One of the latest evolutions in SEO is called schema markup. This new form of optimization is one of the most powerful but least-utilized forms of SEO available today. Once you grasp the concept and method of schema markup, you can boost your website in the search engine result pages (SERPs). My goal in this article is to show you exactly how to get started using schema markup for your website.
Schema markup is code that you place on your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users. If you’ve ever used rich snippets, you’ll understand exactly what schema markup is all about.
Schema markup helps your website rank better for all kinds of content types. There is data markup for a ton of different types of data, including:
Structured data describes the purpose and properties of specified sections of content within a webpage. When a search engine sees structured data in the source code of a webpage, it can change the way it uses the webpage content. Structured data does not affect how the webpage looks or acts from a visitor’s perspective.
The language used in structured data is taken from a vocabulary of microdata terms called schema markup. Google, Bing and Yahoo! are all equipped to read schema markup, and can use web content in particular ways according to its specifications.
Schema markup can add significant value from an SEO perspective. According to Searchmetrics, Approx 40% of search keywords bring up at least one featured snippet that’s derived from schema markup. This frequently includes “0-ranking” featured snippets at the top of search results.
Despite the prevalence of content with schema markup in high-ranking search positions, only a narrow minority of registered domains regularly use schema markup (we’ve seen estimates as low as 0.3%).
In other words, schema markup is a big opportunity to get your content to the top of the SERPs – and only a minority of webmasters are targeting it.
The overall SEO rewards of using schema markup seem to be considerable. Searchmetrics’s research suggests webpages that use schema markup rank four pages higher on average than those that don’t use it.
If you are a web developer, or you have access to a developer’s skills, you might choose to add schema markup to web content manually, by editing webpage source code. This approach gives you fine control over your schema markup, but it may not be the most efficient option.
If you do not have web development skills, the best approach is to use a schema markup tool, which can basically do all the coding for you. A good example is Google Structured Data Markup Helper, a web-based tool that can be used to generate schema markup relating to articles, events, movies, restaurants, book reviews, job postings, products, software applications, datasets, local businesses, question & answer pages, or TV episodes.Structured Data Markup Helper is pretty simple to use. Here’s how to get started: