If you’re like most of the 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?
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.
- So, what is Structured Data And Schema then?
- Is Structured Data the same as Schema Markup?
- What does Schema Markup look like? Is It Easy To Implement?
- Enriched Search Result
- Rich Card
- Knowledge Graph
- How do Rich Results get you more Traffic from Search Engines?
- The types of Rich Results that Google Supports
- Get started with Schema And Structured Data Today
So, what is Structured Data And Schema then?
Search engines like Google are smart. But even though Google employs sophisticated algorithms that make non-computer scientists cry and Ph. D. research-based tactics like Natural Language Processing, Google’s 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 site.
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.
What does Schema Markup look like? 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.
And yeah, it’s a little intimidating when you look at it that way. But that’s why we built Schema Pro – to make it easy for you to add structured data without the complexity of manually adding code to each page.
Schema Markup Makes Your Content More Visible In Search Engines
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 displays on 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.
Rich cards are an interactive type of result that Google displays on mobile search results pages. In addition to their mobile-friendly design, rich cards support touch and swipe actions to create a better user experience for mobile searchers.
Here’s what a rich card looks like for a book result:
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 site”.
Depending on the topic, Google might also create carousels of similar items from different websites.
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 Engines
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”:
But the colorful stars and additional information draw your eyes to the CNET review in the middle, right?
And rich results can do more than grab a searcher’s attention, too.
Rich results also provide extra information to searchers to 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!
Types Of Rich Results That Google Supports
While you saw a few examples of rich results above, Google actually supports a whole slew of different rich results types.
These are divided into Enhancements and Content Types.
Enhancements are content-independent, while Content Types only apply to specific topics.
- Corporate Contact
- Sitelinks Searchbox
- Social Profile
And Content Types include:
- Fact Check
- Job Posting
- Local Business
- TV and Movie
- Software App – beta
- Top Places List – beta
- Live Coverage – beta
Each Content Type features additional information that’s specific to that topic.
For example, a podcast result might include:
- A recent episode list
- A play button for individual episodes
While a book will include information like:
- Publish date
You can view specific examples for all of the Enhancements and Content Types at the Google Search Gallery.
Get started with Schema And Structured Data Today!
Ready to get started with schema and structured data on your website?
Schema Pro can help you automatically 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.