As sophisticated as search engine algorithms can be these days, they sometimes need a helping hand in the form of schema markups.
What Is Schema Markup?
A schema is a form of structured data and are highly useful parts of local SEO practices since they allow you to more precisely define how search engines should interpret parts of your web site. Schema markups are essentially a form of labelling that can be incorporated into a page’s HTML coding so that a search engine knows, for instance, that this paragraph here refers to a certain product or that section there is all customer reviews. Schema markup can also be used to affect the snippet that Google displays around your web site in its search results. By providing the rich kinds of schema markups, Google can instead make Google rich snippets, but these require a little more explanation.
What Is a Rich Snippet?
A snippet is the catch-all term for the information that appears alongside a link in search results. Most snippets contain the URL, date, and the lines of text that relate to the search terms. Rich snippets are what Google calls snippets that are enhanced through the use of schema markup. There are different kinds of rich snippets, each named after the type of schema markup used to create them. A few examples:
- Breadcrumb: This form of schema adds a rich snippet that displays the chain of links leading from your homepage to the specific page showing in the search results.
- Site Navigation Element: This schema type adds static page links beneath your primary search result.
- Video Object: This is when a link to a video appears in the search result. You can see this demonstrated by looking up anything under Google’s video tab.
- Software Application: Used for when the link is for something like an app download. It adds the app’s picture and app store rating.
What Is Structured Data?
Structured data is any organized information that gets drawn from a web site’s database and formatted into HTML code. Effective structuring is part of a page’s markup and plays in to how well web crawlers can understand what is being displayed. Structured data is tied to schema markup because it helps enhance the effect and make it more legible to crawlers. The markup tags may point to a part of your web page and say “this is X” but only the data’s structuring can make a crawler understand how it should display X.
Types of Schema Markup
Schema markups are unified across industries. The same markup methods for a business web site will work on a blog or a government page. The following types of schema can therefore be employed by anyone so long as the web page has applicable content.
Schema Markup for Organizations & Logos
When trying to generate brand signals or improve your business’s knowledge graph entry, this is the schema to use. Organization schema markup provides your business’s name, address, web profiles on sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, or YouTube, contact information, and logo.
Schema Markup for Addresses
A key part of local SEO is making sure customers know where you are. Schema for addresses not only adds location information to the rich snippet, it can also be used to add Google Maps displays and quick links so people can immediately find out how to get to you from their current location.
Schema Markup for Reviews
It is possible to add your business or product reviews to rich snippets. This form of schema markup will display the average ranking out of 5 stars, along with the number of reviews overall. This means anyone with a well-received product can put their status front and center.
Schema Markup for Products
The right markups can let rich snippets display your product’s price and current stock level. If combined with the review entry above, schema for products can be used to let people skimming their search results to know at a glance how popular you are, how affordable your product is, and even how much is left.
Schema Markup for Articles & Blogs
Whether a news article or a blog post, it’s important to make it clear to Google how recent and relevant your content is. Article markup schema defines your headline, publishing date, and any associated images. This is highly valuable when trying to get content to appear in Google News or from in-depth article search suggestions.
Get Schema Markups for Your Business Web site
For all their sophistication, web crawlers and search algorithms can still be surprisingly stupid. It falls to schema markups to pick up the slack in their intelligence and properly define the context behind your content. While schema markups do not directly improve a web site’s SEO, they provide many valuable indirect benefits. Schema helps refine search categories and differentiate from similar-sounding topics, which is extremely important when one word can have multiple meanings or if, say, certain names or titles appear in unrelated instances.
The primary benefit of schema can be seen in how it informs potential customers. With the right schema, you can give a great deal of useful information to anyone looking at a search results page and will be better able to draw and capture their attention. People are always inclined to take the path of least resistance so things like making reviews or Google Maps information available at a glance will help enhance the appeal of your site or business.
Numero Uno Web Solutions works to improve the search profiles of our clients through a variety of SEO techniques. Schema markups are just one of a wide selection of precise, studied methods that have benefited industries and businesses across Toronto, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, and more. Our success has even allowed us to extend our reach and offer SEO services to local businesses Texas, Massachusetts and Florida as well. Whether you want schema markup services specifically or just want to learn more about SEO, we are just a call away at 1-855-SEO-XPRT.