What is Structured Content?
Companies with large websites and multiple customer-facing channels need a way to reduce errors and editing time while making it easier for content authors to create content. That can be achieved with the help of structured content.
Structured content gives companies more control over the final design and appearance of content, saves time, and offers reusability. It also enables brands to distribute content across multiple omnichannel interfaces to improve customer reach.
In this article, we’ll explain more about structured content, its benefits, how it relates to content modeling, and how it can be used with WYSIWYG editing and a hybrid headless CMS to provide the perfect content authoring experience.
Structured Content Defined
Structured content is planned, created, and organized outside of a presentation interface, such as a website or mobile app, so it can be consumed on any device. It is broken down into the smallest units that can be easily discovered and reused as necessary.
For example, a blog post can be broken down into different units such as the title, subheadings, body paragraphs, keyword tags, author name, etc. These elements can be placed into separate structured content fields and easily recognized if they need to be used by another system.
When each content type, such as multiple blog posts, has the same fields, it makes things more predictable, allowing brands to reuse and recycle similar elements across different pages on a website.
So structured content promotes reusability, but what about unstructured content?
Unstructured content is only meant for single-use cases because it has a rigid structure that is not easily edited. For example, content created for a landing page on a website can only be used for one purpose, forcing content authors to make something new from scratch anytime similar content needs to be used on a similar channel.
Structured Content and Content Modeling
A crucial component of the structured content approach is content modeling. A content model documents the different types of content a brand has and how that content relates to each other. This could be for a website, an app, or a digital billboard. Content modeling relies on a structure-first approach when designing content, which gives brands a guideline to follow and makes it easier to reuse content accordingly.
Structured Content Benefits
Structured content offers several advantages for brands relying on a CMS that uses it correctly.
As search engines like Google continuously evolve to provide more relevant query responses to visitors, structured content can help. It tells search engines what they can expect to find on a website, which makes crawling websites and indexing content easier, which can be helpful for moving up search rankings.
Omnichannel Content Experiences
Brands have to appeal to their customers on several channels, often simultaneously. Structured content makes it easier to duplicate and reuse content across multiple channels so that brands can provide an omnichannel content experience.
The primary benefit of structured content is content reusability. Similar content types such as blogs, case studies, landing pages, and more generally follow the same structure, particularly if a brand has established guidelines and style guides. Structured content allows companies to reuse these similar content structures instead of having to recreate everything from scratch each time.
When companies need to find content assets, it can be a hassle if everything has a different name and style. However, structured content allows you to group different content types, such as your blog content, your landing pages, your case studies, white papers, etc. Since each content type has similar elements, it is easier to discover where content belongs and how it should be used.
To personalize content, brands must produce high volumes of content at scale. In many cases, it’s the same content with slight variations to appeal to different audiences or specific people. Personalization is also easier with structured content due to the reusability it provides.
Marketers that are asked to publish similar content types regularly can’t afford to waste time. Luckily structured content helps to improve efficiency and productivity as content can be created once and then published to numerous channels.
Structured Content vs. WYSIWYG
Some consider structured content to be an alternative to a WYSIWYG editor. But the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive, as headless CMSs rely on structured content. Some headless CMSs often remove the WYSIWYG editor as it is usually built for specific presentations, which can lead to limitations, especially for larger companies that have omnichannel ambitions.
However, a WYSIWYG editor doesn’t have to limit you to templates or specific presentations. Content authors need the freedom to create content just as they did with a traditional CMS using a hybrid headless CMS capable of offering structured content and WYSIWYG editing.
By combining the reusability benefits of structured content with the live previews and editing capabilities of a WYSIWYG editor, content authors can more efficiently deliver content to various channels, reduce time spent copying and pasting content, and more.
How Zesty.io Does Structured Content
Brands need to be able to create content for multiple channels so that they can appeal to various audiences. However, content editors can’t afford to spend time creating content for each channel individually or recreating new content assets each time. However, with the help of structured content, they can avoid this headache and produce new content at scale.
Zesty.io is a hybrid headless CMS offering WYSIWYG and structured content modeling. Zesty provides three types of content models that help companies generate a webpage or a fully focused headless content API.
It also offers out-of-the-box capabilities that include a high-end WYSIWYG editor that doesn’t keep you limited and content modeling to help you define the structure of your content.
Learn more about how Zesty.io handles structured content and content modeling by reading Content Modeling for Headless Applications. You can also dive into our documentation for more details.
By Chloe Spilotro
Hooked onto the platform since first using it through the Zesty.io Incubator Program at the University of San Diego. Passionate about all things marketing, IoT, and helping businesses leverage technology to grow and become major players in their industries.