Structured Data – What It Is and Why You Need It On Your Website | Duckpin

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Structured Data – What It Is and Why You Need It On Your Website

July 8, 2022 by Matt Culloty

Many subjects in digital marketing can be less than clear for businesses that need digital marketing – SEO, CRO and so forth. Structured data is one of those.

TL;DR – Structured data helps search engines understand content better – Google turns them into the Rich Snippets seen under search results.

Hashtags

A good way to conceptualize structured data are hashtags. Hashtags allow users to search popular social sites like Instagram and Twitter for specific topics. Structured data is, essentially, a mutually agreed upon system of assigning tags to data so that search engines can better provide search results. Hashtags are kind of a user generated structure – structured data are based on what are called schema.

Schema.org

Schema.org is a non-profit organization that maintains various schema, and the structured data tags therein, that are associated with various topics. For instance, there is a schema for movies – some of the “properties”, or tags, are:

  • director
  • duration
  • musicBy

And so forth. (If you’re really interested, here is the schema itself.)

Schema and structured data in action – IMDb

IMDb, the popular movie database, now owned by Amazon, uses structured data to provide information to the people that browse its pages. An example within the site is the top 250 most popular movies, the top ranking, according to IMDb, being The Shawshank Redemption. You’ll see the use of structured data in the form of the listings of Director, Actors and so forth:

Example Structured Data from IMDB

But I am not IMDb or Amazon, why would I need it?

Structured data is important on any website that wants to improve its search engine visibility. It is a critical tool in search engine optimization (SEO), and search engine marketing (SEM). And, of course, not everyone is Amazon but almost every type of business likely has a structured data schema available. Here’s an example – dry cleaning. Here’s some of the properties or tags:

A lot of the structured data properties are self-evident – such as property=”name”. However, you can get into the weeds quickly if your understanding of it is from a user’s point of view, rather than a technical one.

There are a variety of approaches to structured data – JSON-LD, microdata and RDFa (as is shown in the example above.) It may seem intimidating but, to experts like us, it is not. And we know how to apply it to your site so that your site ranks higher and higher, as part of a combined search engine optimization, in-bound traffic strategy.

Example Structured Data in a Website for Laundry Business

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