Understanding structured content
Structured content is information on a website that's organised into appropriate components and fields, making it easier for users to find what they need and for content creators to manage their content.
Typecase has been designed to help you create structured content. When you add information to the University website, you need to:
- choose the correct content type
- use the correct components
- add the correct types of information into fields in the template
Doing this will make your content easier for users to find and easier for you to manage.
You also need to think about:
- who your audience is
- what people are trying to achieve when visiting the page
- how people will arrive on the page and move on from it
- how the page you're creating works in context with other pages it relates to
Benefits of structured content
Information is predictable for users
Typecase components have been designed to create web pages that follow a consistent layout and style. This consistency means that users will always find the information they're looking for in a predictable place, helping anyone who visits our website find what they need regardless of their abilities.
For example, some people use screen magnifiers to look at different parts of the web page. Using a consistent layout means they always know to look for Navigation sections at the top of the page and Enquiry information at the bottom.
Search engines recognise types of information
Typecase components are designed to work with search engines and voice assistants, like Siri and Alexa, to help users find the information they need. Adding the correct text to each field means search engines and voice assistants can tell what that information is about and share it with users when they need it.
For example, the text you add to the Title and Summary fields in Typecase are shown in search results to tell users what the page is about, helping them decide whether that's the information they need.
Similarly, information from Location pages, like opening times, phone numbers, and addresses, appears in specific places in some search results because the search engine recognises the type of information these fields contain. You can search Google for 'Parade bar Bath' to see this working.
Screen readers recognise page structure
Assistive technology works more efficiently with structured content as it can predict what the information is and read it out in an order that will best help its users.
For example, a screen reader will read each heading on a page out loud so users can choose which section they want to hear more about and navigate directly to it.
Screen readers can also recognise the type of field the text is in, like the time and date fields on an Event page. This means that if a user wants to know when an event takes place, their screen reader can provide them with this information without them having to read the whole page.
It's easier to reuse information
When you add information to certain fields in a Typecase template, it can be reused on other pages. This reduces the need for people to update multiple pages when information changes and reduces the risk of incorrect information staying on the site because there's only one place to change it.
For example, you can set up Team pages to display a list of Person profiles on the page, rather than having to add individual names and job titles manually. Typecase uses text from fields on the Person profile, like name, job role, and description, showing them on the Team page. If someone changes something on the Person profile, Typecase automatically updates it on the Team page.
How to create structured content in Typecase
Use correct content types and their components
To create a page on the University website, you must choose from the list of content types. This tells Typecase which template you need for your content. The components and fields in the template are designed to work with the type of content you're creating.
- an Event page includes fields for the time and date of the event
- a Location page includes an embed field for a map
- a Case study includes a People component, where you can include the course or job information for the person featured
Choosing the correct content type means you have access to all the components you need to create your page in the correct structure for your audience.
It also means the correct pages will appear in filtered lists on the website, which helps users find relevant pages more easily.
Filtered lists are lists of pages that meet certain criteria. To match these criteria, your content must be correctly structured so that Typecase can understand which pages should be included in the list.
For example, the Events list shows all Event pages currently published on the University website, so users can decide which ones they'd like to attend. If you create an Announcement about an event, it wouldn't appear in the Events list and so wouldn't be visible to people browsing the website.
Write clear, descriptive page titles and summaries
Search engines recognise the title and summary fields on a page in Typecase and show the text you add to them in search results.
Make sure the title and summary of your page clearly explain what the page is about and who it is for. This will help people decide if it's the information they're looking for and whether or not they need to visit the page.
Write clear headings
Using headings on a page helps to structure content into separate sections, making the information easier for people to find and understand.
Writing good headings is also important for creating in-page navigation on Guides.