If you’ve been looking for an SEO tactic that will help your organization drive more organic traffic to your site, Schema Markup is an effective solution.
By adding Schema Markup (also known as Structured Data) to your page, your page can show up as a rich result on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Some rich results claim a prime location at the top of SERPs, while others include additional information about your page, such as images, pricing, reviews, and snippets of content.
Even though Google says Schema Markup does not have a direct impact on your rankings, investing in it can definitely help your pages stand out in the SERP and drive an increase in Click-Through Rates.
However, before you start implementing Schema Markup on your page, there are a few basic technical SEO factors that can have an impact on your search visibility. Here are the 4 SEO factors you should consider before doing Schema Markup:
1. Ensure Your Pages Are Indexable
Indexing is the process that search engines use to understand what your page is about. For example, Google’s algorithm achieves this by analyzing textual content, key content tags, alt attributes, and other elements of your page.
However, some sites mistakenly embed a no-index rule in their site’s code, which will prevent certain content from showing up on SERPs. If your page is not indexed, search engines cannot read your Schema Markup or your content, which defeats the purpose of implementing Schema Markup.
To find out whether your site is indexed, launch Google’s URL inspection tool, paste in a URL, and initiate your query. Within seconds, Google will reveal if your URL is indexed. If it isn’t, you need to adjust your robots.txt file or meta tags to fix the issue.
2. Have a Fast Page Load Speed
You can implement Schema Markup regardless of page load speed. However, page load speed impacts your ranking on search engines like Google, which is why you should strive to optimize it before investing in more extensive technical SEO like Structured Data.
Google considers page load speed so important that it’s one of Google’s Core Web Vitals – a metric that also considers your page’s visual stability and interactivity. If your page speed is slow, it will negatively impact the user experience and your “crawl budget,” which refers to the resources Google allocates to crawl your page.
To assess and optimize load speed, we suggest following Google’s recommendations.
3. Have a Mobile-Friendly Site
As of Q4 of 2022, mobile devices accounted for over 59% of global web traffic. With these numbers climbing daily, it’s no surprise that Google has adopted a mobile-first indexing philosophy.
This means that the search engine giant will index websites based on their mobile versions rather than the desktop alternatives. Therefore, the mobile version of your site must be indexable and optimized for speed if you want to achieve a strong ranking.
Your website should be responsive, which means its format seamlessly adapts to the screen size and resolution of the user’s mobile device. This is so important to the user experience that Google incorporated this concept into one of its most significant algorithm updates in 2020.
The bottom line is this: If your page does not rank well in mobile searches, Schema Markup will do little to improve your visibility. Before you start doing any Schema Markup, test your site’s mobile-friendliness with Google’s free tool to ensure your site functions well on any device.
4. Have More Helpful Content
Google recently launched its Helpful Content Update, a system designed to reward sites with people-first content that provide visitors with a satisfying, valuable experience. Conversely, content that falls short of visitor expectations will perform poorly in rankings.
This update is another in a long string of algorithm adjustments to discourage sites from keyword-stuffing their content and producing content that lacks any real substance for readers. Instead, it gives more weight to sites that produce quality content written for people, not algorithms.
As you start investing in Schema Markup, evaluate the quality of your site’s content and ensure it answers the user’s queries and meets their needs. On top of that, you should make sure that your page has the content needed to meet the required properties to be eligible for the relevant rich results.
Google has also provided some great tips for generating helpful content, so be sure to put these tips to use.
Learn how to optimize your content to achieve Google’s rich results.
Run an Effective Schema Markup Strategy by Mastering the Basics
Rich results can help differentiate your website from the competition. But if your website doesn’t load quickly, lacks quality on-page content, and isn’t optimized for mobile devices, it will not rank well even if you invest heavily into Structured Data.
With that in mind, we recommend mastering these basic tenets of SEO, so you have a solid groundwork upon which to build. To be clear, while your site does not have to run at lightning-fast speeds and host content written by world-class copywriters, it should function reliably on desktop and mobile alike and feature a good mix of content that provides value to readers.
If you’re ready to start investing in a sophisticated Schema Markup strategy that will drive more organic traffic to your website, get in touch with our team to learn more about our end-to-end Schema Markup Solution.
Mark van Berkel is the co-founder and COO of Hunch Manifest and the creator of Schema App. Schema App is an end-to-end Schema Markup solution that helps enterprise SEO teams create, deploy and manage Schema Markup to stand out in search. He is an expert in Semantic Technology and Semantic Search Marketing. Mark built Schema App to solve his own challenges in writing and validating schema markup.