Understanding Structured Data

 The following post is the first part of The All About Structured Data Series, where I will talk about Structured Data and its types in detail. In Part 1 of this post, I will be explaining the concept, its importance, important guidelines to follow and the way of usage.

Imagine reading a book where the beginning is in the middle and end at the start. Sounds confusing, right? Now imagine the same format on search engine result pages (SERPS) or web pages; even more confusing!  Are you thinking about how this confusion will get solved? Simple: Using the Schema.org structured data markup for structuring unstructured data.

Every content needs good structure and formatting for a clear understanding, be it a book or a magazine or even webpages and SERPS.  Structured data is a concept created by search engines and

 used as an instrument for communicating with search engines. This standardized format helps Google understand your website completely; Its contents, crucial information and how one topic is related to the other. Structured Data helps Google understand the story of your website or web pages. Once Google understands your website, it is going to make it a blockbuster in the form of Rich Snippets! You can  make it to the 100 crore club then which in Google world is On the first page or top of SERPS.  

A Good movie review page wherein all elements are well structured like the snippets, good description, movie name with an image, names of the cast, director and producer and the running time in order is a perfect example of a well-structured data. 

Now how do we code structured data into the website or webpage? Very simply: we code structured data by using in-page markups to the page whose information needs to be structured.

 In-page Markups like Schema.org, JSON-LD, Microdata, RDFa will help you structure your data for making it a rich SERP.

 How do you add Structured Data to your website?

 Easy, you can add this markup in two ways:

  1. Using Plugins to your website: If your website is on WordPress, then you can use this option. All you have to do is either download the plugin from the Plugins Directory on WordPress that generates the markup for your entire website or edit the markup yourself. After downloading, you can upload the plugin and then select the required file. You then need to install the plugin and finally click the “activate plugin” option. VOLA! You have successfully structured your website data! The same process can be used for other plugins as well.
  2. Using Google’s Structured Data Markup Holder: with the help of Structured Data Markup Helper on Google, you can add schema markup to their website hassle-free. The steps include visiting the helper page and clicking on the “website’ tab and copy-pasting the URL of the page which needs the markup and pasting it in the URL box located at the end of the page.

Users working with the HTML format must choose the HTML tag and paste the generated code in the box. Articles, Software Applications, Blogs, Newspapers, Books are the various categories to choose from while using the markup. After Selecting the user can click on the “Start Tagging” button which will take them to the next page having two panes; left one for content and right for the markup. The generated code will be the schema markup which has to be copied and pasted. Then, copy-paste the generated code

I have only mentioned a few steps required for creating the markups as the entire process is lengthy. I would recommend approaching an SEO service company for creating schema markups. 

Why Are In-page Markups Important For SEO?

Structured Data and Seo are like two peas in a pod. If the data is structured correctly, then the SEO ratings of the particular websites are going to skyrocket for sure. For this reason, I would recommend the markup generation process to be taken care of by SEO specialists. We at GBIM are proven to ease out such lengthy SEO related problems and make sure that our clients SEO ratings skyrocket the roof. We have SEO experience of more than 15 years. We have our SEO management tool for making sure your SEO rankings break the record.

Guidelines For Using Structured Data:

  1.  Tools like The Rich Results Test and The URL Inspection Tool correct technical errors and should be used for encouraging error free data. For a well-presented format, users have to ensure using formats like JASON-LD (recommended), RDFa or MicroData with this in mind, no access control method like robot.txt or noindex .texts must be used as this blocks structured data.
  2.  The quality guidelines include following the Google webmasters guidelines and forms another distinctive set of guidelines. Other rules include: Providing Current and user-generated content, not using the markup for contents which invisible or is relevant and misleading for the user, creating fake content or promoting content containing sexual violence, violent acts, illegal activities and products or services, spread hatred towards a particular community, etc.   
  3.  The website or webpage must be relevant and also be complete with all the elements required for it to become a rich result. The more detailed and relevant the content is, richer will be the result.
  4. Concerning location, the structured data must be put on a page which best needs it, and to duplicate pages as well.
  5. The images have to be specific to the data that it describes and all image URLs must be crawlable and indexable.
  6. Multiple Items on a page can be either nested ( two or three items grouped under one of the markups is used by creating blocks of individual items.
  7. The desired web page must have highly specific content for the items and descriptions.

Hopefully, reading the first part of the structured data series has given you a basic understanding of structured data and its nature. In the next post, I will talk about Schema.org markup which is the structured data markup used by search engines like Yahoo,Bing.

Nirlep & Dharmesh

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