Should you use Schema markup?
Are the claims that it’ll help your search engine ranks true?
In this article, we’ll cover the basics of the Schema markup along with its perks.
Since more than 92% of all web searches are made on Google, we’ll focus on Schema markup’s functionality within Google.
By the end of this article, you’ll know whether or not Schema markup can help your website’s SEO.
- What is Schema Markup?
- The Benefits of Schema Markup
- Rich Snippets
- Google SERP Elements
- How to Find Schema Markup
What is Google Schema Markup?
Are you a newbie to SEO?
No worries, it’s not as complicated as you might think.
Schema.org, an initiative launched by major search engines such as Google, Bing (Microsoft), Yahoo!, and Yandex in June 2011 is a form of structured metadata to help search engine spiders recognize website content and categorize it properly.
In human speak, it’s a type of code that tells search engines what your website content IS, not just what it SAYS.
This type of website data classification helps the searcher by providing more detailed information about a particular search engine result.
It’s part of the Semantic Web vision proposed by Tim Berners-Lee in 2001 — the idea that every piece of content on the web can be understood and organized by machines (in this case, search engines).
Schema markup is extensive and diverse, containing hundreds of different objects.
It allows you to accurately describe most of your content using it, regardless of your niche or business type.
The core vocabulary currently has 779 Types, 1390 Properties, 15 data types, 81 enumerations, and 437 Enumeration members.
Over 10 million websites use it to enrich enrich search engine results pages. To add schema markup to your SEO strategy might be a good idea.
Let’s dive in.
The Benefits of Schema Markup
As you scroll through the Google SERP, the typical result contains a title, a URL, and a description of the page.
Anything in addition to a title, URL, and description is a result of adding Schema markup code.
Google and other search engines regularly introduce new ways to feature Schema-marked content.
For example, star ratings shown under “review search results” are a Schema-defined markup.
Whether or not Schema markup benefits directly boost your Google rank is still up for debate.
Some SEO experts swear by using Schema for SEO — it appears in 33% of search results.
However, Google’s official statement is that it doesn’t directly boost ranks.
Keep in mind that Schema markup benefits are primarily indirect.
It helps your SERP rank because Schema lends additional credibility and usefulness to your site.
Increasing your SERP results’ usefulness increases CTR, which has a direct influence on search rank.
Schema markup uses SERP elements and rich snippets to feature your valuable content directly on Google search results.
And we all know that anything that helps you stand out from other bland search results is beneficial.
Because when you stand out, people click through to your site.
That’s what it’s all about, right?
For example, below is a Schema featured SERP snippet:
This search result stands out and looks professional.
You might even think Google sponsors it.
Being featured in a SERP element such as a knowledge graph, Q&A box, or simply having a search result with rich snippets gives an air of authority and establishment.
Because Schema is virtually unknown to the average Joe browsing on Google and yet Schema markup benefits determine a lot of what an average Joe can and will see on SERPs.
Simply put, rich snippets spice up regular search results.
There are dozens of rich snippets that cover various query types, and more are continuously created as Google strives to improve and make search results as informative and accurate as possible.
You can even use the native Structured Data testing tool in Google Search Central to validate structured data markup and rich results.
One of the most common rich snippets on Google is a review snippet (products, recipes, or anything else that has user reviews):
Review snippets use the AggregateRating Schema attribute, which can show up on any search result with user ratings.
It shows the average rating + the total number of reviews.
Other types of reviews can also pop up in a snippet — check out this editorial reviewer score:
This is one of the most valuable types of Schema markup for marketing.
It’s eye-catching and easily recognizable.
97% of shoppers say that seeing reviews influences their buying decisions, and 92% are less likely to purchase a product if there aren’t any reviews!
Simply having reviews in the SERP helps you stand out above higher-ranked websites.
Using the Schema product markup allows you to show price range, ratings, availability, and more on the SERP.
Products can also appear on Google’s image search with a link to the product page.
That’s a powerful marketing tool!
If you offer competitive prices, this Schema markup code is especially beneficial.
Not only will you have an edge over higher-priced items in the same search, but you’ll be head and shoulders above the search results that display no price.
Recipes can have rich snippets like prep time, ratings, calorie count, etc.
They can also show up in the main SERP, in Google’s image search, and as a carousel.
Recipes tend to feature images so Google recommends implementing recipe pages with the AMP protocol for instant-loading times.
It’s easy to see how this type of Schema markup could boost your website traffic.
For example, if you own a restaurant, you could offer a free recipe through a recipe snippet.
And because people have to click on the snippet to get the full recipe, it funnels additional traffic to your site.
The music-rich snippet enables you to display song and album information.
For example, you could list singers, songwriters, release date, song length, and more.
This Schema markup code is beneficial for providing extra value to the searcher.
Since you provide them with information about the song or album they searched, they’ll be more likely to click through to your website.
The events snippet is one of the most effective Schema marketing techniques for 2 reasons.
- The events related snippet can show:
- Location (also appears on geo-targeted searches)
- Dates and times
- Performer names
- The definition of an event is relatively broad — you can advertise:
However, marking content as an event is misleading and it’s a big no-no.
You could be penalized, so be sure to only use the events snippet for actual events.
Schema’s documentation about the events snippet gives specific directions about how to implement this Schema markup.
Google’s SERP Elements
Google’s SERP elements are yet another Schema implementation to structure your search results uniquely.
They’re often featured on the top or right side of the SERP, and they have their functions.
Most importantly, they STAND OUT because they don’t look anything like regular search results.
Here are some common ones we all interact with daily.
The video carousel is a SERP feature that shows the Top video results for a given search query.
Carousels are generally featured at the top of the first page.
It sources videos from all over the web, including YouTube.
YouTube videos are the most common result — according to Statista’s research, YouTube is the second-most visited website globally (with over 24 BILLION views per month!).
This is one of the SERP elements you can directly track with ProRankTracker.
No matter where you publish your video, it should be tracked since it might get featured on the video carousel.
To track your video’s position within the carousel, add the URL to ProRankTracker.
If you simply want to track your video’s position on YouTube’s SERP, you can do that with ProRankTracker, too.
Video carousels and snack packs (we’ll talk about those next) are some of the most valuable positions on the SERP.
Getting your results in one of those Google features will rocket your site’s traffic into the stratosphere.
Local Business Listing/Snack Pack:
The snack pack is the Holy Grail of local SEO.
It’s a mighty equalizer.
It has excellent CTR potential and is great for small local businesses by giving those companies with no SEO budget a fighting chance.
It appears at the top of the SERP and steals the show from regular organic results.
Since the snack pack includes geo-data, it can drive physical traffic to your business along with website visitors.
By adding structured data to your local business listings you can give search engines understand specific information about your business like operating hours, images, contact details, user ratings, and a map location.
This helps them to provide more accurate and relevant results when people search for businesses like yours.
Since local business listings include locations, they’ll only appear to people searching within a certain distance.
Keeping track of your snack pack listings performance in different locations is important because it helps you know what tweaks to make.
You can track these unique positions directly using ProRankTracker’s Local and Mobile Tracking feature.
Tracking local business ranks from several locations will paint the most accurate picture of your business’s performance.
Here’s an example of using ProRankTracker to track a Local Business Listing for a business in Queens, New York.
We’ve selected 3 key locations in the Queens area to gain perspective on how that business is performing:
Here’s the How-to:
|Track the two Google SERP elements with MORE value than regular organic listings|
Knowledge Graph (KG) is quite diverse and shows extensive details and photos about a wide variety of search terms.
Typical uses of KG include events, companies, and people.
One of the key benefits for businesses is that KG can also feature your company or brand.
If you are featured in a knowledge graph, break out the bubbly because it’s a powerful marketing tool.
However, it isn’t easy to appear in KG.
In most cases, people will have to search your company’s name directly.
Otherwise, you must have enough traffic to appear for related search terms.
The Top Stories Feature displays recent news about the search query.
For your articles to be featured on Top Stories, the content needs to have an article schema markup and structured correctly according to Google’s guidelines (and be optimized with AMP)
The Q&A feature displays answers to commonly asked questions.
For example, many search queries are phrased as a question like “How to remove a wine stain from a carpet.“
If your content contains answers to common questions like this one, it could be featured in the “People Also Ask” section, generating a high volume of traffic.
When creating your answer, make sure to give the viewer a reason to click through to your site.
Otherwise, they may read the response from the SERP and never visit your website.
How Do I Find Schema Markup?
Now that you know how helpful Schema markup code is, you’ll want to implement it on your site and use ProRankTracker to gauge how much it helps your SEO rank.
For example, Google provides instructions about adding code that allows your video to appear in the SERP video carousels.
Useful Knowledge Resources
Schema markup gives you a whopping advantage over websites that don’t choose to use rich snippets in their website content.
Choosing not to use Schema markup on your website means you run the risk of losing out to someone who did.
It’s as simple as that.
Taking the time to learn how to implement Schema is a no-brainer.
Not only does it provide more value to users, but it increases the likelihood that they’ll click through to your site.
Using ProRankTracker combined with local Google SERP features like the Snack Pack is a powerful combo that will help you get noticed in organic search listings in your area.
It also gives you the info you need to improve your search performance and beat out your competitors.
We’d love to hear how Schema improves your SEO ranking in the comments below.