What Exactly is Structured Data?

We know that it allows search engines to crawl your website, but what does it does really? Basically, it helps search engine to truly understand the content of your web page. There are some elements that search engines can have a hard time in deciphering; web crawlers may see these elements and think that it is meaningless, but to a human eye it seems perfectly obvious. This is the reason why structured data is so important. The structured data is directly incorporated into the page’s HTML markup, which the search engines will use to generate small pieces of info snippets, which show up in search results.


What Structured Data Looks Like??

Now that we’ve explained what structured data is, it’s still a little unclear what it looks like exactly. Well, in order for you to understand what it is, we’re going to give an example. If you are searching for a restaurant on the internet, additional info such as the menu, the prices, and the feedback and positive reviews of the restaurant will also be displayed in the search. So basically, the structured data is the additional information that is shows next to the website and the site’s meta description. Using structured data in your SEO strategy is a good way for your business to rank higher in SERP which in turn help out your business become even more successful.

Still have some questions about structured data? Well, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about structured data to help you get started.


#1: What is structured data?

We already answered this question above, but here is a more in-depth explanation. Most websites are made from data that are essentially stored databases, and when these data are formatted into an HTML code, web crawlers will have difficulty in effectively deciphering and understanding this information. That’s where structured data come in; generally, structured data is an on-page markup that helps search engines to decipher and better understand the information that is on your web page, and in turn help your business’ search result listings by using this information. This additional information helps search engines to determine the company’s basic info such as NAP data (or name, address, and place), and also more complex information like products, recipes, prices, articles, reviews, etc., that are listed on your website.


#2: How does my business get started with structured data and SEO?

Google has a very useful, and more importantly, free tool called Structured Data Markup Helper which can help you and your business get started with structured data. Basically, what this markup tool does, is help Google to decipher and better understand your web page’s content, which in turn will be used to improve search engine results, and also incorporate the information into Knowledge Graph panels or Google Now cards which can significantly help out your business’ online influence. So if you own a business and don’t know a thing about SEO and online marketing, then it would be a good idea to start embedding structured data into your web page content to make sure that this information can be accessible to everyone. In order to do this, Google’s Structure Data Markup Helper, you just need to submit your web page to the markup tool, and then tag different page elements. After you are done tagging, the markup tool will generate some sample HTML codes with marked up microdata, which you can then download and then include into your web page. Simple, right?


#3: Do I need a web developer to manage structured data and SEO for me?

Don’t be scared by those fancy sounding words. Yes, it may be true that structured data uses HTML code, so a little knowhow about coding would be great, but you don’t have to be a web developer to manage your structured data. There are third party services like Google webmaster tools such as Google’s Structured Data Helper mentioned earlier, that can help you incorporate structured data yourself without the help of a web developer. Well, it still wouldn’t hurt for you to hire an experienced web developer for some assistance if you have little to no back-end web experience, since it may get some getting used to, since your valuable time and effort can be used elsewhere rather than trying to become a coding expert, Call The Fields Agency for further assistance with your web development needs.


#4: Are Keyword Still Important?

Technology has been developing at an exponential rate, and because of this search engines have been using more complex layers of implicit intent into search results, which makes the use of keywords a thing of the past. Google even has this new feature called “conversational search” which automatically uses information such as your location, previous searches, and who you are into their search. This makes the search results more personalized for each user that is why semantic SEO and structured data are becoming more and more important. In this day and age, mobile searches are becoming more common, which is why structured data and SEO have more impact on search engine results rather than keywords.

Keywords may never entirely die off, but according to marketing analytics firm Moz, the days of keyword domination are over.


The Bottom Line

Keywords are starting to become obsolete, but they may never become entirely extinct, but surely the days of keyword dominance is over. The future of search engine marketing is structured data even if you would like to admit it or not. Things like magical keyword counts and backlinks no longer guarantee success in search engine rank results. That’s why it is a good idea to invest some resources that will help you effectively use structured data to help your business appear in Search Engine Results Pages. Don’t allow your SEO strategy to become dated, Contact The Fields Agency today for a free audit.