Darn, that giant search engine – Google. Just when you have set your online marketing strategy, Google goes and alters its brain. How inconvenient for marketers!
Probably you have noticed that the markup of a SERP (search results page) keeps on changing. In the old days, search results pages comprised just simple lists of URLs, each followed by a snippet of a plain text. Over the years, SERPs seem to have evolved to include rich snippets and other types of rich results. So, how should marketers take advantage of this evolving ecosystem with rich search results? Using schema markup correctly is an effective SEO strategy.
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What is schema markup?
Perhaps you have heard the term schema markup, schema.org, or structure data thrown around in different conversations. Well, search engines work tirelessly to understand the content of each webpage, and that’s where schema markup comes in. No matter how a particular search engine is, it will always struggle to make sense of everything on a webpage.
Schema markup is a type of metadata added to a site, and it tells the search engine algorithm whatever it is drawing and how it should be categorized. Google launched an algorithm update in 2017 that penalized websites that lack schema markup.
Is it important?
Yes…Here is why.
- Search results with schema applied tend to inform the user faster.
- The website’s users can view and understand the details of your website at a glance. This helps them to decide whether they should click through or check the next relevant option.
- Schema markup also helps your site to rank better for different content types. Get found easily and get more clicks.
Types of schema markups
According to experts, there are hundreds of markup types as there are countless questions people turn to Google and other search engines for answers. Here are the most common schema markups.
1. Questions & Answer schema markup
As the name implies, this schema markup is ideal for the FAQs webpage. This implies if you respond to a specific question that a user types into Google search box, there is a good chance your answer will appear at the top of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). This is the primary reason SEO gurus strongly believe that question and answer schema helps SEO and should be part of your SEO strategy.
2. Organization schema markup
It clarifies your business introduction, including contact details, social profiles, location, and an official logo. This offers your target audience a short and skinny of your company without having to research for basics.
3. Local business schema markup
This is an excellent option for local businesses. The schema helps consumers find the location of a specific business and other details such as contact details, address, and opening hours.
4. Breadcrumbs markup
This schema lists the path links that are leading to the current webpage. It helps website users to see their location. It also helps in reducing bounce rates.
5. Product & offer markup
These markups are used in the process of selling a particular service or product. They enable the delivery of product information, such as status and price. However, the offer markup requires the price and currency properties, while the product markup needs the product name only.
6. Article schema markup
This type of markup is commonly used for blog posts and news articles. It makes it easy for Google and other search engines to understand content pulling in the news headlines, a featured image, the time it was published, and more. Note that there are different forms of article schema markup for each type of article – a news article, scholarly article, and blog post.
7. Event schema markup
It provides extra information regarding scheduled events such as lectures, webinars, concerts, and more. It offers details, such as location, date, and price.
8. Video schema markup
This is an effective way of helping Google crawl and index videos published on your website. Besides, it helps your videos to appear in the video search.
Most companies are missing out on the opportunity presented by schema markup. A recent study that involved 200 million crawled web pages indicated that a piddling 20 percent of the web pages use schema markup. In case you are part of the 80 percent that has been ignoring schema markup, it’s time you start using it.