How Schema Markup Can Help Make Your Business Easier to Find
You’re already doing almost everything right; your business provides a product or service people want, you have a shiny website and a killer SEO and marketing strategy. But despite having all these important factors working in your favour, you could still be missing out on significant web traffic. Why? You’re not using schema markup to your advantage.
So what exactly is schema? Schema markup is a set of code that helps search engines better understand the content on your website. For example, if your website mentions widgets, it provides search engines with context – do you make widgets? Fix them? Sell them?
Search engines only read words, they don’t inherently understand what they mean. Providing instructions on how your data is to be interpreted allows search engines to deliver more accurate and informative search results to users, both of which can boost your rankings on SERPs. If you have ever clicked on a featured snippet – those little boxes that magically appear at the top of SERPs with the answer to your question – you can already understand how important schema markup can be.
How Schema Markup Works
The good news is that schema markup is relatively easy to incorporate into your existing website and content; you do not have to start over from scratch. There are hundreds of existing data types you can use to describe your content. Some of the most popular schema markups are:
• Local business schema markup
• Special event schema markup
• Products and offers schema markup
• Organization schema markup
• Article, blog, or content schema markup
• Review schema markup
Technical details aside, using schema markup is fairly straightforward. There are 3 main formats used to structure data for schema markups on your webpages:
Microdata is a set of tags added to your existing HTML code and is often the choice for those with basic computers skills. Google even offers a Structured Data Markup tool that further simplifies the process, if the mere thought of code makes you queasy. The downside is that it can be time consuming and messy to use. Using RDFa for your schema markup is similar to microdata; it is another way to structure data with pre-existing HTML code to make it easier for search engines to understand.
How to Make Schema Markup Work for You
Now that you understand the why and the how, let’s get into how to best use schema markup as part of your SEO marketing strategy:
1. Choose the Best Content to Markup
If you have dozens of pages and hundreds of blog posts and articles, it doesn’t make sense to add schema markup to every single one. Instead run an analysis to see what content and which pages generate the most traffic and focus your attention there. If you are still unsure, check out what the competition or other related businesses have chosen to feature.
2. Markup Reviews
If you want people to see the good things your customers have to say about you, and obviously you do, as this provides instant credibility, schema markup your reviews.
3. Incorporate Speakable Schema Markup for Voice Search
People are depending more and more on virtual assistants to facilitate finding what they are looking for online. Make sure you are using natural language and long-tail keywords, both of which more accurately capture how people ask a question verses type one out.
4. Add FAQ Schema Markup
As a large number of internet searches are in the form of a question, using schema markup on your FAQ page simply makes sense. Just make sure you are providing information users need.
Schema markup is currently only used by about a third of all websites, however the secret is out. While schema markup won’t directly improve your rankings (or so claims Google), it can help your business feature more prominently on SERPs and gather more traffic, which can boost your rankings. If you are not already using schema markup as part of your overall SEO strategy, now is the time.