What is Structured Data and How Can it Help Your Website?

In the world of SEO having an advantage is vitally important. And this advantage is harder to find in modern digital marketing, especially as someone, somewhere, is probably trying the same thing. That is why being able to get technical with your SEO is vital. Technical changes and additions can put you a level above your competition, improving your rankings significantly.

One of the biggest technical on-page SEO techniques currently being implemented as a matter, of course, is structured data. You don’t need to know how to code, but it can help.

So, here is what structured data is exactly and how it can work to improve your site’s SEO.

What is Structured Data?

Structured data, to put it simply, is extra information implemented in the code of your site. It gives search engine’s additional data that they otherwise would not have had. This data can be used to improve search results, as it can help to generate better information for the user searching. So, for example, it could pull out a full answer to a question, pull additional information (such as company data or products) and or just improve the look of a search result.

Here’s an example of what a structured data snippet looks like in Google Search:

Appearing in this hallowed spot in search can be quite impressive (it takes a lot of effort). But, it can also go a long way to improving your overall SEO performance. Implementing this, then, can be vitally important to learn as an important tool in your technical SEO tool kit.

Different Types of Structured Data

The good thing about structured data is that there are different types of structure and they can be implemented on your site, no matter the industry or website niche. This can include anything from recipes to events, with anything in between. The fact is that there is no limit when it comes to Structured Data, as it is always developing and being advanced by a dedicated community.

The advantage to this is that you can tailor your markup to your own individual website and niche. So, if you are a website that is concerned with cooking and recipes then you will obviously implement this on every relevant page. Likewise, as a job site, you would markup your individual job postings to make the role easily findable.

Of course, there are some markups which you should have on every page as a matter of course. This includes organizational markup on the homepage, product markup on products, rating markup to show your 5-star products or services, and can even be used to create a knowledge graph about an individual person. Obviously, your choice of Schema markup will be completely dependent on what you want to achieve in search.

To decide this, you need to take your site page by page. That way, you can tailor the markup to the individual content of every page.

Better Search Snippet Appearance

The biggest advantage of this is quite simple. Your markup just looks better. Take the two examples below:

Amazon is obviously very good at selling online. So, it’s no wonder they have Structured Data implemented very well on their site. If you type in “magnesium 60 caps supplements”, a random example, it’s no wonder they appear first organically. Through good structured data implementation, they clearly show the rating of the product which is 4.5 stars and the number of reviews. Both extremely important factors for the consumer.

Boots, on the other hand, don’t have any additional information displayed. And, for this reason, a high proportion of users will choose the Amazon result. Obviously, these are quite big brands and so people might choose Amazon for brand loyalty, ease or whatever other reason. But the same could be said even if these were two no-name results given as example instead.

Of course, this implementation isn’t perfect. Preferably, the search result would also show the price of the product. As giving the user that information straight away can actually improve your search click-through rate quite a bit.

This highlights the fact that even if you don’t manage to get Rich Snippets, which is the goal of many people’s Structure Data implementation, there can still be a benefit to your search results. More information, especially in relation to products, can improve a user’s search experience and thus draw them to your site much more easily.

Click-Through Rates Improvement

One reason that people choose to implement Structured Data is the fact that it reportedly improves click-through rates. It’s like the logic expressed above; the better looking your search result is, the more likely people will click through to it.

The fact is that click-through rates on the first page of Google never go beyond 20.5%. So, making your search result as attractive as possible, especially if you’re not in position one, actually can be very important. A title, link and text aren’t much for the user to go on. Providing them with as much additional information as possible, then, can actually work in favour of your site.

So, if you have relatively good rankings but struggle to actually generate traffic to your site, you may want to consider your search appearance. It could be the click-breakthrough that you need.

How to Implement Structured Data Markup

Implementing Structured Data isn’t as difficult as you might expect and you shouldn’t feel intimidated. Especially as you won’t need much, if any, coding knowledge to actually implement this.

For the simplest solution, you should use JSON-LD Structured Data language, it’s easy to use and supported by Google themselves. Here’s an example of organization markup, as tested in the Google Structure Data Testing Tool:

It’s quite straightforward, in that you have a certain number of fields that you need to input and most of them make logical sense. The brackets, punctuation and everything in between is what can confuse and trip up those new to this type of technical SEO implementation. If you’re struggling, there are a few resources you can check out to find the right type of implementation coding.

For example, you can auto-generate some JSON-LD markup using this tool. It’s basic, but it can really help you in the early days of learning Structured Data. Especially if you’re struggling.

And don’t worry about putting this into your site CSS code. We have already established: you don’t need to know coding to do Structured Data. Instead, depending on your platform, you can find an appropriate platform which achieves the same thing for you. On WordPress, you can use plugins such as Schema App (which allows for custom schema markups), Schema & Structured Data for WP & AMP, and WP SEO Structured Data Schema.

As a concluding thought, there can be a lot of positive reasons you might want to implement Structured Data on your website. And implementing it isn’t as hard as you might imagine. So, start a plan to implement Structured Data on your site today and benefit from the impact on your search results tomorrow!

Bio

Zack Halliwell is a freelance writer in the business and marketing niche, giving advice on anything from the perfect branding to the latest Alexa development. When not writing he can be found on long mountain walks with his dog, Batman.

 

10 Great Reasons Why Website Structure Matters in SEO!

A website structure holds a great significance from the SEO perspective. A powerful site structure increases the chances of higher ranking in the search engines for websites. There is no website that does not have a structure with it which might be streamlined or rigorous or disorganized. In this article, we are going to speak regarding the reasons that state how much website structures mean in the website designing.

The structure is the most overlooked feature or a thing while designing the website. Very fewer people know that this falls under the many crucial aspects of a site’s SEO performance. Also, few webmasters understand what it means to have a website structure which helps in the enhancement of the SEO.

1. A better structure ensures the better user experience

A great site structure is all about the colors, the kerning, the fonts, the images, the graphics, and the white space.

We all know that if a site lacks the appealing factor, it loses the potential audience and the attention of search engine too. The algorithm of Google makes use of the information from the searchers so that it can give a rank to your site.

2. Better the structure, better the sitelinks of the site

SERPs have a listing format for the site links which show the main page of your site along with several internal links. However, to have that, your website design must look good.

If you want best solutions for website designing, then you must start looking around right away because the early you get a designer, the early work gets started.

3. Website crawling becomes easier with a good site structure

Googlebot, a web crawler crawls the structure of a website. They function to achieve the goal of indexing the content to get it back in search results. This can only be possible when you have a better website design, making it much easier for the crawler to crawl your website and index the content.

4. Site URL structure must follow the navigation hierarchy

While developing the site structure, the second primary element is your URL structure. Once you have the URL structure, give a logical approach to your site hierarchy, developing it won’t be difficult. The organizing of the URL structure depends as per the hierarchy of your website which apparently means that your URLs will only have real words (no symbols) along with appropriate keyword coverage.

5. Get the HTML or CSS in site navigation

While creating the navigation, always keep the coding as simple as possible. For this, use HTML and CSS as they are the safest approach. If you are getting the coding done in Flash, JavaScript, and Ajax, it will limit the ability of the crawler to cover your website navigation and hierarchy.

6. Take help of navigation structure

In order to get the functioning of your site better, ensure the website design is not shallow. Since the navigation structure will follow your site hierarchy, therefore, ensure that the relevant pages on your site aren’t buried too deep as its good for both from a usability and crawler perspectives.

7. Use List Based Header on Main Navigation Pages

A header lists out the main pages of the website. That means that there should be a proper navigational header with the appropriate sub-categories into it. This will ensure a good site structure which will in return feature a better user-experience to your audience.

8. Develop an excellent internal linking structure

When you have an excellent function of internal linking, your logically approached site hierarchy will have more value to it. There are many tools available on the internet with which you can get the count of these. They are also important just because-

  • They allow quick navigation.
  • Information hierarchy gets established on the site, because of them
  • They help in spreading link juice around websites, giving more ranking power.

9. For the external search

Once you have maintained a good website design for your site, the external search becomes easier. People will find you in their searches and when they do, they will easily understand the most important categories and the relationship with their subsequent subcategories. This means that building clusters around important topics is given more priority than just scattering the information all over.

10. For internal site-search

If your website designing is done correctly then you are more likely to have a good website structure that mirrors the catalog data structure. With a well-organized catalog, you will enjoy a great on-site search. It’s the same with the internal search engine – like the Google utilizes the structure of your website in order to determine the important stuff on your website and the keywords are provided to your website to rank for.

If the internal site-search is done correctly, the on-site search will use categorization in order to improve the relevant search results. Furthermore, it can also use categorization so that the users can be redirected to specific category pages when the search gets auto-complete.

Final Words

While getting the website designing, you must remember that the website structure is highly crucial. It is in fact a result of careful thinking, accurate organization, and intentional design. Therefore, you must create a strong site structure before creating the site. But if you are doing a redesigning of the website, then you must remember that the navigational elements must be reorganized rightly so that the structural SEO can be improved.

Now, always remember that with a great site structure, you will have great SEO.

Author Bio:

Stephen Chong works as a writer for Fonbell Solution, an IT firm offering web-based services and Software Solutions such as Web Design In Singapore, Invoice Billing Software, Online Appointment System in Singapore. He would love to share the experience, knowledge, and thoughts with others on the web.

 

On-Page SEO: The Ins and Outs of it

On-page SEO is the course of making your website or webpage search-engine friendly. To make a long story as basic in words as possible for now – it is a process in which you tweak and adjust certain features on your website so that search engines like Google, Bing etc are able to index and crawl over your website. The tweaking is to make sure that your website’s content or structure is well understood by the search engines as a result.

In this piece of writing, we will be focusing on the On-Page or On-site SEO to help you understand the ins and outs of it – how you can use it to your best and most of all – how much of a basic knowledge you need to impress your interviewer(s) or bosses. By the end of this article, you will be able to discuss on-page SEO with confidence and a superior knowledge to your fellow newbies.

The first thing you need to know is that what exactly is On-Page SEO?

On-page SEO can be explained as the procedure for optimization of web pages so that they rank higher and in result gain more traffic via Google and other such search engines. An on-page includes both;

  •  Content
  •  HTML Source Code

This means that both the content, as well as the code, can be optimized in order to maintain or better your web page’s ranking.

Off-page SEO, however, is dependent on;

  • Links
  • Other External Signals

The main purpose of an off-page SEO is to help your website rank higher in ways on-site doesn’t. While you focus on your own website’s;

  • Pages
  • Titles
  • Tags
  • Content
  • Overall Structure

In on page SEO so as to optimize everything around your keyword – an off-page technique would focus more on ‘off-site’ (Off the website stuff) like back-linking from significant and renowned sites as a way to lead more traffic to your own on-site page.

Source: https://moz-static.s3.amazonaws.com/learn/seo/elements-optimized-sml.gif?mtime=20170104131405

On-Page Ranking Factors:

Now that you have a know-how about the difference between on-page as well as off page – let’s move on to the next point which is going to help you increase your site’s ranking by manifolds.

The on-page ranking factors can impact your website’s individual page’s ability to rank better if optimized.

Page Content

The content on your page is what can either make or break it for you. If your content is good and unique in quality – both the audience as well as the google algorithms would stay happy. In case, you have no idea about what a Google algorithm is then thought of it like an online inspector that inspects your site on the basis of your content quality, customer reviews/ trust, and your websites’ authority.

When your page has a good content then it meets the audience’s reason for searching the internet. Thus, your content should be your first and foremost priority. However, in the eyes of the internet and some people too – if your content isn’t accessible of linkable then it doesn’t matter whether it is bad or good – it’s of the same value i.e. zero. Thus, it is important to write on a trending topic and not something that people might not even have an idea about – unless your blog or website already is generating a lot of traffic, of course.

Title Tag

Being an HTML element, a title tag is used to specify the ‘title’ (you can totally understand by its name too) of a web page. Whenever someone searches the good on a topic similar to your title tag – it appears on the search engine results pages also known as SERPs.

Title tags hold great importance for;

  • Usability
  • SEO
  • Social sharing

When writing a title tag – be sure to write something that gives an idea of the content. It’d hold the audience’s attention and make them want to click on it too. Don’t try to stuff your title tag with a keyword – if it is stuffed – google won’t support it and the algorithms would push it to the invisibility level.

URL

You know the web addresses you put in the search tab and a website opens up are called URLs, right? A ‘uniform resource locator’ or URL states the location of a source on the internet (your webpage being one of them). A URL also uses a ‘protocol’ that can be sued to retrieve the resource or webpage you want to open. HTTP, FTP, HTTPS etc are an example or protocol.

While writing a URL – make sure that it is no longer than 2083 characters. Moreover, it should not be like domainname.com/4451.html. This is an example of a bad URL. A good URL should be as the picture below shows. A good URL reflects the hierarchy of information on a particular website.

Image Alt Text

Sometimes, due to slow or poor connection, the user is unable to view an image – that is when the Alt or alternative text comes into play. It is displayed in place of a picture to give the reader/ audience an idea of what it is.

Related image

Internal & External Links

Sometimes, when you are reading an article a text in blue or some other colour catches your attention. If you click it – you’d be led to another page. This is an internal or external link … a hyperlink that takes you to another resource or web page that either consists of an image or a whole new article. The links are termed as internal or external depending on the domain or website they have as their target destination. It is a common way to provide useful resources to content and to pass link juice from one post to another, resulting into better positioning in search engine results.

Well Optimized Webpage

An ideal webpage optimization would have the following:

  • Hyper-Relevance of the Topic i.e. in Title Tag, Meta Description, URL, Image Alt Text Etc.
  • Unique and Quality Content
  • Good Page Loading Time
  • Rating and Star Buttons to Promote Customer Review
  • Link back to its – category as well as their subs page, homepage etc.

Author Bio: Nathan John works as Content Editor at u verse packages. He contributes in various online communities and writes about technology, marketing & entertainment.