Structured data is becoming more and more important these days for a good SEO of your website.
But what is structured data and how do you use it?
In this article I will explain it and I will help you to get started with structured data.
What is structured data
Very basically said, structured data is organized information.
The mayor purpose of structured data is to describe specific information about the web page so that search engines can use this information to better understand what is on the page and use it to display rich results.
Why should we use structured data
By using structured data you make your page eligible to be selected for a prominent featured rich snippet at the top of the SERPs.
Yes, you read it correctly, it's not guaranteed that your page will be selected.
Different types of formats
You can pass structured data in more then just one way to search engines.
The most used formats are:
- JSON-LD (recommended by Google to use this format of structured data whenever possible)
- Micro data
What is JSON-LD
This markup is not intertwined with the visible text of the page, which makes nested data items easier to express.
What is Micro data
Micro data is a WHATWG (Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group) HTML to nest metadata within the visible content of the page.
Web developers can design a custom vocabulary or use vocabularies that are available online. The most used vocabulary is the one from schema.org.
What is RDFa
Resource Description Framework in Attributes is an extension to support linked data by using attributes on HTML, XHTML and XML based documents for embedding metadata. This method is mostly recommend by W3C.
How to use JSON-LD structured data
The preferred format by Google is the JSON-LD format.
This is the most user friendly format and the easiest to place in the page.
Where do I put this structured data
Because JSON-LD is a script, you can put it in the middle of the content of the page or at the bottom in the footer and even all the way at the top at the beginning of the web page in the head section.
Very easy to edit
Editing JSON-LD structured data is easy to edit because it's just a piece of script code that you can copy paste into whatever text or code editor you prefer.
Type of JSON-LD structured data
There are different type of JSON-LD structured data:
- fact check
- job posting
- local business
- critic review
Each type generates another type of rich results on Google search engine.
You can view a list of the different types of rich result in the Search Gallery of Google.
No code hero? Use extensions or plug-ins
Even though it's very easy to use and create JSON-LD structured data, if your not a code hero, it's not easy to place it in the code.
But don't worry, there are some great Joomla extensions and WordPress plug-ins that can help you.
The best and easiest to use extension for Joomla for structured data is Google Structured Data from Tassos.
With this extension it's child's play to add JSON-LD structured data to your website and it also support a lot of other extensions.
The best and most popular plug-in for Wordpress is the plug-in from Yoast.
This plug-in helps you not only with the JSON-LD structured data but also with all the rest that you have to do for SEO.
Testing your structured data
OK, now that you have placed your structured data in the code, it's time to test it.
You can do a quick test with the rich result tester of Google.
With this test you can not only see if the structured data can be read by Google but you can also check if the page is eligible to be selected for a rich snippet.
With this short article, you now know what structured data is and how you can use it to boost your SEO.
If you need some guidance in creating structured data for your website, we can help.