What is structured data?

Yoast SEO makes this easy

Our plugin builds a structured data graph for every post or page on your site. A graph is a complete piece of structured data that helps search engines understand the contents of your page or post. All you need to do is decide on the type of content and our plugin will do the rest. Read all about structured data in Yoast SEO!

What is structured data?

Structured data is a way of describing your site to make it easier for search engines to understand. And to describe your site to search engines, you’ll need a vocabulary that presents content in a way that search engines can understand. The vocabulary used by the big search engines is called Schema.org, which changes your content into code that they can easily process. Search engines read the code and use it to display search results in a specific and much richer way. You can easily put this piece of code on your website.

an example of a rich result showing a recipe for lasagna
An example of a rich recipe result powered by structured data

There are lots of different rich results

There are all kinds of structured data. It’s always a code format. You have them for books, for reviews, for movies, and for products in your online store, for instance. In all cases, it adds more details to your snippet in the search results. Browse Google’s Search Gallery to see which rich results are powered by structured data.

What do you do with structured data?

With structured data, you can “talk” to the search engines. You can tell the search engines which ingredients there are in your recipe, you can tell them how long the preparation time is, and you can tell them how many calories the dish will contain. Google will be able to grasp all that information instantly and can decide to show it in the search results.

What is Schema.org?

The big search engines have developed a project called Schema.org. On Schema.org you can find all the structured data markup supported by the search engines. This makes Schema.org a large collection of pieces of code.

a screenshot of schema.org giving insight into what structured data is and how it works
On schema.org you find all the available options

What is JSON-LD?

JSON-LD is one of the markups of Schema.org. It’s just a way to write code. On Schema.org, you’ll also find other markups like Microdata or RDFa. At Yoast, we’ll advise you always to use JSON-LD, because it does not break your site as easily as other markups do. Plus, it’s the format that Google prefers. Yoast SEO automatically adds lots of structured data JSON-LD to your site. That’s not possible with the other markups.

Why is structured data important for SEO?

Structured data is important for SEO because it’ll make it easier for Google to understand what your pages and your website are about. Google needs to find out what a page is about to show it in the search results. Using structured data is like talking to Google, telling Google what your site is about. That’ll help with your rankings.

How to use structured data?

Using it may sound hard, but everyone can do it — with the proper training. You have to get the right code, you’ll have to adapt that code and you’ll need a way to put it on your site.

No code hero? Use a plugin!

A lot of structured data markup can also be added to your website using plugins. As mentioned, Yoast SEO automatically adds the most important data for your site. You can even determine per page or article what type of content is on there. So, you can describe the Contact page on your site as being a ContactPage to search engines. You can do this by simply selecting the type in the Schema tab in the meta box or the block editor sidebar. In addition, you can use the free Yoast SEO content blocks to markup your FAQ pages and how-to articles with valid structured data.



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