What Is Structured Data?
Structured Data also referred to as micro formats are additional markups added to the webpages content that are only visible to search engines. These markups contain data search engines will extract with the intention of better understanding your webpage’s content. An example of a commonly used structured data micro format is Schema.
The Role of Structured Data in SEO
The fundamental goal of webpage SEO is to increase SERP rankings through optimization techniques that will help search engines better crawl and in turn index webpages.
Currently an SEO can optimize a webpage through on-page SEO factors such as: Titles, headings, keywords usage, meta descriptions and a few others.
There’s nothing wrong with how we currently go about optimizing our webpage content however, there are times even when with the best of intentions our implementation of the above factors can confuse search engines.
Structured Data micro formats are additional markups SEO’s can use to help search engines better determine the topic and content within a webpage.
As an example implementation of structured data use on a webpage, let’s take my company’s contact page as an example. It’s a basic page containing my postal information, telephone and a contact form.
Google will be able to determine it’s my contact page by the use of the word contact in the title, meta description and the basic on-page SEO areas.
However, Google doesn’t extract from basic optimization techniques specific info such as: the telephone number, postal address and region data for use on SERPs. But, with the use of structured data markups we’re telling Google that the info within the markups is important and should be considered for inclusion within their SERPs.
Below is a screenshot of a rich snippet test of my contact page including Schema markups.
Although there has been no verification by any Google developers stating that including structured data markups will be included on SERPs let alone increase rankings. However, the industry has taken to structured data and this cannot be ignored. A couple years ago schema was available as it is today with the same intent; however, without the growing adoption is couldn’t become a standard. Here we are today and here’s your heads up to begin integrating structured data markups to your webpages today or if you run into trouble check out my local web consulting rates and I’ll have your site marked up in no time!