Structured data is, at this point, a core SEO tactic.
Not only does it remove a layer of ambiguity for search engines (they don’t have to infer what a piece of data is; you’re telling them outright), it’s also the engine that drives rich results, which are taking up an increasing amount of real estate in the SERPs.
The advent of voice-enabled search is making structured data an even more important part of the search marketer’s toolset. In much the same way that structured data enables search engines to extract and reproduce rich data in the SERP, that same entity extraction and reproduction is at the core of voice search results.
Unfortunately, implementing structured data via semantic markup can be time-consuming and frustrating. Until relatively recently, the only way to implement semantic markup was to do so inline, by adding HTML attributes from Schema.org to the existing HTML of a page.
To do so at scale, this historically required making changes to page themes or templates, which could be a big development ask depending on the site’s setup.
Plus, inline markup is by its very nature bound to the presentation layer: you couldn’t mark up pieces of data that weren’t on the page (with the exception of judicious meta tag use), and if two pieces of information weren’t close together on the page, it could be difficult, if not impossible, to link them together within a single itemScope tag.
Happily, the days of struggling to wrangle our data into easily-marked-up forms are behind us: it is now possible to add structured data in mere minutes using JSON-LD. This markup is now fully supported by Google and Bing; in fact, Google