Position Zero: How to stand out from the competition
The fight for the top positions in search engine results ("SERP" = Search Engine Result Page) can be quite frustrating. In any case, it is one thing: very time-consuming. In addition, there is the trend of Google to answer search queries directly itself and to link the source(website). And this still before the paid ads. One speaks here also of the Position Zero, which is of course very desirable. The classic, "organic" results fall through dadaurch usually far down. By using so-called structured data you use a still quite young technology to improve the visibility of your website in search engines. Once set up in TYPO3, the creation of the structured data is done automatically based on the editorially maintained data. The effort for editors is therefore relatively low. Further below we explain how an editor can also use structured data himself specifically.
The following article describes what structured data is, what possibilities and opportunities it offers and how best to implement it in TYPO3 (best practice)..
What is structured data?
Structured data is part of the source code (such as HTML, CSS, etc.) of a web page and describes the meaning (semantics) of the content. As with HTML and CSS, it is a so-called markup language (engl. markup) that provides certain parts of a web page (i.e. the "WHAT?" such as certain text parts, images, video, page areas, etc.) with properties . While HTML and CSS define HOW this part should be displayed (e.g. colors, font, font size, etc.), structured data describes the meaning of this data. This way, search engines can "understand" a website much better and consider it accordingly more targeted in search queries.
The company logo is usually placed on the website as a normal image. The HTML code for this looks - simplified - as follows:
Problem: For search engines, the above code simply means that an image with the name company_logo.jpg is displayed on the web page.
With structured data, you would add the following (JSON) code:
This code snippet tells the search engines that the graphic is a logo that belongs to the corresponding website. This then allows Google to display the logo in different places (e.g. Knowledge Graph, job offers, etc.).
What are the benefits of structured data?
The use of structured data helps search engines to better understand the meaning of web page content. Conversely, search engines "reward" this through better visibility in RichSnippet results, among others.
Before we present some examples of structured data in practical use with TYPO3, the following NOTE:
Stay within the guidelines of the search engines!
Violations may result in so-called manual measures.
Stars in Google search result
With structured data you have the possibility to get a star rating directly below your entry in the search result. This not only visually sets you apart from the competition. The star rating generates a "trust signal" and thus further increases the click probability.r.
Structured data for navigation paths
With the BreadcrumbList data type you describe the navigation path of a single web page. By doing so, you make it easier for search engines to understand the structure and hierarchy of the website.
In TYPO3 the markup is best done where the breadcrumb path is set. So in the TYPOSCRIPT.
Pages marked with the BreadcrumbList are more likely to receive a full path indication in the SERP:
Structured data for courses and events
You offer courses or want to point out events? With structured data (here the entity "Events") gets in the search result an additional line per event.
Structured data for HowTo's
The markup of data with the HowTo types is particularly interesting. This is used to describe step-by-step solutions to problems. These are displayed in the search result WHOLE on top as a so-called Feature Snippet :
Small tip: If you mark up pages with HowTo's, take the pages that already have a very good ranking anyway. This increases the probability of being displayed as Feature Snippet enormously.
Structured data for vacancies
Google now offers its own "Open Jobs" section, which - also as a Featue Snippet - appears at the top of the search results under certain circumstances. The data type is called JobPosting.
How to integrate structured data in TYPO3
You can use structured data in TYPO3 WITHOUT programming knowledge with the HTML content element. Surely this is not always the most elegant way. If you e.g. offer many courses, publish articles or enable product ratings, it makes sense to enable an automated generation of structured data by appropriate adjustments in TYPOSCRIPT, Fluid or directly in the extension. For special cases, however, the following procedure can also be useful:
In the TYPO3 tree, switch to the page where you want to insert the structured data and insert a new content element there.
Select "Pure HTML" as the content type.
Now paste the JSON code here using copy&paste and save the data.
Check your entries with the help of the test tool for structured data
Structured data in Search Console
Google Search Console shows which structured data google has detected on which pages of your website so far. In case of problems, the errors are displayed. You should then correct these immediately.
Previous experience with structured data
Our experience with the use of structured data so far has been positive. Even though no really meaningful analyses are available yet due to a lack of data, the following chart shows that impressions are steadily improving (the HowTo markup on which this is based was created about 2 weeks ago, i.e. in the middle of the chart:
Tip for FeatureSnippets
To have a chance of appearing in a FeatureSnippet box at the top of the search results (e.g., through a HowTo or FAQ), place the structured data on a page that makes it to the 1st page (ranks 1-10).