Schema & Structured Data

SCHEMA & STRUCTURED DATA

YOU USE “SEARCH” EVERY DAY. SO DO YOUR CUSTOMERS.

Your website makes sense to humans, but does it make sense to machines? Schema.org was developed by the search engines so they could better understand the content on your website. Understanding improves findability and implementing schema markup can positively impact your business metrics, from traffic to conversion.

Schema Markup Has Multiple Benefits

  • Get found. The search engine explicitly understands who you are and what you are about and can, therefore, match your content to an inquiry.
  • Stand out. Your content can be displayed in a rich, visual way that attracts the eye. This leads to more impressions, clicks, a higher click-through rate and ultimately more revenue.
  • Voice Readiness and more. You are set up to reap the rewards of leading-edge technologies such as Chatbots, voice search, mobile-first, Knowledge Graphs, and whatever else the future brings.
  • Brand Control.You’ll have more control over the way your brand is represented in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) allowing you to deliver the right message to the right audience, and to differentiate yourself from your competition.
  • Answer passage. Improve your chances of becoming the “authority” on a certain subject: Google wants both structured and unstructured content for their answer passages so to get in the running, you need both.
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Thinking about implementing Structured Data?

Great idea! Here’s why you should…

1. Drive business results

On average, our enterprise customers reported the following improvements, all of which they attribute directly to the addition to Schema Markup:

  • 35% more impressions
  • 26% more clicks
  • 20% higher CTR
  • 9 positions higher rank in search
  • 150% more time spent on pages with rich results
  • Users being 3.6% more interactive with their content

Ask Eliasson Marketing for case studies.

2. Improve your “findability” online

You probably don’t struggle to understand the message a webpage is trying to convey, but search engines and machines (such as Google, Yahoo, Alexa or Siri) can have difficulty understanding the context of a page. When you add schema markup to the webpage – tags that tell a search engine what your content is about – you can help the search engines (and other applications) better understand your content and display it in a useful, relevant way.

Schema Markup, also referred to as Structured Data, helps search engines better understand who you are and what you do. Better understanding promotes better “findability”. This is important because search engines strive to deliver relevant and reputable results to their users, matching their search intent. Adding Schema Markup to your site helps to increase their confidence, increasing your chances of showing up in search.

3. Stand out in organic search with reviews

A standard search delivers three pieces of information: a title, a URL, and a meta description.

Rich results are additional information coupled with eye-catching visuals that attract your attention in search. They bring your content alive plus they take up more real estate in the search results pages, helping you outshine your competition. When you add Schema Markup to your website code, you qualify for rich results. There are lots of opportunities to qualify for rich results (stars, ratings, reviews, images, availability, actionable links, breadcrumbs, etc.) and you’ll want to take advantage of as many of them as possible. Click here to view some of the Google documented opportunities!

4. Greater brand control

Your opportunity to make a great first impression with a potential customer starts in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). Wouldn’t it be great to own that customer experience right from the beginning? Schema Markup gives you more control over the way your brand is represented. Being in control means you can define exactly how you want your brand content understood, easily test different strategies, and control where and how the Schema Markup is distributed to your websites.

5. Influence the content in your Google Knowledge Panel

The Google Knowledge Panel sometimes shows up as a collection of content to the right of search results and contains information frequently sought by a user in association with a given query. It might contain your birthdate or your salary or a company’s CEO or stock price. The Google Knowledge Panel can also display links to your social profiles (Facebook, Instagram, etc.), a feature that is only possible if you use Schema Markup. You can also add your Company’s primary phone number(s) to promote ease of use for your customers.

6. You’re optimized for voice search!

Today, 20% of searches are through voice, with estimations that it will hit “50% by 2020” (Source: ComScore). If you’ve optimized your site for organic search using Schema Markup, you’ve also optimized for voice search, and Google will take care of speech recognition and NLU (or Natural-language understanding).

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7. Discovery on all surfaces – think wristwatches, billboards, cars…

Google recognizes that users are engaging with your content in more moments than before, across different platforms and devices. Historically this meant that as a developer, you had to create a custom app for each one of them. But by adding a single addition to your existing content – Schema Markup – your content is optimized for these platforms and devices right of the gate, without additional investments and with the best possible time-to-market.

8. Your videos can be played right from search

Not only can a user play the video right from the search results, but they can also see the video length, plus additional details about the video, ultimately influencing their decision to choose your video over another one. According to Searchmetrics, several of the websites that experienced the greatest improvement year-over-year (2017-2018) in search performance focus on video content.

9. Fill those seats for your event or course

Schema Markup helps the search engines understand what your event or course is about and who your target audience is so they can make a match and help your event stand out in search. Schema Markup makes you eligible to showcase your event with pictures, venue, dates, times, pricing, and availability.

10. Attract readers to your article or blog

Enhance the visual appearance of your article or blog page and match it to your target audience by adding Schema Markup. What does this mean? For an AMP page, your article could get a spot in the Top stories carousel or have larger-than-thumbnail images. For a non-AMP page, you can increase the likelihood of displaying as a rich result. Both of these would entice a user to click through and read your content.

11. Attract Job Applicants

Trying to find that perfect candidate to fill your job posting? With Schema Markup, your postings are eligible to be displayed in the job search experience on Google (at the top of the page), featuring your logo, reviews, ratings, and job details – which could give you that extra visibility you need to help attract the right candidate.

12. Build a Knowledge Graph

Certain companies (like Schema App) create linked Schema Markup so that search engines and voice understand how your content is connected to your organization and to other things on the web. Connected Schema Markup is the foundation of the semantic web. As a result, your Schema Markup is more than code, it creates a Knowledge Graph.

A Knowledge Graph can enhance search engine results with information gathered from a variety of sources. It allows users to understand facts about people, places and things and how these entities are all connected. The information is presented to users in an infobox next to the search results.

13. Re-Use your Knowledge Graph for Chatbots

Chatbots are essentially just another search engine. They can make inferences based on the data they have access to. Companies are starting to leverage chatbots for marketing activities such as lead generation and to entertain their target audience but also for customer service. Some of the benefits of engaging with bots are that you can cost-effectively deliver 24-hour service, provide answers to simple questions and respond directly to customer inquiries.

14. Derive greater insights from your analytics

At Schema App, creating Structured Data is only the beginning. Once it is on your website, you can pull any of the schema.org properties you’ve marked up into your Google Analytics to drive better decisions with the context of the content. Imagine the possibilities!

15. May reduce your Google Ad spend and positively influence rank

Although we don’t have any hard facts to support this, we have received anecdotal feedback from several of our customers that Schema Markup is having a positive impact on both the rank and the cost of their Google Ads. This rings true since Quality Score impacts both rank and cost and Quality is positively impacted by Schema Markup.

16. Improve your Content Strategy

Thinking about your content from the perspective of the schema.org class types and properties can help to generate ideas for new content or existing content. At the very least, you may use the Google required and recommended schema.org feedback to augment existing pages or create links to existing content. The schema.org structure could even provide the basis of how you design your website (information architecture) taking into consideration that each webpage should have one primary topic, should maximize the opportunity for rich results and should be laid out in a consistent way, wherever possible, to simplify the adoption of schema markup.

But beware…

Ensuring your Schema Markup is done properly is important. The wrong Schema Markup or bombarding a page with Schema Markup may confuse the search engines and cause more harm than good. Look for a provider that has a deep understanding of how to use the schema.org vocabulary, will connect your markup to tell a complete story, and uses JSON-LD (recommended by Google) as the format for Schema Markup (rather than microdata or RDFs). Disclaimer: Adding Schema Markup makes you eligible for the features noted above but it doesn’t guarantee how the search engines will choose to display your content.