Schema markup is a code that you put on your website, that helps the search engine return with more accurate information about your content for users. Schema markup allows you to create better descriptions that appear in search results. Additionally, schema markup added to your site’s HTML helps the search engines understand your page’s information better. This is an important part of on-page search engine optimization.
Schema markup has the advantage to be easily stored, retrieved, displayed and analyzed. Ultimately, when Google is unsure of what your information is about, you can make things clear using structured data markup.
What Is Structured Data?
Structured data or linked data is a way of organizing information for better accessibility. In simple terms, it’s also called metadata or information behind the information. It’s similar to a database, in which terms are stored in relation to other terms. Think of it as a spreadsheet, the head of the columns as the terms and under them come their values. Together, this data forms a structure which defines something.
Related: Everything You Need To Know About Meta Tags.
How Does Schema Markup Affect SEO?
You see, that’s the general consensus, or at least what Google officials tell us. In reality, opinions vary. Some say that it does affect rankings and some say it doesn’t. One thing we know for sure is that we cannot 100% trust what Google says. It’s not that they’re not transparent, but they have to keep the algorithm secret.
Structured Data can indirectly help with rankings. Making any edits to your search result will have an impact on your click through rate. With a higher CTR, your rankings will actually be higher. To honor that demand, Google might rank your article higher so that more people will see it. This happens constantly, so don’t expect your article to stay there. Tomorrow, a competitor might change their title and their CTR might be higher than yours.
Structured data can help you with CTR because rich results catch the eye easier than regular search results. Sure, those snippets usually display the information directly on Google’s landing page, but some of that organic traffic will still forward to your website.
Related: Ultra-Practical SEO Tips That Work.
Find The Best Schema Markups For Local Business SEO
If you have a local business then you might want to add local business schema markup to the website.
The markup itself is formed out of multiple data items, such as Organization, Description, Logo, Address, Phone and even Reviews.
How Can Schema Help Your Ecommerce Website?
For ecommerce websites, the value is found in the increased click-through rate and enhanced customer engagement. There are four main types of structured data markup that can help ecommerce websites in particular. They are:
- Product Schema Markup: Obviously, the first port of call is to tell Google that your page is a product page, so it knows to display it as such
- Reviews: Customers put a lot of stock in reviews, which means including it as part of your result will likely inspire more clicks
- Price: This is particularly useful if there are many other ecommerce websites that offer similar products, it allows you to immediately compete before the user even clicks on your website
- Availability: Another interesting element is availability; it can be very annoying for a user to find what they want on your website only to be told that it is out of stock when it comes to checkout
The most popular markup out there is probably the product one. I’ve presented it in the beginning of the article. There are multiple items that can be added to the product rich snippet, from the product name and price to details, such as the lowest price and highest price, or offer expire dates.
There are many different ways you can list that information, some of which might be more helpful for your searchers. If a product has specific dimensions compared to similar products, for instance, you want to list that in your product markup.
Testing Schema Markup for Your Website
It is very important to test your mark up before implementing it in order to be sure it will appear as you intended it to on the SERP. There are several ways you can test your structured data, but the most widely-used free tool comes from Google rich snippet.
You can input a URL to check what might already be marked up on your website. The toll will demonstrate how Google perceives the existing structured data on your website, including any errors that might need fixing.