Structured Data and Schema and What It Does For SEO
Structured Data and Schema.org is the result of collaboration between many different search engine companies such as Google, Bing, Yahoo !, and Yandex to help developers provide information in their pages that search engines can understand and therefore provide the most relevant content to a user when they search for something. There are many advantages to including structured data in web pages. One benefit is that, through structured data, search engine results pages (SERPs) can display review stars underneath results. This means that when someone googles for a service that you provide in their area and you have schema markup added to your web page, the user can see reviews from your satisfied customers within the search results. Review stars in SERPs is a huge help in driving traffic to websites which means that more potential customers will visit your site. Check out the example below
Are Structured Data and Schema the Same Thing?
No, but they are closely related. Schema.org provides standardized definitions for different pieces of structured data that can then be referenced within web pages. Schema also provides guidelines for how structured data can and can not be used which helps developers determine how to best implement it in websites. Complying with guidelines is very important when it comes to structured data and Schema because if data is formatted improperly the rich snippets underneath search results might not show at all.
Does Structured Data Affect Search Results Rankings
There is no definitive evidence that using Schema markup improves rating, but there is a good amount of evidence that search results with rich snippets (the text that shows up directly beneath the title of a page in SERPs) have a better click-through rate. This means that, while including structured data might not make a page show higher in search results, users are more likely to click on your page anyways. This is a huge advantage to using structured data in pages and is one more tool to drive traffic to your site.
What Kind of Structured Data Can Be Used On A Page?
Structured data can be used to signify a lot of information different information about your business. Things like your company’s logo, address, social media accounts linked to your business, your company’s review, and much more. Structured data puts all this information into a language that search engines can understand which means that the search engine can display it on a potential customers results page or in a knowledge panel like the one below. Essentially, coding this data into your page is the difference between your company’s site coming back as just a title or as a more extensive result that inculdes information such as star ratings from your satisfied customers. This can be the difference between someone clicking on your page over another business which is why we recommend that it is implemented on as many pages as possible.
What Structured Data Doesn’t Do
Improve your rank in SERPs
Including structured data isn’t guaranteed to improve your ranking, but including extra data about your page or company that search engines can use can improve your relevancy signal which helps. As mentioned earlier, structured data can help display rich snippets on SERPs which often leads to a better click-through rate which can improve rankings, though.
Guarantee rich snippets will appear in search results.
While structured data is necessary for rich snippets to appear in the first place, using structured data on a web page doesn’t guarantee that rich snippets will show in search results every time. This is true even if all of the information is formatted correctly for the search engine to read Basically, structured data is not the ultimate tool for making your links more attractive in SERPs or improving your ranking, but it definitely helps to include it whenever possible. Google and other search engines can often find information about your page or business on their own, but using structured data makes it that much easier to get your page in front of potential customers. Add in the fact that structured data has to be included in order to display rich snippets, which studies have shown can potentially improve your click-through rate by up to 30%, and structured data implementation is a no-brainer
Including Structured Data In Your Pages
The rules and requirements of structured data can be confusing and trying to implement it on your own could become a major headache. If not formatted properly, structured data can contain errors meaning those rich snippets that you’re chasing may not appear at all. An experienced web developer or search engine optimization company can do the job for you though and get your company in front of as many eyes as possible which means an increase in business for you.
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