Search Engine Optimization is one of the faster-growing online marketing trends, and more businesses are spending a large chunk of their marketing budget on SEO, to boost their online presence. According to Hubspot, 80% of a website’s traffic begins with a search query into Google and other search engines like Bing.
Its usefulness consistently proves itself in the digital age, though a lot of professional SEO’s often overlook the value of some advanced techniques. One of the most powerful yet least-utilized forms of SEO techniques and ranking factor is the schema markup.
What Is Schema Markup?
Schema is a code that you inject into your website to make it easier for search engines to display useful information for users. Basically, it is a type of microdata that helps search engines interpret the information on your web pages more accurately. Inputting Schema defines what the content of a page is exactly and how it should be used and treated.
It is very easy for users to understand the meaning and the content of web pages but search engines have a limited understanding of what is being discussed on those web pages. Adding schema markup is like saying, “Hey Google, Yahoo or Bing, this content describes a specific person, TV show, video, etc.” This, in turn, helps search engines better understand your content and display it in a more accurate and relevant way.
How to Input Schema Markup?
Schema components can be applied directly to the HTML code of a web page. No need to learn new coding skills since web pages still use HTML. You will just have to add bits of schema.org semantic vocabulary to HTML microdata. You can also use a tool like Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper which will generate an HTML that you can simply copy/paste into your site’s source code.
When using schema markup, the goal is to rank and look better on search engine results pages (SERPs) and in front of users. It is vital to understand that there are data markups for all kinds of content types.
- Local Businesses
- TV episodes
- Book Reviews
- Software Applications
The first step is to go to Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper. You will need to select a data type and then paste the URL or HTML source of the page you want to mark up. Once that is done, click on “Start Tagging.” Your page will load on the left side while the data items appear on the right side.
Highlight the piece of the content associated with the markups. If the content you wish to markup is an article, highlight the name of the article and select “name” on the right-hand data panel. Continue adding markup items for your content. It is important to add markups to everything in your content that can help better define what your web page is all about. When done, click on create HTML.
The HTML of your page will appear with the microdata inserted in their respective spots. You can download the generated HTML file and copy/paste it into your source code or CMS.
Now, you would have to find out what your page will look like after adding the markup. This is to ensure that everything is done right and that you will rank better in SERPs. Use the Structured Data Testing Tool to analyse your web page.
You will have to copy/paste your HTML code into the tool and click preview. The tool will show you how your content will be presented in SERPs. Inspecting every markup element added is vital. If you still need to make changes with your added markups, you can do it directly to the HTML code you pasted to the Structured Data Testing Tool. You can also go back to the last page and add more markups.
Once you’re done, do a quick search on your chosen search engine and see if the information displayed about your content is helping users understand what your web page is all about.
Make sure to also use Google’s Automatic Item Update tool if you’re using Schema markup for your business. This enables you to update your product ads directly. No need to create a new HTML code if you’re thinking of adding new products to your business.
A Few Tips
Adding Schema markup to your pages will definitely help you rank better, though there are a few things you have to be mindful of when using this method.
More more and More!
If your web page has a lot of content on it, it is best to mark up every bit of content that you can. Just make sure that you mark up the content that is visible to users who visit your web page and not content hidden in other page elements. Remember, the goal of using Schema markup is to help search engines understand your content better so that they can present your page in SERPs in a more helpful way, which means a better user experience and better SERPs.
Elena is a marketing manager at Keen. She is also a life coach and helps young adults reach their full potential on and off their jobs. Elena is often hired by small local organisations to boost morale and improve team productivity.