Schema markup and Structured data are an SEO tool that can help improve the click through rate of your website on the search engine results page (SERP).
While schema and structured data are not required they are highly recommended by all major search engines to help them pull the best data from your website in a way that makes it easy for users to view on a results page.
Schema and structured data improve the look of your websites listing on Google increasing potential traffic and showcasing the products, services, or information offered on your website. This will potentially decrease user bounce rate and increase your organic traffic revenue generation.
Schema gives you more control over how your website shows up on Google and the information users see when they search for your product or service offering.
Having accurate schema markup will improve your website’s local search ranking and help Google prioritize your website above competitors that have not invested in this untapped SEO tactic.
This guide to Understanding Schema Markup For SEO will outline:
- The difference between Schema markup and structured data
- How Schema and structured data affect a sites SEO
- Types of Schema markup and structured data available
- How to implement Schema and structured data on different web platforms
Below we will start by clarifying what schema and structured data are, how they are implemented on common web development sites, and what they can do to improve the search ranks of your site.
What Is Schema Markup
Schema markup is a code that you put on your website to help a search engine pull the right information from your website. Schema creates better descriptions, accurate company information, and enhances the users experience on the search engine leading to higher quality traffic for your website.
Schema is an open sourced code that anyone can use. To get a better understanding of how it works you can visit schema.org.
What Is Structured Data
Structured data is a way to organize data in a standard form that Google and other search partners can easily pull from. Thinking of structured data like a database each item or description on your website will have its own structured data. Company information can be structured along with products and services.
Structured data is how Google sets up shopping ads or understands which products are in stock on websites. There are many types of rich snippets and markup options for your site.
How Do Schema & Structured Data Affect SEO?
Schema markup and structured data tell Google what important information should be pulled from the website. This improves search listings with accurate and well-thought-out descriptions and information. Structured data also helps Google know what rich snippets are available on a website.
A rich snippet can be anything from a question box in position zero, book review, or FAQ. It is information pulled directly onto the search page to improve the users experience. A rich snippet increases the size of a site’s listing and allows for more information on the results page increasing the likelihood of a click through to the site.
Structured data is not a ranking factor for Google, but it does affect a site’s overall rankings.
Click Through Rate (CTR)
Schema markup will have an impact on your CTR. A higher CTR, will increase your rankings by signaling to Google that your site is a good result for that search.
Structured data can help you with CTR because rich results catch the eye of the searcher and provide an outline on the information they will find on site potentially lowering the bounce rate and improving on site traffic quality.
Schema Markup Types Supported by Google
Structured data is available for almost any type of product or service and a full list of available markup can be found on schema.org.
There are also many types of rich snippets that Google has developed. You can find a full list of available rich snippets in the Google Developer.
Common snippets include:
- Position zero
- Local business information
- Site links
Product based markup is required when running paid shopping ads on Google. Paid shopping ads are a form of PPC ads on Google Ads that list items for purchase directly on Google. Using Shopping Ads can give a product company an edge over the competition as the product shows without the need for a user to click into the website. Schema works hand in hand with the merchant center to list products seamlessly.
How To Add Schema Markup On Your Website (The Right Way)
Implementing Schema on a web platform like WordPress and other eCommerce sites has become easier with WordPress schema plugins. If you are looking to implement Schema on a custom site it is best to hire a web developer to help implement the proper HTML code in your specific system.
Here’s how you can implement structured data correctly on your website, on different platforms:
How to add schema markup on WordPress
To add Schema Markup to your WordPress blog, check out the structured data & schema markup plugins in the WP repository. Most SEO plugins like YOAST and SEO PRESS also add basic structured data functionality to most websites including description and title tags.
How to add schema markup in Magento & eCommerce
Most eCommerce platforms such as Magento, Shopify, and Square Space will come with structured data already integrated.
If you’re not sure that your site has the proper structured data, use the structured data Google Structured Data Testing Tool.
If there’s no Product section, it means your implementation is missing. There are always plugins and extensions so do a Google search and find what suits your platform.
Always fix the warnings and misinformation, they won’t stand in the way of your rich snippets displaying, but it’s always best to have accurate data.
Local SEO structured data
If you have a local business, structured data can really help your local SEO. You can mark up your NAP (name, address, phone) so that search engines can better understand that information.
This plugin for WordPress supports structured data for Local Businesses.
Custom schema markup implementation
If you’re planning on adding markup manually, make sure to validate your code with the Google Structured Data Testing Tool.
Why Doesn’t My Website Display a Rich Snippet?
Schema markup on your website does not guarantee that Google will implement a rich snippet on the SERP. The schema is only there to help tell Google what you want. If the information you shared is useful to the search Google will include your schema.
The best thing for you to do is test your rich snippet to guarantee it is working with the Rich Snippet Validator.
Voice search is the future of how we will interact with our devices.
If you want your business to show up in voice search, you need accurate Schema markup and structured data programmed into your site.
Voice search is a natural way to ask for information and get results. It’s hands-free, eyes-free, and all about you. You can use it anywhere – in your car, at home or on the go – as long as you have an internet connection. And it’s not just for Google Search anymore! Now Siri on iOS 11 lets you access Apple Music with just your voice.
Schema markup will provide more information about your website and it’s content in order to make it easier for voice assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa to understand what you’re offering.
The goal is to make it as easy as possible for Google to understand the kind of content you want to show up when people search for specific things like “restaurants near me” or “movies starring Tom Hanks.”
Structured data and Schema should be your first priority when it comes to site wide SEO, it is an important step in improving the long term quality of your website traffic.
Like any other SEO tactic, Schema should be part of a larger strategy that focuses on the entire optimization of your website.
Rich snippets and markup provide Google and other search information an easy way to improve a search result page and improve the user’s experience while on the search engine. The more information you give to a search engine in an easy-to-understand way the more likely they are to prioritize your site.
Improving the quality of your website traffic can help increase inbound revenue generation. Schema markup and structured data is one of the best ways to improve the quality of your organic traffic coming from Google.
We recently hired a freelancer to start working on adding Schema markup to our website. It’s too early to tell if we are ranking betting in the search engines, but the research and data are clear indicators that it will make a huge difference. It’s a tough market out there, and trying to be visible is not so easy. We’re hoping this strategy enhances our progress, but only time will tell.
Since it is fairly new to most businesses, we hope to benefit before it becomes mainstream and every SEO expert is implementing the same strategies. It seems like that is the case with almost everything new concept when it comes to search engines.
Tracy, the use of structured markup data can improve your website (or content) search engine visibility. Structured data helps Google algorithms to better understand and index your data. It imposes a structure on your websites architecture that’s independent of design, and makes it easier for search engines to understand. Structured markup data is crawled and understood by Google better, and because, as you mention, so few websites have caught on to the benefit of Schema, it’s another way to differentiate your website, so use it to your advantage. : )
I currently have quite a low click through rate and this is the first time I have heard of this schema concept. I didn’t realize how deep SEO got until I started reading some of your blogs. I enjoy your website because it’s a one-stop shop for much more than just getting SEO information to improve my website traffic. All the links you provide are great. Just being on this web site makes me feel more confident about growing my web presence.
Ronnie, thanks for your comment. Glad I’m helping boost your confidence! The world of online marketing can be daunting and I hope I’m simplifying it for you. Through the use of schema, Google and other search engines are able to produce eye-catching results in the search engine results page. This eye catching results will increase your CTR (click through rate) and give you the edge over your competitors. the more the variations of schema that you use, the more you increase your opportunities to appear on the SERP with an enhanced, eye-catching presentation. Adding schema to your website will result in a higher click through rate (CTR) due to the enhanced search engine results e.g. Rich Snippets.
These are hands-on tips to improve our digital marketing performance. Having our website show up as a rich schema would push us to the top. Like you said, more click throughs equals a higher ranking on Google. Our writers love using Yoast to set up SEO-friendly schemas. The best part is, they can set it up without being code writers. If we add in the local SEO plug-in, this will generate the traffic we are looking for. With everchanging marketing techniques, it is important to bring voice search into account. Schema markup is the tool that our marketing team needs to make our content accessible. Thank you!
Yes, it is very important! You might have noticed that Google now provides those “answers” on the Search Engine Results Page. This is because of SCHEMA! Those webmasters have added Schema markup, and hence, Google can make sense of data and find the relationships between the data and content in websites. End result is you get your website listed on the top of the stack, and you get more website visitors, which results in more calls,
I must say that Seo is not my strong point I haven’t worried about it because I figured people would my website regardless. But after reading your strategies I now see that the right SEO can really benefit my company and help me reach customers that didn’t even know my business existed.
Thanks for your comment Gail, glad to hear.
There is some good information here, especially the part on the voice search and Google ranks. However, it seems to me that everyone is using SEO and that things change faster than you can. I have never found anything that really guarantees a good SEO outcome. If everyone is using the same things then there are no differences and no sure way to get to the top. It all just sounds like a luck-of-the-draw scheme that there is no way to truly figure out. Especially when things change so rapidly.
While I was aware of SEO strategies I had never heard of schema before and wonder if, for example, a small business were looking to implement this if they would benefit from one or the other. I do like how schema would give a company more control over how their business shows up on a Google search so that they can control the narrative on what image they are putting out to potential customers. I think that if this is a cost effective strategy for small businesses they should definitely consider implementing it to encourage more traffic to their site.
I have never heard of schema markup before. I wonder once everyone starts using it like SEO just how much of a difference it will make. I have made four websites form one for myself and three for a past employer. I have discovered during this time while the design looks good, I have a hard time getting traffic. I use SEO but it does not seem to make a difference. Two of the sites were on Shopify I am going to try the schema marketing tool to see if I can help them get more traffic. Google changes how things show up in search results frequently and tend to put the big-name businesses such as Amazon before other results. With voice searches, it seems many times the speech recognition is still a struggle. Personally, I find that typing it in helps me find results quicker. My husband tries using voice search and I can find the information quicker than him just typing in what he wants. I believe that for voice to work well you have to use few words in order not to confuse or overwhelm the voice recognition software.
Mary, voice search is a big trend these days. AMAZON ECHO and GOOGLE HOME, etc, these voice search devices are opportunities to spread awareness for your business. For example, if someone says “HEY GOOGLE, WHAT’S THE BEST DENTIST NEAR ME” If your website has schema markup, it is much more likely Google will find you online, and recommend you in voice search. Google will highly appreciate a well-structured data or schema website.
Search engine optimization is a concept that I’m still working to understand, and I appreciate you clarifying ways to make use of tools like Schema.
It’s crazy to consider that with the ever-growing content available online, there needs to be a way to tunnel the traffic to your site. Before, I simply thought the attention would just come, but when people’s attention is caught everywhere else, it makes it harder for new writers to get noticed.
Thanks for the content. Will definitely come back to this one.
Thanks Dylan, glad to see you on here!
As a marketer, I always value learning more about SEO best practices, and an ongoing schema markup initiative can be a very effective tool. What I appreciated most about this post, was that it not only explained the schema markup concept, but provided some concrete links and plans that can help marketers and small business owners actually incorporate this into their optimization strategies.
The notes on voice search at the end were also an important point, as voice-based searches and wearables are something we are always trying to stay on top of with our business’s SEO strategy.
Thanks for joining the discussion Lindsey.
Wow, I had no idea what the term was for this practice. SEO is something my company has been working to improve over the last year or two. However, I admit, my terminology knowledge is quite limited. I look forward to researching the best Schema plugins to meet my website’s needs. As a niche online college, my company focuses on course catalogs and events which it seems Schema is a perfect solution to show Google how we want our content fed to researchers. Thanks so much once again for the helpful information!
Glad to see you here April. Schema for University websites is important, especially because of the high numbers of students at those websites. If the website can effectively answer questions, it will reduce the number of confused students calling the front desk.
My knowledge of SEO is still rather limited. It is a topic I have been studying off and on a lot recently. However, I will say that while SEO is important and you want to give yourself the best chance of success, the fact is that it’s hard to get your content out there above the rest. No amount of SEO is going to help if you don’t already have useful and relevant content to work with. While SEO isn’t everything it certainly is a huge help! I’m looking forward to learning more about it.
Relevant content is the key! You are correct Kayla. 🙂 Regarding schema, the Google developer website highlights that there are 2 kinds of Google features that become available to you if you use schema structured data or schema for your webpage content:
Enhanced presentation and search results including Rich Snippets, site link search boxes and Breadcrumbs
Knowledge graphs, where if Google sees you as an authority for certain content then they will feature your authoritative data.
This is so helpful! I’ve been referring to your most relevant article related to digital marketing, and I’ve found many valuable tips and tools to enhance our site’s SEO performance. Thanks for providing the Schema creation strategy with those tools to generate the code. Thank you, Taylor!
This is an excellent resource for people who recently moved their businesses online and want to improve their ranking and CTR! This blog should also prove helpful for anyone interested in building websites since you touched on what platforms have plugins for schema markups and structured data and how to add them to the site.
The bit on how Schema markups can be beneficial to voice search is pretty spot on! While Schema and structured data are essential in SEO, it’s good to see that it’s still applicable to rising trends despite the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing.