Structured data refers to a standardized format designed to convey information about a webpage and its contents. Its purpose is to aid search engines in comprehending the content of your website and presenting it with improved accuracy in search results. Additionally, structured data enables the creation of enriched search outcomes called rich snippets, which furnish supplementary details like product prices, ratings, and event dates.
Schema markup, conversely, constitutes a specific form of structured data that employs a collection of tags to identify diverse content types, including products, articles, and events. By incorporating schema markup into the HTML code of your website, you can assist search engines in comprehending your content more precisely and exhibiting it with greater accuracy in search results.
Structured data and schema markup are essential in making a website more understandable to search engines. When auditing this aspect of a site, you want to ensure correct implementation and optimize for potentially rich results. Here’s a detailed checklist:
Structured Data & Schema Audit Checklist:
- Implementation Method:
- Confirm whether structured data is implemented using JSON-LD, Microdata, or RDFa. (Google recommends JSON-LD.)
- Ensure that the correct schema types are applied to the right content. E.g., a Recipe schema should be on recipe pages, a Product schema on product pages, etc.
- Ensure that all relevant pages have appropriate schema markup. For instance, if it’s an e-commerce site, all product pages should ideally have a Product schema.
- Required Properties:
- For each schema type, make sure all mandatory fields are filled out. E.g., the Product schema requires “name” and “offers” properties.
- Property Accuracy:
- Verify that the structured data properties accurately represent the on-page content. For instance, the “price” in a Product schema should match the product’s visible price on the page.
- Depth & Detail:
- While only some properties might be mandatory, filling out optional properties can provide more context and improve the chance of getting rich results. Check if the site can add more details to its structured data.
- Duplicate Content:
- Ensure no repeated blocks of structured data are on a page unless necessary.
- Schema Nesting:
- Check if related schema types are nested correctly. For instance, a Review schema can be nested within a Product schema to show that the review is for that specific product.
- Validation & Errors:
- You can use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool or Rich Results Test to validate your schema markup and identify any errors or warnings. Use Google’s Rich Results Test or the Structured Data Testing Tool to identify errors or warnings.
- Address any reported issues. Once you have identified any errors or warnings in your schema markup, you should fix them. You can use the documentation provided by schema.org and Google to help you fix any errors or warnings.
- Markup Presence in SERP:
- Even if a page contains structured data, it’s not guaranteed that Google will display rich results. Manually check the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) for some pages to see if the markup is being reflected.
- Logos & Images:
- If schema types like Organization or Article can include a logo or image, ensure that logos and images meet Google’s guidelines regarding format, size, and accessibility.
- AMP & Structured Data:
- If the website uses AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), ensure that the structured data is also correctly implemented on the AMP versions.
- Search Console:
- Check Google Search Console’s “Enhancements” section (or a similar section depending on its current interface) for any structured data-related errors or warnings. Monitor this over time. Identify all of the schema types being used on your website. You can use Google Search Console to see a list of all the schema types that Google detected on your website.
- Dynamic Rendering:
- Competitor Analysis:
- Look at competitors’ rich snippets in the SERP. Determine if there are any additional schema types your website might benefit from implementing.
- Updates & Changes:
- Schema.org and search engines update their guidelines and add new schema types periodically. Stay updated with these changes and adapt the website’s structured data accordingly.
- Other Search Engines & Platforms:
- While Google is dominant, remember that Bing, Yandex, other search engines, and platforms like Pinterest can also use structured data. Check compatibility with their guidelines if relevant to the website’s audience.
Discussion Forum Posting and Profiles Structured Data
Discussion Forum Posting and Profiles Structured Data is a valuable tool that enhances online discussions and user profiles by providing structured information. This data format organizes and categorizes content, making it easier for search engines to index and understand the context of forum posts and user profiles. By implementing structured data, websites can improve their visibility in search engine results and increase the chances of attracting relevant traffic. It allows search engines to display rich snippets, such as user ratings, post dates, and author information, providing users with more informative search results. Structured data also facilitates better user experiences by enabling quick filtering and sorting of forum posts and user profiles based on specific criteria. Its importance lies in enhancing search engine optimization, user engagement, and the overall usability of online discussion platforms.
Other additional tips for performing a schema audit
- Use a schema markup crawler. A schema markup crawler can help you crawl your website’s pages and identify all the schema markups used.
- It is important to monitor your schema markup performance over time to ensure it is still being implemented correctly and is still eligible for rich snippets in search results.
- Test your schema markup again. Once you have fixed any errors or warnings, you should test your schema markup again to make sure that it is now implemented correctly.
- Check for duplicate schema markup. It is important to make sure that you are not using duplicate schema markup on your website. Duplicate schema markup can confuse search engines and lead to errors.
- Test your schema markup on different devices. Make sure to test your schema markup on different devices and browsers to ensure that it is displayed correctly.
- Check your website’s robot.txt file to ensure search engines can crawl your schema markup.
- Use a sitemap to help search engines find your structured data.
- Monitor your website’s rich snippets in Google Search Console. This will help you identify any issues with your schema markup affecting your search results.
Remember, the primary goal of structured data is to assist search engines in understanding the page’s content. It should be accurate, representative of the page’s content, and free from any deceptive practices.
In the intricate world of SEO, structured data and schema stand out as powerful tools to enhance a website’s visibility and user experience. This is the major part of technical SEO services. Through our comprehensive audit checklist, we’ve underscored the paramount importance of meticulous implementation and regular monitoring. Neglecting this aspect can mean missed opportunities for rich search results, potentially leaving significant organic traffic on the table. As the digital realm becomes increasingly competitive, the precision and attention to detail provided by such an audit are non-negotiable. Embrace the checklist, refine your approach, and position your website for optimal search engine success.