Updated November 18, 2023Reading Time: 7 minutes
A Map for Your Search Engine Results
Schema Markup is a advanced SEO tool that can improve your website’s visibility and relevance on search engines. Adding special code to your web pages can help search engines understand essential information about your content and how different parts are related. This technique can lead to more meaningful search results for users and increase your chances of appearing in search results. Schema Markup has been widely adopted across various industries and content types, helping brands build trust and credibility with search engines.
How Does It Improve SEO?
Back in 2011, several search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) collaborated on standardizing the structures and labels of online information. You can see the millions of standards published on schema.org. When websites use these schema standards, it makes it easier and faster for search engines to match content to relevant searches. Schema Markup continues to evolve with expanding vocabulary and usage across industries and content types. The markup code is continually fine-tuned to help search engines connect searchers’ requests to relevant and quality web pages.
We partner with SchemaApp, an end-to-end schema markup solution. Their markup tool deploys and tests the markup code. The tool uses a subscription model, as it is designed to keep pace as schema continually evolves. SchemaApp’s markup editor makes deployment easier than customizing code directly onto the page.
Schema Markup comprises three key components:
- Types – represent the main categories of information (e.g., Event, Product, or Person).
- Properties – like attributes that provide specific details within these categories. (e.g., name, description, or date).
- Values – the actual information or data assigned to these properties. (e.g., the name of a product, a brief description of an event, or a person’s birthdate).
These schema markup components work together to structure and convey information on a webpage in a way that search engines can easily understand. Let’s use an example of a financial technology service provider. On their website, we can categorize their business as a “LocalBusiness” schema type. The details of the company under Local Business (name, address, phone number) are called schema properties. An example of the schema values to input would then be “Spectrum Financial Technologies, San Jose California, and (090) 000-000”. You can see an example of that below using a schema markup tool.
This structured data helps search engines display information users would want to see when searching for financial technology services like the address and telephone number, potentially improving online visibility.
Enhancing SEO Strategies with Schema
In light of other SEO strategies like link earning, content writing, or local SEO, schema markup further enhances SEO optimization efforts by adding context, relating pages to each other. Examples of context are connecting to well-respected sources (e.g., industry organizations, Wikipedia) and linking your site to your Google Business Profile with code. Schema, in addition to other SEO strategies, can lead to better visibility in organic search results.
Here’s another practical example using a manufacturing business that provides water treatment chemicals and on-site consulting. We can add contextual meaning (using schema) when optimizing a new blog post about sterilization. Within the article, we associate the content with Wikipedia pages, industry thought leaders, and related articles on the same topic using a “SameAs” schema property. This optimization strategy aids search engines in connecting content relevance with credible sources.
Markup for Voice & Image Search
When you’ve fine-tuned your website for organic search through Schema Markup, you’ve effectively positioned it for voice search as well, as Google handles the tasks of speech recognition and natural-language understanding (NLU). For image search, it empowers your brand to stand out by enabling search engines to highlight key details such as venue and organization pictures from an event or getting a spot in the Top stories carousel, and even having larger-than-thumbnail images.
Eventually, Schema markup in digital marketing will aid other emerging search technologies, helping you stay competitive in the long run.
Implementing Schema Markup
If you’re looking to get started with schema SEO, you’ll want to identify which types best suit your business and content. Here is a partial list from schema.org:
- LocalBusiness: Used for companies with physical locations, including contact information, address, and opening hours.
- Product: Ideal for e-commerce websites, it provides details about products, such as name, price, availability, and reviews.
- Article: For news articles, blog posts, and other written content, it includes information like headlines and the date published.
- Event: Used for events with details like date, time, location, and ticket information.
- Review: To showcase product or service reviews with ratings and comments.
- Recipe: Ideal for food-related websites, providing details like ingredients, cooking time, and nutrition facts.
- Person: Describes individuals, including their name, job title, and social media profiles.
- FAQPage: For frequently asked questions pages, displaying questions and answers.
- BreadcrumbList: Helps create breadcrumb navigation for better website structure.
- VideoObject: To mark up video content with details like duration, thumbnail, and description.
The next step is implementation, which can go different ways depending on your business’s needs.
- Manual Coding. Manually coding Schema Markup is the best approach for those with technical expertise in web development and HTML coding. It gives you complete control over your Schema Markup and allows you to implement it exactly how you want. If your website has unique or complex requirements that may not be easily addressed by automated tools, this is your best choice.
- Schema Tools. Others opt to use a schema tool provider, and it’s an excellent option for website owners and marketers who want to skip coding yet want to implement Schema Markup accurately. These tools make it easy to add structured data to your website. Note, this approach requires a dedicated person or resource who understands how to add structure data to your website. Although the tool simplifies things, you’ll still need to understand how content in and around your website connects to each other – in other words, they need to know how to build and implement a schema strategy.
- Schema Agency. Hiring a Schema SEO Agency is an optimal approach for businesses and website owners seeking a hands-off solution, from strategy to execution. Relying on an expert is best for complex websites that require customized and comprehensive Schema Markup strategies. Spectrum Group Online is a schema agency experienced with implementing schema for B2B clients, e-commerce sites, and even non-Wordpress platforms.
Measuring the Impact
You can track the impact of Schema Markup by using tools like Google Search Console, which helps monitor how your structured data is performing in search results and identify any issues. Additionally, analytics tools like Google Analytics can show changes in your website’s organic traffic, click-through rates (CTR), and keyword rankings, which you can compare before and after you added the markup. If you’re using a Schema service provider, they may also offer other analytics tools to assess the effectiveness of your structured data.
Summarizing from a wide range of Schema Markup case studies, results often depict higher click-through rates (CTR) by enhanced visibility and appeal of search results. In this article, we share a success stories where companies have implemented rich results. These websites saw a considerable increase in organic impressions and click-through traffic.
Potential Challenges and Misconceptions
When implementing Schema Markup without knowledge and training, it’s easy to make errors like missing or incorrect data formatting, omitting essential properties, or using inappropriate Schema types. These mistakes can hinder the structured data’s effectiveness and inadvertently give searchers incorrect information.
There are also common misconceptions about Schema. Some think it directly boosts a website’s search engine ranking. While it can improve your search result visibility and click-through rates, it doesn’t guarantee higher rankings. It isn’t exclusive either. Specific industries or large businesses are not the only ones benefiting from applying structured data to their site. Schema is now an affordable strategy for small and mid-sized businesses.
If you plan to add it manually or use a markup tool, keep your structured data accurate and up to date. We highly recommend following Google’s schema guidelines and best practices.
The Future of Schema & SEO
The role of Schema Markup in SEO continues to evolve as search engines strive to provide more informative and user-friendly search results. Advancements like voice search and AI are likely to impact how structured data is used and interpreted. In the future, we expect schema to play an even more significant role in enhancing search result visibility and user engagement.
Schema Your Way to the Top
We have been helping businesses generate revenue from their websites for years. We also know a thing or two about getting found by search engines, improving traffic, and driving lead generation. Now is the perfect time to leverage the many benefits of schema into your SEO strategy.
Yes, Schema Markup typically involves coding or technical skills for implementation. However, for those without technical expertise, there’s the option to use user-friendly tools or to consider hiring an SEO agency specializing in Schema Markup implementation. These agencies can handle the technical aspects, ensuring accurate and effective structured data without direct involvement from website owners.
Yes, Schema Markup can be added to various types of websites, including blogs, e-commerce sites, and service pages. At Spectrum Group, we have experience implementing markup on different kinds of websites, ensuring that structured data enhances their search engine visibility and user experience.
The cost of implementing schema markup on a website can vary depending on the size, complexity, and type of markup. Some of our clients choose to markup only their money pages, namely the homepage, contact us page, and some service pages. Those with more marketing spend may opt to get all their pages added with schema. There are also free and paid tools available to help with implementation.