What is Schema Markup and How to Utilize it for Improved SEO
Mon Jan 13 2020
The online world is continuously changing. As internet technology expands with new possibilities, every online marketer will benefit from understanding these developments, at least on a fundamental level.
Since earning good search results are a massive part of digital marketing plans for online retailers, factors that affect rankings should be of the most significant interest.
As Google has rolled out algorithm updates such as 2015’s RankBrain and 2019’s BERT, the world of SEO strategy has shifted.
Quality content has become more important than keywords for good rankings.
However, while Google’s algorithms are critical elements in website standings, other factors also affect how search engines rank websites.
One such development is schema markup. It is a form of microdata that provides a detailed description, also called a rich snippet, used in search results.
The good news for online marketers is they can use it to strengthen their SEO policies.
Schema Markup Explained
Bing, Yahoo, Google, and Yandex collaborated to developed schema markup to improve search engine results.
These major search engines wanted common HTML tags to help their algorithm functions better comprehend and categorize data items to return better results.
- Schema markup was designed to help those performing internet searches.
- Schema explains data to search engines.
- Schema employs a specialized semantic vocabulary that appears as microdata.
This structured data markup helper works well for many types of companies, from large corporations to small corner shops.
In fact, as part of a well-executed SEO campaign, schema markup’s rich snippets and other tools are a valuable addition to SEO strategies. They are especially helpful to smaller businesses by helping them in the SERPs.
Gone are the days when packing online content with keywords helped earn better search engine rankings.
Google’s enhanced algorithms and schema collaboration are designed to focus on additional information in a logical context to return more relevant search results for users.
You can test and validate the syntactical correctness of your schema markup with the structured data testing tool.
Here are some ways schema markup can help you and how you can use it to get better SEO results.
Better Click-Through Rates
Schema’s source code can help you customize your digital content and make it stand out.
- Graphics in recipes, including bullet points and images
- List of upcoming events for organizations or service-oriented businesses such as animal shelters and hotels
- Photographs in search results, including article authors
Anything that looks a bit different and stands out continuously on the SERPs will catch people’s attention. When people notice you, your click-through rates to your web pages will improve.
Improved Visibility for Local Businesses
If you have a brick-and-mortar local business, schema markup can help enhance your visibility to those seeking your services.
Using schema to create rich snippets for your local listings makes them easier for internet users to notice. All types of companies can benefit from the judicious use of schema.
- Sandwich shops and small bistros
- Local electronic shops
The schema must be carefully used, however. Google’s structured data guidelines are designed to prevent irrelevant information from being used to create spam.
Enhanced Social Media Exposure
With schema markup, you do not have to relearn an entirely new system of coding, but it helps to recognize schema when you see it.
A common way to recognize it is with the phrase “span itemprop.” Though perhaps odd-looking, these terms give meaning to specific data items, and schema can enhance your accounts on social media platforms.
Some social platforms use the additional information provided by schema markup to improve the appearance of any of your web pages containing the encoding when someone shares them.
Though Facebook has developed its own system called Open Graph protocol, schema can also be used for sharing on this social media giant’s platform.
The collaboration of three search engine powerhouses to create a common code that enhances search engine results was a milestone in the Internet protocol.
This encoded data is called schema markup. It is designed to improve the user experience. Still, it can also benefit all types of businesses by helping their listings stand out with useful, relevant information.
Understanding and using schema markup is a smart move for today’s internet marketers, from large corporations to small local businesses just down the street.