These days, with all the competition and the large amount of content on the web, it is getting more difficult to rank higher in the search results of search engines and to get noticed by potential customers for any website.
To help increase their chance to get notice, companies need to add more efforts in their SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to put themself apart from the competition. In all the good SEO practices that exist, there is one that is still a well-kept secret, a tool that can be used to make the difference that companies need, and that is the Schema markup.
What is a schema markup?
“Schema markup (Schema.org) is a structured data vocabulary that helps search engines better understand the info on your website in order to give rich results. These markups allow search engines to see the meaning and relationships behind entities mentioned on your site. For this reason, schema markup has become a hot topic of SEO.” (Harsel,2022)
How does the schema markup work in Google Search?
Presently, Google is using semantic and the meta data placed in HTML to help him identify parts of the content of the website. You can identify a segment as a H1 for your title but even if google knows that it is the main subject of your article, it does not understand the meaning of it. As an example, let’s use “American Pie” as an H1 title. Is this referring to the classic song by Don McLean or the movie made in 1999? Google does not know for sure.
But with Schema, you can identify this title as a song, with is author, the year it was created and more. This way if a user is looking for the song American Pie, Google will know for sure that your article would be relevant to the search and be considered as a rich snippet.
Schema.org is a site that was develop by Google, Bing, Yahoo et Yandex. They are working together to create a language that will help the search engines understand the content and give to their customer the best possible result. Because it is developed by the search engines, it is reasonable to believe that the sites that use this type of language will have an advantage to the ones that don’t.
Here are the main topics that they can be marked with Schema:
· Creative works: CreativeWork, Book, Movie, MusicRecording, Recipe, TVSeries …
· Embedded non-text objects: AudioObject, ImageObject, VideoObject
· Health and medical types: notes on the health and medical types under MedicalEntity.
· Place, LocalBusiness, Restaurant …
· Product, Offer, AggregateOffer
· Review, AggregateRating
All those schema types can then be defined by hundreds of sub-types to give a better understanding of the content. The site is constantly evolving as new terms are add every year since is creation.
What are the advantages of using JSON for schema markup?
Example of JASON-LD code:
What is the best digital marketing practice we can do?
This is a well-kept secret for a reason, there is still many companies that are not using the schema markup in their website. That means that the best practice that someone can do to make a difference at the moment in the digital world is to implement the Schema markup in their website and stand out with google rich results in the SERP’s (Search Engine Research Page).
Here is an example of rich result with products including reviews with a star rating system:
Martech solutions available for Schema markup
It is possible to add schema markup to your website manually with custom schema markup, but this requires a minimum of knowledge on how to code the JSON-LD properly and can become quite a long and difficult task to do when there are many pages on a website to do. If you still want to do it manually, you can validate your codes by using the free google structured data testing tool.
With the right technological tool, you can markup your site in a fraction of the time and on a larger scale. Those tech tools are also known as martech tools.
What is martech?
“Marketing technology (also known as martech) is a set of software solutions used by marketing leaders to support mission-critical business objectives and drive innovation within their organizations. Martech solutions focus on content and customer experience, advertising, direct marketing, marketing management and marketing data and analytics.” (Gartner.com)
Free markup generator tools
The Google Structured data markup helper is a great schema markup tool tool for the beginner with little to no knowledge. Google offers training pages to help you understand the tool and what needs to be done to get your final code.
It offers a wide range of popular categories that can be markup and is very simple to use. As it is made by Google, you can be sure that the codes that are generated will be exactly what the search engines need. This tool is also in constant evolution, and you can expect more categories that will be available to markup in the future.
· Book reviews
· Job postings
· Software applications
· Local businesses
· Question and answer
· TV episodes
The Merkle schema markup generator also offers a tool that is simple to use. It is a good complement for the types of schema markup that are not available with the Google structured data markup helper like people, recipes and events.
- Website information
- Breadcrumb navigation
- Product information
- Local business
- Job postings
This structured data markup generator is mainly made for local businesses and is very basic. It offers many specifics categories that you can you use to identify your business in your community and get noticed.
· Emergency services
· Financial services
· Health and beauty
· And more
Other Schema markup generator (monthly or yearly payment needed)
The possibility to use free marketing technologies is a great advantage for the beginners and can help many companies with little to no budget at all to markup their website with some basic information to create rich results. Unfortunately, those free tools have some limits and cannot offer to markup in depth or give very detail information on their website.
For this kind of detail, you need to turn to a more professional markup generator, but you will need to pay for that service. On the bright side, you can get some of those tools for less than $50 per month. In most cases, the extra traffic that the markup generates will easily cover for that extra cost.
This tool comes in form of a plugin for wordpress website only. As 45% of the sites are wordpress base in 2022, this tool can help markup a large quantity of website. It offers 13 different types of Schema and is also easy to use.
· Local Business
· Job Posting
· Software Application
· Video Object
Schemaapp can service any CMS and is very adaptable. It offers plugins for Adobe, Shopify, Drupal, WordPress, BigCommerce and WooCommerce. It is very practical if you have an e-commerce website as it can highlight many product pages automatically and save you precious time. They also offer the service to integrate your website with Schemapp for you if you cannot use their plugins.
· Creative work (article, blog, music, video, reviews, …)
· Intangible (Audience, item list, offer, …)
“Our work with Schema App has delivered tangible results. In 2019 Schema App optimized more than 4 million pages over 7 websites, resulting in more than 400% net growth in rich results organic traffic. Schema App makes schema markup easy.”
Kathy Visser-May, Vice President, Global Digital Marketing, SAP
Why is the schema markup important for SEO?
Only 44% of the fortune 500 companies are using Schema markup and 366 of them have less than 1% of their website markup (Harsel, 2022). This creates a big opportunity for all the other companies of any size. They can use this opportunity to generate google rich results and give themselves and edge.
The goal of any search engine is to provide the best search results for any search intent made by their customers. By marking up your website with Schema, you will provide the search engines the information that they need to present for quality search results. Naturally, smaller websites don’t have the domain authority of those big companies and might not get the highest results even with markup, but you will still rank higher that you would without markup.
At the end, your rich snippets will increase you click through rate (CTR) because you will get notice, meaning that your website will increase organic traffic.
Definition of Marketing Technology – Gartner Marketing Glossary. (2022). Gartner. https://www.gartner.com/en/marketing/glossary/marketing-technology#:%7E:text=Marketing%20technology%20(also%20known%20as,drive%20innovation%20within%20their%20organizations.
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