Whether you participate in paid search advertising or are attempting to climb the rankings within organic search, the landscape is competitive. In paid search, the uphill fight is a little easier as additional budget helps ease the effort. Within organic search, you often are at the helm of massive amounts of content creation, expert strategy and the assistance of technical teams. Additionally, results take time. With this in mind, I have always been a proponent of conversion rate optimization because this can lead to a faster and fatter return. When it comes to quick wins in added real estate in search results, structured data is the way. Let’s take a look.
What Is Structured Data?Think of structured data as a way of combining your content with a predefined, standardized set of values which help search engines better understand your content. Picture it as handing your website to a crawling search engine to review vs. sitting down with Google or Bing and thoroughly walking them through your site so that they truly understand every facet of your content. In 2011, Schema.org was founded in collaboration with individuals from Google, Bing, Yahoo, and later Yandex. They formed the predefined, standard values I mentioned earlier and this was the birth of “schema”. Schema involved a hierarchy of values including:
- Item Scope: Essentially, this acts like a container. The announcement of a new item, a group of name-value pairs.
- Item Type: This acts as the sub-container. All properties are associated with a specified type and will be noted with the URL of the type as found on schema.org.
- Item Property: This is the breakout of specific sub-values associated with the item type.