Now that you’ve done your keyword research and started your content strategy, it’s time to give your SEO efforts a boost with schema markup. To put it plainly, schema markup is a snippet of code that helps search engines better understand your content and brand. By adding schema to your content, search engines can more accurately represent you in their search results. This can be a huge benefit to your SEO strategy and help improve your visibility and rankings on the search engine results page (SERP).
Why Is Schema Markup So Important?
Schema is important because it helps inform Google’s Knowledge Graph and is the main driver of rich snippets. The knowledge graph is a database used by Google and its services to enhance its search engine results with information gathered from a variety of sources. The information is presented to users in the form of rich snippets next to search results.
Rich snippets are search results that show up in the SERP and are visually more appealing than regular search results. You’ve likely encountered rich snippets when searching on Google. They tend to appear in the form of questions relating to your search, information panels about people or businesses, or featured snippets that display quick answers to search queries. These types of search results, on average, have a higher clickthrough rate than typical search results because Google knows enough about the source to deem them trustworthy.
How Can Schema Help My Brand?
Since the ultimate role of schema markup is to communicate with search engines, it would make sense that schema would also help improve your brand visibility on a results page. Through easy to read information and using schema to connect the dots around your business, products, and services, Google can add you to their knowledge graph.
Being in the knowledge graph, you can get a knowledge panel that appears next to search results around your brand. Having a knowledge panel for your business can quickly provide information about who you are to Google users, as well as increase your brand’s visibility in the SERP. Information about your brand such as phone numbers, subsidiaries, locations, social media profiles, and more can all be viewed in the SERP on your business’ knowledge panel.
Additionally, by adding schema markup where you can, you can continue to improve your visibility by appearing as a relevant option for non-branded queries. If your business is considered a viable resource for a search query, your business may appear as a suggested option.
Where Do I Get Started With Schema?
If you are far enough in your SEO strategy that you already have well-ranking content, and you’ve established yourself in the SERP, we can begin to choose which markups will be most beneficial. Rich snippet markup typically has the most significant impact in the shortest amount of time. Using schema markup for FAQ, reviews, products, and “how-to” content, can help get your content the rich snippets it deserves.
Once you’ve chosen which markups are going to be most beneficial, it’s time to build the markup and implement it. The first step is generating the markup. Here we can either write the code ourselves or use a third-party such as technicalseo.com. These third parties make it easy to fill out schema and layout the code for minimal margin of error.
Now that you’ve built out your markup generated it’s time to test it. This helps ensure that your code can be read by search engines. The best tool to use for seeing errors and knowing if your markup will work is Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. This tool in particular works well with identifying errors other data testers may miss.
Lastly, it’s time to implement your markup. There are three main ways to implement your schema markup; Google Tag Manager, straight to the HTML, and using plugins. The easiest of the three ways is using Google Tag Manager (GTM). GTM is a great tool because you can fill out your markup with a third party and copy and paste it into the GTM. It’s also a great workaround for companies where it takes a long time to get SEO changes implemented by a development team.
Schema markup can be an amazing tool to help you improve the visibility of your content with rich snippets, while also improving the visibility of your brand. By building a strong base of schema markup, your business can begin to improve their SEO efforts and search engine rankings. If you’re at the point in your SEO strategy where you have strong content that already ranks well, give schema a try and see how it can benefit you.
–written by Jonah Ericksen