Increase your position in the SERP with Structured Data Markups

Structured Data Markups

Three weeks ago, Eminence was presenting you some key factors for a successful Mobile Marketing Strategy in 2019. Today, we will give you a closer look at the Structured Data Markups and explain you more in-depth the detailed components of this exciting subject.

Structured Data Markups help Google search engine to organize the information on your website and make it easier for them to find valuable information, which matches the intention of the end user. In turn, your position in the SERPs becomes more attractive.

Without Structured Data Markups a search engine would not be able to determine whether a page is referring for example to Jaguar the car or Jaguar the animal. If contents are better organised and correctly declared, it is easier for Google to classify and present websites according their semantic.

Definition and background

In 2012, Google launched the “Structured Data Markup Helper”. For Google, it was a useful tool to give website owners the ability to markup their website with structured data without hiring a web developer.  Google promoted this tool as a great advancement for structured data.

Structured Data Markups

A Structured Data Markup is a type of code, which is added directly to your website’s HTML markup. It helps search engines to understand your site’s content. It is the extra information you see next to a website’s description.

For example, if you search for a restaurant, you will be able to see some basic information as a snippet. These are the operating hours, pricing, and usually between one and five stars to indicate their reviews rating. That’s the structured data Markup, also known as Schema Markup.

With structured data your company or product can generate a better SEO.

 

Rich Snippets and Knowledge Graphs

Structured Data has the advantage generating a higher visibility. In the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) Rich Snippets can be generated. They provide the users with detailed information on their respective search requests. A rich snippet shows extra information between the URL and the description.

For instance, pictures can be shown next to the Google Search Results (For example, pictures next to recipe sites).

Example of a normal snippet:

normal snippet

Example of a rich snippet:

Structured Data Markups are often used for the Google Knowledge Graph. In this process information from various sources in the search results are processed and summarised for the user. Thereby Google is using an Algorithm which is able to recognize semantic subject areas and at the same time has the ability to establish a context.

 

The standard for Structured Data: Schema.org

Schema.org was developed by Google, Yahoo, Bing and Yandex in order for website operators to have a standard to structure their contents and to link it with other data. This initiative was a great success. Millions of domains are using this standard to put their data in a semantic context. On Schema.org you can find more than 600 data types, for example recipes, reviews or products and a complete documentation about the correct handling and implementation. Schema.org is extended on a regular basis, is free of charge and already a future proved standard. In order to check the right implementation, Google is offering its own Testing Tool.

Google supports the formats JSON-LD, Microdata and RDFa for structured Data. All formats have their advantages and disadvantages, the result is the same with all formats. Google recommends JSON-LD.

JSON-LD

The JSON-LD (JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data) is recommend by Google, as it is low weighted and data can be easily linked. Compared to Microdata, the JSON-LD format is more uncomplicated and Webcrawlers can read the information quick and easy in the header part. The JavaScript format can be implemented in other data bases. Thereby Google can extract information and establish overviews in their search results. The implementation can be done in various computer languages, such as Phyton, PHP and C#.

Microdata

The most common method to structure data is the use of Microdata, which web operators integrate in their own source code. The mark-up by Microdata can be made with three different elements, which have different results.

The itemscope element specifies the content of a specific website and is indicated as a line in the Google Search Engine Results.

The second element itemtype is used to characterise the kind of the content. It is normally used after the itemscope and is indicated in a form of links, respectively URLs. The complete list of itemtypes (for example, product, person, review, event) can be accessed on Schema.org.

Additional information on the content can be achieved with the third and last element, the itemprop. Additional information could be; location, URL or other. Also, here you will find an extensive listing of the possible mark-ups on Schema.org. The itemprop is indicated in a new HTML element, like <span>, as it is not affecting the text like the <p> element which is opening a new line

RDFA

RDFA describes an extension for HTML5, that links data with mark-ups. Thereby data can be integrated in a HTML element. It is one of the most common methods to structure data and to facilitate Google Search Engine to read information on websites.

The importance of the Structured Data Markup for the SEO

The Structured Data Markup can play a crucially important role in the search engine optimisation. The usability can be greatly improved, because users get a quick and clear overview on all important information. Furthermore, Rich Snippets make it possible that images are shown in the search engine results. Also, the CTR (Click-Through-Rate) can be increased and therefore improve the ranking and the visibility.

Structured Data Markups become more and more important. The increasing specialisation of Google’s Keyword Analysis, as for example the local consideration of the internet user, the time of the search, etc., makes it more complicated to increase the visibility only on the basis of Keywords. That’s why search engines rely more and more on Structured Data Markups.

Eminence recommends to review the mark-up structure of your landing page and ideally use one mark-up per site. The mark-up for the desktop and the mobile version should be the same in order Google can better measure the main content of the landing page. Our agency can help you to define the best mark-up structure and to build up a successful SEO strategy for your company or brand.