The Importance of Schema Markup for SEO
All websites are not created equal. There are many unseen factors that go into how your website shows up in search results. Strict attention to local SEO will help your rankings, but those who take an all-encompassing approach will be rewarded not only with higher rankings, but featured snippets.
Schema Markup is an important tool to help your Nashville business with your local SEO efforts. But what is it? And how does it help?
What Is It?
Microdata is a specification located within the content of web pages. Search engines extract and process this microdata and use it to provide stronger and more specialized search results. Schema Markup is a form of microdata. It adds what’s known as a “rich snippet” (which is basically an enhanced description) which helps the page appear in relevant search results.
Schema was built back in 2011 through a collaboration between Google, Yahoo, Yandex, and Bing. Tools that help search engines return accurate search results helps everyone, so they worked together to provide better capabilities to achieve this.
There are a few different versions of Schema Markup codes:
- RDFa: This method works with a variety of document types.
- Microdata: This is the most common and easiest to use method
What Can It Help?
There are a fairly wide variety of enhancements that can be made to a website through the use of Schema Markup. However, you need to be conscious of what enhancements will be useful for your particular industry. Otherwise you could spend a lot of time performing enhancements that won’t actually affect your search engine result rankings.
There should be a primary objective you are focused on completing. This will help dictate which markups you will implement and which ones you can skip. Read through the material on the Schema website for information on which enhancements will best benefit your website.
A few examples of possible enhancements include the addition of your address, upcoming events, or even images to your search result listings.
But this is where the specificity in relation to your industry comes in. You can dictate which of these possibilities can show up. For instance, the results for a web page including a recipe might want to include the recipe itself, calories, and website information.
Using Schema for Local SEO
One of the most useful results a business can get are the “near me” results. A person searching for your service without knowing local options might search for a keyword relating to your business with the addition of a tag relating to their particular location.
For instance, perhaps you’re visiting a new city and want to order some food. You search “pizza near me” and local results populate your screen. This is an advantageous list to be on.
Local businesses need to find the associated section of the Schema website which can be found here. You will find the applicable codes to help include your business’ name, address, phone number, and more.
This will create what’s known as a featured snippet for your company. These entries are very visible by search engine users and are a coveted position to hold. The addition of Schema Markups won’t guarantee your company to be at the top of these search results, but they will help your chances.
How to Implement It
The implementation of microdata can be daunting for those of us that don’t have experience with coding. It takes some work, but it can be done by just about anybody. And for those that aren’t feeling adventurous, the professionals at NoSweatWeb can help include the necessary tags to help your Nashville company improve your local SEO.
You will need a basic understanding of HTML processes and techniques. Tutorials for this can be found here.
You will also need the Schema library to find the appropriate codes for your industry.
Search through the library and locate the additions you would like to make to your search engine results. The results will give you the lines of code you will need to enter on your web page. Placeholder information will need to be replaced with your particular specifications. Simply swap these out, copy, and paste it into the lines of code for your website as dictated by the instructions.
Google provides a tool which tests the structured data of your website, which can be found here. This helps verify your work and find any errors in the codes.