One of the latest and most important techniques in the SEO industry is called schema markup. Surprisingly a large number SEO professionals ignore this when it comes to putting together SEO plans… and it’s a big miss! Schema is quite technical and can be difficult to grasp, but once you know how to implement it properly you will see a significant increase in your SERP.
What is Schema?
Schema is essentially code that needs to be added to the back-end of your website/page to help Google provide more informative results to users. Schema is similar to ‘rich snippets’ – so if you have used that before then you are on the right path.
What does Schema do?
As it stands Google bots can read what your content says, but Schema tells Google exactly what your content means. For example if I was to post this blog and signed it off with my name as the author ‘Callum Earl’ Google will read my name but treat it as a couple of random words. By using the Schema markup correctly, I am able to tell the Google Bots that ‘Callum Earl’ is in fact the author of the article. The search engines can then produce better results for somebody that searches for ‘Callum Earl’.
A classic example is ‘Paris Hilton’… Google can read the words but does not know how to categorise it – is it a Hilton Hotel in Paris or is it the celebrity? Schema helps Google understand.
This is the official description from Schema.org:
Most webmasters are familiar with HTML tags on their pages. Usually, HTML tags tell the browser how to display the information included in the tag. For example, <h1>Avatar</h1> tells the browser to display the text string “Avatar” in a heading 1 format. However, the HTML tag doesn’t give any information about what that text string means — “Avatar” could refer to the hugely successful 3D movie, or it could refer to a type of profile picture—and this can make it more difficult for search engines to intelligently display relevant content to a user.
Is it hard to implement Schema on a website?
In a word, no. If you already have knowledge of HTML coding you will more than likely be able to implement it straight away. Schema still uses HTML the only difference is adding bits of Schema.org vocabulary.
Where did Schema come from?
The official Schema website; schema.org was actually created by Google, Bing and Yahoo. It’s very rare for industry leaders and competitors to come together and help each other out, but in this case it benefitted all parties involved.
Why is Schema so important?
Quite simply websites that utilise Schema markup will rank better on search engine results than ones that don’t. In recent studies it was found that less than 1% of websites on the World Wide Web are using Schema correctly. It’s hard to determine exactly how much difference it will make on your results, but by using it it’s more than likely you will have an advantage over your competitors.
Schema can be tricky to implement if you are beginner or if you have a limited amount of HTML knowledge. If you would like any further advice on Schema or would like to arrange a meeting with one of our SEO experts then please feel free to get in touch.
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