You Use “Search” Every Day …
And So Do Your Customers
Maybe you are looking to buy something online or research your options. Perhaps you’re in the mood for Thai and are looking for a restaurant with great reviews and ratings or maybe you’re trying to self diagnose that weird ache coupled with a low-grade fever. Regardless of what you’re looking for, your probably going to start with “search” – on your laptop, your smartphone, Google Home, Alexa Siri … maybe even from your wristwatch. In fact …
More than “90% of customers report that they use search at every stage of their customer lifecycle” (Forrester)
So the question becomes, with so much content out there, how can you attract your target audience?
How Structured Data Works
Schema Markup is an important element in your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Strategy. When a search engine receives an inquiry, they crawl the web looking for relevant and reputable results. In an effort to make sense of all of the available content, the major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo and eventually Yandex) collaborated to create a comprehensive labelling system. This framework and vocabulary is called Schema.org and the associated code is called Schema Markup.
The Schema.org vocabulary is extensive and is constantly evolving. It was built to derive detailed clarity about who you are and what you have to offer. There are literally hundreds of Schema.org “classes” to choose from.
A “class” or a “type” is an overarching label that describes the content on a specific page. There are specific classes (e.g. “Gated Residential Community”) as well as general classes (e.g. “LocalBusiness”, “Organization”, “Place”, “Person”, “Product”) to choose from. Each “class” comes bundled with its own set of required and recommended “properties” that allow you to further label the information on your website related to the “class”.
For instance, you might choose a “Local Business” class to describe your homepage, which would further breakdown into specific properties such as:
- currency accepted
- hours of operation,
- locations served, and so on.
The average business utilizes 4-8 Schema classes. In addition to choosing the primary class that best defines their overarching business, they might take advantage of Product Schema, Offer Schema, Event Schema, Blog Schema, JobPosting Schema and so on. The number depends on how many different websites and unique page topics you have as well as your focus and priorities.
Schema Markup is code. Google recommends that you write it in JSON-LD, however microdata, RDFa are also supported (formats explained). The good news is if you use the right tools, you can learn how to create a Schema markup strategy (how to create a Schema markup strategy) and automate all the code stuff.