Building a sound website isn’t just about setting up responsive website design and producing relevant content—a lot of the work happens behind the scenes too! That means knowing how to optimize the backend of your site. You should frequently check in and polish your codes for maintenance, updates, and to see if they still make sense.
One of the most crucial things you should ensure is that you create your web pages with context, so the search engines can figure out exactly what it contains. Luckily, it’s easy to do this with schema markup.
What is Schema Markup?
The schema markup is a type of code or tag that you can add to your HTML so search engines can understand and skim your page better. It is also frequently referred to as structured data.
Schema is actually short for Schema.org, a library of semantic vocabulary of tags. This project is a collaborative effort among Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo. Their goal was to provide a better way for webmasters to provide information and context about their site to search engines. Performing this step can help boost SEO rankings too and is therefore critical in your website structure.
How Does Schema Markup Work?
Plenty of websites with markup still use HTML codes. Adding schema markup means including Schema.org tags to your HTML microdata. Search engines will then be able to read that data to know what your page is about, display it on its results pages, and feed visual information to potential website visitors, such as ratings on products or small photos that explain what’s found inside the webpage.
For instance, we see that Sanuk’s website displays ratings, number of upvotes, price, and the stock availability of their product. It already gives you so much information to aid your decision to buy the product.
One of the most important things to note is that schema markup was created with the user in mind. The top search engines didn’t just band together to make your lives more difficult—they created the code to help everyone out. That includes search engines that want to understand the content of your page, users who want to know what the link contains before they click it, and webmasters who wish to provide this data and improve their website for both search engines and its users.
Why Should You Use Schema Markup?
Schema markup sounds exciting and all, but what tangible results can it give your website? Here are just some of the best ones:
- Higher click-through rates – More people will be enticed to visit your webpage. A study revealed that using schema increases your CTR by up to 30%.
- Improved website rankings – The richer the information you provide, the more search engines will appreciate your effort to tell them how much valuable content you have on your webpage. This means higher rankings for all types of content.
- Become eligible for Position Zero – Schema helps you get the coveted featured snippet on search engines. The material displayed on that spot has schema markup implemented on their webpage.
- Beat your competition – Steal the thunder away from your industry rivals as you attract more web visitors and inch your way to the top of SERPs.
Types of Schema Markup that Can Boost Organic Traffic
There are many kinds of schema markup codes that have different functions. Below are some you can implement depending on the nature of your website and business. There will be some here that you will definitely want to prioritize over others.
1. Organization Schema Markup
Usually appearing on the right-hand corner of SERPs, this tag enables you to present your company information in an orderly fashion. It includes your logo, nature of the business, website, short history, contact information, social media profiles, and location, to name a few. It’s an excellent way for users to learn about your company at a glance without having to click through so many pages. It also boosts your image and adds credibility to your brand.
2. Website Schema Markup
The website schema markup shows a second search bar, called the Sitelinks Search Box, under your URL. It allows users to type in queries and consequently get results from your website. This is helpful if they see that your company or brand is related to the industry they are researching, and they feel that they can get more specific results by taking the search to your website. For this to be activated, however, you must have an existing site search feature.
3. Recipe Schema Markup
The recipe schema markup is made especially for food blogs, where they can show rich snippets of their creation. It’s usually a great way for users to evaluate whether or not they want to follow a specific recipe since it already shows the cooking duration, ratings from other people who’ve done it, a thumbnail showing the finished product, and more or less the entire summary of the recipe. Again, this works because you don’t waste anymore of the user’s precious time. They can decide then and there if they want to click on your website and learn what you have prepared. This schema markup is also great for visual and instructional content.
4. Site Navigation Schema Markup
You’ve probably come across a URL of a SERP display “Jump to [Menu}” or “Jump to [Page].” This is the site navigation markup. It allows users to click on the specific menu or section on the page where they can find a more detailed explanation of their query, shortening the time it takes for users to get the answers that they need. If you have this on your webpage, your visitors will appreciate the fact that they don’t have to go through countless pages or try to figure out where the content they’re looking for is.
5. Video Schema Markup
Search engines have a harder time indexing videos on search results pages, as there is no text to crawl—this where tags, like structured data, come in handy. Implementing video schema markup not only helps your content get indexed faster on search engines like Google, but it also shows a thumbnail image of what your video is going to be about. The description of the video will also be shown, as well as the video length and date of publishing.
Note: This also motivates you to be as descriptive as possible with your videos. This information is what will help Google and your users understand what your content is about before they even click on your page.
6. Social Media Schema Markup
You can also specify which social media profiles you want to appear under your URL. This can help your audience know where else to reach you, other than your official website. You can place your Facebook Page, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Spotify, and so much more, depending on which channels are most relevant to your business. Of course, you don’t have to fill in each one unless otherwise necessary.
7. Local Business Schema Markup
Location information is one of the most widely searched things about a business. If you don’t have this readily available on your site, you may be frustrating or turning away a lot of potential customers. Implementing this structured data saves your target audience from additional clicks by displaying your company or store address, operating data and hours, contact information, and more right on Google Search or Google Maps. This helps distinguish different branches of the same company, and boosts local SEO.
8. Article Schema Markup
If you regularly publish blog posts on your page (which you should be doing), then the article schema markup will help put your content center-stage. This is usually a collection of your most recent posts, with your headline, featured image, and date of publication included. If there’s a video on the page, it could replace the space where the featured image would usually be shown.
This gives the viewer much more information about a particular topic at a glance, as well as a chance to see its relevance and freshness. You can further categorize the structured data you tag for your blog posts, news articles, and journals or scholarly articles.
9. Rating or Review Schema Markup
Like the original example shown above with Sanuk, the rating and review structured data clues in your target audience about necessary information about a product. If you have an e-commerce store on your official website, it would be helpful to show details like ratings and the number of reviews your item has gotten from other people. It’s much more attention-grabbing this way.
10. Product and Offer Schema Markup
The product and offer schema markup work well with the rating and reviews tag. That’s right—you need two different tags for each feature. If you notice carefully on your searches, some results won’t display a rating. In that case, they only have the product and offer schema markup activated. This gives information such as stock availability, price, or price range. This saves a person the hassle from discovering that your product is out of stock, or your item may be out of their price range.
Essential Tools to Implement Schema Markup
To execute the above examples of structured data on your webpages, you will need help from these smart tools. Luckily, most of these are free. Here’s why you need each one and what they can do for you.
Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper
This tool allows you to generate schema markup codes that you can easily incorporate on your website. Once you’re at the home page, the first thing you should do is select the type of data you want to markup. Let’s say you want to add video schema markup. Next, you paste the URL of the page you want to add structured data to. Highlight all the relevant information you want to be marked up. In this case, you’d want to include the title, upload date, and relevant information to appear on SERPs.
Schema.org Schema Data Type
The Schema.org website gives you the necessary information about the different types of structured data you should use for your HTML code. You can look it up there and note it for when you enter the needed values on the Structured Data Markup Helper.
Structured Data Testing Tool
To better help you visualize the changes that will happen to your webpage, you can use the Structured Data Testing Tool to see what the schema markup adds. You can also use this for troubleshooting or testing for warnings and errors. If all seems to be working well, you can then add the generated schema markup to your web page. This saves you time from having to go back in and edit things again if there is missing information you may have overlooked.
Google’s Structured Data Guidelines
Last but not least, it’s critical for you to review the guidelines set by Google. It’s free material you can base your schema markup optimization and strategies on to help your webpage get understood and indexed faster by the search engine. These guidelines are also an excellent benchmark for what you can follow and apply towards other search engines (Bing, Yahoo!, etc.) since they all co-created the structured data tags.
If you need a few more tools for your schema markup experimentation, you can also check out the following:
- Google Data Highlighter
- Yandex Structured Data Markup
- Yandex Structured Data Validator API
- Bing Webmaster Tools Markup Validator
- Google Rich Results Tester
Implement Structured Data Tags Today
Schema markup might seem like a small detail in your HTML code, but its impact is huge. More and more websites are becoming feature-rich, cutting away from simple blue links on SERPs. The different parameters set by search engines ensure that webpages incorporate things such as schema markup to improve the user experience.
Suffice it to say that learning about schema markup and the nuances of its use can definitely be a handful, especially if you’re not well-versed in code. Thankfully, there are reputable agencies that know what they’re doing in the digital marketing and SEO scene.
Contact experts at SEO Company who can help you implement this feature, so your website can start reaping the benefits of structured data today!