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Google SEO Hot Tips On Structured Data

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Google SEO for website owners and SEO agencies include offering detailed advice on a whole host of areas. The company gives plenty of information on how you can make your website more useful for potential viewers through reliable Google SEO services. However, some of the most important SEO tips are centred not on how to construct great content or easy to read pages for your target audiences, but on ensuring that the search engine can properly identify, crawl and index your webpages in the first place. Your website won’t rank highly in Google’s search results if your pages can’t be properly assessed for their quality. And this is where the concept of structured data comes in.

Broadly speaking, structured data refers to data that is organised in order to communicate specific information about a web page. This makes it easier for a search engine’s automated processes to ‘read’ a page, identify what it’s all about, assess it for quality and then present it to your website readers in a more specific, richer way. That means the end user is more likely to get the results they are actually looking for when they enter search terms on Google, thus enhancing the quantity and quality of traffic you attract to your website. In short, it helps boost website ranking in Google and allows your page to be shown as one of the most relevant results in Google search.

This is one area of search engine optimisation that many site owners are more than happy to leave to professional SEO agencies, as it can get quite technical. To communicate the content of a page or website as a whole to a search engine, you need to use appropriate language, or ‘code’, that it can understand. There are plenty of ways to communicate structured data, but Google’s preferred language is JSON-LD, which stands for JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data. This is a script that SEO practitioners, with the right level of knowledge, can copy and paste into any code or text editor, thus making it easier for them to edit data.

There are other forms of structured data that can change the HTML of a webpage, but JSON-LD is different. It is completely independent of the HTML and allows SEO experts to place it anywhere in a web page’s code. This means that JSON-LD can be placed at the head section of the webpage, the middle of the content, or even in the footer.

This advantage, and Google’s preference for it, means it’s in the best interests of any webmaster or professional SEO firm to gain a better understanding of JSON-LD structured data. There are two main aspects: the structured data Type and the Property.

Schema structured data contains one or several Types in a JSON-LD script, with each Type having its own Properties. So you can imagine the Type as a specific item (like a T-shirt you’re selling, for instance), while the Property can be imagined as the attributes that describe that item (like its size, colour and so on).

To use a further analogy, think of Type as a person. A person possesses attributes that describe them, such as their age, address, job status, educational level, and so on. So, by locating the phrase “Structured Data Type”, search engines can instantly understand what the structured data is all about.

There is a unique way of naming items in structured data. Take the following examples:

  • CreativeWork
  • ArticleBlog
  • NewsArticle
  • Review

The way SEO agencies and website owners capitalise the first letter of each Type is called PascalCase. That means making use of compound words; that is, two words joined together with the first letters of each word capitalised. By using PascalCase, SEO experts and search engines alike will instantly know that a word configured in this way – such as NewsArticle – is a structured data Type.

Structured data Property is spelt differently. Instead of using the PascalCase, the Property is described by using camelCase. The camelCase style refers to writing the first letter of the first word in lower case while capitalising the first letter of the second word when naming compound Properties; again, which are two words joined together.

If, though, the structured data Property is only constituted of one word, the first letter should still be written in lowercase. So, for instance, a compound Property will be written as “articleBody” while a single-word Property will be written as “image”.

To understand structured data more, you can review the different Schema.org Types. You can also download the Schema Builder, a Chrome extension from Schema.dev.

Although the concept of structured data may seem easier once you have a better understanding of it, and all the code you need to use is available on the schema.org website, hiring professional SEO services can still be desirable for many website owners. Working with a professional SEO agency will give you access to their many years of experience and expertise, and they can implement the right code in all the right places. Google will then be better able to understand your website and score it appropriately to enhance your website ranking in Google while leaving you freer to focus on your business operations.

An Example: Structured Data For Local SEO

who offers google seo servicesMany small business owners in particular can take advantage of structured data to help search engines read and pick up on information that’s vital to the target audiences in their locations, such as phone numbers, addresses, dates of upcoming events and so on.

The broad-brush approach is to consult the schema.org website to find the required schema data type – whether that’s a restaurant, a retail outlet, a doctors’ surgery or a solicitors’ office, for instance. Then, gather the local information related to the page you wish to include, and copy the relevant code for each property according to type, so the company name, the company website, the company phone number and so on. Apply the code to the relevant places, then test it with Google’s Structured Data Testing tool.

You can then crawl and test the entirety of your schema markup through Google’s Search Console, but it’s worth continuing to monitor all the changes you’ve applied on an ongoing basis with entity results reporting.

Note you should further enhance your web presence, your ranking and the ease with which prospective customers can find you by ensuring you claim your location through Google Places SEO services, and use Google Maps SEO services to make certain you are, quite literally, ‘on the map’ when users search for services of your type in their local area.

If all this sounds extremely time-consuming, it’s well worth hiring the services of an affordable SEO agency to do the job for you. The price you pay will be amply offset over time in terms of your increased visibility, increased traffic, and actual footfall, in your locality.

When Structured Data Is Not Necessary

In a Google Webmaster Hangout in 2019, John Mueller, Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, confirmed that it is perfectly acceptable not to include structured data in the AMP version of your website. However, he reminded all Google SEO optimisation services and webmasters that the content’s desktop and AMP versions should still match.

AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages are an alternate version of a webpage’s content which is designed to offer a better user experience to individuals viewing a website on a mobile device, which more and more of us are doing these days. One of the advantages of AMP pages is that they can be downloaded quickly, because (broadly speaking) they use a stripped-down version of HTML. But one of the key important things to remember about AMP pages is that they must have the same content as the regular version of the web page, so the end user sees the same content, no matter which of the two versions they’re looking at.

This makes perfect sense, because structured data is meta data, which is designed to be used by search engine bots and browsers, but is typically hidden from users. The only exceptions to this are meta titles and descriptions. So if structured data is missing from AMP versions, it won’t cause the whole site to be downgraded in Google’s eyes, provided that everything in the content, navigation, and internal linking is equivalent to the regular version. Again, it’s time to speak to a trusted SEO agency that offers an expert Google SEO service if you’re having problems getting your head around the difference.

About Structured Data And JavaScript

where to find google seo servicesJavaScript has long been a subject of controversy in the SEO world. In simple terms, search engines still aren’t fully equipped to ‘read’ JavaScript in certain circumstances, which can cause errors when bots crawl the site in order to index it. And that can have a negative impact on your SEO. While all major search engines are gradually seeking to improve their processes and understanding of JavaScript within websites, sticking points still remain.

The good news is that in terms of structured data, Google has released a new document for developers on how to generate Google SEO structured data with JavaScript so its search engine can more easily read it. SEO experts and webmasters have been asking Google for this for a long time now in view of past problems with utilising structured data in JavaScript.

According to Google, “There are different ways to generate structured data with JavaScript, but the most common are using Google Tag Manager and custom JavaScript”. The following is how SEO services Google would approve of should deal with these two methods.

In terms of custom JavaScript, the language can be used to create all of your structured data or utilise it to include more information to server-part rendered structured data. The details on how to do this can be found in the detailed help document provided by Google.

Google Tag Manager is a platform that allows you to format the tags on your website without editing the code. Here are the steps for adding Google structured data via Tag Manager:

  1. First, install Google Tag Manager on your website.
  2. Then, add a new Custom HTML tag to the container.
  3. Next, paste the preferred structured data block to the tag content.
  4. Then, install the container as seen in the Install Google Tag Manager section of your container’s admin menu.
  5. To include the tag on your website, publish your container in the Google Tag Manager interface.
  6. Finally, test your implementation.

For some websites, the only method in which you can add Google structured data is by using JavaScript. In these circumstances, utilising the tools in Google Tag Manager can help efficiently deal with that structured data. Site admins and SEO services should always follow the official guide issued by Google when implementing structured data through JavaScript to avoid complications and errors in the search engine reading and indexing pages of a website.

Expert SEO Services For Businesses Of All Sizes And Types

Do you want to see a significant Google website ranking improvement to improve the flow of traffic to your website and eventually an increase in sales? You need to speak to Position1SEO. We cut through all the complexities of SEO to design a digital marketing strategy tailored to your website’s needs and your budget. Book your free site audit or chat to one of our SEO experts today on what we could do for you.

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