Learning SEO? Want to dive a layer deeper into how search engine results pages (SERPs) deliver organic content? A big way to deliver for yourself or the client is to understand schema markup and the types of schema markup out there.
Your audience is hungry and they want what you’re bringing to the table. Understandably, if they can’t ever try your product, they’ll move somewhere else where the product is plentiful or satisfies their need. The importance of schema markup cannot be understated as it is an essential part of developing your online presence. Let’s first start with what schema markup is.
What is Schema Markup?
Schema markup is code (semantic vocabulary) that you put on your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users. A better way to think of this is to imagine a star rating that says how reputable the restaurant is or to picture a small video in your search results. These tidbits of information paint a better picture for your possible participant and draw them to your site based on what you’re providing or how well your business is rated.
For example, if you were to look up NetConnect, you would see some of our other pages or note that there are multiple results that will popup from just searching the agency. The links boost click-through rates and search rankings in kind while providing added data about our agency. But more on that in a second.
Now in the example, we only illustrate some basic links that are already pretty normal but let’s step it up a notch for further clarity. Remember, the markup is real code that provides additional information about:
- Local Business
- Review, Product & Offer
Okay, so this is just what schema markup is at the core, but let’s dive another layer deeper. The code or semantic vocabulary is really what we would call Structured (or Linked) data. This provides a more understandable way of organizing the information for accessibility. Understand this and the code as really being information behind the information. It’s not something you and I would see but rather what the computer sees and interprets to decide what is relevant and what is not.
Let’s use an example of a product to demonstrate how we could structure a result.
In our HP Spectre example, we can understand some really great information in order to make a look closer or don’t look closer to this product. Remember, the more information we know, the better decision we can make.
In the search bar, we type > HP Spectre
Name of Product: HP Spectre
Rating: 4.6 (With almost all bright stars)
Reviews: 130 Reviews
Price: $936.99 to $1,249.99Descriptive information:
- 4k Ultra HD Touch-Screen Laptop
- Intel Core i5 CPU processor
- 8GB RAM
- 256GB Solid-State Drive
- Color: Natural Silver
- Store: Bestbuy
Then, after all of the provided information, Bestbuy’s metadata trails off but we get the point. In this example, we see some of what is also called “rich snippets” or code that helps provide visual appeal to the result, aka the stars.
Structured Data is a basic term that describes binding items to values to better structure information. This directly relates to SEO and how we provide such information. Schema tells the search engines what your data means, remember the word semantic, not just the words that are there.
If you want to know more about the schema, it’s no secret. So much so that Bing, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and more have come together to help drive the entire community forward with Schema.org. If they think it’s a big deal, trust us, schema markup really is incredibly important.
The three main types of schema markups used:
Google and Bing embrace JSON-LD because the structured data makes for easy organization and data connection. All of this results in something more attractive to the human eye.
How do you test your structured data? Use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to help your content’s discovery and higher organic search ranking.
If you’re not already doing so, JSON-LD schema markup should be your go-to right now as this format is much easier for long-term use and is recommended by Google. You can place JSON-LD anywhere on a webpage that is fit for schema.org structured data. This would usually be placed in the head section with other metadata, but it’s good because the flexibility of JSON-LD allows you to also place the script near the ending closing body tag.
Let’s go back to click-through rates. It’s all about differentiation here. We are all so much more attracted to something that stands out and not the same thing over and over. This standout structure will garner more attention, thus garnering more clicks, and those resulting clicks should lead to higher conversions.
Schema markup is here to stay. It’s a way we can boost our business and organic content right from the start with not much web development underneath our belts. Your resulting SEO from schema markup will put you ahead of the curve, giving you a leg on the competition.