Structured data, also called schema markup, is a standard format that you should use to inform search engines about the content of your web pages. As soon as a website contains structured data, it can be crawled more easily by the Googlebot and thus indexed correctly. Search engines like Google will then display the relevant text snippets in a so-called snippet. These snippets appear when users search for certain keywords and your page is listed in the SERPs.
Where does structured data find application?
You can transport a lot of information via schema markups. This includes for example:
Ratings, reviews and testimonials
Recipes or baking instructions
Structured data on Google tells you at a glance, for example, how long a music video is, that certain sections of text on a website are a recipe, or recognizes the phone number of your company on your website based on the numbers.
What are the advantages of structured data?
Should you now hope that your page will rank better if you use structured data, we have to disappoint you – they are not a direct ranking factor. Nevertheless, they are an important factor in search engine optimization, because the correct use of schema markup is still rewarded by Google:
Google adds additional information to its search results, for example ratings, opening hours or the preparation time of a recipe. This makes you more visible.
Your videos with related useful information can be included in the video search through structured data.
The attention-grabbing presentation usually increases your click-through rate and the number of visitors to your website
With the rich snippet, users searching for products can immediately see the price and availability. In addition, positive reviews create the first trust here.
There is no guarantee from Google that the structured data you maintain will always be displayed. In most cases, this depends on the user’s search intention.
The types of structured data – an overview
The Schema.org initiative develops the “language” for structured data. This initiative was first published in 2011 and originally founded by search engine providers Google, Bing and Yahoo. You can find a complete type hierarchy on the Schema.org overview page. In principle, the standardized schemas, also called “types”, can be provided with certain properties “propertys”.
The following structured data types are currently supported by Google:
Employer Overall Ratings
Activities for home
Questions & Answers
Sitelinks search box
Subscription and paywall content
How can you include structured data?
To properly integrate structured data on your site, there are three ways:
JSON-LD: This is the preferred variant of Google. In the body or head section, the vocabulary you have chosen is stored in the code of your page. At best, the various markups are summarized in advance in a script.
Microdata: The oldest type of structured data. The integration of microdata is usually very complex, but can still be used without any problems.
RDFa (HTML5): With this method you can also markup SGV and XML files. It offers the advantage that you can combine different types of markup.
Google’s recommendation is to work with JSON-LD, so you are usually better off with this.
How to test your structured data
Once you have written your own code, you should then test your website. For this purpose, you can use Google’s rich search results test. There you can check your URL as well as your code. In addition, you can select whether the Googlebot should test the view for computers or the view for smartphones. After you have started the test, Google evaluates your website and you will then receive an overview of whether Google has found any errors.
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