With the continuation of Google and other search engines in the designing of how SERPs appear when it comes to different types of queries, the space for displaying organic links continues to decrease in size more especially on mobile. Real estate has to be taken into great consideration while also enticing click-through. This brings us to the point of why it is essential to use schema markup to stand out against competitors online, and this allows you to be in a position that is more visible in SERPs.
SEMrush conducted a study recently which showed that out of 500 fortune companies, only 44% of these companies made use of schema markup on their web pages. Search Engine Watch back also conducted a study in 2017 that stated that “schema.org adoption still comes in at less than a third of websites.” This only implies that there are abundant opportunities for your competitors to be outranked by you and allows you to earn click-through over your competitors.
Schema markup also proves to be important when it comes to voice search and voice-activated devices. A study that was conducted by SEMrush stated that “the majority of answers served via voice search were marked up with some form of a schema.” The fact is about half of consumers use their voice when it comes to web search, which only tells that there is a need to begin adopting voice search optimization tactics if you would want to be up to date with consumer behaviors and stay visible in SERPs.
It is claimed that the addition of Schema to webpages can help in improving your rankings, but Google disputes this and says structured data is not a ranking signal. So as it stands, your webpage is being made to look better in SERPs and clicks are being increased as one of schema markup’s main benefits, and this stands a chance of helping with the rankings.
If you are enjoying this blog post, we would recommend checking out our How can I remove a link from Google search? blog post.
What is Schema Markup?
This HTML code is in the form of microdata, which is added to a webpage. Upon the addition of the HTML code, Schema markup aids search engines like Bing, Google, and Yandex in understanding the content which is being provided so that results that are quick and relevant are provided for each searcher in their search engine results pages.
In the year 2011, the collaboration of three search engines to come up with hyper user-focused search results led to the creation of Schema that would be understood on all platforms and of standard calibre.
Schema works in telling search engines what data means, makes use of a unique semantic vocabulary in the format of microdata, and Schema.org is the Schema markup website. It has to be said that it was invented for users.
Why Schema Markup is Important for SEO?
Schema Markup Provides Extensive Rich Snippets
The main reason why Schema markup is important is that it makes web pages to look better in search engine results pages as it works in enhancing the rich snippets that are shown under the content’s page title.
Upon several studies and examples, it was proven that a rich snippet looks much better in comparison to the second result which had only the metadata chosen by Google. Structured data is of the essence as you are helped in displaying exact and accurate information that you would prefer to be seen by your users on the rich snippets of your web pages.
It drives Organic Click-Through Rates
With the explanation above, remember that a structured data mark-up on a web page results in an extensive rich snippet.
A click-through rate increment comes about as a result of an extensive rich snippet that is represented very well in search engine results pages to users.
Keep in mind that an indirect SEO benefit can be provided by Schema markup for rich snippets because your web pages are made easily indexable by the provision of targeted metadata that is of great accuracy than mere keywords.
Click-through rate, bounce rate, time on site, and other related SEO behavioral data are considered to be important ranking factors.
Schema Markup Boosts Your Website SEO
Although we have mentioned that schema markup should not be considered as a direct ranking factor, it should be noted that your website ranking can be put on top of search engine results pages by this SEO practice which is considered one of the best.
As said earlier that structured data markup can assist in the enhancement of your rich snippets, which eventually drives higher click-through rates. In addition to that, search engines are helped by the data markup in understanding the content of your webpage and which leads to it being more indexable as compared to websites without schemas.
A study was conducted, and it was discovered that web pages that have a structured data markup have the potential of ranking up to four positions higher as compared to those which do not have a data markup.
How to Use Schema Markup for SEO
We have now reached the section where we will talk about how to use schema markup. The goal is to look better, rank better, and have better performance in the SERPs and the eyes of users.
Schema markup will be of great help. Below are the steps that you need to follow:
- Go to Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper
You can easily find this option.
- The type of data has to be selected
Listed are several options you can choose from. The list is designed in a way to not be exhaustive.
- Paste the URL You Want to Markup
In the case that you only have HTML, this can then just be pasted. After that, click the option “Start Tagging”
In the markup tool, there will be loaded the page which will provide you with the required workspace needed for the next phase of markup, in short, tagging items. Your web page will be seen in the left lane, and displayed in the right pane will be the data items.
- Select the Elements to Mark Up
For instance, if given an article piece of content, the name of the article is highlighted to add the “Name” markup. After the highlighting is done, “Name” is selected from the tooltip. After the selection of “Name”, the tool adds it to “Data items” which appears in the right pane.
- Continue Adding Markup Items
The list of data items has to be used as a guide, and the other items in your article have to be highlighted with the aim of adding them to the markup list. It is not possible to tag every item in the list, just make addition of what you can.
- Create the HTML
After you are done with that, click “Create HTML.” The following page will show the HTML of your page, which has the relevant microdata inserted in the spots which have been selected.
- Add Schema Markup to Your Site
At this stage, go into your CMS, a source in an instance where you are not using CMS, and then make an addition of the highlighted snippets in the appropriate spots. Look for the yellow markers on the scrollbar to find the Schema markup code.
In simple ways, you can just download the automatically-generated HTML file, and the file has to be copied and pasted into your CMS or source code.
After clicking “Finish”, you will receive the order of “Next Steps.”
- Test Your Schema
The Structured Data Testing Tool has to be utilized for you to find out what your page will look like with the added markup.
Tips for Using Schema Markup for SEO
The main goal of this article is to introduce you to the world of Schema markup. It is a very broad world.
Provided are some tips which will show you how to even go deeper and get even richer results from schema markup.
Find The Most Commonly Used Schemas
Schema.org gives you a provision of common types of schema markup. The organization of schemas page can be visited to view this list. You can see for yourself which types are suited best for your business.
Use All The Schemas You Need
As stated earlier, there are several markup types. Available markup types are provided by this master list.
The More Markups, The Better
Schema.org’s instructions state clearly, “the more content you mark up, the better.” Once you gain an understanding of the vast array of item types, that is when you start to see just how much there is on your web page that can be marked up.
Remember that the disclaimer states that content must only be marked up if it is visible to people who visit the web page and when the content is not hidden in dives or other hidden page elements.
What Is Schema Used For?
To go straight to the point, schema markup is used in providing context to an otherwise ambiguous webpage. Search engines make use of it to understand what is on the page, instead of just indexing what is there and hoping that the context is gotten right.
After schema markup is added to your website, it proves to help improve the way your page displays in SERPs through the enhancement of all types of queries. These are referred to as rich snippets and they are mostly found beneath the title of the page.
Rich snippets can be defined as features that highlight key information on the page of Google results, which goes beyond the standard blue links to provide carousels, images, and other non-textual elements.
Types of Schema Markups
There are several types of Schema Markups because people ask many different questions which are to be answered by the search engines. As it stands, there are varying standards and schemas which work in marking up different types of information on web pages. This results in the webmasters finding it tough to make a decision only relevant and supported markup standards to be used. The creation of a schema that is supported by major search engines makes it easy for webmasters to add a markup, which simplifies work for search engines to make a creation of rich search features for users. Listed below are some of the common use cases for schema markup:
1. Organization Schema Markup
This schema markup works in clarifying the introduction of your company, that is its official logo, social profiles, and contact information. This aids in giving you the shorts and skinny of a company right off the bat without the need to dig around to look for the basics. This also makes it possible for people to find the information easily if they wish to contact you immediately.
2. Person Market Schema Markup
This type of schema markup shows information concerning an individual, that is, in terms of name, address, birthday, education, and family members.
Google assumes that if you are looking for someone by name, you are also looking for some basic information.
So this type of Schema aims in delivering the answer that you seek without you having to click through to another website.
3. Local Business Schema Markup
This type of schema markup is perfect for local companies or a local branch of an organization. It assists consumers in finding the location of the company and other related information like the address, opening hours, contact information, etc. A local business can be defined as a particular physical business or branch of an organization like a restaurant, bowling alley, medical practice, branch of a bank, and the likes.
4. Product & Offer Schema Markup
This is a type of Schema which made use of when it comes to selling a specific item of a service or product. Both of these allow product information to be delivered, like the price and status, but the offer markup, in particular, requires price and currency properties of the price, while product markup only needs the property of the name.
This proves efficient as it helps your product/service to stand out from the rest of competitors if they are not using it, or in other instances, users are allowed to compare easily to other competitors provided they are selling the same product/service you are.
5. Breadcrumbs Markup
This type in particular makes a list of the links which point to the current page. Users are helped to see their location and bounce rates are rather reduced.
6. Article Schema Markup
As the title suggests, this one is mostly used for news and blog posts. It allows search engines to understand easily the content pulling in the headline, the time which it was published, the image featured, and at some points a video. Exists are different types of articles, like posts, blogs, news articles, and scholarly articles.
7. Video Schema Markup
This schema markup provides a rather great way to help Google crawl and allow videos to be indexed on your website, which is normally a tough thing for engines to do. It works in helping your video to appear in the Google video search, different from those from YouTube.
8. Event Schema Markup
Event Schema Markup makes a provision of additional information designated for events, like the date, location, and price.
This schema markup helps in making it easy to the specific events which people might be looking for, and the basic information will be provided for you to make a purchase.
9. Recipe Schema Markup
This is special for the recipe website pages to show a rich snippet. Apart from making searchers hungry, it assists them in evaluating the finished product before they click through.
10. Rating/Review Schema Markup
Almost everyone likes to look at reviews before they purchase a product. The goal is to buy a product that is worth the cash and has the required features. This is very helpful as the buyer gets the required information with ease without the need to dig deep for the information which is required.
If we could talk of something like movies, know that rich snippets will be presented in different sizes depending on the main focus of the website. The major surprise is that a major website such as IMDb only has a small amount of information listed in their rich snippet, with just a rating for the movie 1917 showing up.
Using the Schema Markup Test Tool
Not long ago, Google announced that there has been an update for testing schema markup, which is called “Rich Results Test,” that can be made use of to test and validate structured data through using a URL or code snippet. This new rich snippet will replace the original Google structured data testing tool when they start to phase out.
Yes, you might want to go on with testing and validating your changes until you see that there are no errors anymore because uploading of incorrect data can lead to unwanted Google penalties. Even if the errors can come from a simple misleading, Google could still view this as spam.
We believe by now you know almost everything about schema markup, like why it is important, what it is, what it can be used for, and the likes.