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Structured data generation

Structured data is a specific type of metadata which is used by search engines to better understand you page content. This is crucial to achieve best SEO results in modern web and is certainly an area where you should focus your efforts.

The most common type of structured data is known as schema.org. In a nutshell, it's a list of things, together with a list of properties that describe each type of thing.

For instance, you can have a structured data record to describe a Business. That record will include properties or fields holding the business name, its address, the area it serves, its email address and many more.

Using the schema.org definition, we can ensure everyone can "speak the same language" and is able to produce or read this information.

4SEO only implements a subset of schema.org list of types and properties. Those are the types that Google officially support and uses in their search engines.

Please consult Google's own documentation on what they use Structured data for here.

Quoting this page:

Google Search works hard to understand the content of a page. You can help us by providing explicit clues about the meaning of a page to Google by including structured data on the page. Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content; for example, on a recipe page, what are the ingredients, the cooking time and temperature, the calories, and so on.

4SEO can generate many types of structured data automatically or lets you customize them to better fit your requirements. This is done through structured data rules that you can create. It also comes with built-in rules and features for Joomla content so that you can even enjoy structured data out of the box.

4SEO only outputs structured data in the json-ld format. This is Google preferred format for structured data on websites. You can use 4SEO Raw content feature to insert any other type of structured data into any page if you need to do so.

Structured data types

A single page can be described with several sets of structured data. Each structured data record is defined by its type and has associated fields and data that depends on this type.

When you create a structured data rule for one or more pages, that rule will generate structured data of one single type. Therefore, the first thing to do is to select which of the Google-supported types the rule will generate structured data for.

You can generate multiple structured data types per page by creating multiple rules for the same page or pages.

Once you have picked a type, a number of input fields will appear based on the type:

View of structured data rule creation

In each case, you can let 4SEO tries to fill in the content automatically, or provide your own by clicking on the Custom button.

You must validate generated structured data

Regardless of how structured data is created, it's only useful to search engines if valid. That is if it follows the exact specification from schema.org and possibly additional requirements by Google. Once you page has been created and structured data configured, be sure to use Google Rich results tester to detect errors, and then fix them. Invalid structured data is simply not used.

Custom structured data input

For each structured data rule you create, 4SEO will offer you a vast list of properties that can be filled either automatically or manually. However, for most structured data types, schema.org actually defines an extremely large number of properties.

We have selected the most common and useful of them for easy creation, but if you want to include a less common property in your pages, you can do so by simply entering a raw json code snippet. 4SEO will then insert this code exactly as is together with the other properties.

View of structured data rule custom code input field

In this example of a VideoObject structured data rule, we have added the duration property to tell search engines that this video is 30 minutes in length.

Please refer to Google documentation linked at the top of this page for further details on allowed properties and the exact syntax to use. As always, make sure to validate the result.