Schema.org has been around for years, but many business still aren’t taking advantage of this very valuable tool. While Schema hasn’t been proven to improve your website’s rank in search engines, the real benefit of schema is in the enhanced prominence and appearance of your listing on search engine sites like Google, Bing and Yahoo. While you might not jump in the rankings, your listing in the results could be more informative and more attractive to those searching.
What is Schema Markup?
Google, Bing and Yahoo don’t work as a team very often, so when they do it’s worth taking notice. In collaborating to create Schema.org the 3 search giants achieved a uniform code language that enables each search engine to more easily interpret the information you provide on your website. Why does this benefit them? Any good search provider’s goal is to enhance user experience and keep their users coming back. Schema markup enables Google and the others to show additional, useful information alongside traditional search results depending upon how the search engine interprets the expected intent of the user.
Why is it important?
You want traffic to your website and the business that comes with it. While the search engines can read your content, they need a little help to better understand it’s meaning. Google wants to help users find you, which is why they worked together with other search providers to create a relatively simple way for you tell their machines what information is important and what it means.
Giving search engines the tools to interpret your data make their job easier and in turn they help you by showing all the detailed information you want people to see when they search for you.
What kind of information can I use Schema to improve?
General Business Information
While Google My Business can be a a great tool for getting your business info on Google, if your users search on Bing or another search engine they might not have such an easy time if you don’t utilize the Schema common language so any search engine can understand your business name, location, hours of operation, business category, etc.
Example: You can see below that Bing understands that we are looking for a business by name and displays a large card with our business information making it easy for clients and prospects to contact us, read reviews, etc.
Businesses with special events can take advantage of schema markup for event information. In the screenshot below, the search “bay area music events” returned a listing which includes deeper links to upcoming shows with dates, locations, and performers. Having quick links to upcoming events like these could make a big difference to users who are looking for those events or even if they are just looking to see what’s coming up.
There is a huge list of schema attributes that you can assign to products, if you’re an online retailer. Make it easy for search engines to understand your product pages by providing markup to identify photos, prices, ratings, availability, product descriptions and more.
Website schema for restaurants includes markup to specify a menu link, a reservation link, links to ratings, and much more can help potential diners get the information they are looking for more quickly.
Whether you write blogs or books, make movies or tv shows, publish news articles or share recipes, there are schema types that will help search engines better understand your information and present it to the world in a more effective, useful way.
Food Network’s Schema is strong, and they are rewarded with a link to their website and a teaser of part of the recipe in this search result:
Start Marking up Your Information!
By utilizing schema you can better share your website and business with the world, and it won’t cost you a dime if you’re willing to spend a little time to learn to use it. Better yet, there are ways to make it even easier and faster. With WordPress websites there are many available plugins, some of which are completely free to use, which will make it easier for you to add schema markup to your website without any experience coding. If you’re thinking about rebuilding or updating your business website don’t forget to consider schema code and what is important for your business to include to make the most of the tools that Google has given you.
Need help from a local Bay Area SEO and Social Media Marketing Company?
SEO Pro by KO-Websites Inc. has been helping local businesses for over 15 years, providing full service digital marketing services. We offer solutions including SEO, social media marketing, google adwords advertising, social media advertising, and more. Contact us online or by phone at (510) 276-9904.