What Is Schema Markup & Why Is It Important For SEO?
When it comes to our websites and how Google views them, being able to show as much context as possible is vital. With better context, the search engine can better determine what your website is designed to offer, the overall visibility within search and, of course, your SEO results. With over 10 million websites reportedly using Schema.org markup, whether that’s through the Blog Schema Entity, Person Schema Entity, Product Schema Entity or another of the entities available, it’s clear that this is a technique more and more businesses are starting to adopt.
With this in mind, understanding just what schema markup actually is and why it’s so important for SEO can help to enhance your campaign. We’ve asked our experts here at Absolute Digital Media exactly why that is the case.
Table Of Contents
- Why Is Schema Markup So Important?
- What Is Schema Markup?
- What Is Schema Used For?
- How Can Schema Be Useful For Your SEO?
- How To Implement Schema Into Your Website
Why Is Schema Markup So Important?
Before you begin implementing or putting together a schema markup for your website, you’re probably wondering just why it’s necessary for your website. The power that schema can provide for your website in terms of SEO is vast, with the simplest seed of code offering your website a number of benefits including the look of your site, the value of the content, improved local SEO and accurate business details in the SERPS. Schema markup also offers:
- Better Local Search – Local businesses have the ability to clarify what their website is about, what products and information they offer and more.
- Clear Business Information – Business details are more clearly displayed in the SERPs, including everything from contact information and social media accounts, to consumer reviews, blogs, logos and relevant data about founders and staff.
- Event Promotion – Event promotion is made easier with Schema Markup, with the potential for information about venues, dates, performers and tickets appearing in rich snippets in some cases.
- Better SEO Rankings – The use of schema allows for a more attractive and engaging page within the SERPs through rich or featured snippets and in some cases, images. This encourages users to click to the site and may ultimately improve your ranking.
- Improved Relevancy Of Results – By using schema, a search engine will better understand what your website offers and can therefore list your pages with better relevancy overall.
- Easy Navigation On Your Site – You may have noticed that some search results, particularly those in position one, have additional links below the main URL. By using schema markup, you can show Google which links are navigational, enabling the search engine to offer easy site navigation right from the SERPs.
What Is Schema Markup?
Schema is defined as being code or structured data implemented within a website to help guide a search engine through your pages and while schema itself hasn’t changed much, the power it holds certainly has. With properly implemented schema data, you can help search engines to return more informative results for their users through not only relevancy but by providing more in-depth rich and featured snippets within the SERPs. Whether that’s opening times for your store, upcoming events or something else entirely, Google’s adoption of rich snippets has made it easier for businesses to offer valuable information to potential and returning clients long before they even click through to the website.
Schema markup is essentially microdata that is implemented within the main code of your website. While it does differ from standard HTML, you won’t need to learn the codes. Schema.org contains the full list of some of the most common schemas available, each of which all search engines will recognise and understand.
Schema data offers an easier way for businesses to show search engines precisely what their data means, rather than relying on bots to work out precisely what it says. According to Schema.org:
“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.”
When looking at it this way, it’s easy to see how a few extra schema markup tags can help a search engine to show your website for more relevant results. But what exactly is it used for?
What Is Schema Used For?
Any website with any form of data is likely to be able to use schema to their advantage. There are hundreds of types available, but some of the most popular uses include:
- TV Episodes or Ratings
- Business Or Organisation Information
Websites across a wide number of industries can benefit from using schema data to better develop how a search engine sees your website, whether that’s on Google, Yahoo, Bing, or another platform entirely. Branded schema, images, app-based schema and person schema are some of the lesser-used, but equally as beneficial markup types that each have the potential to return rich and featured results and, as any search marketer will tell you, this isn’t always simple to gain. With click-through rate (CTR) reportedly increasing by over 114% after earning a featured snippet, schema data is becoming a staple in countless SEO campaigns.
How Can Schema Be Useful For Your SEO?
As we’ve already mentioned, schema data makes it far simpler for search engines to determine exactly what the data on your website means. While it isn’t a direct ranking signal, structured data and schema markup do allow search engines to better determine relevancy and list your pages in the results more effectively. Within SEO, schema markup:
- Makes Your Webpage More Competitive In The SERPs
Page one is the place to be within the SERPs, but even after you’ve reached the higher rankings, there is a significant level of competition that you need to take into consideration. Giving your listing that competitive edge with schema data can help you to capture a more significant share of the search volume. By adding helpful images, information such as pricing, reviews or opening times and other content through rich snippets, you can not only draw attention but offer a more enriched user experience for each visitor to your website.
- Improves And Determines Relevancy
Optimisation is the key to success when it comes to relevancy, and schema data offers an arguably more efficient way of doing so. Google needs to understand precisely what is on a webpage in order to rank it more effectively. For example, if your content is about Apple products, you can utilise schema data in order to show search engines whether this is about the technology company and their products, or about actual apples. This way, your website and its pages will appear under the right context to match the search intent of your desired audience.
- Improves Your Click-Through Rate
Remember that competitive edge we mentioned? Through schema data, you can enrich your listing in the SERPs with a number of different features that help you to stand out from the crowd. With experts suggesting that structured and schema data can improve your click-through rates from anything between 5%-30%, being able to offer this enhanced search data can help to get you more of the clicks from users.
How To Implement Schema Into Your Website
For the most part, implementing schema markup into your website is simple. These simple bits of microdata are entered between the content and coding of your pages in order to define what a piece of data is and how a search engine should treat it when it crawls through. For those with limited knowledge of coding, there is thankfully a tool offered by Google to make the entire process much more streamlined. This is known as Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper.
This tool enables you to easily work out which codes are needed for which parts of your website, through a Google-created HTML code for your website. You can do this using the following steps:
Step 1: Select The Data Type You Want To Markup
Google offers a handful of page types to choose from initially, including articles, book reviews, data sets, events, films, job postings, local businesses, products, question & answer pages, restaurants, software applications and TV episodes.
Step 2: Enter The URL Of The Page Or Article For Markup
You can enter the URL of any webpage here or if you only have the raw HTML data, you can also enter this. From here, simply select ‘Start Tagging’, where you’ll be taken to the markup tool.
Step 3: Begin Highlighting The Elements You Want To Markup
Whether it’s the name of the article, the author, publication dates, or something else entirely, you can quickly highlight any data on your webpage and select the relevant data item from the pane on the right. Continue doing this until all of the relevant data items have been labelled. You may not be able to fill every item listed on the right, but covering all that you can will ultimately help to build more substantial information architecture.
Step 4: Create The HTML File
After you’ve clicked ‘Create HTML’, you’ll be provided with an HTML listing with the microdata markup inserted into the relevant spots throughout. These will be highlighted, so you can more effectively determine where the schema markup is.
Step 5: Add The Markup To Your Webpage
Once you have the HTML file with the relevant points highlighted, you can utilise this within the core HTML of your website. Simply insert the highlighted microdata into your website in the relevant spots. You can also download the file and directly copy and paste this into your website.
Following the use of this tool, you can take a number of ‘next steps’ as suggested by Google. These include Finding more properties through the Schema.org website and running the Structured Data Testing Tool to ensure that the search engine can effectively and correctly understand the new microdata.
There are hundreds upon hundreds of different schemas that can be used for a website, each of which will be more effective for some websites above others. If you’re in need of help with your schema markup or would like more information about what this entails, feel free to get in touch with a member of our team on 0800 088 6000, today.