You have just started a blog or created a website and want to increase foot traffic and improve your rankings. So, what should you do? Here is your answer: microdata SEO. Often you will hear about SEO and its incredible marketing strategy for increasing clicks on a website (which is true), but what you don’t hear about is the technical data that goes into it. Microdata SEO is the golden ticket for every person who wants their content to appear on SERP (search engine results page.)
According to Google, 53% of US consumers said that they research products using a search engine before deciding whether or not to buy, so trusting in a search engine is essential for business growth. Microdata is normally utilized by website developers and involves HTML and CSS coding. But in this article, we will discuss how anyone can benefit from this intricate marketing strategy and learn the differences between microdata, schema, and structured data.
What is Microdata?
Let’s begin with defining microdata. It’s verbiage is a bit vague, but essentially, what this SEO strategy involves is explaining to search engines what elements are in a page. If that sounds confusing, don’t worry. We will break it down further and put it in layman’s terms. Microdata is a labelled, coded language that helps search engines like Google, Yahoo!, or Bing understand what is on a website through snippets that are placed in a website’s code.
The reason behind using microdata is a simple concept: semantics searching. Search engines need to know the context behind why you are searching for what you’re searching for in order to provide the best and most appropriate content. Let’s look at an example of microdata simplified.
An Example of Microdata
Technical jargon for SEO coding and website development can be confusing to people who are unfamiliar with the specialty, so let’s break down an example of what microdata would look like without using HTML code, however, we will get into that later in this article. For now, let’s look at microdata in a way everyone can understand.
A search engine sees this: Oranges are healthy.
The search engine won’t know if you’re talking about: orange, the fruit, orange, the color, or Orange, the band. In order to properly promote a website, search engines require that you be more specific with your content. This is where microdata comes in. When you include microdata (code that specifies your article) into your headline and your information, the search engine will now know you are talking about fruit. It can then promote your content to anyone who is looking for that specific content.
How Does Microdata Improve SEO?
Search engines are designed to digitally crawl through a website, read its code, and then promote it on their site for people to access. With microdata, it makes the job of a search engine a hundred times easier because the information they are looking for, is given in a more specific, computer-friendly way. The basics of SEO marketing will tell you to use strong keywords on your website so that search engine’s can flag as being important and relevant. Microdata does this same thing, but amplified because it’s using a language the computer understands.
Where Should You Use Microdata?
Now that we know what microdata is, let’s learn how we can incorporate it into our content. If you have a blog or website, this is where you will want to utilize microdata. You can easily slip the code into any of these existing names:
- Published Date
- Last Modified Date
- The Format Itself
The use of microdata in a blog or website is especially successful in B2B SEO marketing. By implementing meta tags to the header of your page, you’re providing more detailed information about your website that search engine’s will display when they appear on the results page.
Microdata vs. Metadata
Metadata, another confusing, vague word that you might think you don’t know, but, actually, you’re probably already familiar with. It is a form of structured data used for website searchers and can include: titles, website URLs, and brief page descriptions. This is generally what is shown to you when you’re on Google or Bing and contains user-friendly keywords that are used for SEO.
So, what is the difference between microdata and metadata? Microdata is typically used for search engines and metadata is used for people using search engines. Microdata involves HTML and CSS code whereas metadata uses words to describe a website. Both, however, are vital for SEO marketing.
What is Schema Markup?
As we dive further into microdata, the terminology tends to get a little more precise and confusing, but stay with me. If microdata is a coding language designated for use on HTML pages, will it work for all web pages? This question leads to the answer: schema markup.
Microdata is a type of language and, with any language, it can differ depending on who is using it. In order to counteract this and make it simple for search engines to read all code, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex came together to create a universal structured data that would not only be accessible for their search engines, but also for use by web developers and content creators.
Schema markup is the specific coding language understood by search engines and used on websites to help make sense of the content. Schema markups are a specific type of microdata that can be found on Schema.org.
How to Use Schema.org
Schema.org is a website that helps both content creators and website developers understand and utilize schema markups for their websites. Their website operates as a manual for the integration of specific code that search engines will recognize. There are three different types of code that Schema.org uses:
These codes operate as a type of language that search engines understand. The use of schema markups on schema.org is used to pinpoint:
- Local Businesses
- Medical conditions
Websites that use schema markups will always rank better on the search engine results page than websites that don’t. Here’s an example of how you can use Schema’s website to help you with your specific content.
Local Business Schema Markup Example:
When on Schema.org, use the search bar in the top, right-hand corner of the website. Let’s say we are a business owner of a local bakery shop and want to use Schema.org to help organize your website’s data.
When we type “business” into the search bar, the first link that pops up is for “Local Business.” If you click on the “local business tab,” you will find the entire set of structured data you need to help enrich your website’s snippets. This is what you will use as a guide when entering data into your website.
What is Structured Data?
Now, we get to the final stretch of microdata. We started with learning all about the uses of microdata and how it’s helpful for SEO. We have learned about schema and its significant role in helping search engine’s understand content. Now we’ve come to structured data: the bow that wraps them all together.
According to the Google Development Guide to Structured Data, Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content. In other words, if microdata and schema markup is the language that search engine’s understand, structured data is the organizational system it uses to read them. There are several benefits to using structured data on your website, including improving your SEO.
How Does Structured Data Affect SEO?
Think of structured data and search engines like trying to find clothing in a messy room. You walk in and you’re looking for a green sweater. But if your room is messy, you’re less likely to find that green sweater, and more likely to choose something else out of frustration. Search engines will do this, too. Labeling your website with proper information like ratings, hours, addresses, and phone numbers are just the type of rich snippets search engines love because they’re organized.
Your website and content will always rank higher if you have detailed, organized data that gives context to your website. As we discussed earlier, keywords, though they are important factors for SEO, need contextual data in order to differentiate them from others. Looking back at the example we used previously, your website might be about oranges, but unless you put a code that identifies orange as either an: object, color, or music, Google will have no idea what you mean. Keywords, contextual microdata, and structured data are the key to proper SEO.
How SEO Design Chicago Can Help With Your SEO
We understand what goes into the creation, promotion, and tracking of a website and here at SEO Design Chicago, we want to make it easy for you. We can help you with website development, implementing SEO strategies, and using Google Analytics to help monitor your success. Contact us today with your digital marketing questions and needs!
FAQs about Microdata SEO:
- Is schema important for SEO?
- What is an example of microdata?
- How to add a schema markup to a website?
- What are different types of schema in SEO?
- What is JSON-LD?