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Schema Markup – What is it & Why is it Important for SEO?

Schema markup

Schema Markup – What is it & Why is it Important for SEO?

Just heard about schema markup and wondering what is it all about or what has it got to do with SEO? Well, don’t worry, you are not alone. Schema markup is one of the latest advancements in Search Engine Optimization.

Schema markup is a new type of optimization that is extremely powerful but is the least explored types of SEO that is available today. It is a matter of how quickly you grasp the technique and concept of schema markup.

Once you crack this, you can quickly boost your search engine rankings and get to the top of the SERPs. In this blog we will see what exactly is schema markup and what makes it so important in SEO?

The schema markup generator, schema markup tool and schema markup WordPress plugin will help marketers like you to successfully leverage schema markup for SEO, schema markup for video and various other schema markup SEO purposes.

With schema markup plugin for WordPress being available, you can now make the most out of this. Still wondering what is schema or what is markup or for that matter what does schema mean? Well, let’s get started.

Let Us See What is Schema Markup?

Schema markup is some kind of code, which can be put on the website. This helps search engines to get back with highly informative results for the users. Basically, it is a microdata.

Have you ever leveraged rich snippets? Well, if you have, then you will easily understand what exactly schema markup is. When you add schema markup to your website, it creates enhanced descriptions (rich snippets) that appear in the search results.

Top search engines such as the Google, Bing, Yandex and Yahoo first began collaborating to develop Schema.org, way back in the 2011. Schema markup is particularly significant in the era of RankBrain and Hummingbird.

The quality of the search results hugely depends on the way in which the search engines interpret the context of a search query. Schema provides the right context to a web page that is otherwise ambiguous.

What Has Schema.org Got to Say?

Most of the webmasters are certainly familiar with the HTML tags present on their pages. Generally, these tags guide the browsers about displaying the information that is included in that tag.

For example, let us say, you have the tag “

<h1> The Chocolate Room </h1>

This instructs your browser to accurately display your text string “The Chocolate Room” in the “heading 1” format.

HTML tags do not provide any information about what exactly your text string – “The Chocolate Room” – means. “The Chocolate Room” can either be the name of a place or it can be the name of a dish.

All these leave search engines confused and making it difficult for them to intelligently display the right content to the user.

Can Schema Boost Your Search Rankings?

Unfortunately, there is no direct and clear evidence to prove this microdata has an impact on the organic search rankings. However, rich snippets will help you to make your web pages appear more prominent in SERPs.

When the visibility of your website is boosted, it automatically improves your click through rates. A study by acmque shows that, just one-third or even less than that of the Google results leverage rich snippets along with Schema.org markup.

This opens up a big window of opportunity for the others. Today, only a few elements can actually move the dial swiftly – and this is one of those.

What Are the Uses of Schema?

Schema is most popularly used for the following:
• Events
• Reviews
• Videos
• Businesses and organizations
• Recipes
• People
• Products

So these are some of the most common uses of the Schema. Now, if you have any type of data on the website you own, then there is a great chance that it will be associated with an itemprop, itemscope and itemtype.

How To Add Schema to Web Pages?

This can be divided into two major parts, which include the following:
1.Using the microdata
2.Using Resource Description Framework in Attributes (RDFa)

Let us now examine each of these steps in detail.

Using the Microdata

Microdata is nothing but a collection of tags, which makes it easier to annotate HTML elements along with the machine-readable tags. Besides, microdata is also a great point for the beginners to kick start because it is simple to use.

Microdata usage also has a downside. The drawback is that you will have to end up marking each and every item that falls within the body of the web page. As you think this might quickly get messy.

Before you start adding schema to the pages on your website, it is important for you to identify the “item type” of the web content present on your page. That is, whether your web content focuses on fashion, food or music?

Once you find the “item type”, you will be able to quickly determine how it can be tagged up. To help you understand better, let us just take a look at an example.

Say that you have a store that sells top-quality handbags. The source code for your website would look something like the following:

<div>

<h1>HandyBags</h1>

<h2>The best bags you will ever find online!</h2>

<p>Address:</p>

<p>876 Cross Road</p>

<p>Baltimore, Au</p>

<p>Tel: 089 344 6553</p>

<p><a href=”http://www.handybags.com.au/menu”>Click here to view the best handbags!</a></p>

<p>We are open: </p>

<p>Mon-Fri 10am – 09:30pm</p>

<p>Sat-Sun: 12pm – 7pm</p>

</div>

As soon as you get into the code, you should first find the part of your the page that speaks about what exactly business offers. In the example discussed above, that particular data can be seen between the <div> tags.

So, at the beginning you can just add the following:

<div itemscope>

When you add this, you will be declaring that the code that is present between the two <div> blocks identify a particular item. Next, you should identify what is that item using the attribute “item type”. This defines the item that your web page is about.

<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/handbags”>

This is referred to as the URL form of your “item type”. Next, you should also tag the exact part of your web page that has the name of your business. This can be done between the <h1> tags.

Next, comes the tag “itemprop” – this labels different properties of a given item.

<h1 itemprop=”handbags”>HandyBags</h1>

These tags can now be applied to the rest of the web page. While using tags for identifying the item properties, there is no need to tag the complete line. You can stop at tagging just one part of the property that makes reference to it.

Although the code might look complicated, schema.org offers examples for using various item types. This lets you to view what actually the code does. Stop worrying, you will definitely be left behind while you keep trying to find it all out on your own.

Still a bit intimidated by the concept of the code? This is exactly where Structured Data Markup Helper by Google can come to your rescue. It makes it extremely simple for you to go ahead and tag your web pages.

Using this great tool simple involves you just choose your “item type” and add it in the web content that should be targeted or to the target page’s URL. You can then highlight various elements so that all those can be tagged.

Leveraging Resource Description Framework in Attributes (RDFa)

Ideally, RDFa is nothing but another extension to the HTML5. It was primarily designed to help the users to mark up all the structured data, while handling the data structures as well as the Google structured data management. Being a W3C recommendation, RDFa is regarded as the web standard.

This means that RDFa can be leveraged to bind all the structured data vocabularies and hold it together. Furthermore, it can be particularly useful when you are planning to add more structured data, which stretches beyond Schema.org’s limits. Relax, it is definitely more complicated or different from the microdata.

Like the microdata, RDFa tags also blend with the previously existing HTML code in the content body of the web page. To get familiar, let us now look at the same example we discussed above – handbags store.

The HTML code for your website will look like something like this:

<div>

<h1>HandyBags</h1>

<h2>The best bags you will ever find online!</h2>

<p>Address:</p>

<p>876 Cross Road</p>

<p>Baltimore, Au</p>

<p>Tel: 089 344 6553</p>

<p><a href=”http://www.handybags.com.au/menu”>Click here to view the best handbags!</a></p>

<p>We are open: </p>

<p>Mon-Fri 10am – 09:30pm</p>

<p>Sat-Sun: 12pm – 7pm</p>

</div>

To start with, you should first ensure that all the vocabulary used by you is from Schema.org, also the page in question should be making a reference to the handbag page.

So, you will search the phrase across the Schema.org. This lets you to understand how exactly you can tag all the various elements. Generally, you will get the examples at the end of the page and explains how to leverage it in practice.

You can just choose the RDFa tab to find specific examples. Then, you can use the tag “vocab”, which is combined with the http://schema.org URL. This helps you to locate the vocabulary for your mark up.

Next, to identify your page type, just turn to the tag “typeof”. RDFa is different from the microdata, it does not use the URLs to find the types. Instead, it uses one or more phrases for classifying the types.

However, if you want to identify anymore properties, then you can try using the attribute “typeof”. For instance, if you want to expand further on an address property, then you can just use something like “PostalAddress”.

When you compare the RDFa and microdata side by side, you will realize that the attribute “typeof” in RDFa is equivalent to the attribute “itemtype” in microdata.

Also, the attribute “itemprop” in microdata is equivalent to the attribute “property”.

To Conclude

By now, hope all your fears regarding the terms “structured data” and “schema” are put to rest. Schema is certainly much simpler and is also easy to use than what it appears to be.

Furthermore, it is a best practice that marketers and website owners should be incorporating to their web pages. While the work looks tedious, the time and efforts will surely yield the benefits!

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