Structured data markup is a technical solution based on XML, JSON-LD and/or other digital coding formats used on the web today. It helps search engines and other digital tools understand better what a specific element of a web document is about, classify the page content and provide additional information about the document itself.
There are many standards and vocabularies which could be classified as structured data, but the most popular and most crucial for search engine optimization is Schema.org markup*.
Okay, but what does it look like and how is it implemented?
Structured data is simply embedded within the HTML code of a web page that. It is only visible to digital tools / instances such as search engines; a human being cannot see it when normally browsing the web. It does not mean, though, that the markup is not there – it sits in the page source code and can be reviewed by a user at any point. Here is the exemplary snippet of structured data related with the localisation of Innovation Visual’s office.
How can structured data markup help your SEO?
As already mentioned, when implemented on a site, Schema.org markup provides more in-depth information to search engine crawlers regarding what specific elements of a web page are about. For example, you can mark up your business name to explain to Google that it is the organisation name. The other example is an event page - you can highlight to search engines items like event place or starting and ending dates, so they better understand what is going to be organised by your company.
Once your markup is in place on the website, it will start providing the additional information to search engines and it is likely that they will pick up the data and use it when rendering search engine pages for people searching for your business, events, blogs, products or services.
Why is it important nowadays?
Structured data is important because of two main reasons:
- It is used when Google renders search pages with rich snippets,
- It plays a key role in natural language processing by search engines, which is of particular importance in voice search.
It’s worth mentioning here that in most cases (excluding local search) your business will not be available in voice search without having the structured data markup implemented on your site.
At the same time, as we know, voice search is now one of the main directions of search engines development and the predictions are that in 2020 more than 50% of searches will be made with voice. Therefore, if you want to make sure that your business’ website is well optimised and ready for the voice search expansion, do not hesitate to contact the team at Innovation Visual, who will be happy to help you properly implement structured data markup on your site.
* - On the other hand, you should bear in mind that whilst Schema.org markup is one of the most common for search, Google do not recommend relying on its vocabulary only, but on the documentation on developers.google.com instead. More can be found here.