A huge part of search engine optimization involves sending proper ‘signals’ to search engines and letting them know what your website, business, and content are all about. One of the most recent developments in SEO—known as the schema markup—caters to this particular aspect of optimization.
Expanding online reach is more important than ever. It’s something that every business owner needs to do, especially in this day and age of technologically- and digitally-savvy consumers who use Google and Bing for everything. Schema markup is one of the new forms of optimization strategies that have great potential to boost website rankings in SERPs—and yet, it is very much underutilized because website owners don’t understand it fully well. Here, we take a closer look into what schema is all about and how it can be used to improve local SEO.
‘Schema markup’ is a type of code that is designed to help search engines retrieve a more informative set of results for searchers. If you are familiar with the concept of rich snippets, you will pretty much have a good idea of what this new markup is all about. A local business website that uses markup on their events page, for instance, will be able to tell search engines to display the schedule of their upcoming events on their SERP. Details like these are extremely helpful for users who want to get a glimpse of what to expect on the page they are about to visit once they click through.
One of the best things about the schema markup is that it tells search engines what your inputs mean and not just what your data says. Schema.org defines itself as a collection of schemas webmasters can use in order to markup HTML pages in such a way that they can be recognized by major search engines (Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo!). These schemas can likewise be used to enable interoperability of structured data. Large search providers rely on schema markup to enhance the way that search results are displayed so that people can more easily find the pages they are looking for.
Structured data stored in databases are usually the basis for many websites. When the same data is then formatted into HTML, recovering structured data in its original form becomes extremely difficult. Certain applications—particularly search engines—can greatly benefit from having direct access to such structured data. Schema markup allows them to better make sense of the information contained on web pages and in turn provide users with richer search results that make it a lot easier for them to find what they need online. Schema provides webmasters a shared library of markup vocabulary, which makes it easier to decide on the right markup schema. This ultimately results in maximum benefits for their optimization efforts.
It’s not every day that competing entities—major search giants in this case—come and help each other out or come up with a system that enables the same kind and level of inter-industry collaboration that schema.org offers. All in all, schema provides webmasters a defined and agreed upon collection of code markers, instructing search engines what they should do or how they should use data on a website.
More than search engines, schema was invented with end users in mind. With the schema markup in place, users can instantly catch a glimpse of what a website or business is all about, where it is located, how much certain products or services cost, and many other important details about a business. This user-centric approach enables better quality search results that offer great relevance to searchers.
Ready to improve your local search visibility with the help of schema experts? Then talk to us at SEOValley.