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  4.  | SEO for Beginners – Use Structured Data

Welcome back to what is SEO – SEO for Beginners Series. In the last video, we went over SEO Factor #8 Mobile Friendliness:

We went over why you need to ensure your website is mobile-friendly and some options on how to test it and fix any problems.

In this video, we are on #9 of the 10 most important ranking factors, and that is User Experience.

SEO Factor #9: Use Structured Data

SEO Factor #9: How Use Structured Data

Many pages have text on them that’s easy for visitors to understand but difficult for the Google algorithm to understand. For example, your website may have a product page with details like price, availability, ratings, and more. Google can’t easily understand that information unless it’s structured in a specific way.

What is structured Data

Structured data is the specific code you put on the page that helps Google better understand the content. There are specific structured data formats for things, including:

● Books

● Movies

● Ratings

● Courses

● Recipes

● Events

● Local business info

● FAQ pages

● And much more

An example of Structured Data

When you use structured data, it may show directly in the search results. Have you searched for a recipe, and it showed the bake time, ingredients, and the ratings right in the search results? That’s structured data being used. 

When information is shown directly in the research results, it’s called a “rich snippet.” Rich snippets increase the chances a person will click on your site in the search results. 

Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper

To create this type of content, you can use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper. You enter the URL where you want to create, and then Google guides you through adding the structured data to it. Once you’re done, you just copy and paste the updated information back to your website. 

Yoast SEO is a great and easy way to add rich snippets to your WordPress website. They have a great article on what rich snippets are. You can see that here: https://yoast.com/what-are-rich-snippets/

SEO For Beginners - Structured Data rich snippet

What Is A Rich Snippet?

So I wanted to actually pop into this article with you so you can see exactly what I’m talking about. Now, I talked about the recipes and I know that you have seen this before, but this article has a really great way of showing exactly what we’re talking about.

So what is a rich snippet? It goes into all of this, and I really suggest that you go over here and check out this article and read the entire thing so that you get a better idea than just my general overview on what rich snippets are. 

SEO For Beginners - Structured Data ice cream article

But as you can see this here, this ice cream article, this is without the rich snippets turned on. This is without that structured data. You can see that this is a search result here about ice cream that does not have the rich snippets turned on. It doesn’t have that structural data added to the web page. 

An Example of a Rich Snippet

SEO For Beginners - Structured Data ice cream article

But let me show you one that actually does. So you can see this one here actually is a rich snippet result for the same query with the ice cream recipe.

What Does a Rich Snippet Look like?

And you can see that this one people are going to click on better. It’s got a picture. It’s got a rating. It’s has votes. It tells you how long it takes you to make it. There’s more information in there. So any way that you can use these rich snippets are going to be so much better. And this means that you have the opportunity for it to turn up even like this.

SEO For Beginners - Structured Data ice cream article

So look at this, which one is somebody going to click on? Are they going to click on one of these recipes? Or are they going to click on one that looks like this. So think about this with your content and how you can use this structure data in yours. 

How to Set up Rich Snippets with Yoast SEO

Let me show you what this looks like in the back of my website with Yoast SEO. So that is the plugin that I use for all of the SEO, for our websites and our client’s websites. And it makes it super easy. 

That is also who wrote that last fantastic article about rich snippets. So if you go here in the back of one of my pages, you can see that here, it says schema.

SEO For Beginners - Structured Data schema

And so if you click here, Schema. You can choose which type of rich snippet you would like this to be. So you can see that you can have a drop-down here and you can choose what kind of structured data you want for your webpage. So make sure you use this when you can.

So that your search results show up the very best for searchers.

In the next video in the series, we’ll dive into SEO Factor #10: Optimize for Voice Search.

SEO For Beginners – What Is SEO?

Search Factor 1 – Search Intent

Search Factor 2 – Backlinks

Search Factor 3 – Page Speed

Search Factor 4 – User Experience

Search Factor 5 – Content Freshness & Depth

Search Factor 6 – Domain Authority

Search Factor 7 – Security

Search Factor 8 – Mobile Friendliness

Search Factor 9 <– you are here 🤩

Search Factor 10 – Voice Search

SEO – Playing the Long Game

Structured Data and Rich Snippet FAQ

Q: What are some of the benefits of implementing structured data on my website?

A: There are a number of benefits that come from implementing structured data, including:

1. Better search engine visibility – Rich snippets can help your website stand out in search results, which can lead to increased traffic.

2. Increased click-through rates – Studies have shown that websites with rich snippets have higher click-through rates than those without.

3. More accurate search results – By providing more accurate information about your website and its content, you can help search engines deliver more relevant results to users.

4. Greater control over how your website appears in search results – With structured data, you can specify exactly how you want your website to appear in search results, giving you greater control over your search engine visibility.

5. Enhanced social media visibility – Rich snippets can also help your website stand out on social media platforms, which can lead to increased traffic and engagement.

Q: What are some of the drawbacks of implementing structured data?

A; There are a few potential drawbacks to implementing structured data, including:

1. Increased complexity – Structured data can add a level of complexity to your website, which may be difficult to manage for some users.

2. Limited support – Not all search engines and social media platforms support rich snippets, so your website may not benefit from all the potential advantages.

3. Changes in search algorithms – Search engines are constantly changing their algorithms, so there is no guarantee that your website will continue to benefit from rich snippets in the future.

4. Increased cost – Implementing structured data can require additional time and resources, which may increase the overall cost of your website.

Q: What are some of the most common mistakes made when implementing structured data?

A: Some of the most common mistakes made when implementing structured data include:

1. Not using the correct schema – There are many different types of schema, so it’s important to use the correct one for your website. Otherwise, your website may not benefit from rich snippets.

2. Using incorrect or outdated information – Be sure to use accurate and up-to-date information in your structured data. Otherwise, your website may not appear in search results or social media posts.

3. Not properly implementing structured data – Incorrectly implementing structured data can lead to errors and warnings from search engines and social media platforms. This can hurt your website’s visibility and reputation.

4. Failing to keep up with changes – As mentioned above, search engines are constantly changing their algorithms. This means that you need to keep up with the latest changes in order to ensure that your website continues to benefit from rich snippets.

5. Not monitoring your results – Be sure to monitor your website’s performance after implementing structured data. This will help you identify any problems and make necessary changes to improve your website’s visibility.

Q: How can I implement structured data on my website?

A: If you’re interested in implementing structured data on your website, there are a few different ways to do it. One option is to use a schema.org generator, which will help you create the necessary code for your website.

Another option is to use a plugin or tool that supports structured data. For example, the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin includes support for structured data.

Finally, you can also hire a developer to implement structured data on your website. This option may be more expensive, but it will ensure that the code is implemented correctly and that your website benefits from all the potential advantages of rich snippets.

Q: What is structured data?

A: Structured data is a type of code that can be added to your website to help search engines and social media platforms understand your content. This can lead to enhanced search engine visibility and increased traffic from social media.

Q: How can I implement structured data on my website?

A: There are a few different ways to implement structured data on your website, including using a schema.org generator, using a plugin or tool that supports structured data, or hiring a developer to implement the code on your behalf.

Q: What are rich snippets?

A: Rich snippets are a type of structured data that can be added to web pages to provide additional information about the page’s content. This information can be used by search engines to display more relevant and informative search results, and can also be used by other applications to better understand the page’s content.

Q:  How can I add rich snippets to my pages?

A: There are two main ways to add rich snippets to your pages: through manual coding or through automatic generation. Manual coding requires adding special code to your page’s HTML code, whereas automatic generation can be done through some third-party tools or plugins.

Q:  What kind of information can be included in rich snippets?

A: Rich snippets can include a variety of information, such as the page’s title, author, publication date, and so on. In addition, rich snippets can also include structured data such as ratings, reviews, and other information that can be used to better understand the page’s content.

Q: Are there any benefits to adding rich snippets to my pages?

A: Yes! Rich snippets can help improve your click-through rate (CTR) from search results, as well as providing additional information that can be used by search engines and other applications.

Q: Are there any drawbacks to adding rich snippets to my pages?

A: The main drawback of adding rich snippets is that it requires some extra work upfront. However, once you have the code in place, it should be relatively easy to maintain and update. In addition, there is always a risk that your rich snippets might not be displayed correctly in search results, so it’s important to test your code before publishing it.

Q: What are some best practices for adding rich snippets to my pages?

A: Some best practices for adding rich snippets include:

  • Use clear and concise language to describe your content.
  • Make sure your code is well-formed and error-free.
  • Test your code before publishing it.
  • Monitor your results after publishing to make sure your rich snippets are being displayed correctly.

Q:  Where can I learn more about rich snippets?

Here are a few resources to help you learn more about rich snippets:

Google’s Rich Snippets Documentation:
https://developers.google.com/structured-data/rich-snippets/

Schema.org:
http://schema.org/

Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to Rich Snippets:
https://moz.com/blog/beginners-guide-to-structured-data-rich-snippets

Search Engine Land’s Guide to Rich Snippets:
http://searchengineland.com/guide/what-are-rich-snippets

Google’s Webmaster Central Blog:
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2011/05/introducing-structured-data-markup.html

We hope this FAQ has been helpful. If you have any further questions about rich snippets, feel free to leave a comment below.

Thanks!

About Digital Marketing Expert Torie Mathis

Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity.  She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART.

Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine. Learn from Torie at the Smart Arsenal and on her channel.

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