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Understanding JSON-LD Structured Data

SEO Blog 13th May 2015

Links from video:

This is the transcript from our new video so it may not read as well as a normal blog post would.

Hi. Can you imagine how much data Google has to index on a regular basis? And can you imagine the unstructured format that all that data appears on the web every single day it encounters?

That’s why it’s so important that structured data formats are beginning to be used. One of these structured data formats is known as JSON-LD. Now, this is a cross between JavaScript and Schema. Basically, what happens is it uses the Schema syntax, but in the head of a page rather than in the actual content of the page as Schema does.

So, for instance, for structured data what you might want to mark up is your business logo. That’s the image that can sometimes appear in the search results. Your local business data, so this includes your phone number, your local address details, the name of your company, and any other data you sort of want to provide, such as opening hours, any data that would be useful for Google to show for branded searches for your brand. Corporate contacts, so for instance if you have a phone number that is designed for support, you might want to mark that up so that if Google has a query where someone’s looking for a brand support line, it can show this. Also show social profile, so helping combine your whole brand image on the web for search engines such as Google. And with sitelink search, so if you have a branded search, sometimes you’ll notice a search box appears. What they’ve done here is use JSON-LD markup simply to tell Google how the site search works so that you could then perform a search through the search results page before you’ve even reached the site.

The reason JSON-LD is becoming such a popular, mainstream markup is purely because of the ease and simplicity that it takes to use this markup. There’s so little coding required, and as long as you’ve got access to the head section of a web page, you can make the changes almost as simply as copying and pasting from either the Schema website with edits that represent your brand obviously, which you can see down below, or using the Google Helper tool, which also gives you advice on how to use JSON-LD to mark up your web pages.

The reason this is so much better than Schema itself is because it doesn’t affect the page content. So any formatting issues you may have had with <div> or <span> tags that used to occur with Schema or perhaps entering the Schema address halfway through the page, that’s all dealt with now with the use of JSON-LD. It simply gets placed into the head section of the page and that’s it. There’s no effects to the page content, and it works perfectly.

There’s so much information out on the web now that details how to exactly implement JSON-LD, and it’s so straightforward that it would be silly to use any other type of structured data format really.

So there you are, JSON-LD, a quick overview. I hope that helped. Thank you. Cheers.

James Challis

James is chairman of Koozai FC and a fan of Southampton FC, so if you’re a football fan you can judge him accordingly. He also turns up late to our Christmas parties and we never let him live it down. Ever.

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