Structured Data for SEO
One of the many benefits of Schema.org markup is that it provides context to search engines.
It helps them understand the ‘entity’ that is your business, both in terms of your broader web presence and also the individual components of your website. It’s thought that this may be one of the ways to help search engines recognise your E.A.T., and position you in search results accordingly.
What is E.A.T?
E.A.T stands for Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness.
Google haven’t provided businesses with much information about how to actually demonstrate their E.A.T.
The leading school of thought in the SEO community is that businesses should think about what they could surface to indicate their Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness, and then do so in such a way as to add value to users (as well as search engine bots). Structured Data should help with this, but should only be considered a small part of communicating your E.A.T. Pages with thin content, for example, are going to have low EAT regardless of how much Schema markup has been added to them.
Organisation Schema.org Markup
Organisation schema markup helps generate brand signals, which can enhance your Knowledge Graph entry and website snippet presence, as well as lending authority to your content.
To the right, you can see an example of an organisation’s Knowledge Graph entry. This business has used Organisation Schema markup to specify their:
- Official name and logo;
- Social profile links;
- Contact information;
- And other key information about the business
Schema Markup Implementation
Use JSON-LD where possible, as:
- It’s easy to maintain, easy to validate, and was designed for legibility
- It’s Google’s official recommendation
Do not add Organisation Schema markup to every page of your website; rather, this should just be added to your Homepage or About Us page.
You can use either one, but the Homepage is probably a good choice (due to page importance and crawl frequency).
Include, at a minimum:
- Type of company
- Company name
- Official website
- Address, if applicable
- Official logo
- Preferred description
- Social accounts and other profiles belonging to the brand entity (see below)
- The unique identifying URL
The most general is “@type”: “Organization”, though companies should generally use "Corporation" rather than "Organization".
However, it’s advised that you are as specific as possible.
There are over 100 company types to choose from, and if you can’t find a ‘good fit’, you can even create your own by following these simple steps:
- Find the Wikipedia page that best represents your business category
- Take the relevant URL slug (i.e. the part after /wiki/) and add it to end of this URL (after the /doc/): http://www.productontology.org/doc/
- Use this new URL as the value for the key “additionalType”
For example, if your company is a Beer Shop, you'd find the Beer Shop Wikipedia page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_shop), and copy the slug (Beer_shop).
Then, your "additionalType" URL would become: http://www.productontology.org/doc/Beer_shop
Your Brand ‘Entity’
Organisation Schema also offers a great way to increase the authority and credibility or your “brand entity”, and by extension your website.
This is accomplished by using the sameAs property (the same way you link your Social Media accounts) to link official representations of your brand entity on authoritative, 3rd-party websites (e.g. Crunchbase, Wikipedia, CompaniesHouse, Wikidata, Company profile pages on review sites, etc.).
You can also use this property to associate your site with any other websites or microsites you own.
Extending Your Organisation Schema - how much should you add?
The full list of available Organisation Schema is vast, and far too extensive to go through in this document. You can find all the available attributes in the official documentation.
Τhe more accurate and pertinent information you can provide, the better.
This can include details on:
- Investors and founders
- Management team
- Types of products / services offered
- Geographical areas served by the business
- Contact info
- Publishing Principles
Here’s an example of Organisation Schema Markup
Authors and citations
In addition to Organisation Schema.org markup, ensure that your author bio pages feature external links to pages demonstrating your authors’ expertise, wherever possible. In addition, you can use Person schema markup to add attributes such as:
When you are pointing to an external entity, like in ‘affiliation’ or ‘alumniOf’, include ‘sameAs’ and call out the entity’s homepage.
‘knowsAbout’ Schema markup will likely also be useful in demonstrating E.A.T., but is currently pending.
Include the property “hasCitation” on any outbound citation links to prove to Google that your content is trustworthy and well-researched
Testing and Validating Your Markup
After implementing your Schema markup, view your page source to ensure that it is being generated as expected. It’s also recommended to to use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to validate your markup.
If everything looks good, use Google Search Console to request that Google recrawls your page. This will get your markup seen and processed more quickly by the search engine.
Congratulations - your Schema.org markup is now in place, you've demonstrated your E.A.T., and search engines now have a much better understanding of your website.