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Customer Story

How Excel™ Stood Out Against Competitors through Advanced Schema Markup

Excel™ is a digital performance marketing company that helps insurance brands acquire the right customers at scale. They focus on generating high-quality leads for their insurance partners in the Medicare, health, life, auto and home insurance verticals.

Year over Year Growth in Clicks

Year over Year Growth in Impressions

Year over Year Growth in Click Through Rate

When Lindsay Malzone first joined Excel™ in 2021 as the Director of SEO, the company focused mainly on Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing to generate leads. They hadn’t done much around SEO and their existing content wasn’t performing well enough to rank on the SERP.

The insurance industry is competitive regardless of the vertical you operate in. Excel™ knew it had to invest in SEO to keep up with the competition. Lindsay was tasked to build an SEO team and strategy to improve their organic search presence and drive more qualified leads to their sites.


Keeping Up with the Competition

Upon building her SEO strategy, Lindsay saw that many of Excel™’s competitors were already leveraging Schema Markup to stand out on the SERP. She needed to implement advanced Schema Markup as soon as she could to get Excel™ up to speed and eventually exceed their competitors.

Lack of Expertise

Having said that, Excel™ lacked the internal expertise needed to implement a robust Schema Markup strategy.

“Schema Markup was a very technical area in SEO and it requires a specific skill set that our IT team did not possess nor had the time to learn,” said Lindsay. She also wanted to create connected Schema Markup to provide search engines with a semantic understanding of their content and build their E-E-A-T. The plugins in the market were also insufficient for the advanced Schema Markup that Lindsay wanted to implement.

The fastest way for Lindsay to start implementing advanced Schema Markup for Excel™ was to bring on third-party expertise. However, she didn’t want to hire an agency that offered Schema Markup as one of their services.

She wanted a team that focused solely on doing Schema Markup and could help her team manage their entire Schema Markup process from strategy to results. She had learnt about Schema App from her previous role and decided to partner with the Schema App team to help Excel™ implement their Schema Markup strategy.

What really made Schema App stick out was their sole focus on Schema Markup. We needed a team that had a platform that not only allowed us to mark up the content but also see the results and how things are performing. That is important for us because we are investing in it and I need to show my executives, VPs and the rest of the team that Schema Markup is worth the time and money that we are spending.”


In December 2021, Excel™ kickstarted their Schema Markup journey with Schema App. The goal was to leverage Schema Markup to generate more revenue and improve overall organic search performance.

Excel™ was assigned a dedicated Schema App Customer Success Manager (CSM) to help manage and support their Schema Markup process.

1. Developed an Advanced Schema Markup strategy

Every Schema App engagement starts off with strategy. Some of the keywords that Excel™ wanted to target had advertisements and other search features crowding the top positions on the SERP.

As part of the strategy, the Schema App CSM helped Excel™ to determine:

  • which sets of pages were going to have those challenges
  • how much effort they needed to put in to get it onto the first page of the SERP
  • what types of rich results they should target for those pages
  • the appropriate properties and types of Schema Markup for those pages

In addition to targeting rich results, they came up with a strategy to define entities and topics within the Schema Markup, leveraging Schema App’s Linked Entity Recognition.

The Linked Entity Recognition feature in our Schema App Highlighter allowed Excel™ to automatically link entities to Wikipedia and Google’s knowledge graph and embed the links within their Schema Markup. As a result, Excel™’s Schema Markup was not only linked across the site, but also with topics on the web.

Upon finalizing the strategy, their Schema App CSM authored and deployed the markup using the Schema App Highlighter and Editor tools.

2. Content Recommendations

Even though they were already achieving some of the rich results from the initial deployment, there was still more work to be done on the content side to further enhance the rich result and help Excel™ see the rich results be awarded more often.

The Schema App CSM provided Lindsay and her team with content recommendations such as:

  • Adding a hyperlink to the author bio page on every blog article to improve their E-E-A-T and
  • Adding social media links to their home page to link their brand to their social media pages.

Furthermore, the Schema App CSM also created a list of best practices for new types of content so that any new pages created by the content team would automatically be optimized for Schema Markup using the Schema App Highlighter and achieve the targeted rich results.

3. Competitive Analysis Informing Additional Opportunities

Keeping up with the competition was important for Lindsay. This prompted the Schema App CSM to perform a competitive analysis for Excel™ 6 months after the initial implementation to help Lindsay understand the state of their competitor’s Schema Markup and identify areas of improvement for Excel™.

The analysis showed that many of Excel™’s competitors were leveraging ratings and reviews to target a few additional variations of the review snippet rich result. With that in mind, the Schema App CSM recommended Excel™ to implement ratings and reviews across the relevant page sets to achieve review snippets.

The Excel™ content team immediately started making the necessary content changes, which helped them achieve the review snippets within weeks.

4. Useful Insights & Measurable Results for Stakeholder Reporting

When Lindsay first built her SEO strategy, she knew Schema Markup was one of the activities on their SEO must-do list. However, she also needed to prove the effectiveness and show the return on investment to her management team in order to continue with the strategy.

With Schema Performance Analytics (SPA), Lindsay could easily generate reports on the performance of their Schema Markup and show specific evidence of ROI. She could also help other team members like the content, social media and email marketing team understand the importance of their role in getting great SEO results.

SPA also gave Lindsay visibility on their Schema Markup performance on a page level. She could see how the click-through rate on a page improved or worsened after Schema Markup was added and gain insights on what works and what doesn’t and apply those learnings across other sites.

To truly be an SEO expert and grow with the industry, you need to work with other experts in the space that will contribute and benefit your SEO, and Schema App is definitely a key player in the SEO space.

Lindsay Malzone Headshot

Lindsay Malzone

Director of SEO



After the first year of working with Schema App, Excel™ saw the traffic to their lead generation sites soar. They could clearly attribute this growth to Schema Markup and the rich results they were able to achieve.

  • 777% YoY Growth in Clicks
  • 308% YoY Growth in Impressions
  • 115% YoY Growth in CTR

To date, Excel™ continues to see Schema App as an extension of their team and the competitive advantage they need to stay ahead.

See how Schema App can help your business leverage Schema Markup to stand out in search.