Why Is Schema Markup Important for SEO?
Schema markup is a type of microdata that can be applied to your website to help search engines understand your website and web pages. Rich is an adjective that is often used when talking about schema. Who wouldn’t love to be rich? Think of your website as a person wishing they were rich.
Your website will benefit because users will see schema markup on the search engine results page (SERPs) in the form of rich snippets. It’s a way to liven up your search results with valuable data like star ratings, price, and in-stock versus out-of-stock. With users being able to see this information directly in the SERPs, it could help your site gain a click over a competitor.
What Is Schema?
Schema markup (schema.org) is a structured data vocabulary that helps search engines better understand the information on your website.
When search engines recognize the meaning and relationships behind entities, they can serve rich results or rich snippets.
Schema is a language used to represent data—the actual data is called structured data.
Structured data organizes your page’s content and makes the information easier for Google to understand.
Schema markup is a new, lesser-known SEO strategy. While underutilized, it is one of the most impactful implementations you can make for your website. To put it simply, it is a code that assists search engines in displaying relevant information. You can appear the way you want when people search online.
Also known as structured data, schema markup provides many benefits that businesses aren’t aware of. Here are some of the schema pros you may want to consider:
Appear at the Top of a Specific Search Engine
You can use schema-rich snippets to make yourself visible to the right people. For example, you are currently looking for applicants for a new job opening. Using structured data (schema markup) will help Google because Google recognizes that your information is relevant to job searchers. You are then displayed as one of the top results for job seekers.
Appear on Searches with Rich Results
Rich results are more than just simple text on Google’s search page. You’ll appear there with various other beneficial information like ratings and images. You can display products on sale, appear on the carousel for articles, showcase reviews, and more. Google has over 30 types of rich results you can take advantage of.
Appear on the Knowledge Graph
Google’s Knowledge Graph is the box on the right side of the search results. For mobile users, it appears as the first result before anything else. You can display important information about your business from reviews, social media, phone numbers, and more. With schema web, you have a higher chance of appearing in the graph during searches.
How does Schema markup work?
Schema.org marks up the individual elements of a webpage, like pictures or names, with specific code that tells a search engine exactly what that page element is.
The way this is done depends on the type of structured data markup you choose to use on your web pages.
The full list of things that you can mark up with Schema can be found here. Although it seems extensive, it doesn’t by any means cover everything that you might want to feature on a webpage, so there will be some things that the vocabulary just doesn’t exist for yet.
But the vocabulary is always being updated and expanded, and if you’re ambitious, you can even add an extension of your own.
Marking up your web pages with structured data means that a search engine can ‘read’ them more easily and understand what the content refers to.
Why Is Schema Markup Important for SEO?
Schema markup improves your website for both search engine crawlers and users. The details that it provides help crawlers understand the main topic of your content. It helps them distinguish different pieces of content from one another to truly understand the page as a whole.
It is considered a form of technical SEO because it exists in the backend of your website. Although searchers can’t see the markup data, they can see the rich snippets that it creates.
Research by Milestone Inc. found that targeting rich results can potentially double your organic traffic (depending on your industry and niche). Although schema markup doesn’t directly generate rich or featured snippets, it improves your content and makes it more detailed. Having lots of content details is important for getting a rich snippet from the search engine.
The point of doing SEO is to improve your SERP rankings and get more people to visit your website. Schema markup makes your listings more user-friendly, increasing your potential click-through rate (CTR) and making your content better in the search engine’s eyes.
Some schemas act like digital billboards, too. Walmart takes up the entire above-the-fold portion of the SERP because of all the rich snippets it has:
Studies show that improved real estate from rich results can improve click-through rates.
In fact, users click on rich results 58% of the time vs. 41% of the time for non-rich results.
Google has also stated that properly structured data can improve the overall appearance of search results (which provides a better user experience).
For example, with structured reviews, Google can show recipes with the most five-star ratings at the top of their results.
Or, with structured data on songs and albums, Google can show what songs an artist sings as a series of rich cards.
So while there’s no hard evidence that structured data actually impacts rankings, it vastly improves the search experience. Users can read FAQs, see ratings, learn important business information, and more without ever visiting a page.
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