If you are anything like me, schema markup seems like a nebulous term, and one that requires some technical chops to understand. But after digging into the subject, it was much easier to understand and implement for the benefit of clients looking to optimize their websites to bring in more quality leads.
In this post, we will talk about what schema markup is and how it can help greatly with your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
What Is Schema Markup?
Put simply, schema markup is code that you add to your website. This code, or microdata, is nested within web pages and content. It gives search engines vital information that can be included in your listing.
This additional information can result in rich snippits, which are basically enhanced descriptions, in search results.
Here is an example of a listing with rich snippits. Here you can see star ratings, number of reviews, price of the item, and stock information. Helpful, right?
Here's a typical listing. There isn't much information here to encourage a searcher to click through.
As you can see, the listing with rich snippits is much more informative and helpful for search engine users.
By adding this microdata to your website, its structure will be more crawlable for search engines, resulting in better standings in search results.
Schema markup improves your click-through rates and online visibility. This will help your listing stand out from your competitors. Schema markups can include:
- Ratings / Reviews
- Store Hours
- Local Businesses
- Video Content
- And More
Regardless of the type of business you own, schema markup can greatly improve your listings in search results.
How to Add Schema Markup to Your Website
There are a couple different ways to add schema markup to your website. This part can get a little more technical, but an experienced web developer can help you out if needed.
Create Code with Google's Structured Data Markup Helper
One way is to add your schema markup using a tool like Google's Structured Data Markup Helper. This tool doesn't offer all schema types, but it does include several of the common ones.
Here are the steps you will follow:
- Choose the data type from the options provided and paste in your URL (or HTML source) for the page you want to mark up. Click the Start Tagging button.
- Add schema markup data to the right sidebar by highlighting the information on the page that you want to add and assigning it as Name, Image, Description, etc. from the box that appears.
- When done adding information, click Create HTML button.
- Click the Download button to get your schema markup code, or copy the code so you can paste it into your site.
- Paste the code into the appropriate area of your website. In many cases this will be right below the <head> section of your html.
Once you have added the code to your website, you can test it using the Google Structured Data Testing Tool. Just paste in the page URL you have added your schema markup to (or the code you copy from Google's Structured Data Markup Helper) and click the Run Test button.
If you encounter errors, you can always go back to Google's Structured Data Markup Helper, add/modify information, and paste the updated code into your website to replace the current code.
Install and Set Up a Schema Markup Plugin on Your WordPress Website
Use Schema Markup as Part of an Overall Search Engine Optimization Strategy
According to Google, schema markup is one factor that helps websites rank higher in search results. As a part of a larger overall strategy that includes keyword-rich content, on-page optimization, and other tactics, you can optimize your website to drastically increase your online visibility and website traffic.