Many search engines now provide the users with various structured search results (SERP) that contain more or less information about the found page. If the search engine understands the content of the page well enough, search results can show additional structured data called rich snippets. These can contain product image, company logo, and video thumbnail, author of the article, star rating, and other useful information about the particular website. To show this data in the particular search result, it is necessary to mark them properly in the content of the website. Microdata serve exactly for this purpose. Read on to learn more about them.
What are microdata?
Microdata are machine-readable information (similarly to microformats and RDFs) that can be created by implementing specific indications in parts of the source code. They tag important data on your website, so that the search engine can process them more systematically. Search bots use microdata to evaluate and comprehend the content of your website as accurately as possible. As a result, the search engine can create a more detailed search result that features additional info, what helps to improve the presentation of your website.
How to use microdata?
Microdata are written in HTML5 using the attributes “itemscope”, “itemtype”, and “itemprop”. They are included in particular HTML elements that specify certain content. When creating the code, we firstly use “itemscope” to define a specific item that will carry certain features. Then, we use “itemtype” to define the type of the particular element, be it a person, product, article, event, etc. Once the item features these attributes, we add “itemprop” to the different HTML elements and define the specific properties of the objects, such as the title of the article, the name of the author, publication date, etc. If some of the required properties are outside the defined item, we can use the attribute “itemref” to link to it.
Microdata use the so-called schemes (vocabularies), which define the type of microdata items that can be used on websites to describe acceptable properties of each item type. The schemes for different items are available at the website Schema.org, created by a joint initiative of global search engines such as Google, Bing, etc. The site also contains a general documentation of microdata and their use. Although there are other vocabularies available, Schema.org has become the standard one thanks to the significant support of the most used search engines, which is also the reason we recommend it for use.
The benefits of using microdata
From a programming standpoint, an undoubtable benefit of microdata is their simple implementability into the code without disrupting its original structure. Furthermore, the tagging system improves the clarity of the website, which can be comprehended better by search engines. Thus, microdata significantly contribute to improved semantics of the web.
The greatest benefit of microdata is, however, related to the optimization of the site for search engines (SEO). Their use enables us to create a rather sophisticated search result, which is immediately recognizable from other results at the search engine results page (SERP). Not only is this result visually engaging, but it also offers the users more detailed info about what they are looking for. In addition to raising the click-through rate (CTR), it also attracts more relevant users, who already have a rough idea of what your page contains. Such user is more likely to perform the desired action (conversion), such as purchasing the product. Another major advantage is that compared to pay per click adverts (PPC), microdata enable us to implement more info into search results.
Among all current options, microdata are the latest and most advanced way to tag the website content semantically. Thanks to the support of the major search engines, microdata have outstanding potential for the future. Do not hesitate to ask us to implement them into the content of your website while creating it. If you don’t do so, we will recommend it to you anyway.