What Is Schema Markup & How Can It Boost Your SEO?
It is estimated that schema markup is only being utilized by about 0.3% of all websites. The numbers are a sad representation of the advantages being passed up by not implementing this SEO tool on their web site. This dismal number can be attributed to the confusion surrounding schema markup. In this article we aim to educate our audience on the most important parts of using schema markup for sound on page SEO.
We will tackle the tough information relating to schema markup from the basics to the step-by-step addition of the markup to your website’s HTML. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you can be deemed knowledgeable in schema markups and will take action by implementing this tool on your website.
Let’s Talk About Structured Data First
Why? Because schema markup is a set of vocabulary codes used for structured data.
This data is a set of information that is formatted in such a way that it will be understood across different platforms all over the web. With structured data, search engines will be able to understand the content better on your website.
In return, the search engine results page (SERP) can display more useful information about your web pages. You are also more likely to be ranked higher over sites who do not use structured data. Therefore, with the structured data, context is provided to search engines in addition to the actual content on a website.
This Is What Schema Markup Is
The schema markup is created by a team consisting of members from different search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Yandex.
The team created a “universal” code that all search engines will be able to understand. Schema markup then helps search engines know which data or contents from your website are relevant to a search query. Then, these search engines display relevant information, such as rich snippets, that is visible when your website pops up in the SERPs.
There are many different applications you can use this for depending on the type of website you have and what you are trying to promote. For people looking to optimize their business with local SEO this would work great to mark up your site with your business locations and services.
Schema markup works by tagging elements, such as title of an article or a picture, on a website’s page with a certain code which then transmits to the search engine the meaning of those elements.
A list of all the things you can markup is provided in Schema.org. However, this list is not exhaustive. If you are having trouble grasping the concept of schema markup, picture this: if you have an article about the book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, you can mark it up with the “book” item type to tell the search engine that the article is about a book and not about anything else.
Getting Started with Schema Markup
There are three ways to mark up your website with schema codes: microdata, RDFa and JSON-LD. Below is a fair summary to guide you in deciding which one to use.
|Advantage||It is fairly easy to use and is beginner-friendly.||If you are already familiar with how microdata works, then you can easily do RDFa.||The codes that you need to integrate into the website’s HTML is mostly limited within the page header. Therefore, it is not as tedious as the other two.|
|Disadvantage||You have to mark up every individual element on every page on your website and integrate the codes with your website’s HTML page. This can be a tedious job.||Same as microdata, you have to add the RDFa codes in your website’s HTML.||-|
|Tools||You can go to Schema.org for the different item types and the procedure on how to use them. In the alternative, you can also use Google’s tool called the Structured Data Markup Helper. It helps you highlight the elements you want to tag and then gives you the code which you can copy and paste in your website’s HTML.||You can check out the Schema.org’s Data Model for RDFa or the W3C primer for RDFa.||You can read Google’s Introduction to Structured Data or Portent’s JSON-LD Implementation Guide.|
With the ways described above, you can generate codes and add them to your site’s HTML and voila – your page and its contents are marked. You can test if everything is in order by using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.
After familiarizing yourself with the methods above you feel overwhelmed with a lot of coding you have to do but once you get the hang of it, it will be an easier task for you later on. For some web platforms, like WordPress, there are plug ins you can integrate in your back end that will make implementation a whole lot easier.
If you are savvy you can implement this on your own. For businesses you can utilize our business web development services to make sure your website is properly marked up. Schema markup is only a small portion of the services we include in our web site design and optimization services.
Schema For SEO Is A Great Way To Stand Above The Rest
Schema markups, as discussed above, helps search engine understand better what your website and its content is all about.
It increases your visibility to search engine sites and may improve your rankings. According to a study by Search Metrics, site with Schema markups ranked on average 4 positions over sites without it.
Also, the likelihood that a user will click through to your website increases. Higher click-through rates can lead to higher potential customers, wider web following, and more relevant engagement with users.
As stated earlier, a really small fraction of all websites out there utilize schema markup. There is a window of opportunity for you to gain the upper hand in the SERPs by implementing this on your website.