How to Create a Site Structure That Will Enhance SEO
Do you know what Data Structure or Data Structure is and what effect it has on optimizing your site for search engines? In this article, you will get acquainted with the data structure and the correct way to convert website information to it.
Understanding the meaning of “giraffes do not smile” is not very difficult for you as a person who is fluent in the USA; You can easily break down the words without space in this sentence into “giraffes live in the Savannah” and understand it using the “meaning” and “grammar” you have in mind for this sentence: “giraffe” as A long-necked animal with four legs and specific skin color is defined in our minds as “living” (meaning that it lives in a specific place). According to this sentence, the giraffe lives in Savannah; Of course, we may not know about “Savannah” at all, and we have never heard the word; But we can easily classify it as a place; Because living in a “place” happens naturally.
Unfortunately, search engine robots have not yet reached this level of intelligence; Therefore, when they come across a text similar to “giraffes in the Savannah smile”, they record 26 Persian characters in their memory and go to record the next information. In general, computer programs cannot deduce a specific meaning from a character set without a range of predefined words and commands (or, to be more specific, without “data structure”). For example, if you do a Google search for “giraffes in the savannah”, it will immediately show you the URL of a page that contains exactly the same text (probably just this page); But if the question is “Where do giraffes live?” This page will not appear in search results, Although the answer to the question is there.
By this, we mean that you should not expect search engines to understand language just like we humans do. At the same time, if you are looking to increase website traffic and your SEO and get better results in this area, it is in your best interest to help them understand the text of your website as much as possible. This is exactly where data structures or structured data come into play.
By reading this article you will learn how you can help search engines to better understand the contents of your website, get better conditions on the search engine results page.
Semantic Web and Data Structure
The Semantic Web is nothing new and has been around since 1988; But what does the web mean?
Semantics is the knowledge of the study of meaning in language, which essentially examines the relationship between words and phrases and what they symbolize; Thus, the semantic web is a meaningful Internet; Therefore, the semantic web is not related to keywords and back links, but what is important in the semantic web is the relationship between concepts; That is, instead of the word and phrase is important, the meaning behind it and its meanings are important.
Since, according to the introduction at the beginning of this article, search engine robots are not as capable of understanding meaning as humans are, the web of meaning has its own range of words and grammar. Using semantic web vocabulary and grammar You can write logical phrases and sentences that search engine robots can analyze and understand. Note that what distinguishes semantic search from ordinary search is that the basis of semantic search is the logical relation of information.
From this example, we see that search engines can extract new information from organized data. This structured and meaningful data is called “data structure”.
Why use Data structure
Over time, search engine search results in pages (speaking of Google, of course) of the boring list of blue links:
It has become a fairly well-composed page full of useful information. In fact, you may be able to access your answer from the information on the same search page without having to click on the results link.
The various cards and widgets you see above are called “search features”, which generally have two types:
- Content features that appear as separate results, For example, a direct answer to a question, information panels, or a news bar.
- Search results add-ons that are part of different parts of search results (snippets); For example, the score of each item is marked with an asterisk.
Search features take up a relatively large portion of the results page and, in addition, have a higher click-through rate. According to our observations, even clickable features of additives (for example, the same as asterisks) are almost 30% higher than those without additives. Obviously, if your website does not have a place among these sections, you will miss out on brilliant opportunities.
In addition, the data structure improves the user experience. If there is a data structure, users can transfer structured data to various applications and websites; For example, the user can enter the date of the event directly or with one click into their calendar software, or book a movie or concert ticket without leaving the search results page and find the phone number of the nearest restaurant.
Features are part of the Semantic Web and are based on a data structure that Google can understand and interpret. Therefore, Google can only enable these features for your site in its search results if it is possible for it to understand the content of the site. To do this, you need to put additional information necessary for Google in the code of your web pages through the data structure.
Okay, so far, we can convince you that marking data structure is no longer an option, but a necessity. Now, we come to the part where we talk about the middle ground.
Schema.org, Microdata, Microformats, or DRFa?
Not all experts agree on the best way to mark a data structure (i.e., how to mark a data structure); Thus, many confusing terms such as RDF, RDFa, Microformats, Microdata, Schema and others like them have emerged. Here we try to explain these things in simple language and see which one is the best option for SEO.
Basically, if you are looking to transfer information (either naturally or through machine language) you will need two things:
- Vocabulary: a set of words that actually communicate meaning and symptoms.
- Grammar: a set of rules that defines how to use words to convey meaning.
Here is an example of a term defined for marking a data structure, which consists of five entries:
- Person: one person (living, dead or fictitious). A person can be defined by the following characteristics:
- Family Name: Last name Person.
- given Name: nickname or nickname Person.
- gender: Gender Person.
- birthdate: Date of birth Person.
In addition to these words, we need a number of grammatical rules so that a computer program can understand and store information according to them. for example:
- The data structure must be in
- Separate the Property and its value or value with a semicolon (:) and place each one in the English double quotation mark (“).
- Separate each attribute and value pair with an English comma.
So, we have:
“given Name”: “Jack”,
So, in plain language, without paying attention to unnecessary details, most of the issues related to data structure markup can be grouped into one of two groups: vocabulary and grammar. Depending on your needs, you can easily combine commands and vocabulary in any order you want (Microformats are an exception). In the following section, we have linked to the main sources of vocabulary sections and data structure commands, which you can refer to for more information about each of them:
Data Structure Vocabulary:
Data Structure Grammar:
Note: Microformats define both the grammar of a data structure for its placement in HTML pages and the vocabulary required. For this reason, we have mentioned them in both the vocabulary and grammar sections. The disadvantage of this format is that you can only use it if the appropriate vocabulary is already defined in Microformat format. But with RDFa, Microdata, and JSON-LD you can use any word you want and even new words you have created and processed yourself.
What words and grammar should we use for data structure?
If you had to choose one of the above options for choosing words, we suggest Schema.org; Because it is supported by popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex; It has a good and comprehensive guide and its development team is active.
In the RDFa method (code below this paragraph) “startDate”, “endDate” and other markup values are visible to the user and there is no duplication or duplication of information:
JSON-LD, on the other hand, repeats the data as a
It may not make much of a difference, but it does matter to a digital marketer or SEO expert.
In general, the available statistics (see chart below) show that Microdata is the most widely used method available, followed by a growing trend for JSON-LD. Currently, Google suggests using JSON-LD; However, search engines also have the ability to detect Microdata and RDFa.
Overall, our overall recommendation is a combination of Schema.org and JSON-LD, which would be appropriate for the vast majority of websites.
How to use data structure markup?
At this point, we put theories into practice. There are only four steps you can take to successfully implement a data structure on your website:
Step 1: Select the appropriate Schema
Check out the various schemas available at Schema.org. The following are some of the most widely used Eskimos:
- Local Business
- Offer (offer)
- Review (Comments)
- Creative Work (creative and artistic activities)
- Targeted email marketing
Layout the layout of the various sections of your website in an Excel file or spreadsheet. To do this, list the page address or various categories of your website in one column and the related schemas in another column.
A combination of several schemas can be used to describe each component. For example, Person would be a logical schema to describe Mr. So-and-so, but that Person probably also has an Address and works in an organization that also has its own address. Therefore, we can use three different schemas to describe Mr. So-and-so.
After compiling the sketch plan, you can move on to the next step.
Step 2: Mark the data structure
Thanks to Google, you do not need complicated coding to mark the data structure on your website; instead, you can easily get help from an easy-to-use tool called Structured Data Markup Helper, which accompanies you through the markup process. Follow these steps to use this handy tool:
- Open the Structured Data Markup Helper; Select a suitable schema and enter an address from the table you prepared in the previous step. Then click the Start Tagging button.
- Highlight the desired component or section and select the appropriate schema from the menu that appears. If you cannot find the titles you want in the right sidebar, you can add them using the Add missing tags button. When done, click on the red Create HTML button.
- Select JSON-LD from the menu at the top right of the column and copy the code you see at the bottom of this section and in the section
- Put the HTML code of the page you want from your site.
Tip: If your website has thousands of different pages that you want to structure their information in this way, it is better to get help from web development services for more efficiency.
Step 3: Test the markup
Open the Structured Data Testing Tool in your browser and enter the desired page address. This tool displays all the marked information along with the necessary errors and warnings.
Now you have to sit and wait. Naturally, it will not be possible for your website content to be displayed in the features and rich snippets of search results pages (links that contain additional information such as asterisks) until Google re-examines the website. Also keep in mind that even if you have marked the data structure and everything is going well and the data structure test tool does not show any problems, no one can still display your data structure in Guarantee search results. Among the most important reasons for not displaying the data structure in the features and rich snippets of search results pages are the following:
- The data structure does not match the original content of the page or the potential for fraud has been detected.
- Data structure has problems that the test tool was not able to identify.
- Marked content is hidden from the user.
Note that you should not try to deceive Google in any way; Because you will most likely be fined for improper use of the data structure. In some cases, Google employees will even be responsible for handling your website problem instead of taking automatic action. Usually, the message sent to the wrong website is something like this:
“It seems that in marking some pages of this website, techniques such as marking content that is hidden from the user; Bookmark unrelated or misleading content; “And / or other deceptive behavior that violates Google’s quality guidelines for rich snippets has been used.”
Or something like this:
So be careful and do not violate the rules of correct data structure markup in any way.
Step 4: Identify problems using Google Webmaster Tools.
According to Murphy’s Law, if there is a chance of a mistake, a mistake will be made. Therefore, you should be careful and minimize the possibility of mistakes and identify and fix the existing problems quickly. In this regard, you should consider reviewing the data structure as part of your daily SEO plans.
Fortunately, Google does not leave you here with its search console or Webmaster Tools. Just enter the Google search console (Google Webmaster Tools). Then select the Structured Data option from the Search Appearance section. This tool not only shows you the details of possible errors but also the details of the different types of data structures detected on your website.
If you are also familiar with the Apache web server, try the Anything To Triples tool as well. With this free tool, you can evaluate your data structure and convert different types of data structures to each other.
The semantic web is a relatively old term that seeks to create a meaningful space on the Internet where communication between different components is more important than keywords and links. In order to create such a space and to help search engines to understand different information, we use “data structure”; In other words, we organize and structure the information on the pages of our website. The information on the new sections that you see in Google search results is collected from the data structure. To structure your website information (just like a language) you need specific vocabulary and a calculated framework for sorting those words (grammar), which in this article, we suggested Schema.org and JSON-LD. You can also use Google-specific tools to implement and test the data structure.
The last word
You now have all the information and tools you need to prepare your website for the Semantic Web. The importance of the web means you have to take action and turn the information from different sections and pages of your website into a data structure and this will increase organic traffic. We will be with you on this journey and you can count on our help.