What is Structured Data? A Beginner's Guide to Structured Data in SEO

Are you looking to level up your SEO game and understand the importance of structured data? You've come to the right place. This comprehensive guide will answer the question, "What is structured data?" and explore how it can benefit your website's search engine optimization. Incorporating the right structured data into your content can help search engines better understand your site and improve your chances of ranking higher in search results.

What is Structured Data?

Before diving into the world of structured data, it's essential to have a solid grasp of its basic principles. At its core, structured data is a standardized format used to organize and present information about a webpage's content in a way that search engines can easily interpret. By implementing structured data, you provide search engines with essential context and meaning behind your website's content, enabling them to deliver more accurate and relevant search results to users. Ultimately, this can lead to improved visibility and higher click-through rates for your site.

FAQ schema on Google search results page
FAQ schema on Google search results page

Structured data bridges your content and search engines, allowing them to decipher your site's purpose and categorize it accordingly. Without structured data, search engines may struggle to understand the intent behind your content, potentially leading to lower rankings and decreased visibility. Understanding the basics of structured data will help you improve your website's SEO and remain one step ahead of the competition.

Why is structured data important for SEO?

The first reason is that structured data helps search engines like Google better understand what your website is about. Structured data provides context and additional information about the content on the web page. For example, this article is about a recipe or a product review. Or it provides more information about the author or rating. By adding these details, search engines like Google can more accurately understand the content on the website, and then show it to users searching for it.

Second, if your website has structured data, such as FAQs or reviews when users search on Google, these data will be displayed beautifully and attractively on the search results page (SERPs). You can see how FAQ structured data is displayed in the screenshot above.

Moreover, users tend to click more on pages that show more information, and therefore increase the click-through rate (CTR) and your website will receive more traffic. And if the content on your website matches the search intent of users, increasing the click-through rate will gradually help you improve your rankings on the search results page. That is, the more people click on your website, the higher your ranking will be.

Types of Structured Data

There are three types of structured data that can be implemented on your website. All of them are code-based, which means you have to modify the code of your website and add some code for the structured data.


JSON-LD (JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data) is a lightweight data-interchange format recommended by Google for implementing structured data on your website. JSON-LD uses the JSON format to encode the structured data and is embedded into the HTML code using a <script> tag. This means that the structured data is not visible to users who are browsing the website.

Example: Here's a JSON-LD script describing a simple article:

<script type="application/ld+json">
	"@context": "http://schema.org",
	"@type": "Article",
	"author": "Author name",
	"datePublished": "2016-1-1",
	"headline": "Headline",
	"image": {
		"@type": "imageObject",
		"url": "http://example.com/images/image.png",
		"height": "600",
		"width": "800"
	"publisher": {
		"@type": "Organization",
		"name": "Publisher name",
		"logo": {
			"@type": "imageObject",
			"url": "http://example.com/images/logo.png"

The benefit of using JSON-LD is that it allows website owners to add additional information to their website without cluttering up the HTML code. This can be especially important for website owners who do not have a lot of experience with HTML coding.

JSON-LD is very flexible and can be used to provide structured data for a variety of content types, including articles, recipes, events, and more.


Microdata is another type of structured data format that website owners can use to provide additional information about the content on their website. Unlike JSON-LD, microdata uses HTML attributes to add structured data to the HTML code of a website. This means that the structured data is visible in the HTML code itself.

Example: Here's a simple example of how to represent an article using Microdata:

<article itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/NewsArticle">
	<header itemprop="headline">Title of News Article</header>
	<img itemprop="image" src="https://example.com/photos/16x9/photo.jpg" />
		<span itemprop="datePublished" content="2015-02-05T08:00:00+08:00">February 5, 2015 at 8:00am</span>
		(last modified <span itemprop="dateModified" content="2015-02-05T09:20:00+08:00">February 5, 2015 at 9:20am</span>)
		<span itemprop="author" itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/Person">
			<a itemprop="url" href="https://example.com/profile/janedoe123"><span itemprop="name">Jane Doe</span></a>

In this example, the HTML code includes attributes like itemprop, itemscope, and itemtype to indicate the type of content and provide additional information about the article. This includes information like the article headline, image, published date, and more.


RDFa (Resource Description Framework in Attributes) is another alternative to JSON-LD and Microdata for embedding structured data within your HTML content. RDFa is a set of HTML attributes that are used to describe the content on a website in a machine-readable format. This means that search engines can more easily interpret the information on the website and use it to provide more accurate search results to users.

Example: Here's an example of representing an event using RDFa:

<div typeof="schema:Book">
	<h1 property="schema:name">The Great Gatsby</h1>
	<div property="schema:author" typeof="schema:Person">
		<span property="schema:name">F. Scott Fitzgerald</span>
	<div property="schema:datePublished">1925</div>
	<div property="schema:description">The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted "gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession," it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.</div>

In this example, the typeof attribute is used to specify that the content is a book, while the property attribute is used to provide more specific information about the book, such as the author, publication date, and description.

Which format is recommended?

In its documentation, Google clearly states that it recommends the JSON-LD format because of the following reasons:

  • The markup is not interleaved with the user-visible text, which makes nested data items easier to express, such as the Country of a PostalAddress of a MusicVenue of an Event.
  • Google can read JSON-LD data when it is dynamically injected into the page's contents, such as by JavaScript code or embedded widgets in your content management system.

How to implement structured data for your WordPress website?

By default, WordPress doesn't have structured data. Some themes try to provide structured data in the microdata format by adding the data to the HTML output. However, as we see above, this is not flexible and hard to extend.

To implement structured data for WordPress, it's best to use a schema plugin. Schema is a synonym for structured data. Among popular plugins for schema, Slim SEO Schema is the best one. It's lightweight, flexible, and compatible with WooCommerce, Advanced Custom Fields, and many page builders.

The best part of Slim SEO Schema is that it uses JSON-LD, the recommended format for structured data, which allows you to build complex schemas without messing up your HTML.

Slim SEO Schema supports all the structured data supported by Google, from site link search box, local business to a product review. It comes with a visual schema builder which helps you build schemas in seconds.

Building structured data with Slim SEO Schema
Building structured data with Slim SEO Schema

If you're going to implement structured data for your WordPress website, this is a must-have plugin. Go get it now!

Best practices for implementing structured data

To maximize the benefits of structured data for your website's SEO, it's essential to follow best practices that help search engines better understand and index your content. By adhering to these guidelines, you can improve your search rankings and visibility. Here are some key structured data best practices for SEO success:

  • Choose the most relevant schema type for your content: Ensure that you select the appropriate schema type from Schema.org that best represents the content and context of your webpage. This helps search engines to accurately understand and categorize your content.
  • Test your structured data markup before implementation: Before adding structured data markup to your website, use Google's Rich Results Test to validate your markup and ensure it is error-free.
  • Keep your structured data accurate and up-to-date: Regularly review and update your structured data to make sure it accurately reflects your content. Inaccurate or outdated structured data can lead to misleading search results and a negative user experience.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing in your structured data markup: While it's essential to include relevant keywords in your structured data, overstuffing can appear spammy and may result in penalties from search engines. Focus on providing useful and accurate information in your structured data.
  • Monitor your structured data performance: Use tools like Google Search Console to keep an eye on your site's structured data performance and address any issues that arise. This will help you optimize your structured data implementation and maintain high search rankings.


Understanding structured data and its impact on your SEO is crucial for any website owner or digital marketer. By using the right tool to implement structured data like Slim SEO Schema, you may improve the user and search engine experiences, which will increase website traffic and conversion rates.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *