Structured data is important for helping Google to identify key elements of your website's content and categorize it. Every website is a bit different in its code layout but by using the tools Google and others have provided you can improve the search rankings of your websites.
Make sure that you are building your website from the beginning by SEO best practices. Avoiding investment in SEO setup and maintenance will cost you traffic and content marketing effectiveness. If you want your website or blog to be effective make sure you learn SEO and SEM or hire someone who can help.
The google webmaster tools collection has a few great SEO tools. One of these is the Data Highlighter tool. Using this tool pictured above you can tag elements on your website so that they are more easily interpreted by Google's web crawlers. By tagging your data it will be more clear what the title, category, author and publication date are. This will make it much easier for google to include your pages in the search results for relevant terms.
Meta Tags can help clearly identify the important elements of your content to Google, Facebook, and other platforms. Be sure to include the terms your audience is searching for within your content, descriptions, and metadata.
As curators of content search providers use meta tags and other tools to identify and classify content. By using SEO best practices you can make sure that your content is indexed quickly and correctly tagged. Every website on the internet has a slightly different code structure. Even those that originate from a template. There are dozens of different tags that represent more general parameters as well as platform specific ones. See the Twitter meta tags above as an example.
Metadata is used by social platforms to show the correct image and description when links are shared online. This is how you can create post highlights on platforms such as google plus, facebook, and twitter.
Social Platforms and Search Engines are the gatekeepers of the internet. Using Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques you can improve your sites likelihood of ranking. If you can acquire and maintain high search rankings you will experience a steady stream of internet traffic you can use to build your brand and business.