Imagine it’s a cold, rainy night and all you want to do is curl up on the couch with some comfort food. A big hot bowl of chicken noodle soup would really hit the spot. So, you pick up your phone and start a Google search. The results you get look something like this:
Right away you’ve got three great options, with mouth-watering images, star reviews and even a list of ingredients. It sure makes finding a recipe much easier.
But how does Google know how to feature this specific content, in this specific format, for your specific search query? The secret lies in structured data.
For those three recipe results above, the website owners have all used structured data to give Google more details about the content on their pages.  Google then uses this information to create information-rich search results.
So, what makes structured data so powerful and, more importantly, how can you add it to your website? Here’s what you need to know about using structured data to give your content an added SEO advantage.
What is Structured Data and What Does It Do?
Structured data is standardized code (a.k.a. markup) that you can add to your website’s HTML. This markup describes your webpage’s content to search engines and helps them better understand what’s on the page. Put another way, structured data tells search engines what the information on your page means, not just what it says.
Here’s an example of how a structured data snippet in JSON-LD format (more on that later) appears in a website’s HTML code, courtesy of Google:
The markup tells the search engine that Unlimited Ball Bearings Corp. is an organization and that the string of numbers is the contact information for their customer service team. Without structured data, the search engine would have to work much harder to figure out what that information means.
When you use structured data, you make it easier for search engines to analyze and index your content. This means that when it’s time for the search engine to serve up results, it can display more detailed and relevant information to searchers.
Using structured data also makes a page eligible for enhanced results in Google (like the recipe results you saw earlier). They appear in the form of rich snippets, image and video carousels, knowledge panels and more.
These enhanced results – known as SERP features – are much more eye-catching and provide more information than a standard search listing. That’s why having your content show up in a SERP feature can improve your click-through rate (CTR) and drive more visitors to your site.
Good to know: Want to learn more about what sets rich snippets apart from normal search listings and how to use them to make your content stand out on search? The Rich Snippets article has you covered.
Structured Data: What You Need to Know
Structured data can get pretty technical when you start digging into it. The good news is that you don’t have to be a master coder to mark up your webpages: you just need to know a few basic concepts and you’ll be ready to make the most of structured data on your site.
Schema.org
The first thing to familiarize yourself with is schema.org. This is a standardized vocabulary that you use to mark up structured data in HTML documents, so that it can be understood by search engines.
On schema.org, you can find thousands of schemas. There’s a markup vocabulary for all kinds of content types, from recipes and restaurants to events and film ratings. If that long list is a little too intimidating, you can always start with this collection of the most common schemas to get a better idea of what they look like in practice.
Markup Formats
Just as schema.org provides a standardized vocabulary for marking up structured data on your site, there are also standardized markup formats (or syntaxes) that provide rules for how to use that vocabulary.
Google Search supports three structured data formats:
JSON-LD
Microdata
RDFa
Good to know
Google recommends using JSON-LD for structured data whenever possible.
How to Add Structured Data to Your Wix Site
Want to mark up your webpages with structured data, but all this talk about markups, vocabularies, and syntaxes has you feeling out of your depth? Not to fear. There are a number of free tools that can help you add structured data to your website, including the Schema Markup Generator.
After you’ve decided on a markup tool, head over to the Wix Help Center for step-by-step instructions on how to add structured data to your site.
Good to know: Your structured data should always reflect the content that actually appears on your webpage. For instance, if you use event markup your page needs to include visible content about an event. This helps ensure that when searchers click on a rich result, they find the information they’re expecting on the corresponding webpage.
When you’ve published your site with the new structured data, you should test your markup with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.
If the testing tool detects any missing fields or issues, diagnose and fix them.  Be patient: it can take Google a few weeks to crawl and index your new page code. If you’re in a hurry, you can request a new crawl via Google Search Console. Once your data is crawled, complete, and correct, it can appear as rich results.
Good to know: While using structured data makes your content eligible for enhanced Google Search results, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll get a rich snippet. Search engines look at more than just your markup when deciding how to display a result, so always try to make your content as helpful, high-quality and relevant for users as you can.
In This Article
What is Structured Data and What Does It Do?
Structured Data: What You Need to Know
How to Add Structured Data to Your Wix Site