What Is Schema Markup? A Guide to Structured Data

Schema Markup

According to Oberlo, 81% of consumers research products or services online before making a purchase. This means that more than four out of five consumers have made online searches a cornerstone of their buying journeys. It also means that you have to optimize your online presence for search if you want to reach potential customers.

Of the many steps you can take to get noticed in the digital marketplace, incorporating robust Schema Markup is one of the most critical. Schema Markup enables search engines to understand your web page content so that it can effectively rank it and present consumers with relevant search results.

What Is Schema Markup?

Also referred to as Structured Data, Schema Markup is a standardized vocabulary that search engines analyze to determine what content your web pages contain. 

When this vocabulary is applied to your web pages in the form of a code, Schema Markup helps search engines like Google categorize your content to present it to consumers looking for the products or services that you highlight on your site. 

Although search engines use sophisticated machine learning algorithms, machines do not process or interpret information in the same way as humans. What might seem simple to a person may be unintelligible to a computer. Schema Markup helps fill in the blanks for search engines so that they know exactly what types of content your pages contain. 

For instance, let’s say that you own a restaurant that specializes in authentic Thai dishes. Your menu page contains a list of Thai foods, as well as photographs of your core dishes and descriptions of each item. 

A person reading this would immediately realize that they are on your menu page, but it might be difficult for search engines to understand that. Schema Markup would identify this page as your restaurant’s menu so that the search engine could present this content for individuals in your area searching phrases like “Thai food menus.”

Other Important Terms to Know

Before we focus on the importance of using Schema Markup on your site, let’s highlight a few other terms you need to know. These key terms include:

Search Results

A search result is any website that appears on the results page of a search engine. It typically includes the page title, a URL, and a meta description, which could be a brief synopsis of what the page is about or a text excerpt related to the user’s query.

SERPs

Search engine results pages (SERPs) are the various results pages generated when a user conducts a query on Google or another search engine. 92% of consumers never make it past the first page when conducting local searches, so it is vital that you rank highly on SERPs.

Schema.org

Schema.org is a Structured Data vocabulary for all Schema Markup types and languages. Web admins and SEO teams can use this resource to find the appropriate Schema Markup vocabulary for their content when formatting their websites. This vocabulary gives meaning to content so that search engine algorithms can interpret and understand them.

Schema.org was created by Yandex, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Google as a standardized Schema Markup language that would ensure consistency across all major search engines. Certain Schema.org types are eligible for rich results in search.

Rich Results

Rich results augment standard search results by including more robust information, such as a business location, reviews about products, cooking times (for recipes), operating hours, etc. Rich results are also referred to as enriched results or rich snippets, as they provide snippets of information about a page, brand, or business. 

Example of a Recipe Rich Result

Example of Recipe Rich Results

Why is it important to add Schema Markup to your pages?

Schema Markup serves two key purposes for your business. 

First, by presenting search engines with Structured Data through Schema Markup, you ensure that the engine’s algorithms can accurately understand the meaning of your pages. In turn, this allows the search engines to intelligently display relevant content and results to users.

When your content is presented to the right users, you will be able to get higher clicks, impressions, click through rates and generate better-quality leads.

Additionally, some Schema.org types enable search engines to display rich search results instead of generic results listings. 

Rich results are more visually appealing to prospective clients and enhance the search experience, so by utilizing Schema Markup; you satisfy the needs of both the customer and the algorithms.

Example of a Product Rich Result 

Example of Product Rich Results

Example of a Review Snippet

Example of a Review Snippet

Example of a FAQ Rich Result 

Example of FAQ Rich Results

Example of a How-To Rich Result 

Example of How To Rich Results

What types of Schema Markup are there?

There are many different Schema Markup types that you can incorporate into your online content. Some of the most commonly used markup types include:

You can view the full list of Types here. Selecting which markup type to use is relatively straightforward. For instance, if you have a FAQ page, you would use FAQ Schema Markup to identify the content accordingly. If the FAQ page is about a product, you can also use Product Markup and have them connected in your Structured Data.

How can Schema Markup be implemented?

When applying Schema Markup, you have two options available: 

1. Write your own code and paste it on your site

The first approach involves writing code, incorporating it into your website’s various pages of content and testing the code using Google’s Rich Results Testing Tool or Schema.org’s Schema Markup Validator

You can use varying formats for the code since Schema Markup is compatible with many different types, such as JSON-LD, Microdata, and RDFa. It’s important to note that Google’s preference is JSON-LD, a non-intrusive format that keeps Structured Data separate from HTML markup.

If you have the technological savvy necessary to write code and can meticulously work through each page of your site’s content, this approach is a viable option. However, the process of manually writing your own code, pasting it on every page and maintaining the code is incredibly labour intensive – especially if your sitemap contains thousands of pages. Similarly, if you have to bring in your own IT team to write and deploy the code, it can also be costly and time-consuming.

2. Hire a Schema Markup expert

An alternative approach would be to hire a Schema Markup solutions provider like Schema App. At Schema App, we provide an end-to-end Schema Markup Solution through our leading technology platform and a team of experts. 

Our platform includes tools such as our Highlighter and Editor that allow users to generate, deploy and manage their Schema Markup at scale. Our team of Schema Markup experts will also help you manage your Schema Markup from strategy to results, deploying Markup at scale without the need to divert your in-house IT resources. 

You can focus on your core marketing activities and trust us to deal with the complexities and nuances of your Schema Markup.

Navigate the Complexities of Schema Markup with Schema App

If you’re ready to overcome the complexities of Schema Markup with Schema App, get started today to learn more about our solution.

Martha is the CEO and co-founder 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. She is an active member of the search engine optimization community, and the work that she does through Schema App is helping brands from all over the world improve their organic search performance.

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