Importance of Schema Markup in SEO
by Parul joshi
Importance of Schema Markup in SEO
Keywords: Schema Markup, Structured Data Markup, Rich Snippets, Types of Schema in SEO, Google Schema Markup Tool
Meta-Description: Schema Markup is one of the technical elements of SEO which, once implemented on the webpage, allows the search engines to present more informative results to the users. Once added, Schema Markup changes the normal SERP results into Rich Snippets.
In order to conduct a good SEO and become an all-time SEO genius, it is important to understand all aspects of SEO. Though some of the aspects of On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO are interesting and takes a little time to understand them, there are few of the technical elements to SEO as well whose awareness is a must to have complete SEO knowledge. While these elements are important, they are a bit difficult to comprehend. One such technical element is Schema Markup.
The role of structured data and schema markup is apparent in SEO and is often recommended by the search engines to showcase better and more informative results. However, the importance of Schema Markup is quite visible, as a topic it is not that well understood. In this article, we have incorporated all the necessary details related to the topic starting from what is schema markup to its effects on SEO and search engines to Google Schema Markup Tool and types of schema in SEO.
Schema Markup is one of the technical elements of SEO which, once implemented on the webpage, allows the search engines to present more informative results to the users. Schema is a semantic vocabulary which when incorporated with HTML creates a code, which when put on a website helps the search engines understand the webpage’s information in a better way and to return more elaborative and informative results to the users. The enhanced descriptions of the websites found in search results are created by using the Schema Markup.
The advantage of Schema Markup is that it can be easily stored, analyzed, retrieved and displayed. So, when a search engine is not aware of whether the information on your website is about a book or its author, the use of structured data markup may make things easier to understand.
Structured Data, also known as linked data or metadata, is a technique of organizing information in order to have better accessibility. It works in a similar manner as a database, where one term is stored in relation to a list of other terms. Together these terms form a structure and the data obtained defines something.
Structured Data & Schema Markup in SEO
When talking about SEO, structured data constitutes some markup that is added to a website that is used by search engines like Google to display qualitative information in a better way. Search Engines display the results known as “Rich Snippets” using such structured data markup. The results represented are called “rich” because they constitute of more components as compared to the normal search results. This helps the “Rich Snippets” to stand out on the search engine result page.
Often the structured data is referred to as Schema Markup by SEOs as this markup is most accepted when structuring data. The components like reviews or star ratings or recipe cooking time can be added to the search results, using the markup, to turn them into rich snippets.
Affect of Schema Markup on SEO and Search Engines
There is still a debate going on whether Schema Markup has any effect on rankings. While it is not wrong to say that Schema Markup does not affect the ranking of your website directly, it may influence certain factors which are responsible for a website’s ranking.
Let us see how Schema Markup can impact SEO by impacting specific factors:
Click-Through Rate (CTR):
Structured Data Markup might not be a direct ranking element but it definitely can help improve the rankings indirectly. Any change or modification in the search result directly impacts the Click Through Rate (CTR) of the website. While a positive change can result in an increment of CTR, the negative change can lower the current CTR as well. As it is known that the CTR of any website is directly proportional to the ranking of the website, an increase in CTR through positive changes in the search results can increase the ranking of your website.
Structured data helps in increasing your CTR as it yields rich search results that can easily catch the eye of the user. Though most of the important information is displayed in the Rich Snippets, there are chances that some of the organic traffic might still get forwarded to your website. With that being said, there also are chances that the rich snippets might lower your CTR resulting in a reduced amount of organic traffic visiting your website.
Though the structured data markup has its indirect influence on website rankings, it should not be kept on priority if you have not yet finished achieving the other SEO factors like Content optimization, keyword research, and intent, etc.
It is because Google’s Algorithms understand the content as well as the information provided within the content that is required to be displayed in rich snippets with or without the use of markup. However, it is generally advised that one should add the structured data as it will help Google understand the content perfectly and will allow you to decide what information you would like to be displayed in the Rich Snippets.
But always remember to prioritize as Title, keyword research, meta-description, content optimization, quality backlinks, and the website speed are more countable while deciding the ranking of your website. If you have all those factors in place, you can definitely add structured data markup as it will work as the “Cherry on the Top”.
Types of Schema Markup in SEO
There are numerous types of schema in SEO and almost every single component available on search engines has a markup.
However, there are certain types of schema in SEO that are supported by Google based on the types of rich snippets developed by Google.
Organization Schema Markup
The addition of organization schema markup allows you to represent the writer of the content. This helps in proving the authenticity of the content and its association with a proper brand.
The organization schema markup does not form a rich snippet but is a very crucial part of the same.
The Breadcrumbs schema markup helps in forming a rich snippet in a way that represents the website structure by informing the estimated traffic, quality backlinks and other features of a domain.
Product, Review & Price Schema Markup
This one is the most popular markup available in SEO. The addition of this markup allows you to add multiple items to the product rich search result including the product name, its lowest and highest price, any expiry dates, reviews, star ratings, etc.
Recipe Schema Mark
This Schema Markup is best suited for the rich snippets for recipe content. It allows you to add specific things like cooking time, ingredients, calories, etc in the rich snippet.
FAQ Schema Markup
As the name suggests, this markup enlists the answers to the questions related to your topic or content in a drop-down format. This schema technique helps to improve the search engine traffic to a great extent.
Q&A Schema Markup
This schema markup is specifically designed for Question and Answer websites like Yahoo Answers or Quora. This schema is different from the FAQ Markup as it allows the users to submit an answer to the question. This schema markup is best for forums or sites where one can ask any question and the community will submit answers to those questions.
Another example for the Q&A Schema Markup is mentioned below:
HowTo Schema Markup
The HowTo Schema Markup is often used to create Rich Snippets for the articles that contain “How to” instructions to perform anything.
Event Schema Markup:
This markup results in a rich snippet which includes the events and the details of the events including the timing, date, price, etc.
Adding Schema Markup to Your Website
If you are interested in adding Structured Data Markup to your website, the first question that arises in mind is how to implement the same!
In order to use Schema Markup to your website, you can either code the markup or install some plugins that will implement the Markup for you.
The only thing that is required to be kept in mind is to implement the structured data correctly else it will prove more harmful for your website than useful.
Here is how structured data can be implemented on various platforms:
In Blogs & WordPress:
We think most of the people would know how to work on WordPress or Blogs. Also, it is known to all that adding certain things on WordPress is easy as there are a lot of plugins available on the platform, from which one can choose. Similar is the case while implementing Schema Markup on your website in WordPress.
You can search for the schema markup plugins and choose the best amongst the list on the basis of its features and reviews. These plugins provide basic structure data to your pages and articles. In case you have any specific type of content like recipes or an e-commerce website, you might need to search for specific plugins.
You can always use Google Schema Markup Tool to test whether the plugin installed is correct for your website or not.
Implementing Custom Schema Markup:
If you own a custom platform then installing a schema markup plugin is not an answer for you.
You will have to generate a custom schema markup code and then implement it on your website to obtain the structured data. This can be done through the following steps:
- Firstly you will have to find out which Schema Markup is suitable for your website. Based on different types of schema in SEO that are mentioned above, you will be easily able to decide which schema markup will work for your website.
- Once decided, generate the specific schema markup. There are various formats in which a markup can be generated like Microdata, JSON-LD, and RDFa. These structured data markups can be easily generated using online markup generators. Once generated, the code is required to be added manually in the head section. Though schema can be manually added into HTML using Microdata, the JSON-LD format is more accepted and is suggested by Google itself.
- Once you have selected the Schema Markup, generated the code and added it to the head section all that is required to do is validate everything. Once validated, you are good to go.
Since most of the major search engines suggest implementing structured data markup to a website, we will also advise you to proceed ahead with it. But there are few things that should be kept in mind before and while adding the markup. Make sure that you have accomplished other SEO factors before jumping guns on structured data and once implemented, remember to test it using Google Schema Markup tools to check if it has been correctly installed.
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