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?
At Schema App, we do more than just implement Schema Markup on our clients’ sites. With an end-to-end enterprise Schema Markup solution like Schema App, you’ll get:
- Access to tools to create and manage your Schema Markup, such as the Schema App Editor, and Highlighter.
- Various Integration methods that work with your security and architecture
- Reporting within Schema Performance Analytics to measure the performance of your Schema Markup.
- An assigned Customer Success Manager who will help you customize your Schema Markup strategy as well as create, deploy, manage and optimize your Schema Markup using Schema App tools and reporting.
- Quarterly business review reporting to show you how your Schema Markup is performing.
The Schema App solution automates the Schema Markup process and provides you with 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. There is a wide range of Schema Markup plugins with different functionalities 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.
That said, 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.
That presents a significant problem to manage your schema markup holistically and to make your Schema Markup connected across your websites. Furthermore, if you use a complex CMS, like Salesforce Commerce Cloud, or a headless CMS, there might not be a plugin that is compatible with your architecture at all.
Fortunately, Schema App’s solution can integrate with any CMS or web architecture.
The purpose of Schema Markup is to help search engines understand and contextualize your website’s content so they can better match your website to user queries. For most plugins, their main goal is to help you achieve a rich result by adding the right Schema Markup to the relevant pages of your site.
Though there is nothing wrong with that approach on its own, the problem lies in the fact that there are more than 800 Schema.org types you can use to describe your content and only a handful of them are actually used by Google to display rich results. By using a variety of Schema Markup types, 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 particularly a problem if you work in Healthcare or Finance where you need to use specific Schema.org types to describe your products and services (eg. 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
Another important element of applying Schema Markup is the ability to connect it with other entities across your site.
When you link and define the relationships between different entities using Schema Markup, you are effectively building a 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.
For instance, if you run a healthcare network, you might add MedicalOrganization markup to your homepage. You could then add healthcare-specific markup to other pages across your site, like Physician, MedicalTherapy, and Service. Markup created for those pages would link back to your MedicalOrganization, ensuring your markup is well connected, and expanding your knowledge graph.
Plugins limit your ability to do that, whereas the Schema App Editor and Highlighter are fully customizable, thereby enabling you to implement semantic Schema Markup.
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 dedicated 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 what your desired outcomes are. 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 ensure its accuracy and efficacy.
Schema App’s solution pairs the scalability of a plugin with the expertise of a dedicated 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 Enablement Lead 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.