Definitive Guide to Structured Data for 2023 and Beyond

By:  Ananyaa Venkat

November 28, 2022

Can’t get Google bots to index and rank your content faster?

Don’t worry. That’s not something you can’t fix.

But do you think content is just what appears on a blog or a landing page? 

If yes, you’ve been misled.

Content can be anything, including job postings, product descriptions, events, FAQs, and so much more.

That said, the search engine may sometimes have a hard time identifying the kind of content you publish and this can potentially delay the indexing and ranking of your content.

So, the key to ranking higher is to help search engines comprehend your content easily.

How do you do that? 

Structured data is the key.   

In this write-up, I’ll list down structured data approved by Google and tell you how you can leverage them to boost your SEO. 

structured data a definitive guide

What is Structured Data?  

Structured data, also known as schema markup, refers to standardized tags added to a page’s HTML codes in order to help search engines make better sense of the content and context of your web page.                      

Let’s say you run an e-commerce website.            

With schema markup, you can organize product descriptions, pricing, product availability, user reviews and much more. 

This way, it becomes easier for the search engine to understand what your page is about and rank it faster than the ones that don’t include structured data. 

Why is Structured Data Important?

Structured data comes in handy to improve the way you communicate with Google.       

When Google crawls a particular page on your site that includes schema markup, it can quickly digest all important information about it.  

Besides, schema markup improves the search appearance of your page and brings more organic traffic your way.

To top it all, schema markup improves your probability of getting a rich snippet that appears ahead of all other search results.                

When your page appears as a rich snippet, you are likely to witness a higher click-through rate.

For these reasons, structured data becomes a must-have to complement your SEO efforts.

How Does Structured Data Improve SEO?

Every business wants to appear at the top of Google for relevant search queries. That’s because websites with top rankings are more likely to attract the attention of users, get more clicks and drive organic traffic.

Given the scenario, webmasters optimize their websites for search engines like Google in order to be rewarded with higher search engine rankings.

Adding structured data to your web pages allows you to appear in rich results, which is one of the most important SERP features.

When you make it to rich results, your page will be more eye-catching and actionable with detailed information embedded directly in the search results.

This way, structured data helps improve your click-through rate and boost conversions.

Schema Formats Supported by Google

As you now know, structured data boosts SEO. However, to reap maximum SEO benefits out of structured data, you should add it to your page in a way that Google understands.

In other words, adding structured data matters. But how you add it matters more.

I’ll tell you the structured data formats supported by Google.

JSON-LD 

JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data, also known as JSON-LD, is a Google-recommended implementation format you can use to structure your data. This schema markup format is easy to implement as you just have to paste the code within your HTML document.

This schema comes with the <script> tag and clearly decodes the elements of your page to Google.

Suppose your page talks about an event. You can use the JSON-LD schema to tell Google what the event is, the venue, event timings and more.

This helps the search engine to make sense of the elements on your page and establish connections between entities.

The clearer you make it for Google, the better your site ranks for relevant search queries.

Microdata

This is an HTML specification that you use to signal to Google the main elements of your page. 

Simply put, with microdata, you provide labels to individual chunks of your content so that Google will show up these content chunks when your page appears on SERPs. 

This schema format is often included in the body of the page. However, you can also add it in the header part.

RDFa

Resource Description Framework in Attributes, or RDFa in short, is an HTML5 extension that attributes the content you want to describe to Google.

It is used in both the head and body sections of an HTML document.

You can use this schema format to augment the content you want the users to see when your page shows up during online searches by making it easily readable for search engine bots.

How to Add Structured Data to Your Site?

Now that you know why structured data is critical for optimizing your site for search engines, let’s find out how to add structured data to your web pages.

Generally, there are two ways to include structured data.

  • Using markup generators
  • Manual Markup

Markup Generators

If implementing structured data is something new to you or you lack coding knowledge, markup generators are your go-to place.

Google Structured Data Markup Helper is the most sought-after structured data markup generator for many people, from website owners to SEOs.

It offers structured data under 12 different categories and that’s often more than enough. 

So, how does the markup generator work?

You just have to select the schema type, enter your page URL and provide the tool with the details required.

Once this is done, the tool generates a code and you can just add it to your page.

Sounds easy, right?

It’s that simple with structured data generators.

Manual Markup

There may come a time when structured data runs out of categories for the type of schema markup you want to generate.

In such a case, you have to create structured data manually.

You can implement manual schema markup in two ways; JSON-LD and Microdata.

How to Organize Your Structured Data Workflow

Irrespective of how you choose to generate your structured data, the process that follows is the same.

  • Decide on the structured data type you want to use and identify in which parts of your website they can be implemented.
  • Adhere to Google’s Guidelines.
  • Run the Rich Results Test to validate your code.
  • Deploy schema markup on your site and make use of the URL Inspection Tool to find out what your page looks like to Google.
  • Ensure  robots.txt doesn’t block Google’s access to your web pages.
  • Once you think your page is good to go, ask Google to crawl your site again.

Structured Data Mistakes You Should Avoid

As the adage goes, to err is human. However, when it comes to structured data, the smallest of mistakes can create a huge impact on your site’s online discoverability.

The impact may be anywhere from not fetching desired results to getting a search engine penalty.

That’s why it is crucial to double-check your structured data and ensure all potential bugs are fixed.

Here’s a look at the don’ts of implementing structured data to your web pages.

Don’t Dodge Markup Validation

Including schema markup on the web page right after you generate it is a grave mistake.

You want to check if the structured data can help you qualify for rich results, right? So, make sure you perform Google Rich Results Test to validate your code.

Never skip this step unless you want to face Google’s wrath on account of a schema markup mistake. That’s obviously the last thing anyone wants for their website.

Don’t Add Markup to the Content that doesn’t Exist

What you communicate with Google via your structured data should correlate with the content that’s featured on the corresponding web page.

If that doesn’t happen, Google interprets it as a misuse of schema markup.

In such a case, Google will initially send warning signals in the search console.

When Google finds that the issue still persists, it will take manual action on your site, which is likely to affect your search engine rankings.

Don’t Implement Page-Specific Structured Data Sitewide

Let’s say your site has Recipe pages. So, when you implement recipe-specific schema markup, it has to be included only on your web pages that feature recipes. 

On the flip side, you can’t add the same type of markup to all your pages that aren’t related to recipes. 

Implementing such page-specific schema markup across your site is serious enough to bring you a search engine penalty.

Don’t Go Against Google’s Guidelines

Google hates it when you violate its guidelines.

Go through Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, General Guidelines for Structured Data, Technical Guidelines and Content Guidelines and act accordingly to avoid a Google penalty.

How to Track Markup Enhancements

As said earlier, schema markup improves the way websites communicate with search engines like Google.

That said, keeping track of markup updates is essential to using structured data for your SEO 

advantage and achieve higher SERP rankings.

Google Search Console is your go-to place to monitor structured data enhancements from time to time.

Log in to Google’s Search Console and navigate to Enhancements.

That section should give you a clear idea about the effectiveness of the different types of schema markup you’ve used on your web pages.

In case of errors or issues, the Google Search Console will pinpoint where exactly the problem is and also tell you how you can fix them.

Apart from telling you how healthy your schema markup choices are, the Google Search Console also allows you to see how your structured data performs.

Go to Performance > Search results > Search Appearance to see a bigger picture of your site’s clicks, impressions and more.

List of Google-Approved Structured Data

Now that you know what structured data is and why it is essential for SEO, let’s get to the main point right away. 

Take a look at the list of structure data approved by Google below.       

Article

You can add this structured data to web pages, including blogs, news and sports articles to allow the search engine to understand more about your web page. 

So, what happens next?

As a result, Google will display more specific titles, images and dates for your article when it appears on SERPs.

This is also applicable to other segments of Google, including Google Assistant and Google News. However, this structured data markup is not necessary to appear on Google News Top Stories.

You can use the Article schema markup to highlight the title, date of publication, author name and more. Make sure you use specific article markup types such as Article, NewsArticle and BlogPosting to drive results.

Let me show you an example.

<script type="application/ld+json">

{

  "@context": "https://schema.org",

  "@type": "BlogPosting",

  "mainEntityOfPage": {

    "@type": "WebPage",

    "@id": "https://www.stanventures.com/blog/how-to-use-google-trends-for-keyword-research/"

  },

  "headline": "How to Use Google Trends for Keyword Research",

  "description": "Let me walk you through the step-by-step process of conducting keyword research using Google Trends.",

  "image": "",  

  "author": {

    "@type": "Person",

    "name": "Ananyaa Venkat",

    "url": "https://in.linkedin.com/in/ananyaa-venkat-b1a60a160"

  },  

  "publisher": {

    "@type": "Organization",

    "name": "Stan Ventures",

    "logo": {

      "@type": "ImageObject",

      "url": ""

    }

  },

  "datePublished": "2022-05-31"

}

</script>

As you can see, in the above schema, I have included all the details I want Google to understand and display when my blog post appears on search results.

When it comes to multi-part articles that constitute a series, ensure the canonical tags (rel=canonical) to individual pages or the pillar page, but not page 1 of the multi-part article.

If you give users access to your content based on subscription or registration, include structured data for subscription and paywalled content.

Book 

If you sell or lend books, this schema markup is for you. 

This schema not only opens doors for books and authors to be discoverable online but also allows users to borrow or buy books directly from Google search results.

Being someone selling or lending books, you can provide Google with a feed of data using this schema. 

This way, the search engine decodes ReadAction to help users buy a book and BorrowAction to borrow a book right away from search results.

To implement Read Actions and Borrow Actions and be discoverable in the knowledge panel, you should

  • Follow Google’s guidelines
  • Create the feed
  • Test the feed using the data feed validation tool
  • Host the feed file
  • Submit the feed file for review
  • Refresh the feed whenever needed

Once Read actions and Borrow actions are incorporated into the knowledge panel, they direct users to specific pages on your site based on the links you provide.

The order of book providers in the knowledge panel isn’t static. 

That means it appears differently to different users. It may also appear differently at various times for the same user as well.

It is often based on the user’s preferences and you may not always appear at the top of the panel as you can’t influence the order.

However, using this schema markup helps you show up whenever a relevant book search occurs. That gives you the edge to outperform other book providers who don’t use this schema markup at all.

Breadcrumb

Breadcrumbs are links that help visitors understand a website’s hierarchy and find out how far they are from the homepage. You can often see them at the top of a web page.

Here is an example.

<script type="application/ld+json">

{

  "@context": "https://schema.org/", 

  "@type": "BreadcrumbList", 

  "itemListElement": [{

    "@type": "ListItem", 

    "position": 1, 

    "name": "Homepage",

    "item": "https://www.stanventures.com/"  

  },{

    "@type": "ListItem", 

    "position": 2, 

    "name": "Blog",

    "item": "https://www.stanventures.com/blog/"  

  },{

    "@type": "ListItem", 

    "position": 3, 

    "name": "Pillar Cluster Content Model",

    "item": "https://www.stanventures.com/blog/pillar-cluster-content-model/"  

  }]

}

</script>

Using breadcrumb markup, you make it easier for Google to clearly categorize the information on your page in its search results.

How?

With the structured data I’ve shown you above, my page looks like this when it finds a place in search results.

breadcrumb markup - structured data

People may land on a particular page using different search queries. While each of these searches directs users to the same page, the breadcrumb markup gives your page a better context.

Bread crumb trails are of two types.

  • Single Breadcrumb Trail: When there is only one entry point to land on a particular web page.
  • Multiple Breadcrumb Trail: When there are multiple entry points to reach a specific web page.

As breadcrumbs help the search engine understand your site better, Google will display your page on SERPs for relevant searches based on the context of search queries.

Carousel

A carousel is like a rich result that appears in a list format. It features card-like multiple results from the same site.  Users often swipe through the carousel. 

If you want your site pages to appear as a carousel on Google, you need to leverage the carousel schema markup.

This type of schema markup is beneficial for the categories below.

  • Course
  • Movie
  • Recipe
  • Restaurant

You can use carousel schema markup in two ways.

  • Summary page and multiple detail pages

The summary page contains a list of items and each item on the page directs to a dedicated page providing in-depth information about a particular item.

For example, if the summary page lists different pizza varieties, clicking on “BBQ Chicken Deluxe Pizza” takes the user to a page that tells more about the BBQ chicken deluxe pizza.

The summary page schema markup contains the item list based on three properties.

  • Type – The kind of items in the list
  • Position- The position of an item in the list
  • URL – The page URL of the specific item providing detailed information

On the other hand, detail pages only need the inclusion of a generic schema type based on the nature of the carousel.

  • All-in-One Page

This is a single page that displays detailed information about every item on the list. 

Let’s take the above example. If you find “BBQ Chicken Deluxe Pizza”  in the list, users can access more information about that particular pizza on the same page.

When it comes to carousel schema markup, you need to follow the technical guidelines below.

  • Don’t mix up categories. For instance, you shouldn’t feature movies and recipes in the same carousel.
  • The schema markup has to include all items added to the list.
  • The content visible to the user and the information included in the structured data should be similar to each other.

Course

If you are running a site that offers courses and certifications, the course schema markup is a must-have for you to achieve better online discoverability.

This way, you can improve your probability of appearing for course-based searches and attract more new prospects.

You can include details such as the course name and duration, the tutor’s name and a short course description in the structured data markup. 

Just like carousel structured data, you can also come up with a summary page directing to multiple detail pages or an all-in-one page list for your courses.

COVID-19 Announcements

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on every industry and the impact is, of course, worldwide. 

So, organizations, including governments, hospitals and other healthcare units, schools, colleges/ universities and others, come up with urgent announcements that impact people’s routines.

For such special announcements as event rescheduling, closure of educational institutions, quarantine guidelines, travel restrictions and many others, Google recommends using structured data.

You can implement this by adding Special Announcement structured data to your web pages. With structured data, you can update your special announcement as and when needed.

If implementing structured data for urgent requirements consumes your time, Google recommends submitting them in the Google console.

However, unlike structured data, the information you submit through the search console is short-lived and unavailable for editing.

Dataset

Google launched the beta version of its Dataset Search tool in 2018.  As the name suggests, it is a search engine exclusively to find datasets across the web.

This tool aims at helping researchers, journalists and many others effortlessly find the data they are looking for and read between numbers. 

That means an enhanced online search experience for students, researchers and educators in fields like life sciences, social sciences, machine learning etc. 

With Google’s Dataset discovery approach, it is crucial for websites publishing data to describe their datasets, including how the data was collected, who collected or created and published them and so much more, all in a language that search engines understand.

That’s how the search engine will be able to fetch your content when a dataset-based search occurs.

So, that brings meta tags and structured data into the limelight.

It is recommended that you use a sitemap for Google to find your page URLs in a hassle-free manner.  

Use sameAs schema markup to help comprehend how datasets are distributed across your site and indicate canonical URLs.

Another thing about datasets is that changes are inevitable. That said, make sure you add is Based on property when you modify a republished dataset.

Education Q&A

Do you own an education site with Q&A pages or flashcard pages to educate students? Google recommends sites like yours to use Quiz structured data.

By doing so, you can boost the likelihood of your content appearing in the education Q&A carousel, not just in  Google Search but also on other platforms like Google Assistant and Google Lens.

Make sure your page contains education-based Q&A and flashcards. Also, ensure that you maintain accuracy throughout your Q&A sets.

If Google finds that you are misleading people with wrong information, all or some segments of your questions and answers may not find a good place in search results until the bugs are fixed.

Employer Aggregate Rating

If your website’s content is based on user-generated ratings of companies that are hiring, you certainly need the employer aggregate rating markup to improve your search appearances on Google.

Simply put, the employer aggregate rating is an assessment of companies in terms of hiring. It is a consolidation of the impressions a hiring organization has made on online users.

This is how job seekers are able to see online ratings for companies before attending an interview or accepting a job offer.

This rating also influences brand placement for job search-based queries on Google. That’s why this schema markup is critical.

Make sure the rating content on your page is easily visible to users.

Rate a specific organization and not a category. For instance, you can rate “Stan Ventures” but not the “top 10 digital marketing companies”.

Google, by default, considers that sites rate organization on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 signifies the worst and 5 signifies the best. 

If you are using a different system to rate organizations, use the employer aggregate rating markup to tell Google the same.

Estimated Salary

It is not uncommon for people to ask Google for average salary estimates before taking up a new job. 

Sites that publish salary estimates based on job type, location, experience, educational qualifications and more can get SEO benefits from the occupation structured data.

Additionally, occupation aggregate by employer markup helps you to come up with a consolidation of occupations based on organizations and work experience.

Event

With the event feature on Google search and Google maps, users can effortlessly find relevant events online and attend them.

When your event qualifies to appear on Google’s event experience, important information like your logo, the event date, time, venue and more can show up.

This way, the event experience on Google drives more visitors to your site and boosts conversions.

So, how do you make your event discoverable on Google search?

You have three ways.

Third-Party Platforms

Use social media and other relevant third-party platforms to promote your event. 

Make sure the site posting about your event is taking part in event experience on Google. This will improve the chances of your event appearing on Google.

CMS

If you have a content management system like WordPress, check if it is equipped with any plugin to add structured data to your site.

Alternatively, you can also leverage Data Highlighter to notify Google about your event without modifying the HTML tags of your site.

Structured Data

If editing HTML tags is a cakewalk for you, you can use event structured data to integrate directly with Google.

You have to edit the HTML tags of your event pages accordingly.

Check out the example below.

<script type="application/ld+json">

{

  "@context": "https://schema.org",

  "@type": "Event",

  "name": "Stand-up Comedy",

  "description": "Come and laugh your head off at our stand-up comedy show",

  "startDate": "2022-09-05T18:00",

  "endDate": "2022-09-05T20:00",

  "eventStatus": "https://schema.org/EventScheduled",

  "eventAttendanceMode": "https://schema.org/OfflineEventAttendanceMode",

  "location": {

    "@type": "Place",

    "name": "XYZ Theatre",

    "address": {

      "@type": "PostalAddress",

      "streetAddress": "Seaborn Road",

      "addressLocality": "Brampton",

      "addressRegion": "ON",

      "postalCode": "L6V2B8",

      "addressCountry": "CA"

    }

  },

  "performer": {

    "@type": "Person",

    "name": "Oliver Brown"

  }

}

</script>

When you mark up your event, make sure you provide the exact date, place and time information. 

If your event goes up to multiple days, make it a point to mark up the start and end dates accurately.

In case you plan to have different segments of the event on different days, include a separate event element for each segment in your markup

There are also some don’ts when adding schema markup to your event pages.

Don’t promote products and services and other non-events as events. Also, don’t mention business hours as events.

Don’t markup short-lived discounts or coupon codes related to your event.

Fact Check

If your site or an individual web page checks the authenticity of claims that other people make, you can add ClaimReview markup.

This schema markup generates a crisp version of your fact check when it appears on Google search results.

While Google doesn’t guarantee that fact check web pages with structured data will appear as rich snippets, structured data ensures that you don’t miss out on the chance of being visible as one.

For your fact check website to be discoverable as a rich snippet:

  • Your site must have multiple pages with ClaimReview markup. BEWARE. Each page should contain only one ClaimReview element.
  • Adhere to Google’s Structured Data Guidelines and Webmaster Guidelines.
  • Have a correction policy in place.
  • Make the fact check and the conclusion arrived at clear for your users.
  • Be transparent about your fact check methods, and share citations and references.

Remember, if your website advocates for political parties and campaigns, you don’t qualify for the fact check.

FAQ

As you probably know, FAQ pages feature frequently asked questions and answers related to a specific topic.

A FAQ page that includes a definitive schema markup gets a competitive edge when it comes to ranking higher on Google search results and getting a rich snippet.

Sadly, many people confuse FAQ pages and Q&A pages.

To make sure you don’t use FAQ markup in the wrong places, comprehending the difference between the two is more than important.

FAQ pages contain a list of questions with one answer for each question. This page is generated and controlled by the site owner.

On the other hand, Q&A pages (like forum pages) contain user-generated, multiple answers for each question.

Inserting the FAQ markup in a non-FAQ page will negatively impact your search engine visibility. So, use it in the right places.

Let me show you an example of FAQ schema markup

<script type="application/ld+json">

{

  "@context": "https://schema.org",

  "@type": "FAQPage",

  "mainEntity": [{

    "@type": "Question",

    "name": "What is a Blogger Outreach Service?",

    "acceptedAnswer": {

      "@type": "Answer",

      "text": "Blogger Outreach service is designed to acquire backlinks from other websites or bloggers. With this we get you permanent, Do-follow contextual backlinks."

    }

  },{

    "@type": "Question",

    "name": "Is it safe to buy blogger outreach backlinks?",

    "acceptedAnswer": {

      "@type": "Answer",

      "text": "Yes. Stan Ventures build backlinks through 100% manual blogger outreach and we are just going to act as an extended arm of your team to conduct this activity to acquire backlinks. Like you, we too hate PBNs. Our team reaches out to sites with real organic traffic."

    }

  },{

    "@type": "Question",

    "name": "What is quality blogger outreach?",

    "acceptedAnswer": {

      "@type": "Answer",

      "text": "The quality of a blogger outreach campaign can be determined by checking the relevancy of the bloggers who are being contacted, the website's engagement, its relevancy to that of your website, and the campaign's overall reach."

    }

  },{

    "@type": "Question",

    "name": "Can we approve content or sites before you place the posts?",

    "acceptedAnswer": {

      "@type": "Answer",

      "text": "Yes, We can do that if required."

    }

  }]

}

</script>

FAQ rich snippets are available in every language and location within Google’s reach. 

Also, both desktop and mobile users can access this type of rich results. That said, adding marking up your FAQ pages allows you to attract desktop and mobile visitors to your site alike.

Home Activities

Do you target people who are looking for activities they can do from home? If yes, marking up your online event pages and video pages can open doors for you to show up in rich snippets and get more users to view your videos.

While home activity rich snippets are available for both desktop and mobile users, these rich results are accessible only in English in the US as of now.

When adding markup, include Event structured data for online events set to be organized in the future. Make sure your events happen virtually and not physically.

On the other hand, for videos that you’ve already posted, add Video structured data.

How-To

Just as the name suggests, how-to structured data is ideal for web pages that tell users how to perform a specific task.

How-to pages provide step-by-step guidance for users to do something they want. These pages may feature any form of content, including text, videos, images and much more.

For instance, an article or video on “How to tie a tie” counts as how-to content.

Here’s how the how-to structured data will be.

<script type="application/ld+json">

{

  "@context": "https://schema.org/", 

  "@type": "HowTo", 

  "name": "How to Tie a Tie",

  "description": "Check out this step-by-step guide to tying your tie easily",

  "image": "https://smsh-14-140934-juc1ugur1qwqqqo4.stackpathdns.com/953582/wp-content/uploads/full-windsor-knot-1.jpg?lossy=0&strip=1&webp=1",

  "totalTime": "PT2M",

  "estimatedCost": {

    "@type": "MonetaryAmount",

    "currency": "",

    "value": ""

  },

  "step": [{

    "@type": "HowToStep",

    "text": "Place the tie around the neck. Make sure the wide end is about 1/3 longer than the narrow end"

  },{

    "@type": "HowToStep",

    "text": "Cross the wide end over the narrow end"

  },{

    "@type": "HowToStep",

    "text": "Loop the wide end back under the narrow end"

  },{

    "@type": "HowToStep",

    "text": "Bring the wide end over the narrow end again"

  },{

    "@type": "HowToStep",

    "text": "Hold the front of the loop you've created with your index finger and thumb and bring the wide end up behind through the neck loop"

  },{

    "@type": "HowToStep",

    "text": "Pass the wide end down through the loop in front. Pull the wide end of the tie downwards and slide the knot up towards your neck"

  }]    

}

</script>

When it comes to how-to markup, Google recommends following its General structured data guidelines, Webmaster guidelines, Content restrictions policy for Actions on Google and How-to content guidelines.

Include HowToStep markup only for step-by-step guidance and not for the data that isn’t a step.

If you think you can explain the steps better using images, use HowToStep for each image included in the steps.

Do not use How-to structured data and don’t use profane language. These are likely to affect your visibility in rich results.

Image Licence

Mentioning licence information for the images you publish on your site leads to the appearance of a licensable badge on your image thumbnails when they show up on Google image search results.

Apart from displaying licence information, it also offers a link to the licence and clicking on the link should provide more information on how somebody else can use your image.

For Google to crawl and index your images, make sure that the robots.txt file doesn’t block the search engine’s access to your images.

Also, ensure that users have free access to your images without registration or subscription.

Google recommends adhering to its Webmaster Guidelines and Google Images best practices for image licencing.

You can either include structured data or IPTC photo metadata to signal Google that your images are licenced. 

Structured data, as you know, relates to the image appearing with a markup. On the other hand,  IPTC photo metadata is directly embedded into the image.

Job Posting

When you add job posting structured data to the job posting landing pages on your site, you get a fair chance at appearing in job search experience, a special feature in Google search results.

If you are an employer or own a site that focuses on job search content, this feature can be meritorious for you.

When you make it to the top of the job search experience panel, your job posting will be displayed with your business logo, job description and reviews and ratings. The job posting schema markup plays a vital role in taking your site to the top of SERPs.

That also means a higher click-through rate and conversion for your website.

Job posting schema markup looks like what you see below.

<script type="application/ld+json">

{

  "@context": "https://schema.org/",

  "@type": "JobPosting",

  "title": "Content Proofreader",

  "description": "Were looking for an experienced proofreader with a minimum of 2 years of

experience in proofreading. The ideal candidate would be a

grammar Nazi who itches to fix anything that needs fixing in an article. He/ she will be screening, proofreading and editing outsourced content. We aim to deliver high-quality content to clients and the proofreader/ editor will be responsible for delivering the same. Our team has plans to grow exponentially in the future and we'd like to meet you if you’re interested in being a part of our growth story. We’re young, passionate and driven to achieve myriad goals. Email us today to see if you would be a good fit for the role!",

  "hiringOrganization" : {

    "@type": "Organization",

    "name": "Stan Ventures",

    "sameAs": "https://www.stanventures.com/",

    "logo": "https://res.cloudinary.com/crunchbase-production/image/upload/c_lpad,f_auto,q_auto:eco,dpr_1/rgs8js99zo1jzua8yf6p"

  },

  "industry": "Digital Marketing",

  "employmentType": "FULL_TIME",

  "workHours": "10am-7pm",

  "datePosted": "2022-09-05",

  "validThrough": "2022-09-30",

  "jobLocation": {

    "@type": "Place",

    "address": {

      "@type": "PostalAddress",

      "streetAddress": "29529, APT 206, Waukegan Rd",

      "addressLocality": "Lake Bluff",

      "addressRegion": "IL",

      "postalCode": "60044",

      "addressCountry": "US"

    }

  },

  "responsibilities": "Edit and proofread multiple articles

Ensure all articles are contextually correct and fit client requirements

Make sure keywords and links are strategically placed for optimum SEO.

Review content and offer feedback to writers based on performance.

Take responsibility for publishing high-quality content online",

  "skills": "Excellent language

Ability to read and process multiple articles

Attention to details

Basic SEO knowledge",

  "educationRequirements": "Any  Degree",

  "experienceRequirements": "2-4 years"

}

</script>

Google doesn’t approve job postings with incomplete descriptions. So, make sure you provide sufficient job descriptions wherever necessary.

The search engine doesn’t encourage promotional content like advertisements and affiliate programs coming in disguise of job postings. Make sure your job postings are actually job postings and nothing more or less.

Additionally, Google isn’t particularly fond of profane language. Ensure that you craft your job postings using simple language and a genuine tone that serves the purpose, which is attracting the right candidates.

Learning Video

These days, students and educators resort to Google alike to find and watch videos that serve educational purposes.

When you publish such learning videos with proper structured data, Google understands that you deliver value to the users and rewards your site with top search rankings.

Now, let’s get to the rich results part of learning video content.

Google rich results for learning videos are available in English worldwide. However, people get to see them only when they search for content specific to academics.

These results don’t appear for generic searches online.

You can add structured data to different types of learning videos, including

  • Single Learning Video
  • Learning Video with multiple clips
  • Problem Walkthrough video
  • Multiple Problem Walkthrough clips

The learning video markup should be included in a page where users can actually view the video content. After all, directing users to a page where they cannot access the content is a signal of poor user experience.

That’s why Google recommends educational videos be available to everyone without any subscription.

Here’s the catch. Not everyone watches videos that require a subscription. That affects your chances of ranking higher on SERPs and making it to rich results.

In addition to learning video markup, you have to consider including videoObject required properties in order to help Google extract and digest more information about your video.

The better Google understands your content, the better your chances of ranking higher and entering rich results.

Local Business

People increasingly look for local businesses online and that’s why local SEO is paramount for businesses that look forward to attracting prospects in specific locations.

When online users search for local businesses using Google search or Google Maps, the search engine often displays a knowledge panel with information regarding a popular local business relevant to the query.  

Alternatively, when users enter a business type, for instance, “Asian cuisine restaurants”, the search engine is likely to display a carousel of businesses that are relevant to the search query.

With these many possibilities, when you use local business schema markup, you let Google know more about your business, including what you have to offer, your working hours, your location etc.,

Here’s an example of the local business schema markup for a restaurant.

<script type="application/ld+json">

{

  "@context": "https://schema.org",

  "@type": "LocalBusiness",

  "name": "COTE Korean Steakhouse",

  "image": "https://cdn.sanity.io/images/ynn6kpu5/nyc/ef9639be877e8e1206fbcae126cd733d87bd87f5-230x60.svg?w=800&h=209&q=80&fit=max&auto=format",

  "@id": "",

  "url": "https://www.cotenyc.com/",

  "telephone": "+1 212-401-7986",

  "address": {

    "@type": "PostalAddress",

    "streetAddress": "16 W 22nd St",

    "addressLocality": "New York",

    "addressRegion": "NY",

    "postalCode": "NY 10010",

    "addressCountry": "US"

  }  

}

</script>

To qualify for appearing in local business rich results, Google recommends businesses follow Webmaster guidelines, general structured data guidelines and carousel guidelines (only if applicable).

Logo

Your logo is your business identity.

Leverage logo structured data to allow Google to show up your logo when your page appears on search or the knowledge panel.

Check out the example below.

<script type="application/ld+json">

{

  "@context": "https://schema.org",

  "@type": "Organization",

  "name": "Stan Ventures",

  "url": "https://www.stanventures.com/",

  "logo": "https://www.stanventures.com/wp-content/themes/stan-ventures-cms/assets/img/logo.svg"

}

</script>

Google claims that this is a strong signal to Google search algorithms to show the logo image in the knowledge panel.

You can use the logo structured data on any page. However, it is more appropriate when you include it on your homepage.

Math Solvers

Math problems are actually a big problem for many people, including me. 

As it is a timeless truth, there are always students out there who need help solving math problems. 

Help comes to those who ask for it and Google is the biggest helper we all know.

So, let’s get to structured data for Math solvers.

You can use structured data to indicate the type of math problems and also help Google understand step-by-step walkthroughs for specific math problems.

If you have copies of the same math solver under different URLs, make it a point to use canonical tags to direct Google bots to a single destination.

Movie

If you publish movie-based content, this schema markup is for you. 

You can use movie structured data to mark up movie lists and help users explore them online. You can furnish details such as the movie’s title, the director’s name, an image relevant to the movie and so much more.

It’s good to use carousel markup for movies. However, movie carousels are accessible only to mobile users. 

Make sure you strictly adhere to Webmaster guidelines, general structured data guidelines and carousel guidelines.

Violation of any of these guidelines can result in Google punishing your site with a manual action.

Practice Problems

Practice problems structured data markup comes in handy for you to help the student community find relevant online resources and materials for academic purposes. 

Including structured data for your practice problems increases your probability of showing up in an ideal user experience panel in Google search results.

This feature is accessible only for search queries related to math and science topics and multiple choice questions and check box-based questions.

The users can access this feature on both mobile devices and desktops.

Practice problems formats include

  • Quiz with only one question
  • Quiz with only one question and checkbox answers 
  • Quiz with multiple questions 

So, is that it? 

No. There’s more to the story.

When it comes to practice problems markup, make sure you mark up at least two practice problems per topic. That said, it is a good idea to mark up problems or concepts you want to appear in rich results.

Ultimately, it is all about doing all that within your powers to make it up to rich results. So, never miss out on any opportunity that takes you another step closer to rich results.

Next, If your site has copies of the same practice problem under various URLs, use canonical tags to point to the original.

Product

Adding structured data to your product pages helps Google to display appropriate product information when a product page shows up on rich results.

Besides, a product page qualified to appear at the top of Google can entice potential customers who are looking for similar products. 

Here’s what the product structured data looks like

<script type="application/ld+json">

{

  "@context": "https://schema.org/", 

  "@type": "Product", 

  "name": "Fire TV Stick",

  "image": "https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/41MAWckxFrL.jpg",

  "description": "Fire TV Stick with all-new Alexa Voice Remote (includes TV and app controls) |",

  "brand": {

    "@type": "Brand",

    "name": "Amazon"

  }

}

</script>

Ensure that you have an eye for content freshness on your product pages so that your potential customers find your product relevant to their search.

Additionally, the product schema markup makes way for your products to show up with a product badge when they are discovered on Google Images.

That way, they hook up the interests of the users, which, in turn, results in increased conversion rates.

So, where exactly do you use product schema markup?

  1. Product page featuring a single product
  2. Shopping aggregator page displaying a single product along with the details of other vendors selling the same or a similar product.

When you use product structured data, make sure you mark up one particular product. Do not mark up a product list or a whole category.

Structured data for product pages can bring several benefits for you if you know how to use them the right way.

Q&A

Q&A pages are web pages that appear in the Q&A format, where a question is followed by one or more answers.

As mentioned earlier, these pages stand in contrast with FAQ pages that contain only one answer for each question in the list.

Also, Q&A pages support user-generated content, forums, for instance, while FAQ pages don’t do that.

You can markup Q&A pages using different schema types, including QA Page, Question, and Answer based on relevance.

Recipe

Is your content based on yummy, mouth-watering recipes? That’s great.

But, it is all just a beginning.

The real challenge is, how do you showcase your online presence to people who are looking for recipes like yours?

Tell Google in a way that the bots understand.

Use recipe structured data markup to help users find their way to you.

<script type="application/ld+json">

{

  "@context": "https://schema.org/", 

  "@type": "Recipe", 

  "name": "Crispy Fish Burger",

  "image": "https://www.example.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/fish-burger-filet-recipe-img-1.jpg",

  "description": "Prepare restaurant-style mouth-watering crispy fish burgers at home.",

  "keywords": "Fish Burger",

  "author": {

    "@type": "Person",

    "name": "Ashley Schwartz"

  },

  "datePublished": "2022-09-02",

  "prepTime": "PT10M",

  "cookTime": "PT15M", 

  "totalTime": "PT25M", 

  "recipeCategory": "appetizer", 

  "recipeYield": "3", 

  "nutrition": {

    "@type": "NutritionInformation",

    "calories": "300 cal"

  },

  "recipeIngredient": [

    "300 grams fish",

    "3/4 egg",

    "mustard- 2 teaspoons",

    "1/2 teaspoon salt",

    "1/4 teaspoon basil",

    "1/2 teaspoon paprika",

    "3 burger buns",

    "3/4 cucumber",

    "1/2 cup of breadcrumbs",

    "1/2 teaspoon onion powder",

    "1/4 teaspoon spice black pepper",

    "1 teaspoon vegetable oil",

    "3/4 tomato",

    "mayonnaise- 2 teaspoons"

  ],

  "recipeInstructions": {

    "@type": "HowToStep",

    "text": ""

  },

  "video": {

    "@type": "VideoObject",

    "name": "Crispy Fish Burger",

    "description": "Prepare restaurant-style mouth-watering crispy fish burgers at home.",

    "thumbnailUrl": "https://www.example.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/fish-burger-filet-recipe-img-1.jpg",

    "uploadDate": "2022-09-02", 

    "contentUrl": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYZABC"

  }  

}

</script>

With structured data, you can let Google know more about your page, including cooking time, nutrition information, ratings and so much more. 

This way, Google will make better sense of your page and show it to the right people with relevant search queries.

Also, Google recommends recipe sites have a summary page that lists all recipes. So, when the user clicks on a link on the summary page, they will be directed to a page that talks about a particular recipe in detail.

Review Snippet

A review snippet is a brief panel displaying a review or rating, often an aggregate of ratings given by different people. 

Upon identifying prompt review or rating markup, Google is likely to show a rich snippet that contains reviews, ratings, summary and more.

Apart from rich results, a review snippet may also appear in Google Knowledge Panels.

This is applicable to various content types, including book, course, event, movie, local business, recipe, product and how-to.

Reviews also apply to a wide range of schema types such as CreativeWorkSeason, CreativeWorkSeries, Game, MediaObject, Episode, MusicRecording and MusicPlaylist.

You can include Review structured data in multiple ways.

  • Add a simple Review markup directly.
  • Embed a review into another schema type using its review property. 
  • Embed consolidated ratings into another schema type with its AggregateRating property.

Sitelinks Search Box

Have you ever clicked on a search result only to find another search box behind it to search a particular website?

That’s what is called sitelinks search box.

sitelinks search box - structured data

By creating sitelinks search boxes for your web pages that appear on SERPs, you allow users to search your site directly from search results.

While Google may automatically generate the sitelinks search box, it is great if you provide the search engine with more specific information using Website markup.

<script type="application/ld+json">

{

  "@context": "https://schema.org/",

  "@type": "WebSite",

  "name": "XYZ",

  "url": "https://www.example.com/",

  "potentialAction": {

    "@type": "SearchAction",

    "target": "https://query.example.com/internal-search{search_term_string}",

    "query-input": "required name=search_term_string"

  }

}

</script>

If you want Google to display the sitelinks search box for your web page, here’s what you need to do. 

Get started by setting up a search engine on your website and mobile app. Make sure it supports  UTF-8-encoded search queries.

So, what happens behind this scene?

The new functionality forwards the user query to your target page by using the syntax mentioned in your structured data.

When implementing Website markup, make sure you add the structured data only to the homepage in order to reap maximum benefits.

Software App

Software applications are no exception to structured data.

Using structured data to mark up your software application allows Google to show your app information in a better way when it appears on search results.

Google recommends following Webmaster Guidelines and General Structured data Guidelines for your software application to achieve higher search engine rankings and be easily discoverable online.

Speakable

This schema markup comes in handy to find out segments within an article that suit best to read out loud with text-to-speech (TTS).

Including this schema in a web page helps search engines identify what text to use on Google Assistant-powered devices using TTS. 

Using this schema markup means a wider reach and scaled audience base for your website as your content spreads across more new channels.

According to Google, “Google Assistant uses speakable structured data to answer topical news queries on smart speaker devices. When users ask for news about a specific topic, the Google Assistant returns up to three articles from around the web and supports audio playback using TTS for sections in the article with speakable structured data. When the Google Assistant reads aloud a speakable section, it attributes the source and sends the full article URL to the user’s mobile device through the Google Assistant app.”

Speakable is available only to US users who own Google home devices that are set to English.

When using speakable markup, make sure you do NOT add the markup to content that is likely to be ambiguous in TTS, including the location of a news report, photo captions and more.

Create crisp headings and easily understandable summaries for the content that includes this schema markup. 

As per Google’s recommendations, ensure that each section of the content plays for about 20 to 30 seconds. That way, the listeners will have a smooth user experience.

Subscription and Paywalled Content

What if the search engine bots misinterpret your paywalled content as cloaking?

It will affect your website’s SEO because Google thinks what your page shows when it appears on SERPs is different from what it actually contains.

To Google, that’s a violation of its Webmaster Guidelines.

So, how do you fix this?

Use structured data to help Google rightly differentiate between subscription based-content and cloaking.

You can do this by implementing structured data with CreativeWork properties.

For a page to be crawled and indexed by Google, the search engine bots need access to them. So, make sure that your subscription or paywalled content is crawlable and indexable.

Also, leverage the URL Inspection Tool to know what your page looks like to the search engine and how it crawls the page. That should help you identify potential issues, if any, with your page so that you can fix them.

Do you have an AMP page featuring paywalled content? 

Here’s what you need to do.

  • Use amp-subscriptions wherever possible.
  • The bots need free access to them. Ensure that the authorization terminal allows Google bots to access your content.
  • Make sure you have the same bot access policy in place for both AMP and non-AMP pages. If not, it will lead to content mismatch issues.

Video

When people want to watch videos, they often resort to Google. 

As Google themselves say, “Google tries to automatically understand details about your video”. So, it will make things clearer and better for Google if you can offer more details, including description, upload date and time, thumbnail URL and more.

So, how do you do that?

Mark your videos with VideoObject structured data.

This is how the video structured data looks

<script type="application/ld+json">

{

  "@context": "https://schema.org",

  "@type": "VideoObject",

  "name": "Blogger Outreach Services",

  "description": "The one thing world-class website owners do to get rank above competitors is to build backlinks using genuine manual blogger outreach. What if we told you too can get the same results at a price that blows your mind? Check out what we do for you in this video and decide whether to procrastinate success.",

  "thumbnailUrl": "",

  "uploadDate": "2021-02-05",

  "duration": "PT1M15S"

}

</script>

With schema markup, you improve the probability of your videos showing up on Google Search, Google Images, and Google Discover.

That’s a sign you are gradually making it to video rich results.

If your video is available on YouTube, Google Search may automatically enable key moments for your video based on your video description. 

That means you need not mark timestamps on your YouTube video description

However, you can let Google know the important details in your video to help drive better results.

For video structured data, Google expects you to be aware of its video-specific guidelines, including Video sitemap guidelines, Carousel guidelines, Video best practices and Livestream guidelines.

Structured Data Mistakes You Should Avoid

As the adage goes, to err is human. However, when it comes to structured data, the smallest of mistakes can create a huge impact on your site’s online discoverability.

The impact may be anywhere from not fetching desired results to getting a search engine penalty.

That’s why it is crucial to double-check your structured data and ensure all potential bugs are fixed.

Here’s a look at the don’ts of implementing structured data to your web pages.

Don’t Dodge Markup Validation

Including schema markup on the web page right after you generate it is a grave mistake.

You want to check if the structured data can help you qualify for rich results, right? So, make sure you perform Google Rich Results Test to validate your code.

Never skip this step unless you want to face Google’s wrath on account of a schema markup mistake. That’s obviously the last thing anyone wants for their website.

Don’t Add Markup to the Content that doesn’t Exist

What you communicate with Google via your structured data should correlate with the content that’s featured on the corresponding web page.

If that doesn’t happen, Google interprets it as a misuse of schema markup.

In such a case, Google will initially send warning signals in the search console.

When Google finds that the issue still persists, it will take manual action on your site, which is likely to affect your search engine rankings.

Don’t Implement Page-Specific Structured Data Sitewide

Let’s say your site has Recipe pages. So, when you implement recipe-specific schema markup, it has to be included only on your web pages that feature recipes. 

On the flip side, you can’t add the same type of markup to all your pages that aren’t related to recipes. 

Implementing such page-specific schema markup across your site is serious enough to bring you a search engine penalty.

Don’t Go Against Google’s Guidelines

Google hates it when you violate its guidelines.

Go through Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, General Guidelines for Structured Data, Technical Guidelines and Content Guidelines and act accordingly to avoid a Google penalty.

How to Track Markup Enhancements

As said earlier, schema markup improves the way websites communicate with search engines like Google.

That said, keeping track of markup updates is essential to using structured data for your SEO 

advantage and achieve higher SERP rankings.

Google Search Console is your go-to place to monitor structured data enhancements from time to time.

Log in to Google’s Search Console and navigate to Enhancements.

That section should give you a clear idea about the effectiveness of the different types of schema markup you’ve used on your web pages.

In case of errors or issues, the Google Search Console will pinpoint where exactly the problem is and also tell you how you can fix them.

Apart from telling you how healthy your schema markup choices are, the Google Search Console also allows you to see how your structured data performs.

Go to Performance > Search results > Search Appearance to see a bigger picture of your site’s clicks, impressions and more.

Author

Ananyaa Venkat

Ananyaa has been penning down industry-specific content for 5+ years. With blogging as her special interest, she loves exploring multiple verticals to keep track of dynamic market trends.

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