You’ve probably heard the terms “schema” “schema.org” “structured data” or “rich snippets” before.
You’re probably wondering, “what is this mumbo jumbo code stuff?” and “Why do I need it on my website?!”
Well, if you want your website to get as many visitors as possible, then it’s crucial that you start making use of structured data.
Using structured data markup can allow the pages on your website to gain more visibility in search engines and will help your website traffic grow. If you’re new to these terms, they can be difficult to understand – don’t worry. It’s something that’s also constantly evolving.
Plus, we’re here to help. Below we’ll tell you everything you need to know about structured data and schema markup.
What is Schema Markup?
Schema markup, also known as structured data, is a type of microdata that can be added to a page on the web. Structured data helps search engines such as Google to better understand your website’s pages and to provide better information to search engine users.
Still confused? Here’s a visual of how schema markup can make your website look pretty in search results, which typically helps with the click-through-rate to your website as well:
Once added to a page, this microdata will help to automatically create a description that appears for your page in search engine results pages (SERPs). This description is known as a rich snippet and will be more advanced than a typical description that appears in search engine results. It can include extra details, visuals or even special features such as a sitewide search box.
By using structured data on your website, your pages may earn a featured spot in search engine results. These featured spots can give your pages more visibility and can improve their click-through rates (CTRs).
To enable structured data for a page on your website, you’ll need to add a piece of code to your pages. This code can be easily obtained by visiting Schema.org.
Or you can install an SEO plugin such as Rank Math which can help you set everything up.
Types of Schema Markup
When you add structured data to your website it can allow Google to make use of your webpage information in enhanced ways. Schema is typically created in a code language known as JSON-LD, but there are other formats as well, such as RDFa and Microdata.
Below are a few ways that Google may use schema markup:
1. Featured Snippets
A featured snippet is a relevant search result that appears at the very top of a Google SERP. This result will usually show some of the text from your webpage as well as an image, providing a more rich search result that users will be more likely to click on.
Breadcrumbs simply show the specific website location or category of a page on a search engine result. This is in place of showing the full URL.
Sitelinks are another great way to increase the click-through-rate to your site from organic search results – this specific example was picked up by Google because of the table of contents on each of our blog posts.
4. Site Search
This markup places a search box under a website result, allowing users to search the site without first clicking through to the page.
5. Knowledge Graph
A knowledge graph will appear on the side of a SERP and will include information and images related to a search query. This is the type of data box that will appear on a search for a celebrity, or large organization, for example.
6. Article & Blog Schema
Article & Blog Post markup will help blog posts and articles on your site to appear in the top stories or top stories carousel featured on a SERP.
7. Job Posting Schema
Add markup for a job page on your website to ensure the right candidate finds you in search results and applies through the page.
8. Review Schema
This creates attention-grabbing, rich results to increase the click-through-rate (CTR) to your webpage.
9. Local Business Schema
Local Business Schema helps enrich your Google My Business listing with more details up-front.
While there are other ways Google uses structured data and schema markup, such as;
10. Service Schema
11. Person Schema
12. Recipe Schema
13. Product Schema
14. Course Schema
15. Book Schema
16. Event Schema
17. Software Application Schema
18. Video Object Schema
You’ll have to determine based on the information on your web pages, which types that you’ll likely want to make use of.
Schema’s Relationship to Search Ranking
One question that is often asked about schema markup is whether using it will improve SEO and affect the search ranking of a site. The answer is yes and no.
While adding schema markup likely doesn’t affect your site directly it will affect the rate at which people click through to your site when it does appear in search results. In turn, this will probably affect your SEO as well in a roundabout way and will help give your site more visitors overall.
Getting more visibility for your site in search rankings and providing more details on your pages using schema markup will affect your site in positive ways. While there’s no guarantee that Google will use your structured data, when it does, you’ll likely experience the benefits.
How to Add Schema Markup to Your Site
So how do you add this markup to your site? While there are several ways to do it, the easiest way is to use the Structured Data Markup Helper, available on Google. Using the Google markup tool is easy for beginners who don’t know how to use code.
To use the tool provided by Google, begin by following these steps:
- First, go to https://www.google.com/webmasters/markup-helper/ to open the markup tool.
2. Then, you’ll see two options and can select whether you’re using it for an email or a webpage. Usually, you’ll be using it for a webpage.
3. Choose the data type that you’ll be adding. This could be an article, a local business listing, a product, a book review, or a range of other types of data.
4. Enter the URL or upload the HTML of your page.
5. Start tagging the data and important details on your page based on the data requested on the right pane.
6. Click “Create HTML” and Google will generate an HTML which you can add to your site.
7. You’ll need to find out the best way to add the HTML to your site based on the content management system (CMS) that you’re using for your website. We always recommend that CMS be WordPress. With WordPress, we recommend installing a plugin called Insert Headers & Footers and placing your code in the website footer. This plugin will place the schema throughout all website pages – so, be sure it’s not a service page or product-specific schema you’re placing on every page.
8. After you create your schema and add it into the webpage, you can test that you were successful by using Google’s testing tool.
Experience the Advantages of Structured Data
If you want your website to get more visitors, this it’s a great idea to get serious about using structured data. Adding structured data to your site is a fairly simple process but it can be well worth it once it’s done. Schema markup can help your pages start getting as much visibility as possible in search engine results.
Looking for help with schema implementation, digital marketing, and SEO? Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.
President, Direction Inc.