To understand structured data, first think about those snippets on Google. You’ve seen them. There the boxes that sometimes appear for the top result on SERPs. They will typically contain a concise summary of all the information you need and you can’t miss them.
If you’ve ever wondered how to get your site information to appear like that in Google, you need to do two things:
- Rank as well as you can using every SEO technique in the box.
- Make sure you have used structured data.
Structured data is the code that you can put on your website, in a specific format, to help search engines read your site and display the search results in a particular way.
Google doesn’t grab the best bits of a website and put them in the snippet box. It looks at specific tags to understand how the information is intended to be displayed.
For a book review page, for example, the snippet will include the book title, the author, the star rating, and the number of reviews. When this information is labeled meaningfully on a webpage, Google can take that information and display it on SERPs in an effective, uniform fashion.
Your use of structured data makes your content “richer,” which is why these Google results are called “rich snippets.”
Including structured data in your web pages does not guarantee you a rich snippet in the SERPs. You have to hope that Google will pick your site and run with it. If you don’t have structured data in place, though, you don’t have a chance. It’s better to be ready in case Google shines its light your way.
Keywords are still important, but you will have noticed that Google is getting increasingly sophisticated. The quality of your site, its usability, and how well it fits its intended audience are major considerations. Making your site more meaningful and usable with structured data is going to be beneficial to your rankings.
Don’t want to spend hours looking at HTML code? Get started for advice and help optimizing your site for SEO by incorporating structured data.