In the search engine optimization world, focus is continuously shifting to the newest, most cutting-edge features. From keyword integration and code cleanup, to link building initiatives — marketers are feverishly trying to integrate new ways to develop their SEO efforts. Welcome to the newest trend in search: structured data. Structured data has helped to facilitate better organic search results, and it is also utilized to construct social media meta tags.
Below is an excerpt from Sparxoo’s “2016 Digital Marketing Trends: Your Guide to Be Badass” on the importance of structured data integration.
In 2016, search will continue to become more complex and competitive. Small enhancements via structured data will be the deciding factors with rankings. As search marketing continues to evolve, these elements will move from the “nice to have” bucket to the “must haves.” Welcome to the evolution of search marketing.
Understanding Structured Data
Structured data, in the most general sense, refers to information organized in a way that is easily understood. In the web world, the term is a descriptor for how search engines are fine-tuning the information that the search engine results pages (SERPs) display. The narrowed focus on structured data significantly improves user search experience, and makes search engines more sophisticated as well. To get a better idea, search the term “cookies” in Google. In attempts to decipher what is most relevant to your search (for either the food or the web definition of “cookies”), Google will display photos, news on the topic, local cookie vendors, recipes and sites linking to web cookies — all in separate formats.
Microdata, Are we a Match?
The most popular type of structured data is microdata. As explained by Schema.org, there is a particular internet hierarchy mapped out by information categories, which determines whether or not your organization should implement schema markup tools to structure data. Some of the categories include; creative works (books, movies, recipes), events, people and places. Schema.org works through Google, Bing and Yahoo to prioritize these categories (as well as a few others) to create front line displays for optimal search experience.
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If your business doesn’t host too many events or feature knowledge graph-worthy information, there is another way to implement this structure. Every marketer’s favorite form of free advertising: social media. Now you can incorporate these structured data meta tags into your social media posts on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook, ensuring that your post will stand out in a news feed and henceforth building more traffic to your site.
The web is a boundless sea of information. Google and other search engines update regularly to disseminate this information as orderly and efficiently as possible. The easier your information is to navigate and display, the more favor search engines will have in your post. To learn more about structured data, schema markup and other user-facilitated concepts, be sure to check out “2016 Digital Marketing Trends: Your Guide to Be Badass.”