Schema Markup is a method to mark up webpages which helps search engines to understand a websites content and can be used to improve your ranking position.
Schema.org was originally created as a joint venture by Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex. Google defines it as "a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content". But, is now a community project anyone can help to develop.
How Schema is added to your website depends entirely on the type of website you have, whether you have code access, or require plugins, so this article focuses on how to use it not the implementation.
Before you do anything the first thing to do is check what / if any schema is already on your site. Google has a handy tool you can use to check any page on your website. Simply go to the Structured Data Testing Tool and type in any url for your site.
The results page shows you the code powering your page and what / if any structured data is on your site, errors need to be addressed and warnings highlight additional data Google thinks could be included in the markup. Not all markup is applicable to every business so warnings are not uncommon.
There are nine top level properties that can be used to mark up elements on your page; Action, Creative Work, Event, Intangible, Medical Entity, Organization, Person, Place and Product. Each element is then broken down by sub-types, each sub-type can be applied to multiple top level types. The full list of items can be found on the Schema website.
Lets take a look at how we can implement Schema Markup to improve search engines understanding of a webpage. The Markup we are going to create is to be used on the home page of a restuarant.
First we define that the code we are creating realtes to schema.org and then define our object as a restaurant. We then provide our restaurant name, add a picture of the restaurant and define the contact details; Address, Phone and website. Next we start to add additional useful information; the hours the restaurant is open broken down by days of the week, we add a price range, the types of food served and the average online rating the restaurant has.
We have now created the standard code that will allow every search engine to extract the exact same data from our webpage. This greatly improves search rankings as search engines are being given definitive details about the webpage rather than trying to interpret the data on the page to ascertain these details.
If you need help implementing Schema Markup on your site or need any other SEO related assistance, check out our SEO services to see how we can help drive more traffic to your website. Or fill out the form and we will get right back to you.