How to Boost Site Traffic with Google Structured Data and Yoast

traffic and structured data

Websites across the board are in a constant mad dash to figure out how to boost site traffic. There are several ways to go about getting more traffic to your website. Two of the most popular are using Google structured data and Yoast SEO.

In order to understand how to implement all of these things to boost traffic to your website, you need to understand what they are, and how they all work. A solid structured data markup tool is a good place to start. This allows for good markup schema.

Let’s take a look at what all these different terms are and how you can use Google structured data and Yoast SEO to boost traffic to your website.

Structured Data For SEO

Using structured data is something that website SEO specialists have been doing for a few years. Structured data became even more relevant when Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex all got together in 2011. These brands created a standardized list of attributes and entities, which they all agreed to support.

This became a more standard baseline for structured data that people could use to help boost site traffic. Eventually, this became what we now know as Schema.org.

Basically, Schema.org is a community of people who collaborate to create, maintain and promote schemas for structured data on the Internet.

However, even with all this in place, several search engines found that there was still a lot of confusion over what structured data is. Bing even conducted research and found that only 17% of marketers are using (or were even planning to use) Schema.org structured data markup.

So, with all the confusion still floating around, let’s jump into what structured data is.

What is Structured Data?

structured data

Simply put; “structured data” is a general term that refers to any data that is organized or given structure.

For example, you have three boxes of crayons and they are scattered all over a table. You begin putting all of the same colored crayons in one row and repeating this with all crayons. There is also data on the number, brand and age of crayons that you are categorizing in rows.

You are structuring data.

How Structured Data Supports SEO

structured data supports SEO

All of the big search engines encourage webmasters to use structured data. In return, they try to incentivize proper usage by providing certain benefits to those sites that are using it correctly.

There are several benefits of this, including search result ranking and enhancement and content specific features like:

  • Rich Search Results: Styled images and other visual enhancements.
  • Knowledge Graph: Information about an entity like a brand.
  • Breadcrumbs: Including breadcrumbs in search results.
  • Carousels: Multiple rich results presented in a carousel style.
  • Rich Search Results For AMP: If you are currently using Accelerated Mobile Pages for WordPress.

What Are Rich Snippets in SEO?

One of the more unique additions to SEO are rich snippets. But what are rich snippets in SEO and WordPress? Rich snippets are actually a very common use of markup. This allows someone to provide more info and additional context for things like:

  • Articles
  • Recipes
  • Products
  • Star Ratings
  • Product Reviews
  • Videos

When you perform a search in Google, Yahoo, Bing or anywhere else, you will see these rich snippets pop up in the form of cards. These often provide an image and structured data that leads to a link for the product, article, video and other media in question.

They can also be presented in a carousel format that allows you to scroll through and find what you want to click on.

What is Schema Markup?

schema markup

Schema markup is a form of microdata, or structured data (see above) that has been added to webpages to help a search engine better understand the content that is on a webpage. Schema uses a set of standard data structures that categorize the content that is on that page.

When a schema markup is properly used, then the page is likely to receive a rich snippet in search engines. As I talked about in the section above, these rich snippet search results are those which include much more information than the standard search result display.

With the above being said, there are a few things to remember about schema markup and how it actually relates to SEO and search result boosts. In other words, does schema markup actually act as a ranking boost?

The short answer is no, but let’s look deeper.

Google hasn’t actually published anything regarding schema markup as an actual ranking factor in searches. Even Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller is quoted saying that there is “no generic ranking boost for SD usage.” However, that does not mean that it doesn’t have a positive impact on the overall SEO structure.

While there is no guarantee that adding schema markup will immediately boost your website ranking in search results, it is still a part of SEO best practices. Generally speaking, it will provide longer-term value and results.

What Website Components Should You Use Schema Markup On?

The answer to this question will depend on your industry and business model. However, some of the following are important components to consider marking up and can provide extra value.

  • Products
  • Reviews
  • Events
  • Articles
  • Videos

If you really want, you can dive into areas like breadcrumbs, people and organizations.

Different Types of Schema Markup

Schema is presented as microdata, but there are different types of markup. The three types of schema markup include:

  • Microdata: A set of tags that uses certain vocabulary to describe an item and name-value pairs to assign values.
  • JSON-LD: Uses a piece of JavaScript code to assign schema language to a webpage.
  • RDFa: An HTML5 extension that supports linked data.

Adding Schema to WordPress

wordpress schema team

If you want to add schema to WordPress there are a few ways to do this. The easiest way is to use Yoast and make use of the built-in Yoast SEO schema. I will talk more about Yoast below.

For now, let’s look at a few ways to add schema to WordPress if you are not interested in using Yoast.

Add Schema Markup Manually Using HTML: If you are handy with code and know your way around HTML, then you can manually add schema markup to your webpages. Use Schema.org to find relevant microdata codes for information on your page. Then manually add that info to your page’s HTML.

Add Schema Markup Manually Using Javascript: Just like the HTML way, you can pull schema vocabulary from Schema.org to create lines of JSON-LD javascript code that can be added to the body or header of individual webpages.

Google Structured Data Markup Helper

Instead of manually adding code, and instead of Yoast, you can use Google’s structured data markup helper. Their markup generator will create structured data HTML or javascript for your page.

Boost Site Traffic Using Google Structured Data and Yoast

Now that we have gone over some information about structured data, schema markup, and rich snippets, let’s take a look at a useful way to use all of this in one place.

There is a WordPress plugin called Yoast SEO. It is the #1 WordPress SEO plugin in the world and has been downloaded over 135 million times.

Now Yoast SEO has been around for quite some time, but recently it was announced that it became the first WordPress plugin to offer defragmented schema markup.

Basically, this is a defragmented implementation of the Schema.org markup.

This is just another step for Yoast as they continue to provide the best SEO plugin available and continue to be the leaders in WordPress SEO.

So if we use all the information above, or simply use the plugin here, what does this mean for you and your website SEO structure?

Let’s take a look at Yoast, some structured data, and what it all means for you by using all of this to boost website traffic after you have installed the plugin on your WordPress website.

Yoast SEO Schema Implementation Revamped

revamping content

The thinking over the last couple of years is that Google is moving away from being a search engine, and more toward being a discovery engine. Basically, instead of just showing links to articles, Google wants to show relevant content, answers to questions and products to a user before they even start a search for it.

Google has been looking for ways to better understand the world and to present it to users in a fresh, new way. The revamped schema implementation in Yoast SEO will help with this and will also provide increasingly rich results as time goes by.

What Yoast Structured Data Means For You

As important as structured data can be for overall website SEO, there has always been the problem of how to properly add the code to your website. Earlier in this article, I talked about manual ways to add schema to a WordPress website.

The most current update of Yoast SEO has made this process much easier. So much so that just about anyone can get on the right track with their website SEO.

Once the plugin is installed you simply answer some questions and you are on your way from there! With these new updates, Yoast completely rewrites Schema structured data implementation.

The tool uses a concept that is different than other approaches to structured data. The update provides a clean and complete graph that makes the use of IDs to connect different nodes. The results have proven to be very effective, and more importantly, are easy to implement.

More Yoast Add-Ons

By using Yoast SEO to boost website traffic, you can also get access to several really useful add-ons. These add-ons that can help complete the SEO structure setup for the website.

Local SEO: You can combine this with your Google My Business account and it will help search engines better understand who you are.

WooCommerce SEO: Yoast has always integrated well with WooCommerce. However, now you can build a product graph that is easy to understand.

News SEO: The news SEO option within Yoast automatically adds a publication year and copyright holder. This will give you a better chance of ending up on the top stories carousel you see in searches.

What’s On The Horizon?

horizon

With the release of the Gutenberg WordPress block editor came some questions regarding how search engines would handle SEO within blocks. Yoast has decided that they will release structured data content blocks within the plugin.

This will automatically generate schema structured data that will tie into the graph built for that specific page.

Final Thoughts

Google structured data, schema, rich snippets, keywords, plugins, manual code and more may seem troublesome when creating an online presence. Sometimes setting up proper SEO on a website can be a daunting task.

However, if you go the route of using Google structured data and Yoast to boost site rankings, the entire process is much easier to handle. Because Google and Yoast are now offering so many user-friendly tools for SEO, WordPress users and site developers should be looking into this as a way to not only boost traffic to a site, but to build out site structure the correct way.

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