Imagine you’ve been assigned to pore through pages of long-form narrative content — identify and distill the most pertinent info into succinct points — and enter those points into a table or database. With their algorithms and AI capabilities, this is essentially what search engines do. But often, it isn’t the most efficient way to process fine-detail information.
The idea of structured data is to meet the search engines halfway. This specific type of metadata, communicated via a markup language within a page’s HTML, enables webmasters to organize information in a more structured and readily consumable format for SEO.
How structured data adds dimension to results/snippets.
Examples of rich results or snippets are everywhere you look today. Book search results that enable you to see capsulized reviews, and to click directly to purchase. A curated sequence of FAQ links in answer to a search query. Timelines that chapterize an online video with preview frames and text identifers. Recipe results that show a sequence of key steps, along with estimated cooking time, calorie counts and more.
These are just a few examples from the comprehensive list on the Google Search Gallery page. Each type of snippet requires a particular type of structured data defined by Schema.org, a massive free-usage collection of shared markup language/vocabulary that can be grabbed, edited and uploaded to appropriate webpages.
Ways to submit structured data.
There are three ways to generate and add structured data to the appropriate pages on a website:
- Manual entry of code using markup language defined by Schema.org.
- A structured-data plugin to facilitate SEO without coding.
- An AI-empowered solution to automate the entire process.
Key benefits of using structured data.
While the use of structured data isn’t guaranteed to lead to the generation of rich snippets and higher page placements on Google, it puts you in the running to have content presented with more impact in rich, enhanced formats. The ways this can increase search engine rankings and engagement with potential customers/prospects include:
- Encouraging clickthroughs and conversions by presenting more information from the outset in attention-getting formats.
- Enhancing SEO by augmenting your narrative content with metadata that clarifies and amplifies what your offerings are about.