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As Google’s algorithm continues to advance and adapt with time, one thing remains the same: the language their machine-learning systems use has held fast and the sites that spoke it, performed best. By transforming or optimizing unstructured data on your site, Google has a better opportunity to better understand your content. Traditionally, search engines, like Bing and Google, were able to identify relationships between the query and the keywords found on web pages, but they weren’t fully capable of attaching meaning to those pages. Over the years, the introduction of structured data in SEO has redefined how you can connect with those looking for your products or services online.

What is Structured Data?

Structured data, also often referred to as schema markup, is the data on a web page that is formatted in a predefined structure prior to being placed in your site’s data storage. Simply put, this is the language that search engines use when reading and understanding the content on your website. By adopting this approach with your web pages, you enable engines like Google and Bing to understand what you’re trying to communicate to the world and identify the relationships among entities on your site (content/copy and other objects) quicker and easier.

Why & How Should Data Be Structured

Businesses rely heavily on the copy and content populating their website to properly reflect and communicate their unique message. In an attempt to understand the context of this content and copy, Google bots crawl each page to identify the elements present on the site. These elements can include everything from text and images to videos and footers, to name a few. When you transform your unstructured data into structured data, you enable Google’s bots to better understand the context of your web pages. SEO specialists do this by implementing things like:

  • Local Business schema markup
  • Breadcrumb Navigation
  • Footer Navigation
  • JSON-LD code
  • Review Snippets
  • User-Generated Content (Testimonials/Reviews)
  • Blog Rolls

How Does Structured Data Impact Your Business?

On the surface, the idea of structuring your data may sound beneficial, but what kinds of hard numbers and evidence can we put to the practice that proves it’s worth your time? Per Google Search Central’s documentation on the subject, here are a few of the case studies referenced that provide proof to the benefit of structured data:

  • “Rotten Tomatoes added structured data to over 100,000 unique pages and measured a 25% higher click-through rate for pages enhanced with structured data, compared to those without.”
  • “The Food Network converted 80% of their pages to enable search features and saw a 35% increase in visits as a result.”
  • “Nestlé measured pages that show as rich results in search to find they have an 82% higher click-through rate over non-rich result pages.”

Context & Unstructured Data

While Google has focused much of their business model on becoming a semantic search engine that can automatically connect search intent with context, unstructured data still requires more time and effort for it to crawl and interpret. Whether you’re looking for faster results from reworking your SEO strategy or aiming to improve the average user’s experience on your site, unstructured data can delay your development efforts and lead potential customers to other online sources – like your competitors.

Hire Experts in Structured Data & SEO Best Practices

At RefractROI, our team of knowledgeable SEO professionals understand how to leverage the best schema markup practices to help you achieve your long term website and business goals. We have worked with clients on their SEO and digital marketing efforts to revamp how they connect with their audience and convert them into loyal, return customers. Contact us today to boost your digital marketing campaigns and transform how you’re found online.

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