What is Schema Markup? An Intro to Schema for SEO
Schema Markup has entered the forefront of the website & SEO ecosystem in the past few years. You don’t have to be a coding expert to learn schema best practices and know the right questions to ask to make it work for your website. Discover exactly what schema is and what it can do for your SEO efforts.
What is it?
At its core, Schema Markup (also called Structured Data or just Schema for short) is website metadata that helps search engines return more information to users when they make a search. Essentially, it’s “search engine language.” In 2011, Google, Bing, and Yahoo launched schema.org, a collaboration to house all the different types of code that would eventually be used as schema today.
Before the onset of schema, search engines like Google relied purely on context and historical data to produce search results. If users frequently clicked on your website after searching for keywords related to “apartments,” it would start showing up in search results more. Schema allows websites to directly inform search engines what they’re about. Not only does this boost a website’s SEO performance, it opens up a new dimension of organic search marketing as well.
What can it do?
Perhaps the most noticeable byproduct of implementing schema comes in the form of “Rich Snippets.” Because Google displays metadata in search results, schema allows us the opportunity to get more information in those same search results compared to the typical Title, Link, and Description. With schema we can display reviews, star ratings, even pricing in search results all before a user clicks through to the website. Below, you can see what search result with no schema looks like vs a result with some schema markup implemented.
With schema, your ability to market using just Google is multiplied. As a user, you can clearly see positive reviews and pricing. This not only increases your search rankings but also qualifies leads before they even click to the website.
This just scratches the surface of the different categories of schema and rich snippets. You can display everything from your business logo to event times to answers for property FAQs.
Schema lives in an area that could be considered the frontier of search engine marketing. Fortunately, the results speak for themselves. In fact, Search Engine Land’s study showed that it’s possible to increase your Click Through Rate (CTR) by 30% from implementing schema in its many forms.
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