Structured Data with Schema.org to Enhance Your Site SEO

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    Liji K J
  • December 18,2019

Introduction to Structured Data

Search engines always want to understand the content of the page better, so that they can deliver the relevant results in search engine result page.  To help them understand the content better, structured data is used. Imagine you've listed a movie in your web page, so you can tell the search engines that the movie name is "ABC", name of the actors/director, duration, award, genre etc.

Ever wondered why searching for some companies in Google shows a rich result on the right side of the search engine result page(SERP)? (refer image)

LinkedIn in Google search results

When we search for LinkedIn, SERP page of Google shows the knowledge panel with social profiles; this is an example of  structured data. When Google understands your content it'll enhance your results in SERP page.

Structured data is a system of pairing a name with a value that helps search engines categorize and index your content

In layman's term, it's as simple as labeling parts of a body. Instead of simply showing the image we are labeling it as a name value pair.  We can do this in 3 ways, in this image labeling in done on the image which is shown to the user, if labeling is done like this i.e, in HTML - RDFa/Microdata formats are used. We can write the code which is not shown in the page but available for search engines, using JSON-LD format.

Structured Data format

Structured data can be implemented using any of these 3 formats

Format Description and Placement
JSON-LD* (Recommended) Code written inside <script> tag which is placed inside head/body of html. User's can't see this code in webpage, this format will be more helpful if you want to express more details on any structured date which you don't want to show to the user.
RDFa An HTML5 extension that supports linked data by introducing HTML tag attributes that correspond to the user-visible content that you want to describe for search engines. RDFa is commonly used in both the head and body sections of the HTML page.
Microdata An open-community HTML specification used to nest structured data within HTML content. Like RDFa, it uses HTML tag attributes to name the properties you want to expose as structured data. It is typically used in the page body, but can be used in the head. RDFa

Schema.org

Search engines have developed a project called Schema.org where you can find all the supported structured data markup.

Using Schema.org you can find the markup you need for your particular page. For instance, if you want to write structured data code for your organization, you could specify the name, social media profiles, founder, founded date, address, number of employees on your site in your snippet. You should investigate Schema.org/Organization and find out the possibilities.

On Schema.org, you can copy code examples. After copying it, you’ll have to adapt the code to your specific preferences. (easy method)

Here's a sample code of website schema- structured data implementation using JSON-LD format.

<script type="application/ld+json">
{
    "@context": "https://schema.org",
    "@type": "WebSite",
    "publisher": {
        "@type": "Organization",
        "name": "nullcast",
        "logo": {
            "@type": "ImageObject",
            "url": "/content/images/2019/05/logo.png",
            "width": 100,
            "height": 32
        }
    },
    "url": "https://nullcast.io/",
    "image": {
        "@type": "ImageObject",
        "url": "/content/images/2019/05/null_logo_copy_2.png",
        "width": 352,
        "height": 212
    },
    "mainEntityOfPage": {
        "@type": "WebPage",
        "@id": "https://nullcast.io/"
    },
    "description": "nullcast is a series of blogs, podcasts and short videos for everything web related."
}
 </script>

Rich snippets in search engine results page

Q&A Pages are web pages that contain data in a question and answer format, which is one question followed by its answers. Here's the enhanced result in Google search result page(SERP).

Using Product markup, the product price and reviews are shown in Google image search.

Using recipes schema markup, the images and reviews can easily be shown in SERP page.

Showing search box under your company website link when doing a brand search drives more engagement.

Reference:

  1. Google's guide on structured data  
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