What Is Structured Content
Structured content is a system for organizing and labeling your content so that it can be easily found, used, and repurposed. It includes adding metadata, using consistent terminology, and creating a logical structure for your content.
Metadata is information about your content, such as who created it, when it was last updated, what format it is in, and what topic it covers. This information helps people find the right content and understand what they're looking at.
Using consistent terminology makes it easier for people to find the content they need. It also helps ensure that your content can be reused in different contexts. For example, if you always use the same term for a product feature, you can create a rule that automatically links to the relevant documentation whenever that term is used.
Creating a logical structure for your content helps people navigate it and find what they're looking for. It also makes it easier to repurpose your content. For example, you can easily generate a table of contents or an index based on the structure of your content.
Structured content can make your site more user-friendly and easier to maintain. It can also help you get more value out of your content by making it easier to reuse and repurpose.
Why Is Structured Content Important
The biggest benefit of structured content is content reuse. Instead of creating, re-creating, copying, and pasting content, authors create it once. Moreover, this type of content is easy for readers to scan and absorb, and it helps search engines more effectively index your site.
Structured content can be:
written once and utilized across several channels
leveraged via third-party APIs.
The main goal of structured content is to treat content as data both from an internal and external perspective.
However, there are more benefits of using structured content:
Structured Content Is Future-Friendly
The fact is, the web is ever-changing – and that’s not likely to stop anytime soon. Screen sizes, browsers, and devices are constantly being updated, which means that the way people access content is changing all the time too.
If your content isn’t structured in a way that can adapt to these changes, then it’s going to become quickly outdated and will eventually stop working altogether. But by using a structured content approach, you can rest assured knowing that your content will be able to keep up with the pace of change and continue working as intended – now and in the future.
Additionally, because structured content is based on reusable components (rather than being one big blob of unstructured content), it’s much easier to maintain and update over time. This means that you can make changes to your content more quickly and easily without having to worry about breaking anything in the process.
Finally, structured content is also more accessible than unstructured content. This is because it uses a consistent, well-defined structure that makes it easy for people (and search engines) to find the information they need.
So not only is structured content more future-proof and easier to manage, but it’s also more accessible too – making it a win-win all around.
Structured Content Makes It Possible to Omnichannel Delivery
It’s important to note that “structured content” does not mean “formatted content.” Formatted content is what you see on the screen or page, such as headlines, paragraphs, lists, etc. Structured content is the code used to create formatted content. That code includes semantic tags that give meaning to the content.
For example, a headline might be tagged as an element. A paragraph might be tagged as an element. These tags help browsers and other software understand the meaning of the content so they can present it in the most effective way possible.
While it might seem like extra work to add these tags, the benefits of doing so more than make up for the effort. By structuring your content, you can make it more flexible, adaptable, and easy to use – both now and in the future.
Structured Content Is Enabling Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
For machine learning algorithms to work effectively, they need a lot of data – and that data needs to be properly structured. That’s because these algorithms learn by looking for patterns in data, and if the data isn’t structured in a consistent way, it can be very difficult (if not impossible) to find those patterns.
But when the data is properly structured, machine learning algorithms can more easily find the patterns they need to make predictions. And as these algorithms get better at making predictions, they can be used to automate more and more tasks – including tasks that are currently being done by humans.
So not only does structured content make it possible to create better content experiences now, but it also lays the foundation for automating many of those experiences in the future using AI and machine learning.
Structured Content Enables Better Site Performance
By making it easier for browsers and other software to understand the content on a page, structured content helps reduce the amount of work that needs to be done in order to render a page. This, in turn, leads to faster page loading times – which is good for both users and search engines.
And speaking of search engines, they also prefer pages with structured content.
This is because search engine algorithms are designed to look for specific elements on a page when trying to determine what that page is about. If those elements are properly tagged with semantic tags, it’s much easier for the algorithm to understand the page and index it accordingly.
Not only that, but pages with structured content are also more likely to be featured in rich results – which are special listings that include additional information beyond the traditional title and description.
For example, a recipe page with structured content might appear in a rich result that includes the recipe’s name, photo, rating, number of reviews, and Prep Time. A page that doesn’t have structured content is much less likely to appear in a rich result.
In short, structured content can help your pages perform better both in terms of page speed and search engine optimization (SEO).
Structured Content vs Unstructured Content
Structured content is information that is organized in a specific way. This type of content is usually created using a specific tool or format, such as XML. Structured content is easy to reuse and repurpose because it can be parsed and displayed in different ways.
Unstructured content, on the other hand, is information that is not organized in a specific way. This type of content includes things like email, Word documents, and PDFs. Unstructured content is more difficult to reuse and repurpose because it cannot be easily parsed or displayed in different ways.
So, what are the benefits of using structured content? First, it is more efficient to create and manage. Second, it is easier to reuse and repurpose. And third, it can be displayed in different ways, making it more flexible and adaptable.
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