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Your Guide to Structured Data & Implementing Schema Markup

Rick Bucich

Learn How to Organize & Optimize Your Website With Structured Data & Improve SERP Rankings

Structured Data Markup

With the online search business becoming increasingly sophisticated, search engines can understand the meaning behind the words on a webpage. Structured data is a way of making our website content understandable by machines. 

Understanding this structured data allows search engines and other algorithms to accurately identify the type of content on your page. Implementing structured data with schema markups can give your website an edge over your competitors when it comes to getting found online.

This article will look at all the different ways you can implement structured data markup in your website and some tasks you should complete before implementing it for better results.

Let us dive further into structured data and schema markups and see how they can benefit your business.

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What is Structured Data?

Structured data can be defined as data that has a specific format. That is, the data is organized in a specific way. Often, this data has a predictable set of fields or categories that data falls under.

It is invisible to most internet users, concealed among the code that makes up our websites. But search engines like Google and Bing reward webmasters for using structured data standards by displaying some of their content in SERP Features. We talk in-depth about all those features in our blog on SERP Features and how to win them.

Structured data in terms of SEO means that the content of a webpage is organized in a way that search engines can easily understand. For example, if you have an event listing page on your website, you should use structured data markups to indicate the type of event, location, and date of the event.

Structured data : Event schema markup
Rich results on mobile search when 'event' structured data has been added

Data Types and Differences from Structured Data

Data can be classified into three types.

1. Structured data has a specific format understandable by humans and machines. An example of structured data is the data you publish on your website.

2. Unstructured Data doesn’t have a format. It’s not organized in any way. Thus, it can’t be read by machines. An example of unstructured data is your notes from a meeting.

3. Semi-Structured data has a particular format. However, the data doesn’t follow a standardized format. An example of semi-structured data is your research data.

Unstructured Data v/s Structured Data

Unstructured data is information that is not organized in a specific way. Structured data, on the other hand, is data that is organized in a specific way so that it can be easily accessed and used.

Unstructured data is found all over the internet in the form of text, images, and videos. Structured data, on the other hand, is typically found in databases and can be accessed using specific commands.

There are many ways to make use of unstructured data. Some common methods include text mining, image processing, and video analytics.

Structured data, on the other hand, is typically used for data mining, business intelligence, and decision support systems.

Pros of Structured Data Markup

1. The main benefit of using structured data is that it can help improve your website’s visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). 

By providing search engines with additional information about the content on your pages, you can make it easier for them to understand and index your content and display “rich snippets” in the search results. As a result, consumers may be more likely to click on your search result, which would indirectly lead to higher rankings. As a result, consumers may be more likely to click on your search result, indirectly leading to higher rankings.

Rich snippets would be defined as extra data found in searches, such as star ratings, prices, event dates and times, etc. 

2. Structured data can help make a website more accessible by clearly defining page elements, thus enabling improved navigation between complementary content. Thus, structured data could help accomplish your ADA accessibility goals. 

3. Structured data markup makes it easier for website visitors to locate the information they are looking for quickly and efficiently. With semantic markup, webpages can be organized into categories, making it simpler to find relevant content. 

4. Structured data can also help to improve the overall user experience by providing meaningful information to site visitors. This could include product details, customer reviews, ratings, and more. This can make it easier for visitors to get the information they need, making them more likely to stay on the website longer and, therefore, more likely to become customers.

5. Structured data improves content management by providing a structure and organizing content into different classes. Structured data helps store information about people, places, and businesses in a way that is understandable by search engines and thus your website users.

6. Structured data makes it easier for businesses to analyze customers’ website usage data and use it to improve ROI. Structured data markup can help marketers track a user’s journey through their website more accurately, allowing them to adjust their strategy to increase conversions.

7. Structured data markup codes make creating more efficient advertisement campaigns easier, allowing marketing teams to target specific customers more accurately.

Structured Data and SEO

With the growing importance of artificial intelligence in search engine algorithms, there’s been a significant rise in the demand for structured data. Structured data provides search engines with crucial information about your content and site, such as what type of content it is, who created it, when it was published, and where to find it again.  

Structured data helps create a more meaningful relationship between web pages and search engines. 

When search engines come across unstructured data, they have to parse it, translate it, and then try to make sense of it before displaying it to the user. With structured data, on the other hand, they have a pre-built set of instructions to work from, meaning they can simply plug in the data and show it to users almost instantly. 

Structured data is important for SEO because it provides search engines with information about the content on a web page. This information can help search engines better understand the page and rank it accordingly.

Structured data can help you take advantage of rich snippets that appear in search engine results and help your listings stand out and get noticed. Example of how an ecommerce website can leverage structured data to display product ratings, number of reviews and price range on search engine result pages. 

Image of how to utilize structured data. In this case, to show ratings and price range.
Image of how to utilize structured data. In this case, to show ratings and price range.

The vocabulary website provides a database of all the schema markups you can use to improve your site. While the list is exhaustive, Google uses only a few to influence what is displayed in search results directly. At the time of writing this article, the list includes: 

1. Article

2. Book

3. Breadcrumb

4. Carousel

5. Course

6. Dataset

7. Education Q&A

8. Employer Aggregate Rating

9. Estimated Salary

10. Event

11. Fact Check

12. FAQ

13. Home Activities

14. How-to

15. Image License

16. Job Posting

17. Learning Video

18. Local Business

19. Logo

20. Math Solvers

21. Movie

22. Podcast

23. Practice Problems

24. Product

25. Q&A

26. Recipe

27. Review

28. Sitelinks Search Box

29. Software App

30. Speakable

31. Subscription & Paywall

32. Video

Structured Data Implementation  & SEO Results

When adding structured data markup, you can expect changes in organic SERP performance, conversions, sales, and other metrics. Adding structured data to a website can help improve its SEO performance, as it allows search engines to better understand the content on the page and, in turn, return more relevant and targeted results to users. 

Here are some positive SEO results that can be achieved with the help of structured data: 

1. Increased Visibility: Structured data helps search engines to understand the content on the page better. This allows them to categorize the website pages more accurately, and as a result, they appear in more relevant SERP results, helping to increase visibility and visibility to potential audiences.

2. Higher Click-Through Rate: By providing search engines with more accurate information about the content, structured data can help improve the web page's relevance for a search query. This, in turn, leads to higher click-through rates when users view the SERP results.

3. Improved Ranking: With increased visibility and higher click-through rates, structured data can also help a website rank higher in SERP results. This improvement means more visitors will likely visit your website, increasing web traffic.

4. Better Conversions: All of the above improvements result in more qualified leads on the website, which leads to a higher conversion rate. This is because visitors who come to the website from relevant SERP results are more likely to be interested in a product or service, thus improving the chances of turning those visitors into customers.

Structured data implementation can increase to unique keywords to rank. These unique keywords can include queries for which Google shows multiple rich snippets and  Knowledge Graph results. You may also see a decrease in bounce rate and an increase in the number of pages per session as users are presented with more information on SERPs.

How does Structured Data Work?

Structured data is a way of organizing information on a web page so that machines can understand it. For example, webmasters can use specific tags to search engines the type of content on a page and its relevance to specific search queries.

When you publish data on your site as structured data, search engines will recognize it using structured data parsing software. The structured data parsing software will break down your data into logical components. 

Once the data has been broken down, it will be added to your website’s data feed, which is a database of information about your site. Once your data feed has been added to your site, it can be accessed by a wide array of services, including Google and Amazon. 

The data feed will contain information about your site’s content and links to images and videos on your site. Any time a new piece of content is added to your site, you’ll need to update the data feed to inform the services about the change. This ensures the data remains up-to-date.

What is Schema Markup?

Schema or markup is a type of standardized structured data that can help search engines and other machines understand the content of a webpage. It is an open-source, continually updated collaborative effort between Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, and others created to merge several different standards into a single version. It has largely replaced other standards such as Good Relations and Microformats.

Schema markup can be deployed using several formats, Microdata, RDFa, JSON-LD & Structure. Currently, JSON-LD is the most recommended solution as it is the most flexible and easily updated. 

The example below shows an example of JSON-LD markup for a product page on an eCommerce site:

JSON-LD markup for a product page on an eCommerce site
JSON-LD markup for a product page on an eCommerce site

How to Add Structured Data to Your Website?

You can add structured data to your website by using markup. It has a wide variety of structured data to choose from. First, identify the markups suitable for your website. Then, follow these steps:

Follow these steps to add structured data markup to a website.

1. Plan your Structured Data Markup: 

Before implementing structured data on a web page, the first step is to plan the type of schema you want to add to your web page. Consider the type of content you want to mark up, such as Organization, Product, Event, etc. The type of structured data you add depends on your business goals. Schema markup increases your chances of getting a rich result or SERP feature listing.

Note: Structured data helps enable rich snippets but does not guarantee them. If multiple structured data entries have been added, it is common for only one to be displayed in the search.

2. Select your Structured Data Format: 

Once you know the schema you want to add to your web page, select the structured data format. Today, there are two primary formats for structured data, JSON-LD and Microdata.

3. Retrieve the Structured Data:

Once you have chosen the structured data format, you can use one of the many tools available to generate and retrieve the relevant structured data. Quattr is one such tool that allows you to instantly generate structured data markup code for new copy addiitions.

4. Add Structured Data Markup to your Web Page:

There are different ways to add structured data to your web page, such as placing it in the HTML of your website or a separate file, such as a JavaScript file. Read our structured data implementation guide for more.

5. Test your Structured Data: 

You must test your schema code to ensure it is valid and properly implemented. The Rich Results Testing Tool will tell you whether the data is valid and if Google recognizes it. You must check your code if the structured data markup is invalid. You may have missed some tags or omitted some of the required information.

When your content is validating and displaying as desired in the Rich Results Testing Tool, you can publish it live on your website by adding it to one of your existing pages or creating a new one. 

6. Monitor your Structured Data:

Once this page is published, search engines will start crawling and indexing its content in their databases to include it in their search results when users search for that information. After implementing structured data markup on your web page, you should monitor and test it regularly.

JSON+LD v/s Microdata: Which Structured Data Markup is better?

When deciding which structured data markup is better, JSON+LD and Microdata offer advantages and drawbacks from an SEO performance and user standpoint.

From an SEO performance perspective, JSON+LD is the preferable option. It is easier to implement and requires less effort than Microdata. It is also easier to maintain since it requires less code to update and less human error. In addition, JSON-LD is better for conveying the semantic meaning of content, which can help search engine crawlers better understand the context of content and rank it appropriately. 

From a user standpoint, Microdata is the preferable option. It allows for more prosperous, more detailed information to be embedded into a page than JSON-LD, which can benefit users with a better user experience. Microdata also offers more flexibility for page designers and developers, as it does not have to be restricted to a specific type of element or format. Read our Microdata SEO guide to learn more.

Ultimately, while both are effective structured data markups, you should choose the one that is easier for your organization to implement. JSON+LD implementation requires engineering support, whereas a webmaster can set up Microdata structured data markup. Consider what will work best with your existing content and page structure when deciding between them.

Optimize Structured Data for Existing Pages with Quattr

While the current tools allow you to test if your web page has a structured data markup, none of the tools suggest what improvements you can make to your structured data entries.

Quattr, the only growth platform built like a search engine, analyzes your website just like a search engine and finds optimization recommendations. These recommendations come at scale - meaning you don’t have to test and fix one page at a time. Plus, you can optimize your content with a side-by-side view of the top competing page on SERP for your target search intent.

Optimize your web pages for structured data with Quattr
Optimize your web pages for structured data with Quattr

Quattr’s keyword recommendation view provides you with a sandbox environment where you can test changes to your structured data entries or add more schema markups based on what competing pages have. In addition, you can test how these changes impact your overall relevance score and deploy changes confidently.


Search engines like Google are constantly improving their algorithms and refining how they display content in their results pages based on user behavior and user feedback.

The challenge for website owners is ensuring that search engine bots are crawling their sites and that the data is being recognized and displayed on the results pages. Adding structured data aids this process. 

Structured data using Schema markup provides search engines context about your page's contents. This context helps them crawl, index, and display your content to users for multiple search queries.

Structured data is also crucial to getting multiple SERP listings by ranking and appearing in different SERP features like rich snippets or image carousels. Thus to earn extra real estate on SERPs, it is essential to have the correct structured data in place for your web pages and their content. 

Existing tools only allow you to check whether your pages have structured data entries added, but with Quattr, you can test and deploy schema markups at scale. Then, compare them with top competing pages and deploy with confidence that these optimization efforts will positively impact your rankings and traffic.

Scale your Structured Data Optimization with Quattr today!

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Structured Data FAQs

What is Schema Markup in Structured Data?

Schema markup is a structured data markup that helps search engines better understand website content. It's used to identify detailed information about webpages, such as dates, people, events, locations, and more, so that search engines can display this information in search results and provide users with more relevant and valuable results.

How to Use Structured Data Markup for SEO?

You can use structured data for SEO by adding HTML markup to your website’s existing content. This markup provides search engines with detailed information about the content on your pages so they can better understand and index it. Additionally, the structured data can be used to create rich snippets, which attract more clicks from search engine results pages.

How to Add Structured Data Markup to Your Website?

You can add schema to your website by using the markup language. Head to the Schema website and find a directory of all structured data you can add along with their code. This code can be added to the HTML of your website, either using a plugin or manually. Before you add schema to your website, thoroughly review the code and test it to ensure it’s working correctly.

About The Author

Rick Bucich

Rick got involved in SEO by accident 20 years ago while working at a small startup. He has 10+ years of experience in SEO and translates it into actionable recommendations. Rick writes about how to optimize and enhance websites for search engines.

About Quattr

Quattr is an innovative and fast-growing venture-backed company based in Palo Alto, California USA. We are a Delaware corporation that has raised over $7M in venture capital. Quattr's AI-first platform evaluates like search engines to find opportunities across content, experience, and discoverability. A team of growth concierge analyze your data and recommends the top improvements to make for faster organic traffic growth. Growth-driven brands trust Quattr and are seeing sustained traffic growth.

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