Web Development

Schema.org Markup 101 for the Non-Coders

No matter what type of website or business you run—ecommerce, franchise, blog, etc.—the schema markup is something that can help your website be successful. All major search engines including Google, Bing, and Yahoo support schema markup. In fact, this is one area where all of the search engines worked together to create something universal, so it’s important to understand how it can work for you. It might sound complicated at first, but the advantages are well worth it in the end.

Because schema.org is technically a form of microdata, many Webmasters don’t pay it much attention if they are not coders. While having a little bit of a background in coding would help, it’s not necessary to get started with this tag. Anyone can learn how schema markup works and put it into action.

What is Schema.org Markup and How Does It Work?

A schema markup is a set of HTML tags that are attached to different webpages in order to give search engine bots extra information about those webpages. Because search engines then have this extra information, they will be able to see what content is available on that webpage easier and can make a decision about where your website should rank on a SERP. The bots will be better informed, so it should increase your chances of being listed for particular queries.

Schema markup also comes in the form of rich snippets, so your click through rate could improve because your SERP listing will pop off the page. These rich snippets include adding ratings to your result, a video, and of course the very popular authorship. Once again, schema.org markup is how you get involved with rich snippets. Many new marketers miss this fact and then get confused when trying to learn about both rich snippets and then schema markup. You can visit this link and the link above to learn all about rich snippets and how to get started.

SEO Considerations: Google and Bing have said in the past that adding schema markup won’t be enough to improve your rankings on its own. In other words, you need to employ other SEO methods in order to make a real difference. Rich snippets might make your result look best, improve your CTR, etc., but adding schema markup in general won’t necessarily improve your rankings.

Tops Ways to Use Schema.org Markup

As discussed above, although schema markup sounds like it is one singular operation, there are actually many different tags that make up schema.org. Below are some of the different tags that fall under the schema markup umbrella that maybe aren’t as popular as some of the rich snippets so many have been discussing:

  • Image object. This will give search engines information about the images on a webpage. Image content can be tricky since there are few keywords associated with the image, so a schema markup can help. Many ecommerce sites choose to only use this markup for their best products.
  • Offer object. This has everything to do with a product page. It is a specific markup that helps support product information.
  • Video object. This helps search engines understand the content of a video (imagine that). If you use videos on your website often and want those to potentially be shown to searchers, this is an important markup.
  • Review Schema Markups. Add this markup to your product pages, for example, and readers and search engines will be able to see the actual review quicker and easier.
  • Local business. This helps to search engines to pick up on things like addresses, phone numbers, locations, and other location related terms and information. If you want to rank for local search terms, this markup will help.

Understanding some of these other options (particularly for ecommerce websites) can help give you a good starting point for research and implementation. Once you know how important it can be, it’s something that will have immediate affects. According to an article from Adaptive Information, 15 percent of crawled pages and 5 million sites are using some sort of schema.org markup.

Resources: Once again, you are going to need a little bit of HTML knowledge to get started with schema.org, so to get a little bit of help or more information, I recommend the schema.org website and Google’s schema.org FAQ page. This will help familiarize you with the process and the basics.

Are you familiar with schema.org markup? Let us know what you thought was the most difficult part or any results you saw since using the markup in the comments below.

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