Making Use of Google’s Structured Data




  • — October 5, 2017

    Making Use of Google’s Structured Data

    geralt / Pixabay

    Structured data is about telling the search engines exactly what the data in your website is. Bots can read the information when they crawl your site, but adding the schema helps the bots understand the kind of data they’re reading, so they can improve their rankings, and thus the searcher experience.

    Google has introduced the Structured Data Testing Tool and the Structured Data Markup Report in the Google Search Console so you can make sure your schema is correct before publishing it on your website, and keep track of any errors that may arise.

    If you want to know what kind of schema markup you should be using, take a look at this basic guide.

    What Schema Markup Should Be on All Websites?

    These schema markups can be used on any website, and aren’t specific to any niche or vertical.

    Organization Markup

    The organization schema markup improves brand signals that can enhance Knowledge Graph entries and your snippet presence in the search results. When you use this schema, take the time to time to specify your social profile links, contact information, and logo.

    Making Use of Google’s Structured Data

    WebSite Schema

    The WebSite markup helps you generate the sitelinks search box feature for your brand search engine results page and helps your name appear in the results. For this to work, you must have a site search on your website.

    Breadcrumbs Markup

    If you want to include your site’s breadcrumbs in the search results snippet for your page, you’d use the BreadcrumbList schema.

    Site Navigation Schema

    If you want to make it easier for the search engines to understand your site navigation and structure, use the SiteNavigationElement markup. This can also be used to influence organic sitelinks.

    Making Use of Google’s Structured Data

    Make Your Own Videos? Use Video Schema Markup

    If you use hosted or embedded video on your site, you should use the VideoObject schema. This way you’ll be able to display rich snippets when your website appears in Google video search.

    You’ll need to fill in the following properties:

    • Name
    • Description
    • ThumbnailUrl
    • UploadDate

    Have an App? Use Software Application Markup

    If your site has an accompanying app, or features app listings, use the SoftwareApplication markup to get rich snippets. The only required property is Name, but it’s suggested you fill in as much as possible for the following properties:

    • AggregateRating (including ratingValue and either ratingCount or reviewCount)
    • Offers
    • OperatingSystem
    • ApplicationCategory

    What Schema Markup Should Be on eCommerce Sites?

    Product and Offer Markup

    When you use Product and Offer markup, you increase the chances of product information appearing in the search results, including the price and stock status information. Offer markup is required if you want pricing information to appear.

    For Product, the only required property is “Name.” For the Offer schema, you’ll need to include Price and priceCurrency properties.

    Rating Markup

    The Rating schema is typically used on ecommerce websites but can also be used on local business sites like restaurants. If an item has multiple rates, they can be averaged to produce an AggregrateRating.

    Google will assume you’re using a five-point scale where one is the worst and five is the best. If you’re using anything other than this scale, you’ll want to use the bestRating property to indicate the highest possible rating. These markups are what show the star ratings in the rich snippets in the search results.

    What Schema Markup Should Be on Publisher Websites?

    Article Markup

    If you’re a publisher site, you’ll want to use either the NewsArticle or BlogPosting schema depending on the type of content or site. Using these markups allows your content to appear in the in-depth articles search suggestions as well as Google News.

    You’ll need to include the following required properties:

    • Headline
    • Image
    • DatePublished

    What Schema Markup Should Be on Local Business Sites?

    Local Business Markup

    If you have a local business with at least one brick-and-mortar location, you can use the LocalBusiness and PostalAddress schema markup to improve your local listing. You can use it to indicate your physical address, the types of payments you accept, your operating hours, and more. You’ll also have a choice of several industry specific schemas, such as:

    • AnimalShelter
    • AutomotiveBusiness
    • ChildCare
    • Dentist
    • DryCleaningOrLaundry
    • EmergencyService
    • EmploymentAgency
    • EntertainmentBusiness
    • FinancialService
    • FoodEstablishment (restaurant is here.)
    • GovernmentOffice
    • HealthAndBeautyBusiness
    • HomeAndConstructionBusiness
    • InternetCafe
    • LegalService
    • Library
    • LodgingBusiness
    • ProfessionalService
    • RadioStation
    • RealEstateAgent
    • RecyclingCenter
    • SelfStorage
    • ShoppingCenter
    • SportsActivityLocation
    • Store
    • TelevisionStation
    • TouristInformationCenter
    • TravelAgency

    What Schema Should Be on Event Sites?

    Event

    The Event markup can be used on sites that organize events, including anything from festivals to concerts and conferences. This will generate a rich snippet that includes tour dates and locations for concerts, and other details for other types of events.

    What Schema Should Be on Recipe Sites or Food Blogs?

    Recipe

    If you’re a food blog or recipe website, you’ll want to use the Recipe schema to show rich snippets and appear in Recipe searches. The only required property is Name, but Google will only show snippets for recipes that include at least two of the following:

    • At least one of prepTime, cookTime, totalTime or ingredients.
    • Image.
    • NutritionInformation.
    • Review.

    What Markup Should Be on Personal Websites?

    Person

    If you want to influence Knowledge Graph results about an individual, you can use the Person markup.

    What’s the Risk of Not Using Schema/Structured Data on My Site?

    If you don’t use structured data markup on your website, you will not have rich snippets displayed anywhere in Google when your site appears in the results. This isn’t that big of a deal, but it can affect your rankings – especially if your competition is using it. Taking the time to implement schema anywhere you can on your website provides a better user experience and helps to improve your rankings.

    The team here at SEO Inc. will ensure the proper schema markup is used on your site when we build or rebuild it for you, and when we work to improve your rankings.

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