based on this schema, Car is a product and product is a thing, this is the way to organize data for search engines and the basis of using structured data. For another example, sometimes we search for something like recipes in Google and Google shows us a picture and steps of recipes next to it, this type of data is called “rich cards”.
This is because we have schemas for recipe in schema.org. In this case, Recipe is a HowTo work and HowTo is some kind of CreativeWork and CreativeWork is a Thing for sure.
A single schema type has schema properties and some schemas properties is inherited from the mother schemas, for example, the “name” is a property, because everything in this world has a name.
Unstructured data is only HTML code without any metadata, but search engines need structured data to understand it. The recommended format to express structured data is JSON+LD format which is suggested by Google too. The final step is integrating schema syntax into our website and it can be done by writing codes or some plugins like SNIP, in addition, the latter (plugin) does not need to write a single line of code, so it is a time saver.
How to Add Structured Data into a Website?
Length of this process is different based on the system you use to manage the website and the level of control you want. In what remains of the article, you'll see one of the best and easiest ways of adding structured data to your website:
Add structured data by using WordPress plugins
This is one of the extremely easy ways to add structured data to a website. There are several plugins you can use for this purpose but we suggest: Schema App Structured Data.
This plugin provides schema markup for the whole website and you can even edit it manually. After you download the .zip file plugin you can choose and upload the plugin from Plugins > Add New then install and finally activate the plugin.
In this case, every time you want to edit or work on any post or pages, you see a box in the bottom of editing pane which is known as “Schema App Structured Data”.
In general, the plugin adds the best schema markup types, but you can edit it, taking the responsibility of the action yourself, and manually by clicking on the pencil icon on the lower right of the box.
How Structured Data Affects SEO?
Structured data helps Google algorithms to perform better and index your data.
Google finds it easier to understand structured data in comparison with unstructured data and semi-structured data, and recently encouraged web users to use structured data with JSON-LD format. SEO professionals have used structured data since way back like structured XML data.
For the conclusion, if your XML sitemap is coded poorly, Google will not crawl your website correctly and this results in a negative search engine ranking. Structured data imposes a structure on your website’s architecture that’s independent of the design
Unstructured data, which is caused to duplicate data, is a No-No for SEO because it will result in different URLs for the same product. But, if you use structured data, the website will be clear for both the search engine and the user. In other words, by using structured data, you will have an internally consistent website which is a favorite for the search engine and has a positive effect on search engine ranking of your website.
Structured data is easier to link automatically through machines
Recently, data forms, Tweets, Facebook news feeds and data from other social media are being added as useful results to search engines result pages and Google producing results based on user machine search history or profile observed behavior.
Google provides answers on SERP (Search Engine Results Page) and shows the search engine of a user and the the pathway he likes to go through and encourages to find the results that he wants. For search engine is easier to make sense of data and find the relations between the data and contents in websites.
We find structured data subject a bit difficult in the first look, but when it comes to long term targets and SEO we find it helpful and useful too, we should know that, It is worth learning the basics of structured data and marking up your website. Once you do mark up and add structured data to your website, in fact, you are willing to put in work now to get the rewards later, because SEO is a long-term strategy.
It works for structured data as well, it means you take time to implement the structured data to your web page now but the results come later and you will see benefits in the long run, so be patient and keep in mind that if you want to be seen clearly in the SERP better, structured data comes to the aid to give you the ability to be seen in a perfect way.
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