Besides traditional SEO practices, there are modern ways to improve your SEO and schemas (also known as structured data, rich snippets or micro data) are among these techniques. Keep reading to find out what are schemas, why they are becoming important and how to use them in your website.
What is schema markup?
Structured data markup is a method to ‘describe’ your content to search engines in a way they can understand it.
When Google or other search engines crawl a webpage their primary goal is to find out what the page is all about. The crawlers cannot view a website like a human but they process the HTML of a page trying to figure out different things like the title of a page, images(s), main content, date published, author and other elements they find useful during the indexing process.
In order to make their job easier and faster, major search engines have agreed to a set of common standards, also known as schemas, that cover many content types including articles, videos, images but also different types of entities like organizations, local businesses, people and many more.
Why is structured data important for SEO?
Although Structured data is not yet part of the Google ranking algorithm, it is still important for SEO for many reasons.
_First, it is a feature that is gaining ground and Google officially stated that it may be something that will go into the ranking algorithm in the near future. So, besides taking advantage of the benefits described below, you also prepare your website for future SEO.
_Second, structured data enhances your website’s presence on the SERPS with rich snippets. This means that your entry in Google search results will be more attractive and informative than others and this will lead to better CTR (click through rates) and more visits to your website.
_Third, it’s a way to get into the Google knowledge graph and take advantage of the many benefits this feature offers to website owners. The Google knowledge graph is the ‘information box’ that appears on the right of the search results when you search for a question, known brand or popular person, like the example below:
_Fourth, is great for Local SEO. With structured data you can give search engines more information about your local business including address and contact information. In conjunction with a proper Google my business entry it can boost your local SEO.
_Fifth, it’s a requirement for running successful Shopping campaigns. When setting up shopping campaigns on adwords, you need to have microdata on your product landing pages so that Google can verify the data submitted in your shopping feed. Without microdata it is very likely that your shopping campaigns will not be optimized.
_Sixth, new technologies like the accelerated mobile pages rely heavily on structured data for some of their advanced features.
_Seven, it increases your chances for getting an entry in Google answers like the example below from my business website.
How to use structured data in your website
Now that you are convinced about the importance of structured data let’s see a few examples of how you can use it in your website or pages but before getting into the implementation part, you need to know which structured data types to use. Some common use cases are:
_Ecommerce: For ecommerce websites you can also use the products schemawhich includes details about your product, price, name, reviews etc.
_Local Business: Local businesses can make use of localbusiness schema as well as the website schema.
_Note: You can use more than one schema in your website as long as the implementation is correct.