You may have heard that Schema markup presents a huge opportunity for businesses, in terms of improving their search engine rankings. But what exactly is Schema, and how can it benefit your organisation?
In 2011, top search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex came together to create Schema.org. The site may not be particularly pretty – it has no exciting imagery or quirky animations – but it nonetheless plays an instrumental role in search engine algorithms and rankings.
Schema markup itself is a type of microdata which can provide more context to your webpages. You can add schema markup to your HTML, which is essentially an enhanced description of the page which appears in search results, and can include things like text, star ratings and publication dates. The main description is often referred to as a rich snippet, and will be shown in place of the meta description or other information chosen by the search engine, underneath your page listing.
Schema markup therefore gives you more control of the information that is displayed about your site – you don’t have to rely on Google choosing the most relevant details. You can find a complete list of the types of data you’re able to mark up with Schema here.
can schema improve your rankings?
There’s actually no real evidence that including microdata to your website has a direct impact on organic search rankings. So why is everyone so keen to add Schema to their site? Rich snippets may not have a direct correlation with organic search, but they have been shown to help your pages appear more prominently in SERPs, which in turn improves click-through rates.
Few things make a significant difference to such metrics so quickly, and with relatively little effort! While it may be a rather boring process, going through and adding rich snippets and other microdata to your webpages, seems to be worth the effort.
The code looks rather complicated when you start out, but there are plenty of examples on Schema.org for you to consult, so you can get a better idea of how the code is supposed to work.
Google have also created a helpful tool which allows you to easily tag your pages, called the Structured Data Markup Helper. You simply need to select your item type, enter the content you’re targeting or the webpage, and then highlight and tag different elements.
common types of schema
If you go through Schema.org’s comprehensive list, you’ll see that there are loads of different types of Schema that can help you boost your SEO. We’ve gone through some of the more common types below:
If you’re in the ecommerce industry, adding product Schema could be a quick win – you can add details like the price of each product, a detailed description and customer reviews to the items you’re selling. That way, when customers are scrolling through search results, they are more likely to click on your page, as they’ll know exactly what they’re getting.
The top stories that carousel Google’s search results page will almost certainly be using article Schema markup. If you’re trying to promote blog pages or news articles, this can be a great way to improve your click-through rate.
Local Business Schema
This Schema is particularly useful if you’re trying to increase your organisation’s visibility locally. For example, local restaurants or independent shops will probably benefit from this Schema markup, as it makes it easier for search engines to determine where they are located and what they have on offer.
The job of any search engine is to show the most relevant results. So when you add FAQ Schema, you’re giving context to the information on your page, making it easier for search engines like Google to determine whether your content is what people are looking for.
applying schema to your site
Schema is probably easier to apply than you may think, though it will certainly be a time consuming (and tedious) process. These days, it’s best practice to use Schema markup, and you should hopefully see the fruits of your labour before too long!
If you’re still a bit unsure though, The Pineapple Agency can help you with your Schema markup and much more in terms of SEO – simply get in touch with us to discuss the ways we can help you with your digital marketing strategy.