Have you ever been searching on Google and wondered why some listings where enhanced with thumbnail images, star ratings, search boxes and more, while others were plain old title, URL, & description.
What is it about those enhanced listings that make them special?
The answer to that is something called Structured Data.
Those sites that have "rich" entries in the results pages have implemented structured data on their web pages.
And, listen up. The search engines have made it very clear that "rich results" are the future of search.
From a website owner's perspective, it makes absolute sense to include structured data so that you can get these "rich snippets". Those pages that have implemented this have higher click-through rates because the visitors eye is drawn to those listing that have star ratings, thumbnail images, or other embellishments.
So what is structured data?
Put simply, structured data is information that has been created in a way that Google and other search engines understand it. More importantly, this information is created specifically for the search engines. And Google actually approves of this! You see, search engines are generally good at understanding the overall content of a web page, but web masters can add extra information just to make sure nothing is missed.
For example, you may have a video on a web page that you want to draw Google's attention to. By adding structured data (that only search engines can see) about the video including: title, duration, description, etc, the search giant will better understand the importance of that video, and may even feature it next to your listing as a video thumbnail.
Structured data can be implemented in a number of different ways. Heck, your web pages may already contain some structured data, especially if you use Wordpress. But learning how to fine control your structured data to guide Google into better listings is an art that all website owners need to learn, especially going forward. This will become more and more important and those pages that don't implement this will be left behind. If you don't believe me, do a Google search for a highly visual topic like "chocolate brownie recipe" and try to spot a page that has not implemented structured data.
The idea of implementing structured data on your site may fill you with dread, especially if you've never done any coding before. However, don't panic. This course takes you from complete beginner to accomplished structured data technician (cool job title) and teaches you everything you need to know. I don't assume any prior knowledge.
This course will teach you:
What structured data is.
How Google uses structured data.
Who benefits from structured data, and why you need to implement it.
The options you have for adding structured data, and the method that Google wants us to use.
Where to go to find out what structured data you can include....
... and how to create the code with minimum (or zero) programming skills.
The importance of checking in with Google before implementing structured data on your site.
The free tools you can use to help build and test your structured data.
How to create a wide range of structured data "types" that you could include on your site.
The methods you can use to insert the structured data into your website.
How to use Google's free Tag Manager to insert the structured data into your pages, and the advantages of this system.
The relationship between tags, triggers and variables in making your structured data flexible enough to be used on multiple pages on your site.
All about the Wordpress plugin I use to implement structured data and how this approach means zero programming skills. If you can point and click, you can implement structured data on your site.
About the Google Search Console tools that can help troubleshoot structured data on your site, and the one Google Console tool you should not use to create your structured data.
Everyone that owns a website will benefit from implementing structured data. This course is for everyone that owns a website and does not know where to start.