What is Structured Data and Why is it so important?
Structured data is a special markup for Search engines which will help them understand the data and display it in a more user-friendly manner to the end user.
Structured data uses the Schema.org data vocabulary and you can implement them in several formats such as Microdata, Json+LD, RDFa. etc. Out of these three, Json+LD is the easiest and recommended option to go with.
The importance of Structured data for SEO has been a debatable subject. Whether Structure data has its effect on SEO or not, it is definitely a way to go for the long term. As a business, you must leverage the structured data to improve your SEO.
Examples of Structured data for Businesses
I can provide many examples, but here are two of them: Hotel and Restaurant.
I gave these two examples because you must have seen them while browsing the internet. Both examples provide much more information about the business than just a standard listing which also helps you stands out from the crowd.
There are several types of data types, here are the most popular ones:
- Book Reviews
- Local Businesses
- Software Applications
- TV Episodes
It is not really hard to implement such features in your business if you know the right way to go about it. In future, I will also write a detailed tutorial on how to properly implement it in your website.
Is there a way to test this?
Yes! with the help of Structured data testing tool….
Google has released an improved version of Structured data testing tool which allows you to check the markup and detect the structured tags that are implemented into your website. If there is any problem with the markup, then Structured data testing tool will also mention it and give you necessary hints to help you resolve it.
Structured Data Markup Helper Tool
Google has also released another tool called Structured Data markup helper tool (don’t confuse it with the data testing tool). It gives you a user-friendly interface that helps you create the data markup which can then be used for adding the structured data into a web page.
Let’s do a sample test on it,
Enter your website URL and select Local Businesses option and then click ‘Start Tagging’.
Step 2: Tag data
On the left side, you will see your website and on the right, you will see the Structured data fields for the Local Businesses. You can select any text on your website and tag it as one of the fields.
Once you are done, then click ‘Create HTML’ button the top right side of that page.
Step 3: Get the JSON-LD format
You will then get the output code. Select ‘JSON-LD’ from the drop-down menu and your code will appear in the JSON format as shown in the image.
You can then copy the code and paste it into the webpage.
Step 4: Testing
Let’s test this with the structured data testing tool and see how it reads the data.
If you get an error, then it means that you have not added all the required tags and so you must include it. If it doesn’t show any error then it means that you are good to go.
Tutorial on how to Add Structured data for Business
[Update] As a follow-up, I have written a detailed tutorial, please read it at how to add Structured data for Local business.
Any WordPress plugins for adding Google Structured Data?
Of course, there is a plugin for that! …. but, I have not tested them personally.
Over to You!
What are your thoughts on local businesses implementing the Structured data? Have you done such implementation for the local businesses in past? Please share your experience and thoughts with us.