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15 Proven Ways to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog

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15 Proven Ways to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog

Struggling to gain traction on your blog? Consumed tons of “ultimate guides” and courses, but traffic didn’t budge?

A few years ago, we found ourselves in the same predicament. Traffic to our blog had plateaued despite us following “blogging best practices.”

But today, we get an estimated 250,000 visits per month—and that’s from Google alone. 

1-ahrefs-blog-traffic

How did we do it?

Here are 15 tried and tested tactics we used to increase our blog traffic:

  1. Write about topics people search for
  2. Make sure you match search intent
  3. Build an email list
  4. Reach out to people mentioned in your post
  5. Boost important posts with internal links
  6. Build links
  7. Promote content in communities
  8. Create shareable images
  9. Share your content on Reddit
  10. Refresh and republish your content
  11. Craft click-worthy headlines
  12. Repurpose content into a Twitter thread
  13. Get content included in niche newsletters
  14. Publish original research
  15. Run ads

1. Write about topics people are searching for

It can be tempting to write about whatever excites you—the latest industry topic, breaking news, or even just a random rant. But these types of posts have short shelf lives.

You may see a spike in traffic shortly after publishing. But once interest in the news, trend, or fad fades, your blog traffic will dwindle to nothing.

2-flatline-of-nope

The solution? Write about evergreen topics that people search for.

For as long as your article ranks on Google for relevant search queries, you’ll receive consistent and passive organic search traffic.

3-spike-of-hope

This is the foundation of our approach to the Ahrefs blog. Every post we publish targets a term with search traffic potential.

The question is, “How do you find these topics?”

The easiest way to start is to enter a relevant keyword into Ahrefs’ free keyword generator tool and switch the tab to Questions.

4-keyword-generator

Look through the list of ideas and pick out those that are relevant to your blog.

Recommended reading: Keyword Research: The Beginner’s Guide by Ahrefs

2. Make sure you’re matching search intent

Search intent is the why behind a search query.

Why does this matter?

Google aims to provide users with the most relevant results for their queries. So if you want to rank high and get more search traffic, you need to be the most relevant result—and that means creating content that aligns with search intent.

How do you figure out what type of content to create? Do a search in Google for your target keyword, then analyze the top-ranking pages for the three Cs of search intent. 

A. Content type

Content types usually fall into one of five buckets: blog post, product, category, landing page, or video. 

For example, if we search for “how to invest,” you’ll notice that the top few results are mostly blog posts. 

5-how-to-invest-serps

So if you want to rank for this keyword, you’ll likely have to create a blog post. 

Another example: If you look at the SERPs for “how to ski,” you’ll see that the top few results are mostly videos. 

6-how-to-ski-serps

If you want to rank for this topic, it is likely you’ll have to create a video. 

B. Content format

Content format applies mostly to blog posts, as they’re usually either how-tos, listicles, news articles, opinion pieces, or reviews.

For example, the top-ranking results for “best wireless headphones” are mostly listicles:

7-best-wireless-headphones-serps

Whereas the top results for “how to make a tiktok video” are mostly how-tos:

8-how-to-make-a-tiktok-video-serps

To stand the best chance of ranking, follow suit.

C. Content angle

Content angle refers to the main “selling point” of the content. For example, people searching for “how to do a squat” want to do it properly/correctly:

9-how-to-do-a-squat

Recommended reading: What Is Search Intent? A Complete Guide for Beginners

Every week, we send a newsletter containing all the content we’ve published that week to ~160,000 subscribers. 

We can do that because those people have subscribed to our weekly Ahrefs Digest via opt-ins like this:

10-opt-in-form

Why do we still choose email as a communication channel?

The reason is simple: With email, you can communicate with your fans anytime. Other platforms, such as Facebook, can deliberately limit your reach or even remove you from their platforms. 

Building a list isn’t complicated. As you can see, we simply offer to deliver a weekly update of all our content. If people enjoy what they read on our blog, they’ll want more of it. 

If you want to be a little more aggressive, you can try offering a “carrot”: a free eBook, course, etc. All these can work well. 

4. Reach out to people mentioned in your post

If you’ve written an in-depth article, chances are you’ve linked to useful resources from other bloggers. Why not reach out and let them know?

It’s the first thing I do when I publish something new.

11-outreach-email

If you’re lucky, they may share it on their social profiles and send some extra traffic your way.

That said, the primary goal here is to reach out and build a relationship, which may eventually end up as something bigger—links, mentions, business partnerships, and more. 

Executing this is pretty simple. Fire up your blog post and look for mentions of bloggers in your space.

12-blogger-mention

Then find their emails and reach out to let them know.

5. Boost important posts with internal links

Internal links are links from one page to another within the same domain. And adding internal links from relevant, high-authority pages to those pages that need a boost can help improve their performance in the search engines. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Enter your domain into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer (free for your own site in Ahrefs Webmaster Tools)
  2. Go to the Top pages report
  3. Filter for positions #2–5 (since these pages are near the top, a few good internal links may improve their rankings)
13-top-pages

Note down these pages.

Next, you’ll need pages to add internal links from. The easiest way to find these is with the site: search operator. For example, if I want to add internal links to our guide on online advertising, I’ll search for this in Google:

14-site-search

Then I’ll go through each of these pages and add internal links to the target page with relevant anchor text.

We go through this process every time we publish a new post on the blog.

Backlinks are an important Google ranking factor. How do we know?

Google’s Andrey Lipattsev said so in 2016. Our own study of over a billion webpages also confirms the relationship between backlinks and organic traffic:

15-referring-domains-vs-traffic

So how do you get more links to your site? You have to build them. There are tons of link building strategies around, but one we’ve used in the past was guest blogging. 

Guest blogging is when you write a post for another blog. When that happens, there are usually plenty of opportunities for you to link back to your own blog posts.

How do you find these opportunities? Here’s how:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Content Explorer
  2. Set it to an In title search
  3. Enter a term related to your niche
  4. Toggle Filter explicit results
  5. Check One page per domain (we don’t need to contact a site more than once)
  6. Check Exclude homepages (we’re looking for content)
  7. Check Exclude subdomains
  8. Set the Language filter to English (or the language you write in)
  9. Set the Live/broken filter to Only live
16-content-explorer

You can also use the Domain Rating (DR) filter to narrow the list down to those sites you’re comfortable writing for.

To learn more about guest blogging at scale, watch this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQK1Vbgb-RY

Recommended reading: The Beginner’s Guide to Link Building

7. Promote content in communities

Online communities like Facebook groups, Slack channels, or Discord servers are great places for promoting content. After all, people who are interested in your niche are all gathered in one place, so all you need to do is to persuade them to check out your blog. 

But promoting in online communities doesn’t mean joining a couple of groups and spamming the heck out of them. That’s a big no-no unless you want to get booted and banned.

There is an art to doing this properly, and the key is preparation.

Before you even think about promoting anything in a group, you should first join it and study its “culture.” Figure out what people typically discuss, what kinds of posts get high engagement, and what posts aren’t allowed.

You should also study the group rules:

17-ahrefs-insider-rules

Along the way, you should become an active member. Leave comments, participate in discussions, ask questions, and so on.

If you’re active, the admin/moderator will notice. Build a relationship with them. Message them and ask how else you can be helpful.

This strategy should get you in good standing with most communities. From there, you’ll be able to share your content without worrying about any backlash.

8. Create shareable images

At Ahrefs, we enjoy creating unique images to illustrate our concepts or showcase data. Here’s an example:

18-pirate-metrics

And even in a “boring” niche like SEO, our images still get tons of engagement on Twitter:

We have in-house illustrators who create all our images. But you don’t have to go all fancy like us. 

With tools like Canva, creating shareable images isn’t as difficult as it was before. And if you have the budget, you can find good designers on marketplaces like 99Designs.

If you’re in a visual-heavy niche like cooking, you don’t even need illustrations. Grab your smartphone, take a few photos, and your social shares may go through the roof—especially on networks like Pinterest.

19-recipes-content-explorer

If you have absolutely no talent for drawing or designing like me, don’t forget that “ugly” artwork can still stand out. Just take a look at Tim Urban’s illustrations from WaitButWhy:

20-wait-but-why-illustration

Will these be on display at the British Museum any time soon? Probably not.

Are they unique, distinct, and memorable? Definitely.

Don’t let your individual design skills (or lack thereof) stop you from creating highly shareable images.

9. Share your content on Reddit

Unlike most communities, Reddit can be a tough nut to crack. Redditors are notoriously allergic to self-promotion, which results in many bloggers getting called out and even banned.

All that caution aside, it is possible to do well on Reddit. 

First, you should follow tip #7. If you don’t study the culture and understand what Redditors are looking for in different subreddits, you won’t be able to submit a post successfully. If you do not study the rules diligently, you’ll be banned. Simple as that.

Next, check if the subreddit you’re posting in allows link submissions. If it does, then you can simply submit a link to one of your articles. In fact, that was how I kickstarted my now-defunct breakdance blog.

21-reddit-post

If the subreddit doesn’t allow link submissions, then you’ll have to create a text post. Do this by taking content from the blog post, stripping away all links in it, and formatting it appropriately in markdown. 

Only at the end do you leave a link back to your original blog post. 

22-reddit-text-post

10. Refresh and republish your content

The beauty of blogging is that you can try again.

If your blog post isn’t ranking, or it’s not matching search intent, or it has outdated content, just rewrite and republish it. 

We do this all the time at Ahrefs. In fact, it’s a core part of our content marketing strategy. 

For example, I rewrote this post about the buyer’s journey recently. Look at the search traffic growth after we republished it:

23-search-traffic-growth

How do you know which posts to republish? The easiest way is to use our free WordPress SEO plugin to identify underperforming posts. 

Then follow the guide below to learn the best way to republish your content.

Recommended reading: Republishing Content: How to Update Old Blog Posts for SEO

11. Craft “click-worthy” headlines

The difference between someone clicking through and reading your post versus them simply skipping it is your headline.

Your headline must capture their attention and compel them to click. 

How do you create such a headline? 

If you’re matching search intent, then the foundation of your headline is somewhat set. For example, if you’re targeting the topic “best workout apps,” then it is likely your headline will include things like a particular number and the year. 

24-best-workout-apps-serps

But that in itself is still not compelling. After all, you can see from the SERPs that every site uses nearly the same headline. So you still need to stand out. Otherwise, you can’t get the click. 

Use these tips to make your headline more click-worthy:

  • Add concreteness – Make your headline specific. Instead of “Protein Powders for Weight Gain,” try “15 Tasty Protein Powders to Help You Gain 1lb per Week in Muscle.”
  • Surprise and delight – This tip is more for articles not designed to match search intent (e.g., designed for spread on social media). Say something interesting and unusual so that people will be intrigued. For example, a few years back, we used the headline “I Asked 235 People to Tweet My Article and All I Got Is This Cheerless Case Study.”
  • Create curiosity gaps – Don’t give everything away—leave something to be desired in the headline so people want to click. For example, this headline “How to Craft the Perfect SEO Title Tag” is curiosity-inducing. A perfect title tag? Does that exist? Let me check it out. 

Recommended reading: How to Write an Irresistible Headline in 3 Easy Steps

12. Repurpose your content into a Twitter thread

Joshua Hardwick, our head of content, wrote an article about keyword cannibalization. Later on, he turned it into a Twitter thread:

Compared to our brand account’s tweet about the article, it got way more attention. 

At Ahrefs, we encourage our authors to turn their posts into Twitter threads so they can get more exposure to their content. Here are a few more examples of threads from my colleagues:

As you can see, they get a lot of traction.

How do you write a great Twitter thread? I’ll go meta and share a Twitter thread from one of Twitter’s top creators:

13. Get your content included in niche newsletters

Like communities, there are plenty of niche-specific newsletters dedicated to sharing the best articles of the week. For example, my colleague, Michal Pecanek, wrote an article about hiring SEO consultants that was featured on the #SEOForLunch newsletter:

25-seo-for-lunch-newsletter

In this case, Michal’s article was included organically. But you don’t have to stand by and wait for such a situation to happen. You can reach out and try to get the newsletter editor to include your article too. 

Don’t reach out every single time you publish something, though. That can be annoying. Reach out only with your best articles so you stand the highest chance of getting included. 

I recommend following the principles in this article on outreach for maximum success. 

Even if the editor doesn’t add your article this time around, don’t worry. Use this chance to build a relationship with the editor. 

Newsletters are sent on a frequent basis anyway, so there’s always another chance to be included. But this can only happen if you have a good relationship with the editor. 

14. Publish original research

Bloggers and journalists are constantly looking for statistics to back up claims in their articles. When they find the right statistic from a credible source, they’ll usually link back to the page. 

So by publishing original research, you’re creating opportunities for top-tier publications to link to you. In fact, this is how we acquired links from authoritative sites like Inc., TechCrunch, and Search Engine Journal. They all linked to one of our studies on featured snippets:

26-links-to-study

That said, you can’t just create any random data study and expect journalists to flock to you. It must be something interesting—or at least something that journalists want answers to. 

If you’re in the industry, you already know what those questions are. For example, in the SEO industry, plenty of people ask the question, “How long does it take to rank on Google?” So we created a study to try and answer the question objectively. 

The result? We acquired ~2,700 backlinks from ~1,600 unique websites:

27-how-long-does-it-take-to-rank-on-google-links

Alternatively, you can simply try to recreate popular but outdated studies. Here’s how to find them:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Content Explorer
  2. Enter a search term like [industry] + “study,” [industry] + “survey,” [industry] + “research,” or [industry] + “data”
  3. Set the filter to an In title search
  4. Set the Published filter to an older date range (e.g., 2010–2015)
  5. Sort the results by referring domains
28-content-explorer

Voila! A list of popular and outdated studies you can recreate. 

When you’re done with your study, follow our complete guide to blogger outreach. There, you’ll learn the art of promoting your content to people who are interested. 

The most direct way to get more traffic to your blog is simply to run ads. Pay a platform, and you’ll get traffic almost instantly. 

At Ahrefs, we run ads to every new article we publish:

29-fb-ad

Facebook isn’t the only platform you can run ads on. Quora, Twitter, or even display advertising can work too. 

Find a platform where your audience is, keep your clicks affordable, and you’re ready to get rolling. 

Final thoughts

Do these tactics work individually? Definitely.

But think about it this way:

When you rank on Google for your target keywords, you get search traffic. If you can then get those people to subscribe to your email list, you can get even more traffic to future posts. And if some of those people then link to your posts, you may rank even higher on Google faster.

Bottom line: If you want to grow traffic to your blog quickly, combine the tactics.

Did I miss anything? Let me know on Twitter.




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SEO

What Is Schema Markup & Why Is It Important For SEO?

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What Is Schema Markup & Why Is It Important For SEO?

Schema.org is a collection of vocabulary (or schemas) used to apply structured data markup to web pages and content. Correctly applying schema can improve SEO outcomes through rich snippets.

Structured data markup is translated by platforms such as Google and Microsoft to provide enhanced rich results (or rich snippets) in search engine results pages or emails. For example, you can markup your ecommerce product pages with variants schema to help Google understand product variations.

Schema.org is an independent project that has helped establish structured data consistency across the internet. It began collaborating with search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex back in 2011.

The Schema vocabulary can be applied to pages through encodings such as RDFa, Microdata, and JSON-LD. JSON-LD schema is preferred by Google as it is the easiest to apply and maintain.

Schema is not a ranking factor.

However, your webpage becomes eligible for rich snippets in SERPs only when you use schema markup. This can enhance your search visibility and increase CTR on your webpage from search results.

Schema can also be used to build a knowledge graph of entities and topics. Using semantic markup in this way aligns your website with how AI algorithms categorize entities, assisting search engines in understanding your website and content.

This means that search engines should have additional information to help them figure out what the webpage is about.

You can even link your entities directly to sites like Wikipedia or Google’s knowledge graph to build explicit connections. Using Schema this way can have positive SEO results, according to Martha van Berkel, CEO of Schema App:

By helping search engines understand content, you are assisting them in saving resources (especially important when you have a large website with millions of pages) and increasing the chances for your content to be interpreted properly and ranked well. While this may not be a ranking factor directly, Schema helps your SEO efforts by giving search engines the best chance of interpreting your content correctly, giving users the best chance of discovering it.

Listed above are some of the most popular uses of schema, which are supported by Google and other search engines.

You may have an object type that has a schema.org definition but is not supported by search engines.

In such cases, it is advised to implement them, as search engines may start supporting them in the future, and you may benefit from them as you already have that implementation.

Google recommends JSON-LD as the preferred format for structured data. Microdata is still supported, but JSON-LD schema is recommended.

In certain circumstances, it isn’t possible to implement JSON-LD schema due to website technical infrastructure limitations such as old content management systems). In these cases, the only option is to markup HTML via Microdata or RDFa.

You can now mix JSON-LD and Microdata formats by matching the @id attribute of JSON-LD schema with the itemid attribute of Microdata schema. This approach helps reduce the HTML size of your pages.

For example, in a FAQ section with extensive text, you can use Microdata for the content and JSON-LD for the structured data without duplicating the text, thus avoiding an increase in page size. We will dive deeper into this below in the article when discussing each type in detail.

JSON-LD encodes data using JSON, making it easy to integrate structured data into web pages. JSON-LD allows connecting different schema types using a graph with @ids, improving data integration and reducing redundancy.

Let’s look at an example. Let’s say that you own a store that sells high-quality routers. If you were to look at the source code of your homepage, you would likely see something like this:

Once you dive into the code, you’ll want to find the portion of your webpage that discusses what your business offers. In this example, that data can be found between the two

tags.

The following JSON-LD formatted text will markup the information within that HTML fragment on your webpage, which you may want to include in your webpage’s

section.



This snippet of code defines your business as a store via the attribute"@type": "Store".

Then, it details its location, contact information, hours of operation from Monday to Saturday, and different operational hours for Sunday.

By structuring your webpage data this way, you provide critical information directly to search engines, which can improve how they index and display your site in search results. Just like adding tags in the initial HTML, inserting this JSON-LD script tells search engines specific aspects of your business.

Let’s review another example of WebPage schema connected with Organization and Author schemas via @id. JSON-LD is the format Google recommends and other search engines because it’s extremely flexible, and this is a great example.



In the example:

  • Website links to the organization as the publisher with @id.
  • The organization is described with detailed properties.
  • WebPage links to the WebSite with isPartOf.
  • NewsArticle links to the WebPage with isPartOf, and back to the WebPage with mainEntityOfPage, and includes the author property via @id.

You can see how graph nodes are linked to each other using the"@id"attribute. This way, we inform Google that it is a webpage published by the publisher described in the schema.

The use of hashes (#) for IDs is optional. You should only ensure that different schema types don’t have the same ID by accident. Adding custom hashes (#) can be helpful, as it provides an extra layer of insurance that they will not be repeated.

You may wonder why we use"@id"to connect graph nodes. Can’t we just drop organization, author, and webpage schemas separately on the same page, and it is intuitive that those are connected?

The issue is that Google and other search engines cannot reliably interpret these connections unless explicitly linked using @id.

Adding to the graph additional schema types is as easy as constructing Lego bricks. Say we want to add an image to the schema:

{
   "@type": "ImageObject",
   "@id": "https://www.example.com/#post-image",
   "url": "https://www.example.com/example.png",
   "contentUrl": "https://www.example.com/example.png",
   "width": 2160,
   "height": 1215,
   "thumbnail": [
     {
        "@type": "ImageObject",
        "url": "https://example.com/4x3/photo.jpg",
        "width": 1620,
        "height": 1215
      },
      {
        "@type": "ImageObject",
        "url": "https://example.com/16x9/photo.jpg",
        "width": 1440,
        "height": 810
      },
      {
        "@type": "ImageObject",
        "url": "https://example.com/1x1/photo.jpg",
        "width": 1000,
        "height": 1000
      }
    ]
}

As you already know from the NewsArticle schema, you need to add it to the above schema graph as a parent node and link via @id.

As you do that, it will have this structure:



Quite easy, isn’t it? Now that you understand the main principle, you can build your own schema based on the content you have on your website.

And since we live in the age of AI, you may also want to use ChatGPT or other chatbots to help you build any schema you want.

2. Microdata Schema Format

Microdata is a set of tags that aims to make annotating HTML elements with machine-readable tags much easier.

However, the one downside to using Microdata is that you have to mark every individual item within the body of your webpage. As you can imagine, this can quickly get messy.

Take a look at this sample HTML code, which corresponds to the above JSON schema with NewsArticle:

Our Company

Example Company, also known as Example Co., is a leading innovator in the tech industry.

Founded in 2000, we have grown to a team of 200 dedicated employees.

Our slogan is: "Innovation at its best".

Contact us at +1-800-555-1212 for customer service.

Our Founder

Our founder, Jane Smith, is a pioneer in the tech industry.

Connect with Jane on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Us

This is the About Us page for Example Company.

Example News Headline

This is an example news article.

This is the full content of the example news article. It provides detailed information about the news event or topic covered in the article.

Author: John Doe. Connect with John on Twitter and LinkedIn.

If we convert the above JSON-LD schema into Microdata format, it will look like this:

Our Company

Example Company, also known as Example Co., is a leading innovator in the tech industry.

Founded in 2000-01-01, we have grown to a team of 200 dedicated employees.

Our slogan is: Innovation at its best.

Contact us at +1-800-555-1212 for Customer Service.

Example Company Logo

Connect with us on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Our Founder

Our founder, Jane Smith, is a pioneer in the tech industry.

Connect with Jane on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Us

This is the About Us page for Example Company.

Example News Headline

This is an example news article.

This is the full content of the example news article. It provides detailed information about the news event or topic covered in the article.

Author:

Example image

This example shows how complicated it becomes compared to JSON-LD since the markup is spread over HTML. Let’s understand what is in the markup.

You can see

tags like:


By adding this tag, we’re stating that the HTML code contained between the

blocks identifies a specific item.

Next, we have to identify what that item is by using the ‘itemtype’ attribute to identify the type of item (Person).


An item type comes in the form of a URL (such as https://schema.org/Person). Let’s say, for example, you have a product you may use http://schema.org/Product.

To make things easier, you can browse a list of item types here and view extensions to identify the specific entity you’re looking for. Keep in mind that this list is not all-encompassing but only includes ones that are supported by Google, so there is a possibility that you won’t find the item type for your specific niche.

It may look complicated, but Schema.org provides examples of how to use the different item types so you can see what the code is supposed to do.

Don’t worry; you won’t be left out in the cold trying to figure this out on your own!

If you’re still feeling a little intimidated by the code, Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper makes it super easy to tag your webpages.

To use this amazing tool, just select your item type, paste in the URL of the target page or the content you want to target, and then highlight the different elements so that you can tag them.

3. RDFa Schema Format

RDFa is an acronym for Resource Description Framework in Attributes. Essentially, RDFa is an extension to HTML5 designed to aid users in marking up structured data.

RDFa isn’t much different from Microdata. RDFa tags incorporate the preexisting HTML code in the body of your webpage. For familiarity, we’ll look at the same code above.

The HTML for the same JSON-LD news article will look like:

vocab="https://schema.org/" typeof="WebSite" resource="https://www.example.com/#website">

Our Company

Example Company, also known as Example Co., is a leading innovator in the tech industry.

Founded in 2000-01-01, we have grown to a team of 200 dedicated employees.

Our slogan is: Innovation at its best.

Contact us at +1-800-555-1212 for Customer Service.

https://www.example.com Example Company Logo

Connect with us on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Our Founder

Our founder, Jane Smith, is a pioneer in the tech industry.

Connect with Jane on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Us

This is the About Us page for Example Company.

https://www.example.com/about

Example News Headline

This is an example news article.

This is the full content of the example news article. It provides detailed information about the news event or topic covered in the article.

Author: John Doe Profile Twitter LinkedIn

Example image

Unlike Microdata, which uses a URL to identify types, RDFa uses one or more words to classify types.

vocab=”http://schema.org/” typeof=”WebPage”>

If you wish to identify a property further, use the ‘typeof’ attribute.

Let’s compare JSON-LD, Microdata, and RDFa side by side. The @type attribute of JSON-LD is equivalent to the itemtype attribute of Microdata format and the typeof attribute in RDFa. Furthermore, the propertyName of JSON-LD attribute would be the equivalent of the itemprop and property attributes.

Attribute Name JSON-LD Microdata RDFa
Type @type itemtype typeof
ID @id itemid resource
Property propertyName itemprop property
Name name itemprop=”name” property=”name”
Description description itemprop=”description” property=”description”

For further explanation, you can visit Schema.org to check lists and view examples. You can find which kinds of elements are defined as properties and which are defined as types.

To help, every page on Schema.org provides examples of how to apply tags properly. Of course, you can also fall back on Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.

4. Mixing Different Formats Of Structured Data With JSON-LD

If you use JSON-LD schema but certain parts of pages aren’t compatible with it, you can mix schema formats by linking them via @id.

For example, if you have live blogging on the website and a JSON-LD schema, including all live blogging items in the JSON schema would mean having the same content twice on the page, which may increase HTML size and affect First Contentful Paint and Largest Contentful Paint page speed metrics.

You can solve this either by generating JSON-LD dynamically with JavaScript when the page loads or by marking up HTML tags of live blogging via the Microdata format, then linking to your JSON-LD schema in the head section via “@id“.

Here is an example of how to do it.

Say we have this HTML with Microdata markup with itemid="https://www.example.com/live-blog-page/#live-blog"

Explore the biggest announcements from DevDay

1:45 PM ET Nov 6, 2023

OpenAI is taking the first step in gradual deployment of GPTs – tailored ChatGPT for a specific purpose – for safety purposes.

1:44 PM ET Nov 6, 2023

ChatGPT now uses GPT-4 turbo with current knowledge.

It also knows which tool to choose for a task with GPT-4 All Tools.

1:43 PM ET Nov 6, 2023

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella joined Altman to announce deeper partnership with OpenAI to help developers bring more AI advancements.

We can link to it from the sample JSON-LD example we had like this:



If you copy and paste HTML and JSON examples underneath in the schema validator tool, you will see that they are validating properly.

The schema validator does validate the above example.The schema validator does validate the above example.

The SEO Impact Of Structured Data

This article explored the different schema encoding types and all the nuances regarding structured data implementation.

Schema is much easier to apply than it seems, and it’s a best practice you must incorporate into your webpages. While you won’t receive a direct boost in your SEO rankings for implementing Schema, it can:

  • Make your pages eligible to appear in rich results.
  • Ensure your pages get seen by the right users more often.
  • Avoid confusion and ambiguity.

The work may seem tedious. However, given time and effort, properly implementing Schema markup is good for your website and can lead to better user journeys through the accuracy of information you’re supplying to search engines.


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Featured Image: Paulo Bobita
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Advanced Technical SEO: A Complete Guide



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SEO

Gen Z Ditches Google, Turns To Reddit For Product Searches

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In this photo illustration, the Reddit logo is displayed on a smartphone screen.

A new report from Reddit, in collaboration with GWI and AmbassCo, sheds light on the evolving search behaviors of Generation Z consumers.

The study surveyed over 3,000 internet users across the UK, US, and Germany, highlighting significant changes in how young people discover and research products online.

Here’s an overview of key findings and the implications for marketers.

Decline In Traditional Search

The study found that Gen Z uses search engines to find new brands and products less often.

That’s because they shop online differently. They’re less interested in looking for expert reviews or spending much time searching for products.

There are also frustrations with mobile-friendliness and complex interfaces on traditional search platforms.

Because of this, traditional SEO strategies might not work well for reaching younger customers.

Takeaway

Companies trying to reach Gen Z might need to try new methods instead of just focusing on being visible on Google and other search engines.

Rise Of Social Media Discovery

Screenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Gen Z is increasingly using social media to find new brands and products.

The study shows that Gen Z has used social media for product discovery 36% more frequently since 2018.

This change is affecting how young people shop online. Instead of searching for products, they expect brands to appear in their social media feeds.

1719123963 547 Gen Z Ditches Google Turns To Reddit For Product SearchesScreenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Because of this, companies trying to reach young customers need to pay more attention to how they present themselves on social media.

Takeaway

To succeed at marketing to Gen Z, businesses will likely need to focus on two main things:

  1. Ensure that your content appears more often in social media feeds.
  2. Create posts people want to share and interact with.

Trust Issues With Influencer Marketing

Even though more people are finding products through social media, the report shows that Gen Z is less likely to trust what social media influencers recommend.

These young shoppers often don’t believe in posts that influencers are paid to make or products they promote.

Instead, they prefer to get information from sources that feel more real and are driven by regular people in online communities.

Takeaway

Because of this lack of trust, companies must focus on being genuine and building trust when they try to get their websites to appear in search results or create ads.

Some good ways to connect with these young consumers might be to use content created by regular users, encourage honest product reviews, and create authentic conversations within online communities.

Challenges With Current Search Experiences

The research shows that many people are unhappy with how search engines work right now.

More than 60% of those surveyed want search results to be more trustworthy. Almost half of users don’t like looking through many search result pages.

Gen Z is particularly bothered by inaccurate information and unreliable reviews.

1719123963 785 Gen Z Ditches Google Turns To Reddit For Product SearchesScreenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Takeaway

Given the frustration with search quality, marketers should prioritize creating accurate, trustworthy content.

This can help build brand credibility, leading to more direct visits.

Reddit: A Trusted Alternative

The report suggests that Gen Z trusts Reddit when looking up products—it’s their third most trusted source, after friends and family and review websites.

1719123963 403 Gen Z Ditches Google Turns To Reddit For Product SearchesScreenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Young users like Reddit because it’s community-based and provides specific answers to users’ questions, making it feel more real.

It’s worth noting that this report comes from Reddit itself, which probably influenced why it’s suggesting its own platform.

Takeaway

Companies should focus more on being part of smaller, specific online groups frequented by Gen Z.

That could include Reddit or any other forum.

Why SEJ Cares

As young people change how they look for information online, this study gives businesses important clues about connecting with future customers.

Here’s what to remember:

  • Traditional search engine use is declining among Gen Z.
  • Social media is increasingly vital for product discovery.
  • There’s growing skepticism towards influencer marketing.
  • Current search experiences often fail to meet user expectations.
  • Community-based platforms like Reddit are gaining trust.

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Google Clarifies Organization Merchant Returns Structured Data

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Google updates organization structured data for merchant returns

Google quietly updated their organization structured data documentation in order to clarify two points about merchant returns in response to feedback about an ambiguity in the previous version.

Organization Structured Data and Merchant Returns

Google recently expanded their Organization structured data so that it could now accommodate a merchant return policy. The change added support for adding a sitewide merchant return policy.

The original reason for adding this support:

“Adding support for Organization-level return policies

What: Added documentation on how to specify a general return policy for an Organization as a whole.

Why: This makes it easier to define and maintain general return policies for an entire site.”

However that change left unanswered about what will happen if a site has a sitewide return policy but also has a different policy for individual products.

The clarification applies for the specific scenario of when a site uses both a sitewide return policy in their structured data and another one for specific products.

What Takes Precedence?

What happens if a merchant uses both a sitewide and product return structured data? Google’s new documentation states that Google will ignore the sitewide product return policy in favor of a more granular product-level policy in the structured data.

The clarification states:

“If you choose to provide both organization-level and product-level return policy markup, Google defaults to the product-level return policy markup.”

Change Reflected Elsewhere

Google also updated the documentation to reflect the scenario of the use of two levels of merchant return policies in another section that discusses whether structured data or merchant feed data takes precedence. There is no change to the policy, merchant center data still takes precedence.

This is the old documentation:

“If you choose to use both markup and settings in Merchant Center, Google will only use the information provided in Merchant Center for any products submitted in your Merchant Center product feeds, including automated feeds.”

This is the same section but updated with additional wording:

“If you choose to use both markup (whether at the organization-level or product-level, or both) and settings in Merchant Center, Google will only use the information provided in Merchant Center for any products submitted in your Merchant Center product feeds, including automated feeds.”

Read the newly updated Organization structured data documentation:

Organization (Organization) structured data – MerchantReturnPolicy

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