What is Schema and is it Important?

What is schema?

Schema is a markup system and form of code that you place on your website to make it easier for search engines to understand its contents. This system was supported by a number of search engines, including Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex, as an effort to make site content clearer for multiple search engines. The search engines use these markups to improve the results they return to users, including the rich snippets that appear on SERPs for certain results.

Does schema help SEO?What is schema? A guide to using markup - BrightEdge

Yes, schema can help SEO as do rich snippets. Google offers both rich snippets and rich cards for certain types of results. Depending upon the type of result, these features might give users more information or make your particular result stand out in some way. Currently, the rich features supported by Google are:

  • Articles
  • Local businesses
  • Music
  • Recipes
  • Reviews
  • TV and Movies
  • Videos

The types of rich snippets and cards have changed over the years, with Google testing the different features that are displayed. For example, the search engine used to display authors and only recently included the rich card for recipes and movies. Since the features are regularly changing, it is a good idea for you to markup all your text. You never know what features will be accepted later and it will be cumbersome to have to go back and optimize the pages later. You will also lose potentially valuable time with your rich snippet between the time you realize the opportunity and find the time to go include the markup.

Rich snippets help to attract more attention to your listing. Some businesses have found that implementing the snippet increased their site clicks by over 150 percent. This is not an opportunity that any business fighting for attention in today’s modern digital market wants to miss.

Markups can also help you communicate your value to search engine for features such as Quick Answers or ranking highly for RankBrain. Google continually strives to find ways to better understand what users seek and provide them with convenient answers. Using schema helps the search engines quickly interpret your information so the algorithms can improve their own performance.

How do I use schema markup?

To start using schema, first determine what type of markup is most appropriate for your content. There are currently 571 types, 832 properties, and 114 enumeration values supported by markup, but there are about ten that are more commonly used than the others. You can find the most common schema examples here.

Once you have determined the right markup, add it to your code. Test your markup using the Google Structured Data Testing Tool to make sure that your data has been implemented correctly. Continue to monitor your success using the Page Reporter and StoryBuilder on BrightEdge's platform. This will allow you to gauge the impact that your rich markup as had on the traffic and conversions of your site.

Markup is a valuable tool for webmasters that helps them communicate better with search engines while also taking advantage of every available opportunity to maximize the appearance of the site on the SERPs. Brands should be familiar with this system of data markup so they can optimize their site on every level.

For more on the ins and outs of schema markup, check out this full guide of schema markup blog posts and snippets. Some of the resources you'll find include:

  • A guide to structured data
  • The case for using schema
  • Underutilized and underrepresented schema markup and more
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