SEO: This is how structured data for search engine optimization work

SEO: This is how structured data for search engine optimization work


Search results no longer only link to hopefully suitable websites, but ideally want to provide useful information at the same time. This is particularly successful when Google & Co. find structured data. Then you can, for example, display “Featured Snippets” in the form of customer reviews, addresses or opening times, which in turn can have a positive effect on the click rate of the corresponding website.

Add structured data to your website so that search engines can more easily understand the content and put it in the right context. Structured data are also referred to as standardized data formats.

Such structured data can provide Google & Co. information about the website, such as the address, ratings and services. For example, Google no longer has to guess which of the number sequences on your website is your telephone number. Instead, you pass on this information directly and clearly in a machine-readable form.
Such data can then be displayed as “snippets” in the search results if required. In the beginning, snippets were just a snippet of text from the website found. Today’s snippets go far beyond that. Structured data is most commonly used in the following snippet formats:

  1. Rich snippets
  2. Featured snippets
  3. Knowledge graph
  4. breadcrumbs

Let’s take a closer look at what is behind these terms.

Advantages of structured data for search engine optimization1. Improved search placement

Structured data can be important factors in search engine optimization. Finally, they provide the search engines with more information that, for example, makes it easier for the Google bot to interpret and classify the website.
Structured data is particularly worthwhile for online shops because product descriptions are otherwise difficult to interpret for search engines, since products are often described very briefly and inaccurately. At the same time, the time for indexing new website content is reduced because it has already been assigned to certain topics and categories.
Remember: A search engine like Google has its hands full to stay up to date. The easier it is for her to collect data correctly, the better.

2. Improved display in the search results

Another advantage of structured data is that it can increase the click rate in the search results – an important factor for Google & Co. Finally, the searchers are presented with relevant information about your website. In addition, structured data is much more noticeable than normal advertisements and is therefore clicked on more frequently. See the screenshots below.
So you can increase the number of visitors to your website through structured data. Google customer reviews and addresses in particular are attractive to prospects. In addition, you are very likely to have an edge over the competition: Many companies have not yet used structured data and are not exploiting this potential, which in turn makes them stand out positively.

The different snippets presented

As already indicated above, there are various forms in which this structured data appears in search queries:

Rich snippet

Rich snippets can contain special elements such as Google ratings, recipes, images, special product prices and other links. Reviews related to specific products or services can be displayed below the title. The ratings must be publicly accessible and viewable. Articles or news in particular can be displayed more prominently as rich snippets in the mobile version.

Featured snippet

A “Featured Snippet” is a special text area that is displayed as the first search result in Google when you enter a specific and frequently asked question in Google. Sometimes this is also called “position 0” by search engine optimizers, because it is in principle listed before the first regular search result. For example, page content or answers to questions are automatically bundled

Knowledge graph

The “Knowledge Graph” is a knowledge database and provides a summary of information on specific facts, places or companies for the search results. When customers search for a specific answer to a question superficially and are shown the right answer by information from the Knowledge Graph, they no longer have to leave the search ad in Google. For you, this means: This can reduce the number of visitors for your advertisements and your website.

Breadcrumbs

Structured data can be used to display the structure of your own website under the title instead of the website URL. This gives the visitor a quicker overview and helps to classify the topic better.

Interim conclusion

As mentioned in the previous section, structured data has many advantages. However, you should use them with a certain caveat. In the event of an incorrect implementation, Google can impose penalties for the respective website. So you must not specify manipulative advertising content or links to product categories or product lists as a landing page. Google can delete “Rich Snippets” as a penalty. You should therefore regularly check the appropriate structured data report in the Google Search Console.

Create structured data

Now it’s getting a bit technical. Don’t let that put you off. I also go into tools that you can use without programming knowledge. However, it is useful to have a little basic knowledge.
Since structured data must be understood by search engines and people alike, there are certain formats for their implementation that are referred to as syntax. There are also certain predefined classifications and term descriptions.
The most commonly used structured data labeling system is Schema.org . The search engines Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Yandex founded it and it offers a free collection of uniform and standardized terms. The search engines have agreed on a total of three different formats.
Google supports structured data in the following formats:

  • JSON-LD: This is the preferred variant for Google. A JavaScript is inserted into a