Semantic markup is an indispensable factor within SEO, but not everyone knows exactly what it is and how it works. Sometimes you read about it as ‘rich snippets’, then again as ‘schema markup’ and then again as ‘structured data’. It ultimately comes down to the same thing: enriching web pages with extra information that is added ‘under water’ (in the html code). This way, search engines understand better and faster what your website is about. And they ultimately value your website higher. Wordlift , an AI-driven SEO company, investigated the positioning in search results and the CTR (click-through ratio) of websites that use the correct semantic markup. It appears that well-executed semantic markup can considerably improve visibility in Google. At Mediaweb we naturally want that too. That is why Wordlift.io will help us in the coming months to optimize the semantic markup of mediaweb.nl with the help of artificial intelligence. We will keep track of our experiences and measure the results. This fall we will again report on our experiences through an extensive case study. Curious how that works? Subscribe to our newsletter and we will keep you informed. We use semantic markup What is semantic markup? But first, let’s go back to basics. What are concrete examples of semantic markup? Review stars of course! The price and availability of products in Google search results, but also a simple header tag is semantic markup. They are all added (rich) pieces (snippets) of information that the search engine can interpret and display, even before the user has loaded the website. Very handy for Google and the user of course. But does it also result in more and better visitors? Time to find out … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OolDzztYwtQ Before we can answer the above question, it is good to see what exactly we mean by ‘semantic markup’. Then it immediately becomes clear that the algorithm update that ensured that Google better understands these ‘semantic markers’ has really made the search engine smart. Nowadays, Google is of course much more than a list of search results with ads above it. When Google analyzes a website, the Googlebot visits the page like an ordinary visitor would. Google reads the pages of the website and follows the links to check whether they provide in-depth information. Google then interprets the information. Not only the texts, but also the images and videos. They are provided with different tags. Such as the ‘alt-tag’, which tells something about the image. Right! Semantic markup . The algorithm then assesses the page value based on all the rules. So that the search engine (among other things based on this) can determine which position this page gets for which keywords. Okay … it’s not that simple. Das war einmal. Nowadays, Google is of course much more than a list of search results with ads above it. Hummingbird Google introduced the ‘Hummingbird’ update in 2013. Did you know that an update named after an animal is traditionally a very important one? Think of: the famous Penguin update (for recognizing bad links); the Panda update (for bad content); the Pigeon update from 2014 with which Google made local search results more important. Six years ago the small hummingbird had a major impact on the search results pages. Since Hummingbird, we know that the search engine is working on a world in which voice search is becoming increasingly important. After the Hummingbird update, Google increasingly reduces the question from context (contextual search). Google then shows the correct answer within the search engine itself, as an exclusive ‘ rich snippet ‘. This is sometimes called ‘rich cards’ or ‘answer box’. In any case, Google offers the information to the user within the search results page in such a way that, in fact, he no longer has to click. But how do you get an improved CTR through semantic markup? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9BqE01SLeE Structured data works It has been a topic of discussion for years. But to date, the figures have been lacking to prove that semantic markup leads to a higher position in Google and a better CTR (click through rate). Recent research by Wordlift changed that. This research shows that traffic on websites with the correct semantic markup can increase by as much as 18%. This research shows that traffic on websites with the correct semantic markup can increase by as much as 18%. The CTR is also increasing. Because when you immediately offer the user the right information, it makes sense that he or she ultimately wants to know more. Two years ago, a large majority of the readers of the Mediaweb blog saw ‘rich answers’ as very important: Reading tip : What are Google Rich Answers and what do they mean for your SEO? Which semantic markup? Now that you know more about semantic markup and the possibilities, it’s time to see which markup is relevant for your website (s). There are many different applications that you need to know before they can be added. In addition to the aforementioned reviews, prices and stocks, countless other applications are available. Here is a brief overview of the most important semantic markers that you can add to a website. Let us state first and foremost that the basic markings are of course already present on every good website. This text is of course marked as a . Not? Rather go back to the basics of the HTML markup to make these adjustments. 1. Events The date is the most important for an event, but the start and end times are also super relevant! You can of course simply add this via semantic markup. 2. Creative works Semantic markup provides a very comprehensive description of ‘creative works’ such as films, books and paintings. In this way you can offer a lot of extra structure within a review for both the reader and the search engines. Which writer, director, publisher, producer? And in which year did the book or film come out? 3. Recipes For recipes you can mark specific parts such as the nutritional value and the preparation time separately. Of course you can also add a review for a specific recipe. 4. Organizations and companies The question of whether markup data is necessary is different for every company or organization. General information such as name, address and other contact information is always relevant. You can also add more specific items such as opening times and other details. Google applies a number of strict rules . Do you use that? Then there is a good chance that your company will be displayed in the search results with the correct rich snippets. 5. People A person can be important in many ways for an organization or within a story. Via structured data there are countless ways to mark a person with enriching information. Photos, gender, appeal to the common ‘net worth’: everything is possible. These are all examples of tags within the html that ensure that both the user and Google can find out more about the specific person. 6. Products Products are a hugely important part of search marketing. Every webshop wants – in addition to Google shopping – a good representation in the organic search results. With structured data you can display price, stock and reviews for your products. This way potential customers come to your website with the right information. 7. File types Search engines are smart, but also a bit stupid (as Maxima once said). They actually ‘read’ text within a page. With semantic markup we help the bots by telling them where and what other files (music, video, images) are being used. 8. Locations, promotions, medicines and more Within Schema.org (more about that later) a number of other components are indicated within which you can add semantic markers. Locations, reviews and even specific medicines and characteristics. Can my website no longer do without structured data? Which structured data is required is different for every website and for every organization. General information such as name, address and other contact details are of course important for everyone. By the way, do this in combination with the company page within your Google account! Adding structured data to websites is enriching the html code. Every case is unique. Web shops have probably been working for a long time on providing their products with structured data, while a law firm or a secondment agency has never considered this before. It is always a good time to start! Adding structured data to websites is enriching the html code, as you read earlier. There are two standards for this (one of which is very old), which are understood by all search engines and translated into the coveted rich snippets. Schema.org Schema.org is in fact a collection of agreements about structured data. Do you use the structure and markings for your website as they are indicated on Schema.org? Then all major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yandex recognize this as a semantic markup. They made joint agreements about this in 2011. Structured data via JSON-LD Adding structured data via JSON-LD ( JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data ) is also possible. These are just like the Schema.org markup pieces of script that you place in the source code of your website. The information you add is actually ‘under water’ and therefore does not have to be visible on your website. Google officially has no preference for either, but it seems that JSON-LD is increasingly becoming the norm. More and more functionalities within websites are based on Javascript. It is therefore only logical that this also applies to structured data. Microdata or RDFa Microdata or RDFa are also note forms for structured data, but these are now obsolete. Do you still have data in these formats on your website? No problem, Google also knows how to do this and, if added correctly, also displays the correct rich snippets for microdata and RDFa formulated semantic markers. How do I add structured data from Schema.org to my website? Adding semantic markers is literally enriching the data that is already on your website. The contact details of your organization are of course already mentioned on the contact page. By adding Schema.org markup, you are actually saying ‘this is our address’ and ‘look here, that is our telephone number’. The same goes on the team page: ‘Do you see that smart guy there? That is our lead developer! ‘ The different ‘items’ get ‘properties’, or properties. In the code of Schema.org this is indicated with the ‘itemprop’ tag. The full list of all possible forms of structured data within the Schema.org markup can be found on their website . Google markup tools and Tagmanager With the Google structured data sets tool you can easily test which different markers are already present. With the Markup helper tool you then add the missing structured data. Select the correct information (html code) on the website and then indicate which type of semantic markup this should get. Click on ‘start tagging’ and you will then get the correct structured data added to the original HTML code. Place it back and your markup is ready. Easy does it! You can also do the latter with Google Tagmanager . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_TUax_nPmE Reading tip : What is Google Tag Manager? And what can you do with it as a marketer? Can’t that be easier? Structured data is not as difficult as it seems. However, the methods described may scare you. There is now also an easier way to add semantic markup to your website, namely by using artificial intelligence via Wordlift . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzsIz-mjY94 WordLift is the first plug-in for WordPress that uses natural language processing and data, based on which WordPress automates the addition of structured data. This plug-in analyzes articles and transforms text into search engine friendly content. The target? Increase the involvement of the target group and the organic traffic of a website. Worldlift also has a solution for non-WordPress sites, such as this one. Also for non-WordPress sites, such as this one, Worldlift has a solution: Wordlift Cloud. By adding a few lines of code to the HEAD section of your web pages you get a handy semantic markup tool. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DF4HQENosfo In the coming months, Worldlift will help Mediaweb to provide existing content optimally with semantic markup. You too can now optimize your website with Wordlift. If you use this link , Wordlift will give you a 50% discount on the first month plus a personal training session . Semantic markup and good copy go hand in hand. Try CopyRobin for free Let’s block ads! (Why?)

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