Schema, or structured data markup schema, is a budding trend in marketing. Marketers are always looking for the next thing to give them a leg up and schema markup can be just that, but it is still largely unused by marketers. Schema markup has actually been around for a few years, but the majority of marketers have not welcomed this valuable SEO tool with open arms. Schema markup may mean adding an additional step to your SEO process, but schema markup has a variety of upsides to promote your SEO.
What is Schema Markup?
Schema markup is a great way to stand out from the competition. To boil it down, schema markup is a way to take the “guesswork” out of search engine results and to tell the search engine exactly what your page is about. Instead of a search engine just taking an educated guess about what your content is, the schema markup tells the search engine what your content means and what it is about by providing context.
Here’s an example to help clarify, normally you might put in the URL to the publisher’s logo, but with schema markup, you would tell them that that is the publisher’s logo. A search engine would normally just know that there is a URL, but schema tells them that the URL is to the publisher’s logo. Using schema markup clarifies the meaning of different elements on the page so that Google knows exactly what each element is.
Another example would be if you wanted to create schema markup for an article. You would be able to use schema to specifically tell search engines the author’s name, the article’s headline, the site URL, the URL to the image on the page, a short description of the article, the publisher, the URL to the publisher’s logo, when the article was published, and when the page was modified. And that is just for the schema of an article.
There are also schema options for a number of other content types. There are schema layouts for breadcrumbs, how-tos, FAQ pages, events, products, recipes, videos, persons, organizations, local businesses, websites, job-postings, local businesses, etc. As you can see, the possibilities are endless.
So let’s get a little more technical. Schema markup, or on-page markup, is added to your HTML, and here are three of its formats–JSON-LD, Microdata, and RDFa. JSON-LD is usually the format of choice, but choosing between the three of these will mostly just depend on which format you are more comfortable with. However, there are numerous Schema Markup Generators online to do the hard work for you.
Helpful Online Schema Tools
Here’s a little background on how schema markup began. Bing, Google, Yahoo!, and Yandex all collaborated on a project called schema.org. This collaboration essentially created a universal structured data vocabulary, so that different search engines could all find the meaning and context behind a site through their structured data. You can easily go online and find a schema markup generator and then use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to double-check that it’s right.
Schema Markup’s Impact on SEO
By giving the meaning behind words, the search engine can then give more tailored results, which can directly impact your SEO rankings. If a search engine knows what your site means, then they can more accurately match your site with the queries of consumers. This means that when your page is pulled up for a search query, it will likely be more accurate than before.
Schema markup also allows you to implement rich snippets on search engine results pages because rich snippets come from the page’s HTML as well. These rich snippets let your page stand out on SERPs and encourage more clicks because consumers can see additional information that other listings do not provide.
Schema can also help you rank better (or more accurately) for different types of content. You get to say what your content is. Whether you just wrote a news article or a book review, you get to put in exactly what it is. You don’t have to cross your fingers and hope that the search engines “understood” or read it correctly, instead you get to give them the background context.
To Sum It All Up
As most marketers know, it’s the little things that make a difference when it comes to SEO, and schema markup is one of those things. Schema markup is an emerging tool that marketers can use to share the meaning of their site. It can help sites rank higher, while it also allows marketers to use rich snippets to help their site stand out in SERPs. Overall, it also makes sites easier to find by people who are interested in that content because search engines can show more accurate results to search queries.
So even if you don’t dramatically rank higher on SERPs, when you do show up, it should be more targeted and accurate based on the query. Schema markup also allows you to have more control over how you’re depicted because you get to tell the search engines about yourself and the meaning of your content.
So if you still think schema is too complex and not worth it, just read these main benefits of schema markup…
- It provides search engines with the meaning and context behind your sites.
- You control how your site is understood.
- It can improve SERP rankings.
- It can generate more interested consumers.
- It lets you use rich snippets to help you stand out on SERPs.
Schema is a great opportunity to promote your SEO. Not sure how to get started? Contact us for more info!