Owning a website gives you an online presence, but making it appear in search results is what will bring you prospective leads and customers.
If you’re like most webmasters, you’re always looking for a way to make your site more visible in search engines like Google.
So what if we told you there was a way that you could communicate directly with search engines? A method to explain the true context of your website so you appear higher in relevant search results.
Wouldn’t that be helpful?
By opening a direct conversation, you could help search engines understand your content and, better yet, give them the information they need to make your content more visible to readers in the organic search results.
That’s exactly what schema markup and structured data can do for your website.
Here are some topics that we’ll cover in this ultimate guide about Schema markup:
- What is structured data and schema markup?
- Is structured data the same as schema markup?
- How does schema markup benefit website SEO?
- What does Schema Markup look like on a website? Is it easy to implement?
- Enriched Search Results
- Knowledge Graph
- How do Rich Results get you more Traffic from Search Engine Results?
- Getting started with Schema Markup today!
What is structured data and schema markup?
Search engines like Google are smart. But their robots still don’t have a foolproof way to establish context.
For example, search engines might struggle to establish that this specific number is the review rating for a product while this other number is the price of that same product.
Structured data exists to solve this context problem and explicitly tells search engines exactly what’s what on your website.
It’s a behind-the-scenes code format that lets you specifically tell search engines, “hey, this number here is the rating of the product. We gave it 4.5-stars out of 5. And that the other number is the price – it costs $49.99”.
Your human visitors won’t ever see the structured data, but search engines will be able to read it and, as you’ll see later on, search engines can use this information to make your site more visible and clickable in organic search results.
Is structured data the same as schema markup?
You’ll sometimes see the terms structured data and schema markup used interchangeably. But while they are tightly connected, they’re not quite identical.
So what’s the difference?
Well, schema markup, housed at schema.org, is a specific vocabulary for structured data that all the major search engines have agreed to follow.
It’s like the lingua franca of the structured data world – everyone uses and understands it.
And because schema markup is accepted by all the major search engines, it’s the best way to add structured data to your website.
How does schema markup benefit website SEO?
There are two main benefits of adding schema markup on a website.
Boosts website SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) basically means optimizing your website to appear higher for relevant searches in search results. Schema markup lets you feed in-depth information for search engines to understand your website better so it gets shown up for relevant queries.
With increased traffic and user engagement, your website may rank higher and get even more traffic with time.
Display Rich Search Results
Rich snippets or search results are a dedicated space you can get for your website. This is possible when you’ve given search engines enough information that will make you stand out from the rest on the results page.
Take a look at the rich snippets seen above. They get enough limelight and people are more likely to click on such results as compared to the others.
What does Schema Markup look like on a website? Is it easy to implement?
To a human, there’s no difference between a page with schema markup and one without.
But if you look at the underlying code (which is what search engines see), you’ll notice something like this:
That’s what you need to add to your site to take advantage of structured data. But, wait!
This is made easier with Schema Pro – for you to add structured data without the complexity of manually adding code to each page.
Schema Markup helps make your content more visible in search engine results.
While Google has hinted that structured data itself might help your site rank higher in the future, there isn’t any data to show that adding schema markup to your site will make it rank higher in Google right now. But there is data showing that schema markup can help you get more traffic from Google.
Structured data helps Google and other search engines give your website something called “rich results”.
In Google’s own words, “Rich results are search results that go beyond the standard blue link, they may include a carousel, image or other non-textual UI elements.”
Let’s make that a bit more grounded…
Have you ever seen those eye-catching star ratings in Google organic search results?
That’s one example of rich results.
But rich results aren’t just star ratings – there are a few different enhancements that fall under the umbrella of “rich results” now.
Enriched Search Results
Enriched search results follow the same general format as basic Google results. They’re just “enriched” with additional attributes like:
- Star ratings
- Recipe cook times and calories
- Job details for job postings
- Lots of other possible additions
For example, here are some enriched search results for recipes:
The extra information that is displayed in these results is specific to the type of content. For example, a product page will display different information than a recipe or a job posting, or any one of the 25+ different content types that Google supports.
Google’s Knowledge Graph is the large block that appears to the right of Google’s organic search results.
By using structured data on your site, you can influence the information that appears in the Knowledge Graph result and create a more complete listing.
Carousels are a “container for multiple rich results of the same type on your website”.
Google might also create carousels of similar items from different websites depending on the topic.
Because carousels give you a chance to display more of your content in Google’s regular search results, they’re a great way to boost your search visibility.
How do Rich Results get you more Traffic from Search Engine Results?
To put this simply, rich results make your website more visible in the organic search results.
Consider this example: All the three websites rank for “iPhone X review”
If you see the above three results, the star ratings in the CNET review you see in the middle will grab your attention. Right?
Rich results can do more than grab a searcher’s attention.
They provide extra information to searchers and help them make a decision about which search result they should click on.
It’s really a two-pronged approach:
- First, rich results get readers’ attention by offering a unique look that stands out from a sea of regular blue links.
- Second, rich results provide extra information and helpful navigation items to help readers determine that your site has what they’re looking for.
Put those two together and it means your site has a better chance of getting clicked on when it appears in the organic search results!
Getting started with Schema Markup today!
Now that we’ve seen what schema markup is and how it can benefit your website and business when done right, I am sure you’d want to implement it on your website.
Wait. You do not have to code anything. Schema Pro helps you to reap the benefits of structured data on your WordPress website without lifting a finger.
Just tell the plugin about your content and it will automatically add Google’s preferred JSON-LD structured data to optimize your site for search engines and boost your chance to get those coveted rich results.
Advantages of using Schema Pro:
- Follows Google’s latest guidelines and uses the latest JSON-LD technology.
- Supports all schema markups supported by Google and allows you to add your desired custom schema markup too.
- Eliminates the need to implement schema markup individually on each page. All that can be done together.
- Assures accurate schema implementation that can be tested using the in-built Google Structured Data Testing Tool.
Want to know more? You can take this free Schema markup course created by Dave Swift in which he highlights everything you need to know and take care of while implementing it on your website.