Do you want to rank on Google? Then, you must know the types of structured data that will allow you to be in the top positions of this search engine and, therefore, bring more traffic to your website.
So, if you have been working hard to position yourself on the Internet, keep reading this article because we will tell you all about structured data, how it works, what types of structured data exist, and how to add it to Google to rank in the top 5 results of this search engine.
Table of Contents
What is structured data?
Before I tell you what structured data is, it’s important to understand how Google works. According to its developer website, “Google search goes to great lengths to understand the content of a page. And one of the ways it helps Google is through structured data.”
In that sense, when we explain to Google what is on our page, through the different types of structured data, we are scoring a goal, as it will easily understand us and rank our content to show it first in its results.
For example, if we have a recipe page classified by ingredients, time, cooking temperature, calories, etc., Google is taking all the information to show it in the results. In other words, if someone searches for a recipe for blueberry cakes, Google scans our website to find the answer. How do we make it easy for them and appear in the first results? With structured data!
At this point, you should already have an idea of what structured data is; however, we want there to be no doubts around this concept, so let’s go with the definition.
Basically, structured data are HTML codes that are placed to the URLs of the web pages so that Google interprets the content of each one of them correctly. What does this mean? Easy! Each URL can and must have a different HTML code in order to rank in search engines.
Did you ever think you would be Google’s translator? With structured data types, you will be, because you are tagging bits and pieces of a website so that Google understands what each thing means, what an element of content corresponds to, and classifies it.
We know that the image above doesn’t say much about the structured data types that have been worked on, but if we analyze what’s behind it, you’ll realize that the URL contains the structured data needed to stand out in Google.
So, you already know that structured data types refer to any data found in a fixed field within a file.
Additionally, you should keep in mind that when we talk about SEO, we must distinguish between two types of content. The first is content created for the user (content that a person can read and view), and the second is content for search engines, which is called structured data or schema and serves to understand better and comprehend the website. Users cannot visualize this last content.
We will explain the difference between structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data types in the following points. This information will help you to have a clearer vision of the data you are working with.
Difference between structured and unstructured data types
Since you already know that structured data types are all information that is organized and structured within a field, it is easier to understand what unstructured data is.
The main difference between structured and unstructured data types is that unstructured data are all files that do not have a fixed order.
Some of the most common unstructured data are:
- Text files.
- Electronic mail.
- Social networks.
- Mobile data, such as text messages and locations.
- Chats, instant messaging, phone recordings, collaboration software.
- Digital photos, audio, and video files.
- Business applications.
- Satellite imagery.
The big difference between structured and unstructured data is that the former is stored in a relational database (RDBMS), while unstructured data cannot be stored in predefined relational data structures (NoSQL).
Difference between structured and semi-structured data types
Semi-structured data is a mixture of structured and unstructured data types. It is data that does not use a rigid organization but relies on the use of tags, attributes, and metadata to communicate information quickly, such as HTML.
Sometimes unstructured data is classified as semi-structured data because it has one or more classification attributes.
According to the data website ‘Astera,’ an example of semi-structured data is delimited files such as images, which do not have a predefined structure per se but have certain structural attributes that make them semi-structured. This happens with smartphone photos, which provide some structured attributes such as geotagging, device ID, and the date and time stamp. Once stored, images can also be assigned tags such as ‘pet’ or ‘dog’ to provide structure.
Did you know that most information that is on the web is not structured on its own? That’s why it’s important to be familiar with structured data types so you can fill in the necessary information and organize your data. We will talk about that below.
Types of structured data
Now that you understand the difference between structured, unstructured, and semi-structured data, it is key to know that the world of structured data is broader than what we have defined up to this point.
You can find as many structured data types as you can find systems for organizing and quickly identifying information. However, when we focus on an SEO strategy, data is related to only one thing: the Shema.org structured data schema (a consistent language universally compatible with all search engines, which recognizes around 800 types of structured data).
But we don’t want to confuse you with so much data, so we will focus on the types of structured data that Google recognizes. Pay attention to the following list and remember that: structured data does not follow the same formula; everything will depend on your content; this means that the structured data you will use for a recipe website will not be the same as for an online clothing store.
This is the first type of structured data you will work with, and it is used to highlight details such as prices, stock, and product features. Do you know what brings more traffic to your website? It’s rich content, so don’t hesitate to have it; Google and users will appreciate it. In order to fill the site with quality text content, feel free to use the advice of professional content creators, such as those from https://www.paperhelp.org/. It will save you a lot of effort and time. So, the other types of content that Google recognizes.
These are some structured data of a product:
- Type of product.
- Product name.
- Brand name.
- Average product rating.
- The total number of reviews.
- URL (to the product page).
When marking up content to include information about a product, you can use the following properties.
If you are using a brand-driven SEO strategy, include this structured data on your website, that way, Google will recognize your logo and give it more and more importance.
With this type of structured data, you set up your company’s FAQ page.
This data tells Google that the page’s content is adapted to people with special needs, which will be a plus for your website, as voice searches are becoming more and more popular on Google.
Organization and local business scheme
This is basic data that all brands should use on the Internet, and it is the organization and local business scheme that marks the location of a company, images, exact coordinates, contact information, social links, among others.
Did you write an article and want everyone to read it? Structured data will help you, so mark the title, image, and date.
How do structured data types work?
Several structured data formats help the correct functioning of the data in Google. The most important are the following:
Microdata: with this format, the different types of structured data are integrated into the main HTML of the page.
RDFa: uses the HTML5 format to publish linked data in HTML5 documents. It is used in the header and body section of the page.
How to add structured data types in Google?
According to Google’s developer page, there are 5 main steps to create, test, and publish structured data types. Let’s get to know them to get an idea about how structured data works in Google.
But first, let’s clarify what rich results are: they offer users better search experiences, as they provide more information about the products (including carousels, images, and other non-textual elements).
Adding mandatory properties to structured data types
Mandatory properties are required for structured data types to display the content as a rich result.
It is advisable to complete the properties requested by Google of the structured dataset to provide more information about the content and thus, offer a better experience to users.
Labeling structured data types
Another important point is the labeling of structured data types. Remember that rich product results only provide information about a specific product (price, availability, and ratings).
Then, it is important to follow the following operations to perform the labeling on structured data types to appear in Google searches:
- Tag specific products (not categories or a list of products).
- Do not use products related to adult content.
- Add the “product review” option using the structured data. The name should be indicated with “person” or “team”.
- Display the product information in the Google image viewer, including these properties of the structured data types: name, image, price, and price currency.
Validate the data code
Validating the structured data type codes will help you discover what rich results can be generated with the product data.
Test any code snippet with Google’s structured data tool. You just need to copy the code you want to test and then click on run test.
Test how Google sees structured data
You can create several pages in programming that include the different types of structured data and check how Google sees them with the URL inspection tool.
It is important that Google can access your page so it can detect AMP errors, structured data errors, and indexing issues.
Automate sitemap submission of structured data types
Finally, an essential step to keep Google up to date with the latest version of your pages is to submit a sitemap of structured data types.
Use Google Search Console’s Sitemap API tool to automate structured data submission.
We have reached the end of this article, and we are sure that you are ready to use the different types of structured data in your SEO strategy and make Google your ally.