Write stronger, more robust content for your website by using structured data to inform your content strategy. Structured data is a type of code you can implement on your website to make it easier for search engines to understand and contextualize your content as they crawl your web pages. Knowing which schema.org types and properties are available can inform what you write about on your web pages and in your blog postings.
Let’s say you’re writing about a service for a specific medical condition. There are several properties available to describe schema.org’s MedicalCondition type, like associated anatomy, risk factor, sign or symptom, or possible treatment. If a type or property exists, it’s because it’s important enough to include in the vocabulary.
For example, in the real estate industry, if you’re talking about apartments, there are some very basic pieces of information that you can call out in your Apartment structured data, such as number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, whether pets are allowed, and floor size. Other properties that you may consider adding to the listing are the floor level, year built, lease length, and a tour booking page.
When building your structured data strategy, you should begin by analyzing your overall business goals and what content you want enhanced in search. Start with marking up your homepage with the required schema.org types and properties, and then expand out to other important pages on your site. Learn more about where to start in our article on developing a schema markup strategy for a website.
Enhance your Content with Structured Data
You should only markup content that is visible on your site, which is why your content strategy should correlate with your structured data strategy. In order to fully leverage the power of structured data, you should also familiarize yourself with the content requirements for Google’s rich result features. Pairing the rich result requirements with more general schema.org properties ensures your content is both robust in terms of information, and stands out in search with enhanced Google features on the search engine results pages.
Start with your content and structured data strategy, but don’t stop at implementation. Maintenance and reporting of your structured data is equally important. Google Search Console can help you meet Google’s criteria by showing you where errors and warnings need to be resolved in your structured data. This ensures your content remains eligible for rich results.
For example, when you mark up a product for your e-commerce site with the required schema.org types and properties (like aggregateRating, price, availability, etc.), your product is eligible to show that information in search results. This opens up opportunities for your brand to engage with customers at different stages of the buyer journey in search before they even enter your website.
Strengthen your Content by Defining Entities
As you develop your content, consider the entities you want to define. For SEOs, entities are single, well-defined things or concepts. You can define objects in your content as distinct entities with their own properties and relationships to other entities using specific identifiers (@ids aka URIs). Once defined, these entities can be linked to a search engine’s knowledge graph through schema markup. Knowledge graphs represent the linking of information and data across the Web. By building strong connections between your well-defined entities, you are helping Google understand the relevance of your website, your content, and your brand itself.
Entities form the foundation for your structured data, and they work together to contextualize your content. Think about entities as topics, and how other entities relate to your primary entity – your organization or brand itself. How are you referencing your entities in relation to each other within your content? By establishing strong relationships between entities defined on your webpages, you are explicitly defining your content for search engines, and not just relying on natural language processing to interpret your intent.
To learn more about entities and how they fit into your SEO strategy, check out our article Entity-Based Search for Advanced SEO.
Improve Your E-A-T with Structured Data
E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. This concept is a key ranking factor for Google, so anyone who is looking to improve their search rankings should consider improving their E-E-A-T. Just as structured data and well-defined entities can inform your content strategy, so can the practice of E-A-T improvement.
Improve your E-A-T by adding content to your site that supports it. Then, mark that content up with structured data. Let’s dig into each part of E-A-T.
Expertise refers to the knowledge or skill in a particular field. Google is looking for content created by recognized subject matter experts. This means your brand’s expertise is largely evaluated at the content level.
Authoritativeness is all about reputation, especially among other experts and influencers on that subject matter. One way to support your authority is to have backlinks to your brand’s reputation and information on independent websites.
Last but not least, trustworthiness is about transparency and legitimacy. Readers should be able to trust that your website content is credible. One rule of thumb is to ensure that the author of that content is explicitly mentioned.
Examples of properties related to E-A-T:
All of these are properties that relate to People or Organizations! Make sure the markup for your Authors, Reviewers and Publishers are robust and link to any additional sites/social media using the sameAs property.
Structured Data Strategy Correlates with Your Content Strategy
Whether you work in healthcare, e-commerce, real estate, or really any industry, considering structured data when organizing and building out your website will help you develop stronger and more robust content. Helping search engines understand the entities defined on your web pages will strengthen your SEO performance through improved E-A-T and enhanced Google features like rich results.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of structured data?
Structured data drives results, and what’s so valuable is that these results are measurable and actionable. By considering opportunities for rich results as you develop your content strategy, your website will become a pivotal tool for helping your brand stand out from the competition in search results. There are many benefits of structured data beyond rich results—we put together our top ten here.
How does Schema App work?
Schema App combines advanced SaaS technology with high-touch support services to ensure that your organization maximizes results from structured data. We work with you to develop a customized schema strategy aligned with your business goals to showcase your unique value in search. What’s stopping you from unleashing the power of structured data?
We help you go beyond the fundamentals of search engine optimization, leveraging structured data to showcase your unique value in search. In a rapidly changing SEO environment, we introduce agility to your digital team, saving you time and resources for managing other aspects of your business portfolio. We deliver to your online business goals using our structured data expertise and advanced technology.
Start reaching your online business goals with structured data.
Martha van Berkel is the co-founder and CEO of Schema App, an end-to-end Schema Markup solution provider based in Guelph, Ontario. She focuses on helping SEO teams globally understand the value of Schema Markup and how they can leverage Schema Markup to boost their SEO strategy and drive results.
Prior to Schema App, Martha was a Senior Manager at Cisco Systems for 14 years responsible for the global online support strategy. She has a degree in Applied Mathematics and Engineering, attended MIT for Innovation and Strategy, is a Mom of two, as well as an avid rower.