If you’ve been working with a digital marketing agency, or have been researching how search engine optimization works, you might have heard the term schema being tossed around. But what exactly is it and what does it do for your web presence?
Schema markup is structured code that is added to websites to provide search engines with clearly defined information about the content on a site. Schema markup is recognized by some of the most used search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo to help interpret the context of a page of a website. According to schema.org, “On-page markup helps search engines understand the information on web pages and provide richer search results.” This piece of SEO is especially important as the search engine algorithms evolve. The more information you can provide search engines, the more likely your site will be visible in the competitive organic search landscape.
How is schema different than a search engine just crawling and indexing the content on a site?
Instead of a search engine just reading the code of a site, schema assists search engines in their ability to read and understand the relationships between the different content on a webpage. Schema tells search engines specific information, like what the content on a website means, who the author of a specific piece of content is, or that the website is owned by a local business and that the local business is physically located at a specific geographic location.
Schema can also tell a search engine that your business sells a particular product, how much it costs and that it has received 12 five-star reviews from real people. Better understanding of the context or concepts of content allows search engines to better match the intent behind a searcher’s query to the information on a website.
There are almost always opportunities for your website to be more informative about the content it provides through the use of structured data.
How does schema benefit you?
Search engines like Google use structured data to provide “rich search results.” Search engines have a goal of providing the best and most beneficial results to their users. In many cases, right now, those results come in the form of rich snippet results. These are often presented at the very top of search results, in what we refer to as “Position 0.” These results are more informative to users as they often directly answer an inquiry in a more engaging way. Users are more likely to click through on rich search results as they appear more comprehensive and informative.
Including schema code on a website can increase your chances of showing up in a rich snippet result but doesn’t guarantee it. However, it’s an important part of any comprehensive SEO strategy. By giving search engines as much information about your website as possible, you increase your chances of ranking well which leads to more conversions.
If you have any questions about schema, and how SEO strategy can help your company, we’re always here!