You may have seen the rich snippet on Google SERPs; that is where everybody wants to be featured. One of the recent advancements in the SEO industry is Schema markup, often known as Schema. The Schema and other structured markup formats have been in place for many years. However, it was not known to many people and not that extensively used. Let’s read about ‘Schema Markup’ today.
What is Schema Markup?
Schema markup is a code (semantic vocabulary) that can be added to your website’s HTML, making it easier for search engines to understand your webpage. This will, in turn, help search engines to show more relevant and informative results to users on a SERP when they key-in a query.
What is Schema.org?
Schema.org is a co-operative endeavor between major search engines like Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo! to standardize structured markup. The standardization of the structured markup was done to help search engines provide more relevant results to the users for their search query.
How Does Schema Markup work?
Just like any other markup formats, a schema is added to the content of your webpage to specify what it is and how it should be interpreted by search engines when displayed on a SERP.
Let’s try to understand this with a real-time scenario:
Webmasters are familiar with the HTML tags that can be used on a webpage. These HTML tags only tell the browsers how to display the information added within the tags. For example, <h1>Apple</h1> will display the text “Apple” in a heading 1 format. However, it does not provide any data about what the text means. Here, “Apple” could refer to a fruit, or it could refer to the brand ‘Apple’ whose electronic products are popular among people. This can cause ambiguity among search engines while displaying the search results on the SERP. You can resolve this by adding ‘Organization Schema’ to the webpage of Apple Inc., telling Google bots that the page is about a company or an organization and not a fruit.
What is the Importance of Schema Markup?
Below are a few of the major advantages of adding schema to your webpages:
- Increased brand visibility within the knowledge graph.
- Offers a quick preview of the content on SERPs
- Can increase Click-Through-Rate (CTR)
What are the Different Formats of the Schema Markup?
There are three different formats of schema markups that are popularly used today. They are listed below:
- Microdata: Microdata is a set of tags that are added directly to the HTML code of your page. This can get tricky if you are someone who is not familiar with programming.
- RDFa: RDFa (Resource Description Framework in Attributes) is similar to Microdata and is an extension of HTML5, which uses tags inline with the existing HTML. RDFa is used to markup metadata within the webpage.
Is Schema Markup a Rankings Factor?
Adding Schema Markup will help crawlers understand your page better and rank it accordingly on the SERP. However, Google’s John Mueller, in one of his Webmaster’s hangout sessions, indicated that it is not a ranking factor yet.
Check what Matt Cutts has to say about Schema Markup
How to Add Schema Markup on a Webpage?
Now let’s learn how to add schema markup on a webpage. Follow these simple steps mentioned to successfully add a schema markup
Select the Type of Data you plan to Markup
Select the schema which you wish to add to the target page. For the below example I am going to use “Article” as it is the most common type of content.
Insert the URL of the webpage that you want to markup
Insert the URL of the webpage where you want to insert the schema as shown below and then, click on “start tagging.”
Note: If you only have an HTML code Webpage, you can paste that by selecting HTML instead of URL
Highlight & select the type of items you want to markup.
Start Tagging the item to respective section on your page. For example, for name item, you can highlight the title of the article page and select “name” in the drop down.
Continue adding markup items
Use the list of data items as a guide & highlight the other items of your article which you want to add in the schema. Don’t worry if you are not able to tag all the items, just add how much you can and leave rest of them as blank
Once you’re done tagging all the items you require, click “create HTML” on top right corner
Add Schema Markup to your webpage
Now, download the automatically generated JSON-LD code via the download button & copy-paste it into your CMS or source code.
Use the Structured Data Testing Tool to find out how your webpage will look with the added markup.
What are some of the Important Schemas?
There are numerous schema markups available that one can use depending on the type of content. Some most commonly used schemas are listed below:
Organization Schema Markup clarifies the introduction of a company, including its official logo, address, contact info, short description about the organization, reviews & social profiles.
Breadcrumb Schema Markup lists the path links that lead to the current page. Breadcrumb is not seen about the Title on SERP page
Search engines retrieve article-specific information such as topic, headlines, date of publication, featured images, embedded videos and more. Also, schema markup varies for different types of content such as blog posts, news articles, scholarly articles, journals and publications and more
Event Schema Markup provides information for the scheduled events. It shows information such as date, location & price for webinars, concerts, lectures, etc.
Recipe Schema markup is used by the recipe website pages to show as a rich snippet.
The People/Person Schema Markup is used to show information of an individual, such as name, birthday, address, education & family members.
This Local Schema Markup helps local company to rank on local listing. For example, below screenshot shows local listing for query “grocery stores near me”
Product schema markup is ideal for eCommerce websites and online stores, where specific product information could be shared with users instantly. This will give insights like product specifications, availability, pricing, estimated delivery, and more.
Review/Rating Schema Markup helps a service provider to build trust among the people on SERPs even before visiting the page & making an online purchase for services or products.
Google Schema Markup makes it easier for search engines to crawl & index videos on the website. It also indicates search engines about the content of a webpage containing a video.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) Schema Markup contains a list of questions and answers to a particular topic. Webpages marked-up with FAQ schemas will be eligible to have a rich result on SERP.
We’ll talk about them individually in our upcoming blogs.
Speakable Schema markup enables virtual assistants or even Google assistants on smartphones to retrieve a featured snippet, key point, or take away from specific topics and narrate them to users.
This could be a topic or story’s key points, summary, bottom line, or any aspect of information users will find useful and interesting in a short span of time. Users can listen to updates on the go or at times when they can’t access a tangible interface to access the required information.
Using Schema Markup for SEO
Now that we have understood what is schema in SEO let’s move on to understand how we could use schema markup for SEO benefits.
Discover the Most Commonly Used Schemas
The first step in using schema markup for SEO is to get an idea of the most commonly used schemas in your niche or segment. To do this, you can head to schemas.org and check out all the distinct types of schema markups ideal for your business.
Use Multiple Schemas in Your Webpage
For the uninitiated, there are different types of schemas. When you visit the portal, you will find types that are suited for different purposes. Depending on your needs and your intention with what to markup, you can use multiple schemas in your webpage.
Use More Schemas to Markup Your Various Content Elements
As far as schemas are concerned, the more the better. As you explore the types of schemas, you will begin to understand the purpose and potential of each. So, use all the schemas to markup content that will be visible to your web page visitors. At this point, remember not to markup content that will be hidden at the backend.
What Did We Learn About Schema Markup?
Google does not promise to push your rank higher on SERPs if you include Schema on your page. However, adding schema markup can boost your chances to be featured in the ‘rich snippet’, which in turn can increase your Click-Through-Rate (CTR). Implementing Schema Markup in the right way can put you ahead of your competitors in the race for more web traffic.
Let us know what Schema Markup you are using and how it has helped.
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