What is Schema Markup?
You may have heard your friends often discussing terms, like structured data, Schema markup, SEO Schema Markup and wondering what they might mean. Let us elaborate on it here to make it a bit easy for you. Schema markup (also known as structured data or microdata) are codes that you can add to the HTML of your websites. This microdata is a set of tags that can interpret HTML elements with machine-readable tags quite easily.
A search engine results page (SERP), is the page you see after entering a query into a search engine, like Google, Yahoo and others. Simply put, schema markup structured data tell these search engines what a webpage’s content is about. In turn, the search engines pass over detailed and informative results to searchers like you and show you the most suitable results.
We come to the second part of the question and we will talk about structured data markup in more detail. If you ask, is schema markup a search engine optimization (SEO) ranking factor? Well, as of now, the answer is ‘No’. Earlier, even experts like Google’s John Mueller have confirmed that structured data markup (like schema markup) is not used in Google Rankings. But, if you ask, is structured markup data helpful in improving SEO or search engine visibility? The answer is quite clearly, ‘Yes’.
How Schema markup improves search engine visibility of websites:
Schema markup, when added to a webpage, creates an improved description (known as rich snippet), and this appears in search results. These are helpful because users are informed about search results, which have schema applied. A user can see the details of your page quickly and decide whether to click or move on to one that is more relevant. This helps your website to not just rank better for content types and get found, but also to get more clicks.
- It helps Google algorithms understand and index your data better.
- It thrusts a structure on your website’s architecture, which is independent of design
- It is easier to link through machines
- Better brand presence with a Knowledge Graph
Top search engines like Google, Bing and Yandex – collaborated to create Schema.org in 2011. Schema markup is especially important because how a search engine interprets the context of a query determines the search result quality. With schema markup, you can provide a strong boost to your brand presence online. The Knowledge Graph is that box that comes up on the right-hand side of Google desktop searches. It carries the most relevant business information customers need, like social accounts, reviews, phone numbers, etc. Many businesses do not have a proper knowledge graph, even if they have one. Schema can even provide context to a webpage that might seem ambiguous otherwise. This is how schema markup in SEO becomes important.
What are the types of schema markup?
There are, actually, hundreds of markup types because people want search engines to answer countless numbers of questions each day. You can visit Schema.org and look at the list of commonly used schema markup types and find the ones that are best suited to your business. Schema markup types are used to add information about different categories, such as organization, place, person, local business, creative work, event and the list goes on.
Some commonly used schema markup types:
Local Business Schema Markup
This type of markup is great for a local company or a branch of an organization, such as a restaurant, a bank’s branch and so on. It helps consumers find the location of a company along with other information like address, opening hours and contact information and so forth.
Organization Schema Markup
This is an introduction to your company and shows the official logo and things like contact information, location, and social profiles. This also provides information at a glance without you digging around to find the basics of a company. It even becomes easier for people to find the information they require to contact you immediately.
Person Market Schema Markup
This provides information on an individual, such as name, address and education and more. Google thinks, if you are searching for someone by name, you are most likely looking for some basic information on that person too. And with this type of schema, Google hopes to give you answers without you clicking through to another website.
Article Schema Markup
This is used for news and blog posts. It becomes easier for search engines to understand content by pulling in the headline, the time it was published, a featured image, and also a video at times. But there are different types of Article Schema Markup for the different types of articles like News Article, Scholarly Article and Blog Post and so on.
Video Schema Markup
This markup helps Google crawl and index the videos on your website because otherwise, it becomes quite difficult for search engines to do so. And it also allows your videos to appear in the Google Video Search, besides those on YouTube.
Event Schema Markup
This gives information about scheduled events (like webinars, lectures and concerts, etc), such as location, date and price and more.
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