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SEO and structured data – how does it work?

Structured data, a term that sounds obvious, but there is more to it than meets the eye. Often those terms are associated with Scherma.org or JSON-LD. But what does it all mean? What is structured data and what does it do? In what ways is SEO linked to structured data? This post explains it all for you.

What is structured data?

Structured data is code in a specific format, written in such a way that search engines can understand it. Search engines read the code and use it to display search results in a more specific and richer way.

Imagine your website is dedicated to offering various recipes. If you start adding structured data, your results will look completely different in search results. The content that will be shown is much richer, clearer and more structured. This is what it might look like, for example:

In addition to the title, URL and description of the search result, you can now immediately see what steps you need to take to make the perfect pancake.

There are different types of structured data. Structured data always comes in code format. Structured data exists for books, reviews, movies and, for example, products in your e-store. In all these cases, structured data will show more detail in search results.

Note, however, that Google does not always make your page this rich, even when you have added structured data. So there are no guarantees. All you can do is add structured data to your page and hope Google picks it up.

What do you do with structured data?

With structured data, you can talk to the search engines (so to speak). You can tell the search engines what ingredients are in your recipe, you can say how long they spent on a dish and even list the nutritional values. Google is able to aggregate this information at lightning speed and decide for itself what information to show in search results.

Structured data thus becomes a tool you can use to tell Google exactly what is on a page on your website. Google makes can turn this into a rich result. People love these kinds of snippets!

What is Schema.org?

Schema.org is a project of several major search engines. On Schema.org you can find all types of structured data supported by search results, which makes Schema.org a database for with parts and codes.

You can use Schema.org to find the perfect piece of data for your page. Let’s move on in the whole cooking story. On Schema.org you will find a lot of options: for example, you can add cooking time, nutritional values or type of cuisine. Take a browse through Schema.org and discover the myriad possibilities for yourself.

It’s simple: copy the code and modify it to your preferences. You also always get an example of how the code looks everywhere. For example, for Open Graph (Facebook) and Twitter cards (Twitter).

What is JSON.LD?

JSON.LD is a way to write code to define your markup. Schema.org offers other ways to write code, but only JSON.LD allows you to add Google Tag Manager to your website. This does not go with the other options.

Why is structured data so important for SEO?

Structured data is important for SEO because it makes it easier for Google to understand what your pages are about. As mentioned earlier in the text above, structured data is like talking to Google, you tell it what your website is about. This is also very conducive to your Google Ranking.

Above all, structured data makes your snippet look much more attractive in search results. It displays more specific information and this in turn increases the likelihood that a searcher will click on your link. More clicks = higher ranking! Note that structured data is gaining traction, so keep a close eye on the competition, learn from them and make adjustments as needed. However, we are also happy to help you!

How do you use structured data?

It all sounds very complicated, but it is actually not that difficult. Anyone can do it after proper training. So be sure to keep an eye on our training page, we’d love to help you get started!

Not good with codes? Use a plugin!

Much of all that data can also already be added to your website using plugins. So you don’t have to write complicated code to get such a rich snippet, you can just use a plugin. Wondering which plugins we recommend? If so, be sure to email info@are-agency.be.