Google and other search engines are getting smarter, faster, and much more attuned to the user experience—but sometimes these “crawlers” still have issues with figuring out what your website is all about. In order to make your information more available and improve SEO, you need a Schema markup.
What’s a Schema markup, you ask? Let’s discuss.
Though Schema has existed for several years now, it’s not often mentioned because it can be overwhelming. At the center of the schema project is Schema.org, which is a collaborative effort shared between Yandex, Yahoo!, Bing, and Google that was created to standardize markups. Simply put, schema is a kind of micro data that lets search engines parse and interpret data from your web pages more productively, allowing for the most relevant of information to appear on search engine result pages (SERPs).
The most common schema in use include:
- Creative Work – Book, Movie, Music Recording, Recipe, TV Series
- Non-Text Objects – Audio, Image, Video
- Health and Medical – research and medical notes are filed under “MedicalEntity.”
- Product, Offer
- Local Business
- and so on.
How Do Schema Markups Work?
Looking at the above information, you’re probably thinking, “But how can I use this?” When visiting Schema.org, you might notice that there are bits of code, known as schema elements, that can be added to the HTML code of your web pages. These attributes will give search engine crawlers more information about your content.
For example, the organization markup listed above is useful for generating brand signals, enhancing the website snippet and other information that appears on SERPs. Within the organization schema markup section, you will find elements such as logo, corporate contact information, and social profile links.
Another useful markup is site navigation. Incorporating this markup on your website will help search engines comprehend the structure of your website, allowing site maps and links to influence search results.
In short, schema markups reduce ambiguity.
How Does Schema Improve SEO and SERPs?
Now, the answer you’ve been waiting for. Schema markups might be a little complex, but the pay-off when it comes to improved SEO is worth the additional effort. Since schema microdata is a standardized attribute, interpretation of data on your site becomes easier for crawlers and search engine algorithms—which is pure SEO, when you think about it. Because of this, the content on your pages is indexed and understood more thoroughly, increasing visibility.
Do keep in mind, however, that Google has stated that schema microdata currently has no effect on your website’s personal rank. While it does improve upon visibility and rich snippets in SERPs, including schema markups won’t automatically boost your rank. Still, when the display of snippets is improved, click-through rates increase; so there’s really no reason not to use schema microdata.
If it seems like your current SEO efforts are failing, it may be time to start embracing structured data and schema markups. Incorporating these bits of standardized codes and attributes into your website will help you maintain a competitive edge against the competition, especially if you are using schema markups wisely. By informing SERPs and crawlers more effectively, your website will be much more efficient at getting the attention it deserves.