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24-Point Enterprise SEO Audit For Large Sites & Organizations

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24-Point Enterprise SEO Audit For Large Sites & Organizations

If your website is struggling to rank in search engine results pages, an enterprise SEO audit can help you identify why.

For any SEO provider or in-house marketer who wants to audit an enterprise website, these 24 items should be on your checklist before moving forward with any SEO campaign.

What Is An Enterprise SEO Audit?

An SEO audit is an evaluation of a website to identify issues preventing it from ranking in search engine results.

Enterprise SEO audits are focused primarily on large, enterprise websites, meaning those with hundreds to thousands of landing pages.

Why Perform An SEO Audit?

Auditing your website is the first step in developing a successful SEO strategy.

Why?

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of a website can help you tailor your SEO campaigns accordingly.

Performing an audit also helps your team direct your time, resources, and budget to the optimizations that will have the greatest impact.

What To Include In Your Enterprise SEO Audit

Auditing a large website can be very demanding, with over 200+ ranking factors in Google’s algorithm.

So to run a more sufficient audit, separate your audit into five parts: content, backlinks, technical SEO, page experience, and industry-specific standards.

You will need to rely on SEO software tools to run your audit successfully.

SEO platforms like SearchAtlas, Ahrefs, Screaming Frog, and others are a must for auditing any large website.

Content

Are You Targeting The Right Keywords?

The foundation of all successful SEO is strategic keyword targeting.

Not only do your target keywords need to be relevant to your products and services, but they also need to be realistic goals for your website.

So before you analyze whether your enterprise website is properly optimized, make sure your keyword goals are indeed reachable.

It’s possible that your target keywords are too competitive, or that you’re not targeting keywords with high enough search volume or conversion potential.

You can utilize a keyword tracking tool to see what search terms your enterprise website is already ranking for and earning organic traffic from.

Screenshot from SearchAtlas, May 2022screenshot of a keyword tracking tool

Then, perform any necessary keyword research to find keywords that may be a better fit for your website.

Once you’ve ensured that improper keyword targeting is not the source of your poor SEO performance, you can move on through the remainder of your audit.

2. Do You Have SEO-Friendly URLs?

The URLs of your enterprise web pages should be unique, descriptive, short, and keyword-rich.

screenshot of a SERP result with a red box around the url Screenshot from Google, May 2022screenshot of a SERP result with a red box around the url

URLs are visible at the top of search results and can influence whether or not a user clicks through to the page.

Use hyphens between words to keep the URL paths readable and omit any unnecessary numbers.

3. Are Your Meta Tags Properly Optimized?

Google crawlers look to the title tags and meta descriptions to understand what your web content is about and its relevance to specific keywords.

Like URLs, these tags are also visible in the SERPs and influence whether or not a searcher clicks.

Your audit should include checking that your web page’s meta tags are unique and following SEO best practices.

Use a site auditor tool to identify the web pages to address to speed up the process.

screenshot of SearchAtlas site auditorScreenshot of SearchAtlas, May 2022screenshot of SearchAtlas site auditor

Make sure to check for:

  • Original and unique titles and meta descriptions for each web page.
  • Proper character length: 50-60 for title tags and 150-160 for meta descriptions.
  • Keyword or variation of target keyword including in both title and meta descriptions.

Google sometimes rewrites page titles and meta descriptions, but this only happens a small portion of the time.

Optimizing these meta tags is still an essential step in on-page SEO.

4. Is Your Content High-Quality And In-Depth?

Although content length is not a ranking factor, in-depth content often displays characteristics that Google likes, such as original insight, reporting, in-depth analysis, and comprehensive exploration of the topic.

There is no magic number when it comes to content length. Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines state that web pages should have a “satisfying” amount of content.

They also state:

“The amount of content necessary for the page to be satisfying depends on the topic and purpose of the page. A high quality page on a broad topic with a lot of available information will have more content than a high quality page on a narrower topic.”

Still not sure whether your content is long enough?

Look to your enterprise competitors who are already ranking and measure how long their content is compared to yours.

screenshot of word length comparison feature in SearchAtlasScreenshot of SearchAtlas, May 2022screenshot of word length comparison feature in SearchAtlas

Then, aim to have content equal to or more in-depth than theirs.

5. Are Your Landing Pages Internally Linking To Each Other?

Internal links help Google find and index your pages. They also communicate website hierarchy, relevance signals, topical breadth, and spread around your PageRank.

Make sure you evaluate whether or not your pages are leveraging an internal linking strategy. Also, take a close look at the anchor text used to link to other pages of your website.

screenshot of site auditor tool in SearchAtlasScreenshot of SearchAtlas, May 2022screenshot of site auditor tool in SearchAtlas

Your pages need to have internal links pointing to other pages, and be sure internal links are pointing to that page.

Otherwise, you will have orphan pages, meaning pages that Google cannot find and index because there is no linking pathway to them.

6. Does Your Content Show Expert Sourcing With External Links To Relevant Content?

Google also looks to external links to understand website content and the authority of websites.

External links should be only to relevant, authoritative sources, and your website links out to sites with higher Domain Authority scores than your own.

Otherwise, Google is less likely to trust your enterprise website if you appear to be keeping low-quality websites in your link neighborhood.

7. Are You Using Rich Media And Interactive Elements?

Google likes to see images, videos, and interactive elements like jump links on the page. These elements make content more engaging and easier to navigate.

However, if these elements slow down your page load times, they are counterproductive to your SEO efforts. That will be addressed in a later part of your audit.

8. Do Your Images Include Keyword-rich Alt Text?

Enterprise websites – particularly ecommerce sites – may feature thousands of images.

But because Google cannot see images, they rely on alt text to understand how those images relate to your web page content.

Your audit should include confirming that image alt text is not only present but descriptive and keyword-rich.

9. Are Your Pages Suffering From Keyword Cannibalization?

With hundreds to thousands of landing pages, there may be times when your landing pages are not only competing against your competitors but other landing pages on your website.

This is called keyword cannibalization and it happens when Google crawlers aren’t sure which page on your enterprise site is the most relevant.

Some tips for resolving keyword cannibalization:

  • Find another keyword and re-optimize one of the competing pages.
  • Consolidate the competing pages into one longer, in-depth page.
  • Use a 301 redirect to point to the higher-performing or higher-converting page.

Backlinks

10. Do You Have Fewer Backlinks Than Your Competitors?

Google’s #1 ranking factor still remains the same: Backlinks.

If your enterprise website is competing against well-known incumbents in your industry, it’s likely they have a robust backlink profile, making it difficult for your website to compete in the SERPs.

backlink report in AhrefsScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022backlink report in Ahrefs

You can use a backlink tool like Ahrefs to identify your competitor’s total backlinks and unique referring domains.

unique referring domains competitors in AhrefsScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022unique referring domains competitors in Ahrefs

If there is a significant gap in backlinks or referring domains, this is likely a source for fewer keyword rankings or lower-ranking positions.

Dedicate a significant portion of your SEO campaign to link building and digital PR if you want to outrank your competition.

11. Does Your Website Have Toxic Backlinks?

Although backlinks are important for improving site authority, the wrong type of backlinks can also harm a website.

If your website has toxic backlinks from spammy, low-quality websites, Google may suspect your enterprise website to be guilty of backlink manipulation.

Google has gotten better at recognizing low-quality links, and after their 2021 Link Spam Update, Google also claims to nullify spammy links and not count them against websites.

However, there may still be moments when toxic backlinks should be disavowed.

You will want to focus on identifying where those toxic links are coming from and take the necessary steps to create and submit a disavow file.

Some SEO software tools can identify toxic links and create disavow text for you.

screenshot of the generate disavow text feature in SearchAtlasScreenshot of SearchAtlas, May 2022screenshot of the generate disavow text feature in SearchAtlas

Disavowing the wrong way can actually harm your SEO performance, so if you are unfamiliar with this Google tool, make sure you seek the assistance of an SEO provider.

12. Is Your Anchor Text Distribution Diverse?

Google also looks to the anchor text of your backlinks to understand relevance and authority. Relevant anchor text is important, but not all webmasters will link to your pages in the same way.

If the majority of your anchor text is branded, that’s okay.

Look for too much exact-match anchor text or high CPC anchor text that Google crawlers may flag for suspected backlink manipulation.

anchor text distribution in SearchAtlas SEO softwareScreenshot of SearchAtlas, May 2022anchor text distribution in SearchAtlas SEO software

If your anchor text does not display a healthy level of diversity, design a link building campaign around earning links with anchor text that improves diversity and signals healthy backlink practices to Google.

Technical SEO

13. Have You Submitted An XML Sitemap And Did it Include The Right Pages?

Because enterprise websites have thousands of landing pages, one of the most common issues uncovered in enterprise SEO audits is related to search engine indexing.

That’s why generating and submitting an XML sitemap is important. It communicates your website hierarchy to search engine crawlers.

It also tells them which pages of your website are the most important to crawl regularly and index.

If your enterprise website adds new product pages or content to your website, you can also use your sitemap to show Google the new pages rather than wait for crawlers to discover them through internal links.

screenshot of Yoast SEO sitemap generatorScreenshot of Yoast SEO, May 2022screenshot of Yoast SEO sitemap generator

14. Have You Maxed Out Your Crawl Budget?

Google’s web crawlers will only spend so much time crawling your web pages, meaning your enterprise website may have pages that don’t end up in Google’s index.

Although improving your page speed and your site authority can lead to Google increasing your crawl budget, that takes time. So in the meantime, focus on making sure you’re using your crawl budget wisely.

If your audit uncovers essential pages that are not being indexed, your enterprise website may benefit from crawl budget optimization. You want your highest value, highest converting pages to end up in Google’s index.

15. Is Your Schema Markup Properly Setup?

A very powerful optimization that your enterprise website can utilize is schema markup.

If your enterprise website already includes schema on some of your pages, you will want to confirm that your schema is validated and eligible for rich results.

Screenshot of Google's rich results textScreenshot of Google, May 2022Screenshot of Google's rich results text

You can use Google’s rich result to test your pages that include schema markup to confirm they are properly validated but to be even more efficient, use your favorite site crawler to test all of your pages at once.

16. Do You Have Excessive Broken Links Or Redirects?

Over time, links naturally break as websites update their content or delete old pages.

It’s important to check your enterprise website to confirm your external and internal links are pointing to live pages.

Otherwise, it will appear to Google that your website is not well-maintained, and Google will be less likely to promote your web pages in the SERPs.

17. Do Similar Pages Include Canonical Tags?

Enterprise websites (particularly ecommerce sites) may have duplicate content that targets different regions or is programmatically built out.

If those pages don’t have canonical tags, they will look to Google as duplicate content.

It’s important to confirm that the best, most in-depth version of the page has a self-referential canonical tag. All of the similar pages include canonical tags that identify the master version of the page.

screenshot of canonical tag site audit in SearchAtlasScreenshot from SearchAtlas, May 2022screenshot of canonical tag site audit in SearchAtlas

A site auditor tool like SearchAtlas can confirm whether your canonical URLs are properly implemented and if Google crawlers understand which page to promote in the SERPs.

18. Does Your Multilingual Content Leverage Hreflang Tags?

For multilingual enterprise websites, hreflang tags can help you show the right language content to the right searchers.

This improves your relevance signals and can have a huge impact on your conversion rates.

However, it’s easy to make mistakes when implementing hreflang and canonical tags.

As a general rule, only add hreflang tags to your web pages with self-referencing canonicals – not duplicate copies of the page.

Page Experience

19. Do Your Pages Meet Google’s Core Web Vitals Standards?

If your pages do not meet Google’s Core Web Vitals standards, they are unlikely to rank.

Google knows that load times, responsiveness, and visual stability impact the quality of a user’s experience, and thus the quality of a web page and whether or not it’s rank-worthy.

list of Core Web Vitals metricsScreenshot of SearchAtlas, May 2022list of Core Web Vitals metrics

You can see your Core Web Vitals metrics in your Google Search Console account.

You can also use the free platform to validate any fixes and see whether or not they improve your CWV metrics.

Screenshot of Google Search Console Core Web Vitals report with a red box around the Validate Fix buttonScreenshot of Google Search Console, May 2022Screenshot of Google Search Console Core Web Vitals report with a red box around the Validate Fix button

20. Do Your Web Pages Include HTTP Or HTTPS Protocols?

A secure website is also essential to the quality of the user’s experience.

If your web pages are not utilizing HTTPS protocols, you are not providing users with a secure browsing experience.

As a result, Google is less likely to promote your pages.

screenshot of protocols distribution feature in SearchAtlas SEO softwareScreenshot of SearchAtlas, May 2022screenshot of protocols distribution feature in SearchAtlas SEO software

21. Are Your Mobile Pages Responsive And High-Performing?

The majority of searches now happen on mobile devices.

Also, with mobile-first indexing, Google predominantly uses mobile pages in its index.

It is also more likely to use your mobile pages when determining where to rank your pages compared to your competitors.

Some common mobile mistakes that occur include:

  • Unresponsive design.
  • Intrusive pop-ups.
  • Bad UI/UX elements like button size.
  • Unplayable or missing content.

Industry

22. Are You Considered A Your-Money-Your-Life (YMYL) Website?

If your enterprise website is considered a health, financial, legal, or other YMYL website, Google has extremely high standards for the content that it will promote to searchers.

Although this does not impact all enterprise websites, it’s important to know whether your website falls under this banner to make sure you meet Google’s specific standards for your YMYL industry.

23. Does Your Website Show High Levels of E-A-T?

Google wants to see that your content is relevant to users’ keywords.

It also wants to see that your website, as a whole, displays industry expertise.

E-A-T stands for expertise, authority, and trust. It’s hard to quantify, but some more tangible factors include:

  • In-depth, well-researched content (e.g. blogs, ebooks, long-form articles).
  • Expert authorship and sourcing (e.g. an author byline that shows industry-specific expertise and credentials).
  • A clear purpose and focus for each page.
  • Off-site reputation signals (e.g. an article in a reputable online publication that mentions or links to your website).

If you’re still not sure what E-A-T looks like in your industry, look to the top-ranking content of your competitors to see the topical depth, expertise, and sourcing, and model your content accordingly.

24. Does Your Website Have Strong Reputation Signals?

If your goal is to rank for branded searches, other authoritative websites may feature content about your brand competing with yours in the SERPs.

If your enterprise has a Wikipedia page or press in online publications with high Domain Authority, those digital locations may rank higher than your domain.

If this is the case, you may need to take a more unique approach to link building to improve the branded signals of your content.

Optimizations like schema can also help ensure that information about your brand is featured at the top of the SERP, particularly if those websites that mention your enterprise brand do so negatively.

Final Thoughts On Conducting Your Enterprise Audit

Sitewide audits can be daunting, but they are worth the time and effort to craft a tailored, custom SEO campaign strategy.

Make sure to leverage the best SEO software tools throughout your audit to speed up the process and ensure the most accurate evaluation of your website.

Once your audit is complete, you can easily prioritize those optimizations that will be the most impactful.

More resources:


Featured Image: Yuriy K/Shutterstock

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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"

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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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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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