Implementing Schema Markup (also referred to as Structured Data) on your business’s website allows search engines to better understand your content and enables you to showcase your page as a rich result on search engine results pages (SERPs).
There are several ways you can implement Schema Markup on your site.
For one, you can manually write the Schema Markup and add it to the code of your site. Alternatively, you can leverage an automated method, like a Schema Markup plugin or the Schema App solution.
For sites using a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, Shopify, or BigCommerce, you can download a plugin that automatically adds basic Schema Markup to your site. However, if your web architecture or content is more complex, the plugins might not work with your site. But fear not – our Schema App solution was built to help tackle issues like this.
Let’s take a closer look at the Schema App solution and a typical Schema Markup plugin so you can decide which solution best fits your business needs.
What is the Schema App Solution?
The Schema App solution is an end-to-end Schema Markup solution that leverages Schema App’s semantic Schema Markup platform and High Touch Support services to deliver a customized, scalable Schema Markup for enterprise SEO teams.
The Schema App solution does more than just implement Schema Markup on your website. With an end-to-end enterprise Schema Markup solution like Schema App, you’ll be able to:
- Define the entities on your site and leverage the entire Schema.org vocabulary to generate semantic Schema Markup using the Schema App Editor and Highlighter.
- Link your entities on your page with other entities on your site and other external authoritative knowledge bases to develop a reusable marketing knowledge graph using your Schema Markup.
- Integrate any CMS and website with our Schema App platform to automatically deploy the markup to your site.
- Measure the performance of your Schema Markup and get visibility using Schema Performance Analytics.
- Work with an assigned Customer Success Manager (CSM) who will help you customize your Schema Markup strategy as well as create, deploy, manage and optimize your Schema Markup using Schema App tools.
- Review your Schema Markup performance through a Quarterly business review meeting with your CSM.
The Schema App solution automates the semantic Schema Markup process, creating a reusable knowledge graph that improves search and provides measurable results on your Schema Markup strategy.
What is a Schema Markup Plugin?
Schema Markup plugins (or add-ons) are designed to help you automatically add Schema Markup to your site. A wide range of Schema Markup plugins with different functionalities are available, usually for popular CMSs such as Shopify, BigCommerce, WordPress, and WooCommerce, among others.
Some plugins focus on specific Schema types like products or recipes, while others cover a broad range of Schema types, but in general, plugins tend to cater to more basic markup types and offer limited customization options.
In all fairness, Schema App has also created plugins for WordPress, Shopify, and BigCommerce. They are a small part of our fully featured suite of tools and can connect with our Schema App Editor and Highlighter. However, we recognize that these plugins are insufficient for organizations looking to implement an advanced Schema Markup strategy.
Let’s dig deeper into the differences between our end-to-end Schema App solution vs. a typical Schema Markup plugin.
Key Differences Between Schema App and a Schema Markup Plugin
Here are the most notable differences between Schema App’s end-to-end solution and a Schema Markup plugin.
Compatibility with Your Content Management System
While many plugins exist, most are only compatible with a specific CMS. Therefore, if you want to avoid the headache of manually adding Schema Markup to your website, you will need a solution that is compatible with your CMS.
If your organization operates multiple CMSs for different forms of content or lines of business, you won’t be able to use a single plugin to manage all of your Schema Markup.
This is particularly problematic if you want to manage your Schema Markup holistically and connect the entities on your site to develop your knowledge graph. Furthermore, if you use a complex CMS, like Salesforce Commerce Cloud, or a headless CMS, there might not be a plugin compatible with your architecture.
Fortunately, Schema App’s solution can integrate with any CMS or web architecture.
Schema Markup was created to help search engines understand and contextualize your website’s content so they can better match your website to user queries.
Most plugins, however, focus on helping users leverage Schema Markup to achieve a rich result by adding specific Schema Markup to relevant pages on the site. As a result, sites that rely on Schema Markup plugins are unable to capture the semantic value from implementing Schema Markup.
There are more than 800 types and 1500 properties in the Schema.org vocabulary that you can use to describe your content; only a handful of them are used by Google to display rich results. By leveraging the full Schema.org vocabulary, you can provide more detailed and comprehensive information about your content, which can help search engines better match your pages with relevant search queries. You’re also in a good position should Google introduce new types to the search gallery.
Most plugins do not allow you to customize your markup with the full Schema.org vocabulary. This is even more problematic if your organization operates in the Healthcare or Finance industry, where you need to use specific Schema.org types to describe your products and services (e.g. CreditCard, LoanOrCredit, MedicalProcedure, etc.)
Schema App, on the other hand, allows you full customization of your Schema Markup. Our Schema App Editor and Highlighter contain the entire Schema.org vocabulary and all its extensions, allowing you to provide search engines with the utmost clarity on your content.
Implementing Semantic Schema Markup
Search engines are becoming more semantic, which means they need to understand the meaning and intent of a content piece to determine its relevancy to the user’s search query.
Therefore, it is important for you to implement semantic Schema Markup and connect entities on a page to other entities on your site and external authoritative knowledge bases like Google’s knowledge graph, Wikipedia and Wikidata.
For example, the entity Schema App is an organization, and the Schema App home page captures all the relevant information about the organization. Therefore, we can define Schema App as an organization using the Organization markup on the Schema App home page.
The entity, Schema App, has also published a series of blog posts. We can markup the blog pages with BlogPosting markup. One of the properties in the BlogPosting type is publisher, which is Schema App. We can link Schema App, the entity, to the blog post to reflect the fact that Schema App is the publisher of the blog post.
When you connect the entities on your site using Schema Markup, you are effectively building a reusable knowledge graph, which is a powerful tool for helping AI programs and algorithms understand the content on your page. This can help them present more accurate and relevant search results to users who are searching for things with specific attributes. Your knowledge graph is also a marketing data layer that can be used to ground and train LLMs to further your AI initiatives.
However, your entities need to have a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) if you want to connect them on your site. This will help the machines to disambiguate the entity you are referring to. In the JSON-LD syntax, this URI is represented by the @id attribute. Therefore, you’ll see that the Organization markup on the Schema App home page as an @id: https://www.schemaapp.com/#Organization and similarly with the blog post.
Plugins typically do not include URIs in your markup because Google will still read your Schema Markup and qualify your page for a rich result if it does not have a URI.
On the other hand, Schema App will automatically generate a HTTPS URI for any entities you define in your Schema Markup. These URIs appear in the @id attribute and link to the URLs of the pages where the entity has been defined. Our Omni Linked Entity Recognition tool will also automatically identify named entities in your content and embed links of the corresponding entity in Google’s Knowledge Graph, Wikipedia and Wikidata to your markup using the sameAs property.
In general, plugins do not have the ability to connect the entities on your page to other entities on your site and other external authoritative knowledge bases. As such, you will not be able to leverage the semantic value of Schema Markup to its fullest.
Access to a Schema Markup Expert and Resources to Manage Your Schema Markup
When using a Schema Markup plugin, you must maintain some basic knowledge of Schema Markup. You will need to develop your own strategy, determine what type of markup you need to get rich results and monitor the efficacy of your efforts.
With Schema App, your assigned Customer Success Manager will help you manage your entire Schema Markup process and provide you with the Schema Markup knowledge needed to develop and optimize your strategy.
Your dedicated Customer Success Manager will assist with all of these critical tasks and provide personalized Schema Markup support that aligns with your organizational goals and growth objectives. The end result is a Schema Markup strategy that makes a measurable impact on your business.
Plugins do not typically track the performance of your Schema Markup, nor do they provide insights for improving it. You can use Google Search Console to assess how your Schema Markup is performing, but you will need to analyze the data on your own, and you will be limited to the rich result enhancement reports available in GSC.
With the Schema App solution, we kick off our partnership by asking you your desired outcomes. Our goal is to help you achieve those objectives through your Schema Markup strategy. You’ll also have access to Schema Performance Analytics, which provides more granular data on your Schema Markup performance than Google Search Console.
Your assigned Customer Success Manager will track the performance of your strategy and perform quarterly business reviews to ensure your strategy is aligned with your desired outcomes.
Final Thoughts on Schema App vs. Schema Markup Plugins
As you can see, there are a number of differences between the Schema App solution and a typical Schema Markup plugin.
Of course, pricing between the two also differs. Plugins tend to range anywhere from $0 to $200 USD annually, while the Schema App solution has a custom pricing model.
Plugins are good for organizations that are just starting out with Schema Markup and have fewer types of content on their site. However, as your content grows, you will need to be more intentional with your Schema Markup strategy to maximize its semantic value.
Schema App’s solution pairs the scalability of a plugin with the expertise of a assigned Customer Success Manager, providing you with a Schema Markup experience tailored to your unique business needs. To learn more about our end-to-end solution, contact us today.
Jasmine is the Product Manager at 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.