A Comprehensive Guide to Schema Markup, The Mightiest SEO Booster

If you think that only black hat SEO techniques can help you improve your SERP experience, you are wrong. Many white tricks can impact your search engine rankings, and schema markup is one of them.

SEO brings a lot of different and powerful tricks that can be helpful when it comes to search engine rankings, and schema markup, one of the latest evolutions in SEO, is precisely one of the mightiest tricks that can help you boost your website presence in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).

However, many SEO novices are not aware of the benefits that schema markup can bring to their websites, and this optimization technique is mostly neglected, which is wrong.

In order to help you understand the meaning and the importance of this valuable SEO concept, we’ve prepared an ultimate guide to the advantages that can help you build the online empire!

What is Schema Markup?

Schema markup (or just Schema) is a semantic vocabulary of tags that you can include to your HTML to enhance the way search engines present your content in SERPs.

The schema markup code is used to provide information to search engines more clearly so that they can understand better what your content is and what it means. That way, you’ll give the users more accurate information about your webpage, since the rich snippets will be displayed right beneath the page title.

Another term for schema markup is structured data since it uses semantic vocabulary to break down the language of the computer into structures. That said, it provides an improved user-friendly experience.

What are the Types of Schemas?

We can say that there are more than a hundred different types of schemas since there are too many questions people “ask” search engines every day.

Still, there are 10 most common types of this structure, and they are:

1. Organization Schema Markup

People are happy when they can see a snippet that contains essential and concise information about the company they ask a search engine about.

That said, you should implement the organization schema markup to provide users with a brief introduction to your company’s purpose, official logo, location, social profiles, etc. It makes it easier for people to find the exact information they need without having to roam around the web.

2. Person Market Schema Markup

Unlike the previous example that’s aimed at companies, person market schema markup shows information about an individual, including a name, birthday, state, education, family members, and even height.

The basic information offered by the search engine allows people to find what they need instantly, which is one of the most significant advantages of this SEO technique.

3. Local Business Schema Markup

Local business schema markup is essential for every local company (restaurant, bowling alley, medical practice, etc.) that’s registered on Google My Business.

That way, consumers can find all the details about your store’s location, address, working hours, contact info, etc.

4. Product and Offer Schema Markup

Such markups are mostly used by e-commerce websites that are aimed at offering specific services or selling products.

Both types of structured data deliver product/offer information, including price, price currency properties, and status. That will help your products stand out from your competitors who're not taking advantages of the structured data, and people will be more interested in checking out your product than the similar one offered by someone else.

5. Breadcrumbs Markup

If your company’s website contains a lot of paths, you should consider implementing breadcrumbs markup to your website HTML.

For example:

Such type of markup will allow the users to see the location of the landing page, which significantly helps reducing bounce rates.

6. Article Structured Data

This is one of the schema markup examples that’s used for articles and blog posts.

That way, search engines will be able to understand the content, and they’ll emphasize the headline, the time the article was published, a featured image, and even a video. In accordance with many different types of articles (blog posts, news articles, scholarly articles, etc.), there are also different types of article markups.

7. Video Markup

By using this type of markup, you allow Google to crawl and index videos found on your website since search engines find it tough to perform such a process.

Besides, it helps your video appear in the Google Video Search, together with those from YouTube.

8. Event Schema Markup

Event schema markup helps you provide additional and essential information about scheduled events, including concerts, webinars, lectures, etc. That way, people can see the most important information about the event they're planning to attend, such as date, location, and price.

9. Recipe Schema Markup

This is one of the most common schema markups, and it is used to provide users with information and instructions regarding a specific dish.

Once the searchers see a rich snippet that contains valuable info, they'll be able to evaluate the finished product before they click through.

10. Rating (Review) Schema Markup

Reviews are a crucial factor that impacts the consumer’s decision when it comes to purchasing a specific product.

Thanks to the Rating markup, the ratings about your business or products will be shown directly in the SERPs, which allows potential buyers to find useful information about the product or services they search for.

Depending on the type of your website and business, you’ll choose to implement some of the mentioned structured data examples that will bring significant benefits to you and the users.

How to Implement Structured Data to HTML?

Speaking of schema implementation, it’s essential to mention the types of codes you can use in writing the HTML syntax.

Unlike the numerous types of structured data that we mentioned in the previous section, there are only three encoding types of schema, and they are:

  • RDFa
  • Microdata

Let’s break them down for further information:

1. Resource Descriptive Framework in Attributes (RDFa)

RDFa is a form of code that can be included to any HTML, XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup) and XML (Extensible Markup Language) -based document.

RDFa includes the following schema tags:

  • about – it’s used to specify the resource the metadata is about.
  • rel and rev – they specify a relationship and a reverse relationship with another source.
  • src, href, and resource – they specify a partner resource.
  • content – it overrides the content of the element using the property attribute.
  • datatype – it defines the datatype of text specified for use with the property attribute.
  • typeof – it determines the RDF type of the subject or the partner resource.

The most common tags in RDFa are vocab, typeof, and property, and it’s used by some of the most popular websites, including Google, Wikipedia, Amazon, and many other commonly used pages.

Here comes an example:

2. Microdata

Microdata is also an HTML specification, and it’s used to nest (organize into layers) metadata within existing content found on your page. By implementing this schema code, you allow search engines, crawlers, and browsers to extract and process Microdata from a web page and use it to provide a more enhanced user experience.

Its integration is similar to RDFa, and its attributes are:

  • itemscope – this attribute is used to create an item, and it indicates that the rest of the element contains information about it.
  • itemtype – it describes the item and properties with a valid URL of vocabulary (i.e., schema.org).
  • itemprop – it indicates that the containing tag has the value of specified item property.
  • itemid – indicates a unique identifier of the item.
  • itemref – this tag is used to reference properties of an element that are not included in the itemscope. It provides a list of elements with more properties elsewhere in the document.

Microdata is usually more used than RDFa, and the following example will give you a clue on what this type of structured data represents:

Besides, websites that want to search engines to show the rankings and the price of their products usually go for Microdata, as well as B2B sites.

3. JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Objects (JSON-LD)

Unlike RDFa and Microdata that are older ways of writing schema, which is why they require more coding knowledge, JSON-LD is easier to understand and to implement to your website, and we can say that it’s a preferred method of adding a structured data.

The “easiness” of JSON-LD lies in schema implementation by pasting directly in the or tag of a web document. Its vocabulary consists of @context and @type, the attributes to specify the vocabulary.

Let’s see the example found on the eBay site:

It's essential to know that these types of writing schema require you to implement the code directly into the HTML, which can make things more complicated and more prone to causing issues in case you make a typo in HTML syntax, or something else.

Luckily, the contemporary era has brought something more approachable. If you’re using WordPress as your CMS platform, you can find a structured data tool and plugin you can install, which is especially convenient for those who’re not familiar with coding.

What is Schema Definition and How to Implement It?

In 2020, Google, Bing, and Yahoo came up with the idea of creating Schema.org, a website that's aimed at creating, maintaining and promoting schemas for structured data on the Internet, web pages, email messages, and more.

We have already mentioned the major benefit of markup, which lies in better rankings, and since it’s recommended to implement it, we’ll show you the exact steps on how to do it.

Step 1 – Go To Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper

Go to Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper and log in. Once you do that, you’ll be shown the next page:

As you can see, there are several options listed, and you’ll choose one, depending on your needs and purposes.

Step 2 – Paste the URL of the Page You Want to Markup

If you want to markup some of your articles, choose Articles from the list, paste the article’s URL, and click Start Tagging.

Step 3 – Start Tagging

When you click the Start Tagging button, the page will load and show you the workspace for the next phase, which is tagging.

Step 4 – Highlight the Elements You Want to Mark Up

As you could see in the picture above, the data on your right side needs to be filled with adequate information to be qualified for the Google rich snippets.

For example:

When you highlight the name of the article, the tool will automatically add it to Data Items, found on the right side. Continue with adding other information as well but be sure that you won’t be able to add everything – still, include all the parts of the text that you can.

Step 5 – Create HTML

Now it’s time to create the HTML. Once you’ve added all the required items, click on Create HTML, and you’ll see the HTML of your page that contains relevant microdata inserted in the spots that you selected.

Step 6 – Add Schema Markup to Your Webpage

Go to your CMS platform or source code and add the highlighted snippets in the appropriate spots. You'll see the yellow markers on the scrollbar, and they'll help you find the schema code.

If you find this too complicated, you can just download the automatically-generated HTML file and copy-paste it into your CMS or source code.

Click Download, open the file markup.html, and a series of Next Steps will appear.

Step 7 – Use the Google Structured Data Testing Tool

To find out what your page looks like after you’ve added a markup, go to Structured Data Testing Tool, paste the code, and click Preview.

The schema checker will show you how your webpage looks in SERPs, and it will indicate the number of errors and warnings.

Extra Tips on Using Structured Data Markup

Schema has a lot of positive impact on SEO, but you can boost its influence and gain even richer and deeper results from it. Let’s see how.

1. Search for the Most Commonly Used Schemas

If you are not sure about what schema type you should use, you can to Schema.org and find a list of the most commonly used ones. Most of them are related to Event, Health, and Medical Types, Person, Local Business, Restaurant, etc.

Browse a bit and check out the types that are best suited to your business. Besides, you can check The Type Hierarchy, which provides most of the markup types available.

2. Markup As Much As You Can

It's recommended to take full advantage of the schema, and that’s why you should mark up as much content as you can. When you begin with it, you'll see that there is plenty of useful things you can mark up.

3. Don’t Mark Up Hidden Content

It’s true that you should mark up the most of your content but be careful not to use the content that’s hidden from the people who visit the web page. That way, you’re wasting your time.

With OrganicSoft, High Rankings are Not an Illusion

Becoming an SEO expert takes time, especially if it is not your core business. That said, you should focus on your company’s goals, and let the professionals take care of your online presence!

OrganicSoft is a company that’s been successfully providing clients with digital marketing and SEO services for 10 years. Contact us today at (858) 800 2526, regardless of your industry branch, and find out more about the best SEO services San Diego can offer.