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In the SEO world, schema.org—a set of extensible schemas that enables you to embed structured data on the pages of your website—is nothing new.
- Matt Cutts has talked about the ranking benefits of schema markup
- We have blogged about structured data and SEO
“If you’ve already blogged about it, why you blogging about it again?” you may be asking. The first blog post (above) does a great job describing the basics of structured data and rich snippets and how they can help SEO. This blog post will go into a little more detail and answer FAQs about schema markup.
You may not necessarily be a webmaster; perhaps you know just the basics of HTML. But if you somewhat keep up with SEO and content marketing news and articles (and I assume you do since you’re on our blog!), you have likely seen the terms “schema.org” or “schema markup” pop up.
Without further ado, here are some things you should know about schema markup for your website:
Does Schema.org Help SEO?
In a word, yes! And no, don’t stop reading here.
What Is Schema.org?
Schema.org “provides a collection of schemas, i.e., HTML tags, that webmasters can use to markup their pages in ways recognized by major search providers. Search engines including Bing, Google, Yahoo! and Yandex rely on this markup to improve the display of search results, making it easier for people to find the right web pages.”
In English? Schema.org makes it much easier to find important information on websites and point it out to search engines so they can more easily understand what pages on the website are about.
Notice that it’s “search engines,” not just Google. That’s what’s great about schema.org. Contrary to what you may have heard, searchers do still use other search engines, so optimizing for Bing and Yahoo! are still important.
Can Schema Markup Help My Website Rank?
While simply having schema markup on your website doesn’t mean your site will automatically rank better, it makes it easier for search engines to interpret content and, therefore, be more likely to be included in the search results for a related query. According to Webmaster Tools, “rich snippets can make your web pages appear more prominently in search results, so you may see an increase in traffic.”
Plus, there’s an interesting Search Engine Land article about how structured data can improve click-through-rate (CTR) by 30 percent!
Which Applications Should I Use Schema.org For?
There are many ways to use schema markup on your website:
- Video pages (Matt Cutts has said that Google recommends the use of rich snippets on a unique video landing page, even if the video is a YouTube embed)
- NAP information (make sure your business’ geographic and contact information is listed correctly—you can implement local schema categories on part of the footer or contact page)
- Testimonials (the majority of consumers trust online reviews, so make sure your glowing testimonials show up online)
- Events (this can be helpful since many small companies have trouble gaining the right publicity for their local events)
Here are some other quick facts about schema.org you may be wondering about:
- Google will keep supporting rich snippets for existing content, so you don’t need to redo existing content in the new schema.org format; however, switching to the new markup format could be helpful in the long run.
- You don’t need to mark up every single property.
- Schema.org supports all the information types supported for microdata/microformats/RDFa.
- If your site has content not supported by schema.org, you can use a less specific type of markup or even try to use the schema.org extension system to describe a new type.
Start Using Schema Markup
In short, you would be wise to use schema markup on your website! Even the experts at Moz agree. They have an excellent blog post about why it’s a mistake not to be using schema.org. So what are you waiting for? To get started, look at the Getting Started guide on the schema.org site. Also, it can be helpful to use the Google structured data testing tool to see what information Google can takes from your website pages.
Does the thought of schema markup make your head spin? Not a problem! We have a team of in-house webmasters, website developers, and website designers that can make sure your website is fully optimized—including schema markup.
Contact us today to learn more about our website services!
About The Author: Alanna is the Quality Assurance Manager in Blue Corona's Maryland office. When she's not triple-checking websites and content for errors and consistency, you can find her at the gym with her twin sister or urban exploring with her husband.
View more blogs by Alanna Hernandez