If you’ve been hanging around the Legiit watercooler for some time, we can bet you heard the terms Schema markup, schema.org, and structured data being thrown around a lot.
If you’re not an SEO industry vet, this might have left you scratching your head. If anything, you are probably wondering what everyone is talking about.
Lucky for you, we’re here to clear up the fog so that you know full well what everyone is talking about. What’s more, there may be an opportunity for you to offer a new service!
What Is A Schema Markup and Structured Data?
Search Engines are machines, and like all machines, they have a tough time understanding human language. Sure, AI has improved, but it still can’t make full sense of most things we talk about. So, Schema markup is a way to bridge the gap.
Regardless of how smart we think Google’s AI or algorithm is, we can bet that it struggles with understanding the content on our web pages.
Schema markup is like metadata that, when added to a website, tells the algorithm what it is all about and where to categorize it. Schema became even more important in 2017 after Google’s algorithm update penalized sites without it.
You can think of schema markup as speaking the language of search engines, using a unique semantic vocabulary. When you add schema markup, you are breaking down the sentence into different parts, so while you can interpret “mycatneedslotsoffood” as “my cat needs lots of food”, on a web document, a search engine's algorithm can’t. So, schema markup uses this so-called semantic vocabulary to break this down for the computer. This will then be turned into code that the machine learning algorithm can understand.
In other words, the code offers more clarity to search engines, so they understand your content better. The advantage of this is that search engines can provide users with more accurate search results in the form of rich snippets, ensuring your content is seen by people who should be seeing it.
You may already be familiar with a couple of schemas like product/service and rating/review. Then there are also news articles that appear in Google when you enter queries.
How schema is implemented mainly depends on the platform your site is built on. If you are using WordPress, a couple of plugins can be installed that help implement schema markup a lot easier.
The important thing to keep in mind is that all search engines use schema, and how they should be laid out is determined at schema.org. In other words, this is a collaboration of all major search engines.
Why is Schema Important For SEO and Search Engines?
Schema helps deliver the most relevant search results, which is probably something you already figured out. However, since this is structured data, users can see details about your page at a glance, which gives them a reason to either click or not.
The information will also help your website rank better for various search terms and content types. In other words, your content will get found and, if applicable, like in the case of a pdf downloaded.
The only way that implementing schema will hurt you is if you are not using it. Implementing schema helps to increase your click-through rate by up to 30%. This is true even for the most basic schema: your logo, URL, profile, social media profiles and phone number.
Blogs can also use contents schema markup for the headline, author, featured image, published date, etc.
Types of Schema
Today, there are hundreds of markup types and a million questions people have about them. However, certain types of schema are used more frequently than others.
We’ll list ten of the most common schema markups below. These are used 80% of the time.
The schema is meant to clarify and introduce your company to search engines. It will include contact info, logo, social profiles, and location. The organizational schema helps provide a brief introduction to your company so that readers don’t have to dig deep to find it. So, it works for both pleasing search engines and users alike.
The Person Marson schema, as the term suggests, provides information about a person or individual. So, it includes their name, address, birthday, family, and education.
Persona Market Schema
Search engines like Google assume that if you are perhaps searching for someone via their name; you are probably looking for some basic information about them.
The schema helps deliver the answer you want without clicking on another website.
The local business schema markup should be used by local businesses or businesses with a local branch of the organization. The schema helps people find the company’s location, along with their address, contact info, opening hours, and others.
Local Business Schema Markup
The schema can be used by local businesses such as restaurants, banks, medical clinics, gyms, bowling alleys, etc.
The product and offer markup can be used to sell an item, like a product or a service. Using the product and offer schema helps to deliver product information like price and status, but the offer markup will also require price and price currency properties. The product markup will need just the name property.
Product & Offer Schema
Using this schema will help a product or a service stand out from the crowd. It allows people to compare your products and services to the competition easily.
Breadcrumbs markup works by listing path links that will lead to the page. It helps users see the location and helps to reduce bounce rates because they know what to expect after landing on the page.
Article Schema Markup
Article Schema Markup is mainly used by blog posts and news stories. This makes it easier for search engines to figure out what the content is about by pulling the headline, time of publishing, video, or featured image.
That said, this schema markup has variations for various types of content like news articles, blog posts, scholarly articles, etc.
The video schema markup helps Google crawl and index videos on a website. Search engines like Google find it tough to identify what a video is all about. So, the markup makes it easier to digest, so to speak. Consequently, this means your video will appear in Google Video Search along with YouTube videos.
Video Schema Markup
The Event Schema Markup works by providing additional information for events like lectures, webinars, and concerts.
Event Schema Markup
The markup shows information like price, date, location, etc. The markup makes it easier to draw people into specific events they are searching for and provides them with all the essential information.
The schema is meant mainly for recipe website pages, and using it helps show a rich text snippet with a picture. The great thing about using this schema markup is that it helps users evaluate what they can expect before clicking through it.
Recipe Schema Markup
Everyone today searches for reviews before purchasing a product or service. The rating or review schema markup helps generate the best results on the SERPs page. The information helps provide users with helpful information without digging too deep.
Review Schema Markup
Fortunately, there are just three types of encoding used for Schema Markup, i.e., RDFa, JSON-LD, and Microdata. Out of the three RDFa, Microdata is older than JSON.
The code needs to be implemented directly into the HTML, which can make things a little more prone to issues like incorrect HTML syntax and cause pages not to load correctly.
Most in the SEO community prefer using JSON-LD because it is also the easiest to understand and implement the code on the website. In other words, it makes using schema markup a lot easier. However, this language was just adopted by search engines, which is why others had to be used and you will encounter older sites with them.
RDFa is an abbreviation for Resource Descriptive Framework in Attributes. It is code that you can add to XHTML, XML and HTML. However, they all end up doing the same thing: getting your schema to search engines. Perhaps the only difference is how they are implemented on the site.
How To Add SEO Schema To Your Web Pages
Now that we have introduced you to another coding language, you can either learn it or hire one of the developers on Legiit to implement schema for you. However, trust us when we tell you that implementing Schema Markup on your website is easier than you think.
There is no need to learn another programming language or basic coding skills. Simply use Google’s schema markup generator tool to generate the code for you…here is how:
- Head over to the Structured Data Markup Helper.
- Choose the type of data you want to be marked up.
- Paste the page or article’s URL into the box.
- Highlight the elements you want to be marked up.
- Add more markup items if you want.
You will want to use the data items listed to guide you and then continue highlighting all the other things in your text to add them to the markup. However, don’t fret if you can’t tag everything; but you’ll want to do the ones required. More is better, though.
- Create the HTML code
- You can also use the testing tool to see how your page will look when added. Plus, the device will show you if there are any warnings.
- You can then add the schema markup generated directly to your web page. You can also add without testing.
SEO Schema GeneratorIn addition to following the steps above, you can use one of the many tools to help you create, validate and install the markup.
A few generators you’d want to look into include:
SEO Schema: Frequently Asked Questions
Schema markup informs search engines what your content is about and what it is trying to convey. This is done by converting otherwise unstructured data to structured data. This also helps search crawlers better crawl your website, allowing it to rank better.
What is website schema SEO?
Yes, schema helps a website rank because it tells search engines what content on the webpage and website is all about.
Does schema help SEO?
Product Schema allows you to add product attributes to your listing, which will appear in rich results on SERPs.
What is product schema in SEO?
Website schemas are tags or words which share the same vocabulary. This can be used to talk directly to search engines like Google and Bing, communicating the context and meaning of your content.
What is website schema?
Currently, many schema and standards exist for making various types of information on websites. This makes it challenging for web admins to determine the most relevant and supported standard.
Creating schema that all major search engines can understand makes things easier for web admins. Plus, search engine results pages are a lot more informative because of them.