Schema Markup for SEO

What is schema markup, and how does it impact SEO for my business?

Schema markup is a type of structured data that website owners can add to their HTML code to give search engines more information about their business, products or content. This can help enable websites to achieve “rich snippet” results where additional page data such as reviews, events, FAQs, images and videos show up in search results alongside traditional results.

The benefit for businesses is not only enhanced and richer search visibility but also improve click through rates and conversions with more visually appealing results, which will have a positive impact on your search rankings as a whole.

Furthermore, search engines use Schema to better understand the context and relevance of your content around certain queries and user intent types. 

Can you use Schema markup for any business?

Schema markup can be deployed in some form for almost any business type. Ecommerce websites can make use of Schema to provide detailed product information such as pricing, availability and reviews. 

Events-based businesses can use Schema to provide details about upcoming events and ticket prices. If you’re a publisher, Schema can be used to detail article publishing dates, author name, images and more. Local and small businesses can also deploy Schema for their local business efforts to display information such as business type, opening hours, address and customer reviews.

What are some common types of schema markup, and how do you determine which ones to use?

Use of Schema types will be dependent on the type of business you own, and there are specific Schema types that are commonplace in certain business types as alluded to above. 

Some of the most common types include organisational Schema (your business name), product detail schema, event and FAQ Schema, review Schema and video Schema to name a few.

Determining which ones to use will depend on the page in question. For example, you may be a big ecommerce business with plenty of product pages that are suited to Schema markup denoting product price, specifications and reviews. However, you may have a blog or guide hub with author bylines from your copywriting team that will require article-based Schema enrichment. Regardless, it’s important to consider implementing Schema across your high-value content where there is opportunity to improve your conversion metrics.

How do you implement schema markup on your website, and what tools can you use to do so?

Schema markup is injected within the HTML code of your website, via the use of Google Tag Manager or using plugins in your CMS. The former can be assigned to your developer and product teams, though if you’re able to generate it via CMS plugins then your content team can manage this too.

Template code can be ascertained from the Schema.org website and you can get developers to generate markup themselves, however there are plenty of third-party tools that can help your team generate this at scale without too much fuss.

For example, there are plenty of WordPress SEO plugins that automatically generate relevant Schema markup on selected pages that are suitable for the Schema type in question.

How does schema markup impact the user experience, and how can it improve website engagement and conversions?

Schema markup  can help you achieve rich results on search results, and it is more likely that users will be drawn in and click on search results that offer a richer variety of content. 

One aspect of this is the coveted “position zero”, which are often concise summaries answering questions behind the user intent associated with a certain search query. If your business is able to achieve a position zero result, this will position it above all the traditional search results with more real estate, which can do wonders for your brand visibility.

Going back to the question of ecommerce, featuring enhanced results with star reviews, product specs, price and  availability directly in the search result offers an added level of transparency and accessibility for users to help drive informed purchasing decisions. 

Schema markup is a relatively low effort high reward venture given the potential improvements for your businesses’ visibility on Google. If you’ve got a good existing content offering, getting your product team to inject Schema markup can have decent ROI on their efforts. 

What are some common mistakes to avoid when implementing schema markup, and how can they impact SEO?

Aside from code errors such as missing syntax or misspelling and misplacing of HTML elements, common errors with regards to Schema implementation include not using the correct Schema type on certain pages. For example, if you’ve got a recipe article, your team will need to use recipe Schema and not product Schema. The structured data implementation needs to match the actual content on the page. 

Some website owners may also deploy Schema across all their pages even if on some it isn’t relevant, which may lead to search engines not understanding your website properly. 

Misusing Schema in this way or attempts at Schema markup on pages which aren’t suited to it with a view to manipulating search engine results may land you in trouble with Google’s spam policies.

Google also maintains a list of Structured Data Guidelines which are worth your SEO and product teams understanding to ensure that your markup is accurate and complete.

How do you measure the effectiveness of schema markup, and what metrics should you track?

Google Search Console has a separate section within its interface that allows your SEO and analytics teams to directly monitor the impact of Schema markup in terms of impressions and clicks across certain Schema types (be it FAQs, Reviews or others) as well as assess the overall validity of your markup. 

Search Console will also alert you to any errors in your markup that may need fixing. This might not represent the full picture though, so it’s important to get your SEO team to run thorough checks on your websites to dig for any potential further issues. 

Aside from these metrics, many third-party SEO tools can also report back on any rich results you may have achieved as a result of your Schema implementation. Tying these efforts back to your overall traffic, search engine visibility and conversion metrics should always be paramount.

How do you update schema markup as your website changes, such as adding new products or services?

This can be a challenge, particularly as, in the case of ecommerce for example, stock availability changes on a regular basis. 

Many CMS plugins that allow you deploy Schema elements on your pages that will automatically reflect the content on the page, so there is little need to do the heavy lifting across individual instances of Schema should new details emerge.

If you don’t have automation capabilities at your disposal, keep on top of it by having your SEO and developer team run regular crawls and assessments of your Schema mark-up in relation to the content you’ve got on your site. Maintain a central repository of your content, products as well as any content changes that are made and keep this in open to all key team members so they’re able to adapt the Schema markup accordingly. 

How does schema markup fit into a broader SEO strategy, and what other tactics should you consider to improve your website’s ranking and visibility?

Regardless of what kind of business you’re operating, Schema markup should very much be part and parcel of your core SEO efforts covering both technical and content. Many businesses neglect it as an area of their SEO efforts and the low effort high reward opportunity make it one of the key drivers of modern day SEO.  

For example, each time a blog post is published, get your copywriting team to consider ways to enhance it with potential FAQ Schema content at the bottom to give it that extra edge. Your technical team should also be looking at ways to enhance new product pages with the use of the appropriate markup so it stands out in search results and drives more engagement.

Ultimately, Schema implementation is another tool in your belt alongside great content to help improve your website’s ranking visibility. Combining comprehensive and accurate Schema implementation across content that hits all the right signals in terms of helping the user will set you on a good path to organic success. 

Schema Markup SEO Case Study

Business in cyber security niche deploys product schema to increase organic clicks by 500%.

Problem: Cyber security is an example of a tough and heavily regulated industry where sites that perform well need to have cutting edge, accurate content that solves specific needs. The business in question was regularly publishing guide content on things to consider and best practices on certain areas of the industry, though was struggling to outrank competitor blogs on their target keywords.

Solution: After embellishing a moderately-performing article showcasing their core product with relevant product Schema, the article stood out on search results with star ratings and product details,  increasing traffic hugely.

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