In our quest to make better performing websites we often have to peer under the user Interface and look at the machine interface. This time we’re tinkering with Schema, aka Structured Data.

What is Schema and Structured Data and Why Should I Care?

Structured data is a term used to describe your website and its pages to search engines. Schema is the language standard used to define structured data. Search Engines use these descriptions to build their own versions of your site for display in search results or in Google’s knowledge graph, which can describe a business. The knowledge graph is what you often see when you search for a local business.

knowledge graph

This is an example of Google’s knowledge graph. Some of this information can come from the business and some of it from the website structured data.

The structured data you present can have a big effect on not only what information Google shows about your business, but where. For instance, if you search for lemon curd recipes on your phone or in your browser you will end up seeing a list of recipes in a common format that may include a photo, reviews, recipe time, calories, description, etc.

structured data recipes

This is mobile search results from Google for lemon curd recipes. Recipes have a structured data category that allows Google to standardize their display of these recipes.

Those are two examples of how structured data is used.

What does Shema and Structured Data Look Like?

OK, so here’s where you can dive into the code to take a closer look. Here’s the example of the schema for one of my clients:

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

If your eyes get a little glazed over you’re not alone. I find all this intensely boring. But if you browse the code you will see loosely how it is structured. If you want to learn to write the schema markup yourself then go to the website.

Aren’t There WordPress Plugins That Can do This for Me?

Yes, and in fact the code above was generated by a plugin aptly named Schema. The plugin is easy to use and allows you to quickly set up basic structured data for a website. It also has a premium version that can help you build structured data for individual posts if you want to really get the most out of your posts.

Why are Structured Data and Schema Important in Your Web Development Business?

Paying attention to this is now is an important part of your SEO strategy, especially if you are a web developer. Structured data is a vital component for a website to have a basic local presence on Google and can make a huge impact for a site that archives a lot of content, such as recipes. We set up basic structured data when we launch new websites and include it on our launch checklist for WordPress websites.

Meanwhile, the continued relevance of Talk To Speach (TTS) and voice search is forcing the technology to compartmentalize data for those purposes, at least for now. For instance, check out Google’s Speakable site for how Google views structured data’s importance in voice search.

When you are meeting with a client and want to sell a basic launch tier of SEO services, talking points and execution around TTS and voice search are ways you can demonstrate your expertise in the field, land the work, and get top dollar for your time. It’s one more detail that can help your client succeed and help you differentiate yourself from competitors.