A Simple Guide to Schema Markup
One of the newest trends in technical SEO is called schema markup. This additional tool for optimisation will help you rank better and get noticed on the search engine results pages. In this guide, we’ll help you get to grips with schema markup and why it’s important for SEO purposes.
What is Schema Markup?
Schema markup (or schema.org), also known as structured data, is a coding language that helps search engines better understand the content on your pages and serve more informative results on the SERPs.
If you’ve ever seen ”˜rich snippets‘, such as dates, reviews, or photos in the search results, then you’ve come across the use of schema markup. Things like rich cards, and the knowledge graph appear on SERPs after gathering information from structured data.
Below is an example of both book and movie schema for the term “Jane Eyre”:
What are the types of schema markup?
Schema.org is a joint effort between search engines like Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo to add microdata to websites that create an enhanced description of the context, and provides content behind otherwise vague web pages.
Schema.org has this to say about it:
“Most webmasters are familiar with HTML tags on their pages. Usually, HTML tags tell the browser how to display the information included in the tag. For example, <h1>Avatar</h1> tells the browser to display the text string “Avatar” in a heading 1 format. However, the HTML tag doesn’t give any information about what that text string means–“Avatar” could refer to the hugely successful 3D movie, or it could refer to a type of profile picture–and this can make it more difficult for search engines to intelligently display relevant content to a user.”
The schema.org markup includes formats for structuring data around all kinds of people, places and things on the web. You can find a huge list of items that can be structured using schema markup on schema’s website here.
Some of the most common types of schema markup include:
- Local Businesses
- Medical conditions
After adding these different markups to your site where relevant, they allow a search engine to understand what your site is about. The search engine is then able to showcase this information via Rich Snippets.
For example, here is the result of a page implementing the schema markup for recipe:
How does Schema Markup Help SEO?
So why it is so important for SEO? While it’s well known that schema markup is not a ranking factor, there are still many benefits of using schema for an SEO boost.
Schema Helps Search Engines Serve Better Results
Before Google can put your business in front of people searching, it needs to understand what your content will be providing its users.
Using structured data on your content helps you communicate better with Google about what your page is about. This communication is key to providing search engines with a clear image of what your webpage is.
While your content tells search engines what your website is about, schema markup tells Google about the relationship between entities mentioned on your page – for example, who the author of the article is, or what product your pages is selling.
It’s easy to assume that these elements are already clear, but schema markup is your opportunity to clearly outline the details.
Schema boosts brand presence on SERPS
When someone searches for your brand, or for a service you offer, they’re looking for instant information that provides an answer. To help their users, Google places a knowledge graph containing helpful information about your business. This can include opening hours, address, contact information, relevant links and reviews.
Having these key details available at first glance will highlight your brand immediately, and can establish a greater sense of authority and trust within your target audience.
To help Google recognise this information to have a greater chance of having a knowledge graph appear, mark this type of information as structured data on your site.
SCHEMA TELLS SEARCHERS THAT YOU’RE THE EXPERT
Pushing accurate answers to the top of search results is a great way to have your business be in the spotlight. Google knows how valuable this is, so information they deem suitable is featured in its own separate box above the search results, with a link to the site providing the information.
This type of search result exposure is incredibly valuable, instilling a sense of expertise for your business within users.
Schema Improves CTRs
One of the biggest benefits of using schema markup is the space that your listing will take up on search engine results. Serving your users the most relevant information right when they’re searching for it has proven to improve CTRs.
So while you might not see a direct rankings boost after adding schema markup, you could certainly see more organic traffic!
How to Create Your Own Schema Markup (Structured Data)
There are several tools on the web that are available to you to help you get started implementing schema markup.
Once you’ve generated your schema, you simply have to implement it into your code – either straight into the coding or using schema WordPress plugins that make the job even simpler.
Here are some of the best schema generator tools online that you can try out:
- Merkle Schema Markup Generator – One of our personal faves at Tecmark, and lets you easily export in JSON-LD or microdata formats.
- Hall Analysis Schema Generator – This generator is simple and easy to use – perfect for website owners of all kinds.
- Google Structured Data Markup Helper – This interactive tool lets you click around your webpage or email and then select and label each item on your page that you want to mark up.
- Microdata Generator.com – This is another great tool that is especially helpful for local businesses.
Implementing schema is a lot easier than it seems – and it’s an SEO best practice that everyone should get on board with.
Ready to get started? Happy Data Structuring!