What Is Structured Data? And Why Should You Implement It? | Lesson 10/31 | SEMrush Academy

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0:05 On-page markup
0:31 Schema.org
2:05 Microdata markup or JSON-LD

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Structured data is on-page markup that helps the search engines to have a better understanding of the information on your website. In other words, structured data tells the search engines what your content means, not just what it says.

Besides helping Google understand your content better, structured data can also help you gain additional visibility in SERPs with elements like rich snippets or knowledge boxes.

Schema.org is the most commonly used structured data markup for SEO – it’s the result of a collaboration from Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and Yandex.

Schema markup can be added to nearly any type of data you’ve got on your site – there are literally hundreds of markup types. You can add schema to reviews, recipes, ratings, products, events, and even local businesses.

Let’s look at an example for a car dealership. When a human user looks at the page, they see the standard text content they expect to see. Behind the scenes, schema markup has been added, so when you go to Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool and check the URL, you can see a breakdown of all of the different types of schema that have been added to the page.

The store hours are a great example of how schema is beneficial. Let’s say a store is open from 9am to 8pm Monday through Friday and stays open until 10pm on Saturdays. The website might display this info as 8 dash 9 space am space m dash f, or it could show 8 colon 0 0 space am space thru space 9 colon 0 0 space pm space Monday space through space Friday, or any of several other ways of writing out store hours. But if schema is used, the schema serves the hours to Google in the established schema format, so Google doesn’t have to parse the visible text to determine the actual hours.

There are two ways to include structured data on your site – microdata markup or JSON-LD. Microdata markup is the manual method, where you add in-line schema annotations to the corresponding HTML page elements. When you use JSON-LD, Javascript fires and inserts the markup into the head of the page.

Google recommends the JSON-LD method, and that’s generally the best way to go anyway, because it’s cleaner and easier.

When you’re starting SEO work on a new site, you should check the schema markup on each page of the site to make sure that it’s implemented correctly. You should use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to check for any errors or incorrect implementations of the schema markup.

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