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On-Page vs. Off-Page SEO: Different but Equally Important

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On-Page vs. Off-Page SEO: Different but Equally Important

The difference between on-page SEO and off-page SEO is that they aim at two different sets of SEO factors. The first one focuses on impacting SEO factors occurring on a page, while the latter focuses on factors outside of a page.

Infographic illustrating differences between on-page and off-page SEO

How to know which one your website needs more? Read on to learn:

On-page SEO (also called on-site SEO) is the practice of optimizing webpages to rank higher on search engines. It includes optimizations to visible content and the HTML source code.

Example tactic – Finding relevant subtopics

If your page struggles to rank in the top 10, one of the reasons may be that it lacks the information that searchers are looking for. To find out if that is the case, you’ll need to compare topics covered by top-ranking pages against topics covered by you.

You can automate this process using Ahrefs’ Content Gap tool. This tool shows you keywords that target pages rank for but you don’t.

Content Gap tool to find guest blogging-related keywords Ahrefs' competitors rank for but the Ahrefs blog doesn't Content Gap tool to find guest blogging-related keywords Ahrefs' competitors rank for but the Ahrefs blog doesn't

Step 1. Insert URLs of the pages you want to compare and hit “Show keywords.”

List of keywords with corresponding data like volume, KD, etcList of keywords with corresponding data like volume, KD, etc

Step 2. Find topics that your content lacks. In our example, that can be definitions of guest blogging and guest post.

Off-page SEO embodies any efforts implemented outside of a website to improve its search engine rankings.

Example tactic – Finding link building prospects

Backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors (more on this later). You can earn them organically, and you can also “build” them.

There are many link building tactics out there. One of them is looking for linking patterns among your competition so that you can get links from the same websites. For that, you will need a backlink checking tool.

Since links from new websites are likely to move the ranking needle the most (i.e., sites that don’t link to you yet), the best way to see linking patterns is to find websites that link to your competitors but not to you. You can do that easily with Ahrefs’ Link Intersect tool.

Link Intersect tool to find websites that link to Ahrefs' competitors but not to Ahrefs Link Intersect tool to find websites that link to Ahrefs' competitors but not to Ahrefs

Step 1. Plug in URLs you want to compare.

Link Intersect report resultsLink Intersect report results

Step 2. Browse through domains in the results. Click on the number of backlinks to pages with links to your competitors.

Why are on-page SEO and off-page SEO important?

On-page SEO and off-page SEO are basically two sides of the same coin. SEO is most effective when practiced with both because Google uses ranking factors that occur on your pages and outside of them. 

Depending on your needs, you can sometimes focus more on one of those SEO types. But you probably shouldn’t focus on only one of them all of the time.

What factors impact on-page SEO?

In this section, I will cover some of the most important things you should look after to rank higher on the SERPs (search engine results pages) and attract more clicks to your content.

Note: I’ll talk about known ranking factors and factors that can increase your SERP visibility and, consequently, attract more site visitors.

See On-Page SEO: The Beginner’s Guide for more about on-page SEO. 

Search intent

Search intent refers to the reason behind the search. It’s one of the strongest ranking factors.

Utilizing search intent in SEO is about discovering what searchers want to get when they plug in a search query and then providing that information.

Search intent is arguably the most important factor for on-page SEO. After all, providing searchers with relevant and useful information is what search engines need to do every second.

Line graph showing organic traffic spike once one of our pages was updated to match search intentLine graph showing organic traffic spike once one of our pages was updated to match search intent

Organic traffic to one of our pages before matching search intent and after.

Optimizing your content for search intent comes down to looking at the search result pages for a particular query and identifying the three Cs of search intent:

  • Content type – What is the dominating type of content? Is it a blog post, product page, video, or something else?
  • Content format – Some common formats include how-to guides, list posts, reviews, comparisons, etc.
  • Content angle – The unique selling point of the content piece, e.g., “best,” “cheapest,” and “for beginners.”

Once you identify the three Cs of search intent, you should have a pretty good idea of what type of content Google “recommends” to its users for particular search queries.

Recommended reading: Searcher Intent: The Overlooked ‘Ranking Factor’ You Should Be Optimizing For 

Content quality

Search intent is critical, but utilizing it won’t be enough to create “useful and compelling content.” You also need to take care of your content’s quality. Here’s what Google has to say about what it looks for in content:

Except of article stating Google's emphasis on content qualityExcept of article stating Google's emphasis on content quality

It seems as though Google aims to embed the same attributes that readers value in any piece of content in its algorithms. And according to Google, it’s content that’s:

  • Easy to read.
  • Clearly organized.
  • Fresh.
  • Unique.
  • Aligned with E-A-T guidelines.
  • Focused on providing essential information to solve a searcher’s problem.

But in practice, you also need to create better content than your competition. And we’ve got an entire video that explains how to increase your chances of achieving that:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5KKbPS6N-g&t=1s

URLs

URLs are a small ranking factor. They bear so little weight in ranking websites that Google’s John Mueller said they are overrated in SEO and that people shouldn’t worry about them.

However, Google’s SEO guidelines mention URLs as something you should optimize. But you should do it for the user and not for Google.

This is because the user can see the URL both in the address bar and on the SERPs. And based on that information, users a) can choose to click on some results over the others and b) know where they are on the website.

So basically, this is what an unfriendly URL looks like:

http://example.com/folder1/dir1/dir2/dir3/dir422447478/x2/14032015.html

As you can see, the example website doesn’t use HTTPS; also, the URL has an overly nested structure and doesn’t really indicate what the page is about:

And here is its user-friendly alternative:

https://example.com/seo/ranking-factors.html

To learn more about the use of URLs in SEO, check out our guide: How to Create SEO-Friendly URLs (Step-by-Step).

Page titles

Page titles are another small ranking factor. Google uses them to understand what your page is about to better match the intent behind a given search query.

Except of a Google SERP showing title "Keyword Difficulty: How to Estimate Your Chances to Rank"Except of a Google SERP showing title "Keyword Difficulty: How to Estimate Your Chances to Rank"

This title is attractive and descriptive at the same time. Wouldn’t you agree?

Naturally, searches use page titles for similar reasons: to understand what they can expect from a page. And so to “satisfy” both parties, you can consider these good practices:

  • Make the title eye-catching and accurate – Write a line that piques users’ interest and accurately describes what’s unique about your offer.
  • Insert the target keyword in your title – But you should remember to make it sound natural.
  • Fit within 60 characters – Otherwise, your description may get truncated, and you’ll increase the chances of Google rewriting your title.

Recommended reading: How to Craft the Perfect SEO Title Tag (Our 4-Step Process)

Meta description

Meta descriptions are not a ranking factor. But they do appear on the SERPs (right below the title of the page), so they can impact the click-through rate (CTR).

Example of meta description on a Google SERPExample of meta description on a Google SERP

Probably the most logical choice of meta description for such a recognizable product. Apple just highlights what has changed in the latest generation of its product. Not what a MacBook Air is.

Hence, the way to optimize meta descriptions is to focus solely on the searcher. Here are some good SEO practices that matter:

  • Make the description compelling enough to entice the user to click, as long as it’s not clickbait (your reputation matters)
  • Don’t make the description longer than 920 px (try SERPSim)
  • Keep the description relevant to the title of the page (and vice versa)
  • Use a unique description for every page

Recommended reading: How to Write the Perfect Meta Description 

Outbound links

An outbound link is a link that points to a page that is not on your website.

Example of outbound links shown in Ahrefs' SEO ToolbarExample of outbound links shown in Ahrefs' SEO Toolbar

You can view external (outbound) links on any page with Ahrefs’ SEO Toolbar.

Outbound links are most probably not a ranking signal. This means that you probably shouldn’t try to shoehorn outbound links in your content in hopes of ranking higher.

What you may want to do instead is to use outbound links to cite your sources. This will help to establish the legitimacy, transparency, and accuracy of your content. In other words, by citing your sources, you’ll be aligning with the E-A-T search quality guidelines.

Schema markup

Schema markup is a code that helps search engines to understand your content and better represent it in the search results.

Example of schema markupExample of schema markup

HubSpot uses schema markup to show FAQs on the SERPs.

Example of FAQs on a Google SERPExample of FAQs on a Google SERP

Schema markup is not a ranking factor, but applying it can help your content stand out on the SERPs.

Schema markup looks like programming, but it’s nowhere near the learning curve. Adding schema markup to a page is comparable to filling out meta tags. You can use a tool like the Schema Builder extension to help you with that.

Recommended reading: What Is Schema Markup? How to Use It for SEO 

Internal links

An internal link is a link from another page on the same website.

Internal links are a ranking factor. Google utilizes internal links in a number of ways:

  • To discover new pages – Internal links provide a crawl path to target pages.
  • To pass link equity between your pages – Internal linking can boost other pages you own.
  • To understand what a page is about – Understanding the content of your pages helps Google rank them. That’s why the anchor text of the internal link matters too.

And let’s not forget internal links help users discover content and navigate your website.

For all of the reasons above, you shouldn’t neglect internal linking. It’s best if you add internal links as you create new content or even strategically plan them through a content hub. And remember, it’s never too late to add internal links to your existing content.

Recommended reading: Here’s Why You Should Prioritize Internal Linking in 2022 

Page UX

The user experience (UX) of a website can mean different things to different people. To UX designers, it means the overall impression of a website. But in SEO, the UX of a page or website refers especially to its usability. It basically means maintaining a clutter-free, distraction-free, and easy-to-use user interface.

Usually, UX improvements should be applied to the entire website, not just webpages. However, if you want to keep pages with unique layouts, keep in mind that a different design means a different experience.

So here’s what to look out for:

  • Avoid intrusive pop-ups – These include sign-up forms, exit forms, etc. Do the same for any banners that shift the layout (refer to Google’s guidelines on interstitials).
  • Make sure your important pages aren’t sluggish – You should optimize for Core Web Vitals.
  • Make sure your website’s layout is clear, consistent, and usable – Try your best not to overload the user’s cognitive capacity.
  • Optimize your website for mobile devices – Website traffic coming from mobile devices accounts for slightly more than 50%. On top of that, Google indexes and ranks content based on mobile versions of the websites (mobile-first indexing).

Is UX a ranking factor? It seems that there are two factors that can impact your rankings here: Core Web Vitals and mobile-friendliness.

When pages have similar content, Google can use page experience signals to rank them—but those won’t be drastic ranking changes. Pages not optimized for mobile or slow pages can still rank.

Recommended reading: How Page Experience Ranking Factors Actually Work 

What factors impact off-page SEO?

As with on-page SEO, I will talk about factors that are known to impact rankings directly and factors that don’t but otherwise can get you more visibility and organic clicks. 

For a detailed guide about off-page SEO, see Off-Page SEO: What It Is and Why It’s Important.  

Backlinks

Backlinks are the foundation of Google’s PageRank, a mathematical formula that judges the “value of a page” by looking at the quantity and quality of other pages that link to the said page. Along with search intent, backlinks are one of the most critical ranking factors.

Generally speaking, the more backlinks (from unique websites) a page has, the higher its chances of outranking its competitors on the SERPs.

Line graph showing the more a page's backlinks, the more keywords the page has that rank in the top 100Line graph showing the more a page's backlinks, the more keywords the page has that rank in the top 100

And also, the more backlinks a page has, the more the amount of organic search traffic that lands on that page:

Line graph showing the more backlinks a page has, the more the amount of organic traffic it hasLine graph showing the more backlinks a page has, the more the amount of organic traffic it has

But not all backlinks will impact your rankings equally. You can judge a backlink by these six traits:

Infographic showing linked chains with the six traits that indicate a good backlinkInfographic showing linked chains with the six traits that indicate a good backlink
  1. Authority – If we think of links as votes, then pages with more votes will pass a stronger vote to other pages.
  2. Relevance – Here’s how Google puts it: “If other prominent websites on the subject link to the page, that’s a good sign that the information is of high quality.”
  3. Anchor text – Like internal links, the anchor texts of backlinks help Google understand the context of the target page.
  4. Follow vs. nofollow – “Nofollow” is an attribute that tells Google not to take a link into account for ranking purposes. The “follow” attribute is its opposite. Generally, the “followed” links will have more impact. All links are “follow” by default unless specified differently.
  5. Placement – Links that have a higher chance of being clicked (e.g., links in the content, links placed higher on a page) will likely pass more authority.
  6. Destination – Links can increase the ranking of the specific page that they link to. But you can pass some of that link equity to other pages through internal linking.

NAP citations

NAP (name, address, phone) citations are online mentions of your business that display your business name, address, and phone number.

Example of NAP citations for Trader Joe's Example of NAP citations for Trader Joe's

NAP citations are probably a ranking factor that counts for localized organic search results (learn more here and here). However, they may not carry a lot of weight:

Bar graph showing percentage of SEOs who think citations are most important ranking factor for "map pack" and "regular" results, respectivelyBar graph showing percentage of SEOs who think citations are most important ranking factor for "map pack" and "regular" results, respectively

Apart from the possibility of helping you rank on the SERPs, NAP citations will definitely help users find your local business. So here’s a quick list of good practices you can follow:

  • Get listed with big data aggregators – For example, Foursquare. That’s where a lot of local data providers get their data.
  • Submit to the big players – These are Apple Maps, Yelp, Bing Places, Facebook, etc.
  • Submit to other popular directories in your local area and industry 
  • Keep your citations consistent – You should also align them with the guidelines (like this one from Google).

Google Business Profile (previously Google My Business)

Whether a Google Business Profile (GBP) is a ranking factor is not even the right question here. The GBP is simply the requirement for getting featured in Google’s map pack.

For the record, a map pack shows GBPs close to the area relating to your search query (or based on your location). Search results located below the map pack are called localized organic results.

Example of a map pack and local organic searches on GoogleExample of a map pack and local organic searches on Google

Map pack showing GBPs of vets in Mountain View.

Does a GBP affect rankings of the results found below the map pack? Most SEO professionals say “no.”

Bar graph showing percentage of SEOs who think GBP is most important ranking factor for "map pack" and "regular" results, respectivelyBar graph showing percentage of SEOs who think GBP is most important ranking factor for "map pack" and "regular" results, respectively

But on the whole, if your business operates locally, you will definitely want to get a GBP. It allows Google to display your business in the map pack, and it makes it easier for customers to find you and get in touch.

On top of that, a GBP helps with getting reviews from customers, which is next on our list.

Recommended reading: How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing in 30 Minutes 

Reviews (and ratings)

Let’s look at another factor that impacts the map pack: customer reviews.

Here’s probably the most accurate way of explaining this: Customer reviews are a ranking factor impacting the order of results in the map pack, but they probably bear little importance for localized organic results.

Bar graph showing percentage of SEOs who think reviews are most important ranking factor for "map pack" and "regular" results, respectivelyBar graph showing percentage of SEOs who think reviews are most important ranking factor for "map pack" and "regular" results, respectively

Does Google take into account every piece of customer feedback on a business? Hard to say. Your best bet here is to pay special attention to reviews on your GBP and trusted third-party sites (G2, Capterra, Yelp, etc.).

As in life, positive reviews will have a positive effect, and negative reviews will have a negative effect on your ranking.

Let’s not forget that rankings and ratings are clearly visible on the SERPs and will definitely leave an impression on the searchers.

Sidenote.

You can add rating markup to your schema so that Google may (or may not—it’s up to the search engine) show it in the organic search results.

Example of ratings under a result on Google SERPExample of ratings under a result on Google SERP

Final thoughts

On-page SEO and off-page SEO already seem like a lot to take in, but it’s not the entire landscape of SEO. You will probably come across other types or subdisciplines of SEO, such as technical SEO, local SEO, multilingual SEO, etc.

How not to get lost in all that? Try our SEO guide for beginners or our beloved YouTube channel.

Got questions? Ping me 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"

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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
Screenshot taken by author

 

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Chuck Price

Founder at Measurable SEO

Looking for a Content Marketing Solution to Increase Traffic and Revenue? I’m the founder of Measurable SEO and former COO ...

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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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