Getting the top spot on search engine results pages isn’t the number one priority anymore. There’s a new prime real estate now, and it’s rich results. These results have their own unique spot on SERPs, and schema markup implementation is the way to go.
But what is schema markup implementation? This simple guide will show you what schema markup is, the benefits of schema, and how to get rich results. Read on ahead!
Table of contents
- What is Schema Markup?
- Importance of Schema Markup Implementation
- Types of Schema Markup
- Schema Encoding Languages
- How to Implement Schema Markup on Your Website?
- How to Verify Your Schema Markup?
- Implement Your Schema Markup Today!
What is Schema Markup?
Schema markup is the language search engines like Google use to understand your website. These search engines have a lot of algorithms running in the background to make sense of the content of your page. But they still don’t have human-like capabilities and need help. This is where schema markup comes in.
For example, the way we interpret images is quite different from that of search engines. We see it and visualize it. Algorithms need to read the image. By applying schema markup, you’re creating structured data, which would be the image. Search engines would then read this data to understand what the image is all about.
Structured data, or schema markup, classifies the content on your page and standardizes all the information on it. It’s a language that includes HTML tags and keywords that will define what each piece of content is on your page.
Importance of Schema Markup Implementation
Once Google understands the content on your website, it can display your website as a rich result in the SERPs. These are rich snippets that show a part of your content on SERPs. Google has thirty two different types of rich results. These include FAQs, event pages, articles, videos, and local business information, among others. Rich snippets allow you to share more about your website and content than other search results. This improves the chances of your website being selected by a user.
When a user searches something on Google, they have numerous questions in mind and are looking for answers. If your content and website are marked-up, you can present a lot more information and answer those questions for them. This builds authority for your brand and website. Delighted users will likely click on your website first.
With a higher click-through rate (CTR), you can likely make advances toward meeting your digital marketing goals. Schema markup is a very effective SEO technique that drives marketing results and helps achieve higher sales revenue.
Another great benefit of schema markup is that it prepares your website for AI. Machine learning is an important part of AI. And schema markup helps prepare your website for machine learning technologies. In turn, by implementing schema markup, AI tools like Bard can easily crawl through your website content.
Types of Schema Markup
These are the most popular types of schema markup that websites use:
This schema markup type displays your company’s logo, address, contact information, website, and social media profiles. You can customize this schema to show other important information about your company as well. This includes the number of employees, share price, annual revenue, and more.
The organization schema markup is very useful to provide a short and precise description of your company, but most of all to make your contact information accessible. When you search for a company, this rich result is shown on the right side with the official company logo and name on top.
The person schema markup works just like the organization markup. The only difference is that it is focused on a single person. Instead of the company logo, there is a picture of the person. This schema markup is very useful for people who are the face of their business and are an important figure in the industry.
The markup is also very popular among celebrities, actors, singers, and artists who are their own brand. The markup delivers information such as full name, birth date, address, education, family, and social media profiles. You can customize this markup to show your work as well. For example, you can add books you’ve written, movies you’ve starred in, or companies that you own.
This markup is targeted toward local businesses and local branches of a corporation or chain. It’s especially helpful for retail businesses to advertise their location. Most users search for a local business to check their exact location. And the local business schema markup answers this very question.
The markup displays the name of the business, operating hours, address, contact information, and even reviews. You can even add a feature to make bookings or order off the menu directly from the search results. For this, you’ll have to integrate the Maps Booking API into your schema. This schema works best for retail outlets, restaurants, and service providers like salons.
Adding structured data to your product pages enables Google to identify the product and display it in a rich format in the SERPs. The schema markup also works for Google Images and Google Lens. There are two kinds of rich results for this schema markup type: product snippets and merchant listings. The first is just a description of the product with reviews, price, and availability.
Merchant listings are much more special. Here you can show similar products, other sellers, and annotated images. But only merchants who are selling the product can use this markup. Websites that redirect you to actual merchants (as is the case with affiliate marketing) cannot. With the product markup, you can show much more information to consumers, including, but not limited to, pros and cons, ratings, reviews, price drops, shipping, and availability.
The breadcrumb markup specifies the exact position of a page in the website hierarchy. It’s exactly as the name suggests. The markup offers a path of breadcrumbs that a user can follow to understand the website more effectively. By picking up the last breadcrumb, the user can trace their way back to the top and gain more relevant information along the way.
When adding the breadcrumb schema markup, it’s important to use the most typical path that a site visitor would take. A trail with more pages than required would only confuse the visitor and not provide relevant information. The typical path is usually the shortest path from the homepage to that specific page.
This schema markup type is mostly used for blogs, articles, and news pages. Adding the markup to your page lets Google identify that the page consists of long-form content, such as blog posts. This enables you to show the title, description, images, and other information, such as the publishing date, in a much better format. The markup isn’t just useful for SERPs, but also for Google Assistant and Google News.
You can add several properties to better define your article page. These include author name, author URL, headline, image, date published, and last modified. When adding article schema markup to your page, name each author individually in their own fields. Always specify if the author is a person or an organization to give users the most information.
Although Google tries to understand your videos on its own, adding a markup can give more explicit information to improve your video result in SERPs. You can provide more information, such as the thumbnail URL, upload date, description, and duration. The rich snippet appears in Search, Images, and Discover.
If you’re broadcasting a live video, you can add a LIVE badge to the thumbnail. The badge can be added to any video that is being streamed live for any duration of time. You can also enable Key Moments to highlight specific parts of your video. This is especially beneficial for instructional videos where viewers would want to skip to the main segment.
The event markup type lets you mark your upcoming event in SERPs and enhance the event experience on Google. This markup type works for both Search and Maps results. You can provide additional information such as dates, times, logos, prices, and an event description. The SERP result becomes much more interactive when you add the event markup.
This markup also improves the discoverability of your event, bringing more traffic to your event page. You can categorize your event as a standard, online, or hybrid event. The markup also allows you to post updates such as rescheduling, canceling, and changing the format from standard to online, or vice versa. Alas, the event markup is only available in a few countries and languages.
Your recipes will have a much easier time being discovered if you add the recipe schema markup to them. Google has a number of ways to present your recipes and accompanying information in search results. You can add nutritional information, cooking time, prep time, and ratings to your rich results.
For Google Assistant, you can add guided recipes. All you have to do is add ingredients and instructions to the schema markup properties. Then, Google will guide users through the recipe when they search through Google Home. Additional information you can include in this schema markup is: rating, author, image, description, cook time, cuisine, category, and video, among others.
One of the most important schema markup types for businesses is job posting. A lot of job seekers use search engines to look for jobs. If your company webpage doesn’t have structured data, your job postings won’t appear on SERPs. Adding the job posting markup to your page can help expand your reach to a much wider audience than that of recruitment platforms.
The job posting markup has several properties you can add to provide more information. These include title, description, date posted, organization, location, base salary, and requirements. You can also specify if work from home is available for any job. There are three properties to define a work from home job.
Schema Encoding Languages
There are three different ways you can add schema to your website. To be more specific, there are three coding languages that you can use to add schema to any website. These are RFDa, Microdata, and JSON-LD.
RFDa and Microdata are the two older coding languages, while JSON-LD is the latest one. In the older methods, code is implemented right into the HTML. This complicates the process, and there are a lot of things that can go wrong, such as using incorrect HTML syntax. An example of RFDa and Microdata schema markups are:
<p vocab= “http://schema.org” typeof=”Person”>
My name is <span property=”name”>Harris</span>
<p itemscope itemtype= “http://schema.org/Person”>
My name is <span itemdrop=”name”>Harris</span>
In comparison, JSON-LD is a much easier method. Here, a piece of script is added to the HTML and is separate from the rest of the website’s code. This ensures that any error in the schema won’t affect the website. JSON-LD wasn’t a popular method of schema markup implementation until a few years ago. Now more and more search engines have adopted this encoding language.
Here is an example of schema markup using JSON-LD:
<p> My name is Harris </p>
If you look at the first two examples, you’ll notice that the schema markups are directly added to the webpage element, i.e., My name is Harris. But when it comes to the JSON-LD markup, the markup is completely separate from the page element. This helps keep the two scripts separate and not interfere with each other.
How to Implement Schema Markup on Your Website?
Schema markup implementation has never been easier than before. If you’re thinking that you’ll have to learn a new coding language or invest in a programmer to do it for you, you couldn’t be more wrong.
You don’t need to be a developer or learn anything new because there are tools that can implement schema markup for your website. And Google offers the best one.
We’re going to teach you how to implement schema markup on your website using the Structure Data Markup Helper by Google. You don’t have to write any code to use this tool. The Structure Data Markup Helper generates all scripts for all of the thirty two schema markup types supported by Google.
Follow these steps for the perfect schema markup implementation:
- Open Structure Data Markup Helper
- Select a data type for the element that you want to markup
- Paste the URL of the website you want to add the markup to
- You can also add the HTML where you want the markup to appear
- Click on Start Tagging
The next screen will show your webpage on the left side, and the right side will have data items.
- Next, highlight elements on your webpage that you want to markup.
- Then select the corresponding data item from the right side
- Keep on adding markups to your webpage until you’re satisfied
- When you’re done, click on Create HTML in the upper right corner
The tool will create updated HTML code for your website with all the marked up items.
- Copy the code and add it to your site through your CMS
- Click on Finish in the upper right corner
How to Verify Your Schema Markup?
Once you’re done writing schema markup and adding it to your website, the first step is complete. Another important step is to test and verify if it’s implemented correctly. If you’re writing the schema yourself and not using a generator, there’s a lot of room for error. Even a single misplaced comma or brace will render the script useless. Google will detect the error and reject the entire markup.
There are many tools that you can use to verify your schema markup implementation. Two of the most popular are by Google and Schema.org, but other third-party tools are just as good.
Schema Markup Validator
Open the Schema Markup Validator tool from Schema.org. A prompt will ask you for your website URL or code snippet, which contains the schema markup. Enter whichever you prefer and click Run Test. It’s recommended to test the code snippet before you apply it to your website so there are no errors.
Once the test is run, you’ll see your code on the left side, and the right side will show your markups. You can select different schemas on the left side to check each one individually. The test results will also show errors and warnings if they appear in your code.
Rich Results Test
Google offers its own schema validation tool called the Rich Results Test. It works mostly the same as the Schema Markup Validator. Enter your website URL or code snippet. Click on the Test URL button. If your website has switched to Mobile-First indexing or is going to, there is an option for that as well.
All the errors, warnings, and schema markups will be shown on the right side of the test results. If there are errors in your schema markup, you can fix them on the left side of the test results, where the code is shown. Click on the Run Test button to retest your code.
The Rich Results Test can also detect elements on your website for which you can implement schema markup. For example, if there’s a product on your site, the test will show you which schema markup type you can add for it.
Errors And Warnings
Errors and warnings are two things you need to pay attention to when reviewing validation results for your website. You should give a higher priority to errors since they cause search engines to reject your markup. Warnings only tell you how you can improve your schema markup.
Most errors in schema validation results are due to using the wrong syntax or markup type. For example, you’ll get the Incorrect value type error if you entered a string somewhere you were supposed to put a number.
Errors need to be fixed at all costs. Before implementing your schema markup on your website, fix all errors and revalidate your code. Warnings don’t stop your schema markup from working, since they’re just suggestions for improvement. But it is recommended to fix them. A simple example of a warning is a recommendation to enter an optional property. It is up to you how you want to proceed with the warnings.
Implement Your Schema Markup Today!
Rich results grab a lot of attention because they’re quite unique and take center stage on SERPs. If you want to direct traffic toward your website, schema markup implementation is the way to go. There are no risks here, and no investment is required. All you need is some basic knowledge, and you’ll be able to implement schema markup on your website.
Have you tried schema markup on your website? Talk to us in the comments below!
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