The goal of every website is to provide content to an audience that is searching for it. With nearly 2 billion published websites to compete with, Schema Markup is one way you can ensure your content is recognised as the best content for your specific target market. If search engines can better understand your content, they can better present it and you will enjoy higher click-through rates and website retention, both important SEO factors.
In this article, you’ll learn the basics of Schema Markup and how it can impact your SEO efforts, as well as some of the most common and useful types of markup and how to start incorporating it into your website.
- 1 What is Schema Markup?
- 2 Does Schema Help SEO
- 3 3 Ways Schema Can Improve SEO
What is Schema Markup?
It may sound complex, but essentially you are telling search algorithms how best to interpret the content on your website, so it can be displayed in a more useful way. For example, Schema Markup can call attention to the difference between a product sales page listing for a microwave and a product review or that same microwave, or even a recipe that encourages the use of that microwave.
In each of those situations, the content will appeal to very different search intent, and schema markup can help search engines show the right content to the right searchers, potentially improving your website’s SEO.
Does Schema Help SEO
There are no guarantees that Schema Market will have a direct impact on your SEO, but by improving the relevance of your listings in search results as well as providing more enhanced details within the results, your click-through rate is likely to improve, which can have a significant, though indirect, effect on your SEO strategy.
The ultimate goal of Schema is to provide a better user experience when they’re using search engines, which is undeniably an important factor in ranking.
3 Ways Schema Can Improve SEO
1. Rich Snippet Prioritised Search Results
Google is continuously finding ways to provide quick, instant answers to its customer base. In recent years, this has lead to priority placement of content that includes Rich Snippets with direct answers to direct questions. In many cases, a Rich Snippet result will appear above standard search results listing, regardless of their ranking.
Schema Markup is a useful way to identify specific information that Google likes to display as Rich Snippets, such as event dates and information, tables, lists and more.
The more relevant data that search engines can find for a specific search query, the higher your content will be displayed in rankings, and the more space you’re listing will take up, calling attention to your information above all others.
2. Improves Click-Through Rates (CTR)
The more information you can present to a viewer within your search result listing, the more trust you will immediately build. The more obvious it is that your website is exactly the content a user is searching for, the more likely they are going to be to click on our listing.
The higher your CTR, the better it is for your website’s SEO.
3. Pre-qualified Website Traffic
Another indirect SEO improvement is a lower bounce rate and a higher average time spent on your website after the click. This is because, when a user knows more about your site upfront, they are more likely to be getting the right information when they land on your site.
Not all clicks are created equal. If users are clicking to your site expecting something different from what they get, they will leave and be disgruntled, which can harm your SEO.
Structured data helps ensure that you are pre-qualifying your traffic for best results.
Top 5 Types of Schema Markup
As of the writing of this article, there are 779 Types, 1390 Properties 15 Datatypes, 81 Enumerations and 437 Enumeration members. If you’re interested in learning about all of them, you can find them all listed and explained at Schema.org. If that is a bit overwhelming for you, we’ve created a more approachable list of 5 of the most common and useful types of Schema for you to focus on.
In a world that relies on crowdsourcing for everything from transportation to microfunding, reviews are one of the most highly valued resources a business can ask for from its customers. Reviews are social proof. They are real-life experiences from real people. If you don’t have any, you may not be negatively viewed, but if you do have positive reviews, it can be an immensely powerful tool to publicise.
Adding Review Markup will show ratings and reviews for your business within the listing, giving immediate strength to your business’s reputation and increasing the likelihood of getting a click over all the results that aren’t offering any social proof.
If you’re hosting any type of event, you can use Schema Markup to call attention to the time and location, not only increasing the space and relevance of your search result but also ensuring that more people can find and attend your event when the time comes.
This is great for SEO and the success of your event.
This is an incredibly important Schema for eCommerce businesses to incorporate into the website, but businesses listing any type of product, even if it isn’t their primary mode of business, should consider including it. Any product or service can be detailed with information such as price, make and model, sizing, materials, and more.
Remember, the more relevant your listing is when it is presented to searchers, the better your CTR, conversion rates, and website retention will be.
4. Creative Work
The most common types of Creative Work markup can include Articles and Blog Posts. This type of markup can help searchers discover the type of content they’re looking for. Whether it’s education, fiction, or even graphic work, tagging it with markup tells users what to expect when they land on your page.
Recipes have become one of the internet’s biggest resources. Using Schema Markup for recipes tells search engines and searchers alike that you’re not just talking about how delicious your meal was last night, but you’re giving detailed instructions on how to create a culinary masterpiece.
Schema can also be used to highlight important information about the recipe, such as dietary restrictions. This can not only improve your rankings and digital real estate in the listings, but it can also help you attract a new or specific niche audience.
How to Use Schema Markup for SEO
There are a few different Schema Markup generators that you can use, but since Google is the undeniable giant in the world of search engines, we prefer to use their tool to ensure the best compatibility with their search engine. With just a few, well-guided steps, you can generate Schema Markup for your website in minutes.
- Navigate to Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper
- Choose the Type of Data you want to incorporate into your website
- Enter the URL of your webpage that needs market
- Tag – the page will walk you through the process and give you all the options you need to customise your webpage with the correct data items
- Click the “Create the HTML” button when you’re satisfied with your work
- Download the HTML file with the automatically generated Schema Markup
- download the automatically-generated HTML file, and copy/paste it into your CMS or source code.
- Click the “Finish” button and a popup of “Next Steps” will guide you forward
It is also always a good idea to test your Schema Markup. You can paste the HTML into your CMS or directly into the source code of your website and then use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to see what your page will look like in search results. You can also paste the generated HTML code directly into this tool before publishing it to your website to be sure you’re happy with the results.
Schema Markup is easier to use than it may initially appear, though there is a myriad of applications to choose from and the process can be a bit overwhelming. If you’re not sure where to start or how to generate the best results as quickly as possible, Riordan SEO is here to help you with improving SEO. Get in touch today for help with your Schema Markup.