There's a really cool and really simple tool offered by Google, structured data. It essentially allows website owners to better communicate the "structure" of their "data" on a website.
Why? So Google can better understand how your site data is to be read. And more importantly, better show your data in search.
So why structured data? Partly because as searchers our behaviors continue to evolve. As a society we seem to be impatient when it comes to waiting. Even an extra click or two agitates us.
So Google is taking some clicks away. Rather than giving us links with meta data (please read Search Terminology for more) they are giving us search results as shown below.
Before We Start
Let's dive right in to structuring your data. But please note. Just because you structure your data does not mean you'll have pretty little pictures like above.
That involves more steps like rich snippets and relying on Google to actually index your site. We'll discuss those in a future post.
First things first though, you need to structure your data before anything will happen. And Google will not immediately do anything with the data anyways.
So no worries if you need to wait for the follow up post. Right? Check back soon. It's in draft mode.
Let's start with a video from Google. After all who better to explain this product?
To start, access the search console (which requires a Google Analytics account and verification of the domain(s) you want to structure).
For more simply google "Google Search Console."
Once you access the console, select appearance, then data highlighter. You'll be brought to a page as shown below.
Here you enter the URL of the site you want to structure and a menu of what data you want to work with. Such as articles (blogs), products, events and more.
Next just follow the steps outlined. They're insanely simple. Literally click a title and select "title" or review and select "review." After a few selections, Google will figure out a pattern and highlight the rest of the page or pages.
Google provides a lot of resources to improve our search presence. Why? Because Google needs to better understand all the data that is out there.
The better they can read data, the better they can present the nearly one billion websites to the world. One of those resources is structured data.