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What is structured data

Let’s dive into structured data head on. It’s not for the meek

Structured data can be explained as; web pages use words which we as readers understand. On the other hand, search engines (like Google), have a limited understanding of words on a page. This makes it difficult for search engines to display relevant search results when someone enters their search phrase. Humans can work out the meaning of a word from the context of the web page, like tear (to rip somethings or tear (as in crying) We understand the context by how the words are used but search engines have some difficulty doing this.

For Google Search (or Bing, yahoo etc) to learn about the content of a web page, you can help the process by giving detailed information to the bots that roam through the code of your website a language they understand. Google likes “structured data” on the page to be in json. Well currently that is?

Structured data is a uniform way to provide coded information to website crawlers or bots, about your page and just like in a library, so they can classify it.

For example, on a recipe page on a recipe blog, you would add recipe schema markup to tell bots what the ingredients are in the recipe, the cooking time and temperature etc. You can’t see this but because the structured data labels each individual element of the recipe, google bots recognise your page and users can search for your recipe by ingredient, calorie count, cook time etc…Easy!

Google Search supports structured data in the following schemas

1. JSON-LD

(JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data) is a structured data markup format that contains the information inside a script block called javascript. Information placed inside the script code is hidden from the public in the web page and is only used by search engines. Google ask that it be inserted into the head of the document, but could cause delays in your page loading, so it can be placed in the footer where all good little javascripts belong. Best left to professionals. If you use a CRM, there are ways to place this in after the website has been built by either a plugin or by a child theme (WordPress)

Json-LD example
<script type="application/ld+json">
{
  "@context": "https://schema.org",
  "@type": "LocalBusiness",
  "address": {
    "@type": "PostalAddress",
    "addressLocality": "West Beach",
    "addressRegion": "SA",
    "streetAddress": "3102 Highway Riad"
  },
  "description": "A lovely old world bookshop.",
  "name": "Beachwalk Books",
  "telephone": "+61-400-000-000"
}
</script>

2. Microdata

An open-community HTML specification that helps data to be embedded inside the webpage code so you can read it and makes it easier for (bots) to read and understand your webpage content. If you use a CRM for your website like WordPress, there are microdata plugins for WordPress.

<div itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/LocalBusiness">
  <h1><span itemprop="name">Beachwalk Books</span></h1>
  <span itemprop="description"> A superb collection of fine books.</span>
  <div itemprop="address" itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/PostalAddress">
    <span itemprop="streetAddress">3102 Highway Roas</span>
    <span itemprop="addressLocality">West Beach</span>,
    <span itemprop="addressRegion">SA</span>
  </div>
  Phone: <span itemprop="telephone">+61-400-000-000</span>
</div>

3. RDFa

RDFa shares some of the same goals with microformats which may be confusing. It basically is an HTML5 extension that supports linked data by using HTML tag attributes. This corresponds to what you can see on the webpage that you are describing for search engines. RDFa is commonly used in both the head and body sections of the webpage. You read it at the front as words, the search engines read it as code to classify it.Again if you are using WordPress there is a plugin for RFDa.

<div vocab="https://schema.org/" typeof="LocalBusiness">
  <h1><span property="name">Beachwalk Beachwear &amp; Giftware</span></h1>
  <span property="description"> A superb collection of fine books.</span>
  <div property="address" typeof="PostalAddress">
    <span property="streetAddress">3102 Highway Road</span>
    <span property="addressLocality">W Beach</span>,
    <span property="addressRegion">SA</span>
  </div>
  Phone: <span property="telephone">+61-400-000-000</span>
</div>
OK watch this video if you are more visual.

Note: There is no guarantee that your page will appear in search results when using schemas. This is because search features depend on many factors, including the search device type, location, whether Google Search thinks the feature would provide the best search for the user and many details about the structure and speed of your website.

Contact Web Honey web design and we can help you out with your website’s structured data.

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