How to Make Google Love Your Website – All About Structured Data

If you really want Google to love your website, then keep reading…

Okay, so your website page experience provides great user experience, your site has great quality backlinks, and loads exceptionally fast especially in mobile devices, but you still aren’t getting the traffic you desire.

If you’ve been simply targeting organic results as opposed to paid traffic you might want to give serious consideration to running paid ads in the near future.

In the meantime, I need to ask you this question: how’s your website for structured data?

You’ll want to know the answer to that BEFORE considering buying ad space for sure.

What is Structured Data?

To sum this up, structured date is simply a standardized format for offering information and classifying your content on a web page.

A great example of structure data would be a published recipe. Within that recipe you should be able to find the following:

  • ingredients,
  • temperature,
  • cooking time, and maybe even
  • nutritional values.

Using the structure data approach would essentially allow you to give simple and clear instructions to search engines about what you would like to see displayed in the search engine results page (SERP).

Structure data helps search engines to quickly understand the important parts of your content, and to be able to use the different parts of your content in the different ways on their SERPs.

Rich Results that are generated by Google, use and reconfigure the structured data into lots of different ways that are great for users.

This is particularly useful on mobile because it allows you to have lots of different elements within the SERPs, and they can control how it is rendered.

And, this allows search engines to essentially turn your well laid out website into a simple spreadsheet.

The Value of Structured Data

First, let me make this clear, structured data is NOT a ranking factor …BUT… it will impact your site’s visibility in the SERPs.

And, although it is not a ranking factor, structured data used properly can make a difference to your business’s visibility in SERPs. This can up the anti on obtaining more traffic.

More targeted traffic = better ranking in SERPs.

It is said that some local businesses have experienced as much as an 80% increase in their organic traffic in four months of implementing these changes; along with a 66% improvement in their site’s ranking for location-based keywords in 6 months, and a 30% increase in ranking in 3 months for some business to consumer (B2C) sites.

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Structured data is good for all types of websites. Whether you are a one-man-band or a Fortune 500 company, you can use structured data.

When local businesses use structured data, it also helps Google decide on who to use when selecting Google pack listings to be displayed in their SERPs.

Structured data is also known as schema markup.

What Schema Do You Need?

For local businesses, you need to have the following:

  • Who you are
  • Where your business is located
  • What you offer

To discover all of the types of schema that you can use for your local business (or any website for that matter), you can:

If you want to check out what your competition is doing, you can easily select the site(s) that rank higher than your website and pop their URLs, one at a time, into the textbox at the Schema.org’s validator website, and then click the Run Test button.

screen print of schema.org's validator website

This will allow you to see what schema markup data that your competition is using, and then you can see if you can match up your markup with theirs.

Though, you might not want the exact same markup, but very often there are things that you can learn by checking your competition like this.

Even if your business may be a one-man-band that’s competing with a Fortune 500 company, you can look at what they are doing to try and see if you can match theirs.

Which Schema Does Your Website Need?

The Schema App site can help you determine this.

screen print of scjhema app's website

Depending on the size of your website, you may find that you need more than one of the following:

API integration – which stands for Application Programming Interface that allows sharing process and original data among applications, such as Facebook or Canva, in a given complex network.

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JSON-LD structured data – which is simply a script that you can place anywhere on a web page that communicates the Schema.org structured data.

On-Page SEO – which is simply the practice of optimizing your web pages for specific keywords that you want your website seen in SERPs for. This involves aligning your page elements such as:

  • title tags,
  • headings,
  • content, and
  • your internal links with those keywords.

Dynamic Sitemap – this is simply a method of creating a sitemap every time one is requested, meaning that it is always up to date. An example of having a dynamic sitemap in a WordPress website would be to use a sitemap plugin such as XML Sitemaps.

How do You Know if Schema Markup is Working?

Be sure that you make note of when you added the schema markup to your website so that you will be able to see if and when that it starts to work.

Google provides users with a Structured Data Report tool for free. You can use it within their search console. Plus, you can check for other vital indicators, like click through rates and impressions.

If you want to have an overall look at your website’s performance, then you can check out SEMRush’s great tool that allows you to audit your website.

screen print of SEMRush's site audit web page

Structured Data Generating Tools

If you are looking for a way to generate schema markup for your website, below you will find some suggested tools that have been recommended; Merkle’s being the preferred tool.

screen print of Schema Markup Generator from Merkle

Schema Markup Generator from Merkle

screen print of Rank Ranger Generator's web page

Rank Ranger Generator is known for offering a great tool.

screen print of Yoast's premium plugin web page

Yoast for WordPress has been considered a forerunner in this space.. BUT now, Rank Math is slowly taking the lead!

screen print of Smart SEO for Shopify's web page

Smart SEO and Image Optimizer for Shopify has been used successfully for product schema.

Make sure your schema is validated and if you have errors then be sure to fix them.

Structured Validating Tools

Schema.org’s validator already mentioned above, is the preferred validator for you to use.

Rich Results Test by Google is really reliable as well. It allows you to do live editing to fix any errors, and you will be able to see what your page will look like in the SERPs here too.

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Bing URL Inspector also provides a good inspection tool.

Yandex Validator and JSON-LD Playground also have some great tools that you can use.

Structured Data Research Tools

Schema.org

Rich Results Gallery – Google tool, already mentioned several times above.

SEMrush webinars

Yoast Schema Guide

JSON-LD for developers

Structured Data Auditing Tools

Search Console Enhancements Report – for ease of use for sites with many pages.

Screaming Frog Configuration – will show you which schema is readable across your entire website.

SEMRush Schema Report – offers a great tool too.

Content King – monitors your site 24/7 so that you can learn of unexpected changes and issues BEFORE search engines and visitors do.

Summary

For those of you DIYers using WordPress, the premium version of the Yoast plugin comes highly recommended due to it being user-friendly, in that it is easy to set up.

This plugin adds in the organizational schema for you once you fill in the questions asked during your setting it up. The questions are things such as: are you selling products, what’s your address, what’s your logo, etc.,

You can set your schema to be for all of your blog posts or you can choose which posts to be included.

Personally, after being re-introduced to Rank Math, I much prefer that SEO plugin for all of the inclusions it provides their users.

This draws to completion this mini-tutorial in hope of helping you understand what schema markup is, the advantages to using it, how to use it, and how to validate your chosen schema.

So, if you want Google to love your website, be sure to check out and add the appropriate schema markup to your website wherever necessary.

Should you have any questions regarding structured data or schema markup, please leave them in a comment below so we can discuss this topic further.

Credit for Header: image by Alexey_Hulsov on Pixabay

Trish

Website Designer for Parr's Publishing. As a full certified Internet Specialist, I help business owners and organizations increase their profits by providing them with a fully managed, custom designed website as well as basic Search Engine Optimization.

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