In our third week talking about Structured Data, we’re going to get into how you can set up your Content Marketing efforts to take maximum advantage of Google’s love of the JSON-LD markup system.
Becoming a Named Author Yourself…
One of the most important ideas to come out of Google regarding content marketing lately was this quote from CEO Eric Schmidt: “…within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”
This means that one of the most important forms of Structured Data is the category of CreativeWork, which has subtypes for every kind of content. And one of the most important attributes of a CreativeWork is Author. Every page you have your content up on (that you control) should have a bit of JSON-LD code in the <head> that looks like this:
“@context” : “http://schema.org“,
“@type” : “Article”,
“about” : “Content Marketing”,
“@type” : “Person”,
“name”: “Jared Pomranky”,
“jobTitle”: “Owner, NetProfitMarketing”,
“headline” : “Content Marketing and Structured Data: Becoming Nonymous”,
“copyrightHolder” : “Net Profit Marketing”,
“copyrightYear” : “2016”
What that bit of code tells Google is “Hey, this here is an article, and it was written by a Person named Jared Pomranky who has this verified online profile over at LinkedIn. Google can then unambiguously identify me (in this case) as the author. All creative endeavors that I put on the Internet that have this piece of code attached will then lend me authority and credibility in Google’s eyes. As long as I’m consistent about applying it, everything I publish improves the likelihood that anything else I publish will rank well in Google.
…Or, Giving Credit to your Organization
“Person” isn’t the only type of entity that can be an “author.” Say, for example, I wanted to get some marketing content from our content master, Michael, and use it alongside the stuff that I write. Rather than having us build authority separately, we could decide to use the “@type” : “Organization“, and fill in the relevant information (Net Profit Marketing, address, phone, etc.). That way, if something awful happens and Michael ends up with amnesia wandering around the back streets of Antwerp (Oh, yes, we know your secret, Michael!), we don’t have to lose all of the authority that has built up under his name for years.
Either way, the important thing is consistency — you’re never going to get cred from Google if you only mark up the occasional piece of content. If this means going out of your way to get a solid Structured Data Schema plugin for WordPress, or even switching your chosen publishing platform so that you can control the HTML associated with your content, it can be well worth it. (Eventually. It does take quite a bit of content to reach ‘I’m an expert’ levels of Google acknowledgement…but if you’re in it for the long haul, using this system is an absolute must!)