One of the least-utilised aspects of SEO, schema markup is one of the most powerful forms of SEO your business can benefit from.
What is schema markup?
It is code (semantic vocabulary) that you put on your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users. If you’ve ever used rich snippets, you’ll have a bit of knowledge about schema markup.
Generally, when a bot crawls your website it gets indexed and Google ranks it in their search results where it may or may not get on to the first page. Google is taking that information and creating keyword tags that it thinks some users may benefit from. With schema markup, you are able to to tell search engines what the content means.
For example; you may have an exclusive guest post from someone famous – let’s say Brad Pitt. Without schema markup, search engines may think the page is a post about Brad Pitt and may have trouble ranking it due to the amount of content already written about him on the internet. With Schema Markup you can tell search engines the author of the article is Brad Pitt and will allow them to display better information to users who search for “Brad Pitt”.
Most webmasters are familiar with HTML tags on their pages. Usually, HTML tags tell the browser how to display the information included in the tag. For example, <h1>Avatar</h1> tells the browser to display the text string “Avatar” in a heading 1 format. However, the HTML tag doesn’t give any information about what that text string means — “Avatar” could refer to the hugely successful 3D movie, or it could refer to a type of profile picture—and this can make it more difficult for search engines to intelligently display relevant content to a user.
Who created Schema Markup?
Google, Yahoo & Microsoft are all amongst the collaborators of this set of markers. This was to ensure that there was an agreed-upon set of code that could tell all the major search engines what to do with the data on your website. Schema markup was also to seriously enhance user-focused content.
What types of data markup is there?
There are literally hundreds of markup types. There is a good chance that there is an itemtype available to your website. The most commonly used data types are:
- Local Businesses
How Many Websites Use Schema Markup?
It is estimated less than one-third of websites use schema markup. This means there are millions of websites not taking advantage of this SEO game-changer. There seems to be correlation between schema markup and SERP position, with those websites that do use schema markup ranking an average four positions higher.