SEO Basics – What is Structured Data?

SEO Basics – What is Structured Data? pixelwork

SEO Basics – What is Structured Data?

You may have heard of structured data,, and JSON-LD. But what exactly do these terms mean? What is structured data? What does structured data do? And what does it have to do with SEO? For all of you who don't know what structured data is: this article is for you!

What is structured data?

Structured data is code. It is a piece of code that you can put on your website. It is code in a specific format, written in such a way that search engines understand it. Search engines read the code and use it to display search results in a specific way.

Imagine that you have a website with many recipes. If you add structured data to a page with a recipe, its search engine results will change. It will be much “richer” with respect to the content displayed. That's why we call these results rich snippets. Here's what rich snippets look like:

In addition to the title, URL, and description of the search result, you can see how long it will take to make the best lasagna. And, you will see how many calories lasagna contains. You must add structured data to your web page to get such a rich snippet.

There are all kinds of structured data. Structured data is always in code format. There is structured data for books, for reviews, for movies, and for products from online stores. In all cases, structured data adds more detail to your snippet in search results.

We have to make a note here. Unfortunately, Google doesn't always create a rich snippet of your page, even if you've added structured data. There are no guarantees. So all you can do is add it to your page, and wait for Google to use it.


What do you do with structured data?

With structured data, you can “talk” to search engines. You can tell search engines what ingredients are in your recipe, it can tell them how long the prep time is, and it can tell you how many calories per dish it will contain. Google will be able to capture all that information instantly and can decide to display it in search results.

So structured data is a tool you can use to tell Google (so it understands what you're saying) detailed information about a page on your website. Google may use this information to create informative (rich) search results. And the public loves these fragments!


What is

The big search engines have developed a project called At you can find all the structured data supported by search engines. This makes a large collection of pieces of code.

You can use to find the markup you need for your particular page. For example, if you sell t-shirts on your site, you could show what color t-shirts you sell and what sizes you offer in your rich snippet. You must investigate and discover the possibilities.

At, you can copy code examples. After copying it, you'll need to adapt the code to your specific preferences. is a code format taxonomy that the big search engines understand. You'll find examples of what the code looks like. There are other forms of structured data as well. For example Open Graph (used by Facebook) and Twitter Cards (used by Twitter).


What is JSON-LD?

JSON-LD is one of the markups. It's just a way of writing code. On, you will also find other brands such as Microdata or RDFa. We advise you to always use JSON-LD, because it does not break your site as easily as other markups. You can relatively easily add JSON-LD to your website using Google Tag Manager. That is not possible with the other brands.


Why is structured data important for SEO?

Structured data is important for SEO as it makes it easier for Google to grasp what your pages and website are about. Google needs to know what page it is about to show in search results. Using structured data is like talking to Google, telling Google what your site is about. That will help you in your rankings.

Additionally, structured data will change the appearance of your snippet (your search results). They will show more information to your client. More specific information. And this will increase the likelihood of a customer clicking on your results. More clicks will eventually lead to even higher rankings!


How to use structured data?

Using structured data sounds difficult, but anyone can do it (with the right training). You have to have the right code, you'll need to adapt that code, and you'll need to use Google Tag Manager to put it on your site.


Don't know how to code? Use a plugin!

A lot of structured data markup can also be added to your website using plugins. The plugin Yoast Local SEO is an example, use structured data to show the location or multiple locations of your store. You don't have to write code to get that rich snippet, just use it, fill in some details and you're done. And there are many more plugins that will help you use structured data without the need to struggle with any code!