In the teeming World Wide Web, a search engine is the bridge that connects the seeker to the answer; it is the spotlight that puts your product on stage and the map that guides buyers to your stores. But it can’t do all this on its own!
To enhance discoverability, search engines’ algorithms must be helped by the websites themselves. To be found by Google, Bing, and the rest, they must first beckon them with the right display; think of it as hanging a sign outside your shop front and lighting up your display windows. Only when you put out the right signals will buyers come in to browse.
Many factors connect search engines to websites, and in this article, we will deep dive into how Schema Markup affects discoverability and how an SEO marketing agency can help.
What is Schema Markup?
Schema is a digital language that helps search engines understand and decode your webpage and content better. It is a form of microdata that describes the content on the page more effectively, making it a critical tool for search engines looking to add more context to their query results.
Top search engines, including Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex, came together in 2011 to create the Schema.org vocabulary. These vocabularies cover entities, relationships between entities, and actions and can easily be extended through a well-documented extension model.
You can insert Schema Markup code into your website’s HTML, providing additional information about different parts of your content, whether it’s an event, a recipe, a product, or a review. With this extra bit of information, your block of text acquires context and turns into rich snippets, which appear in search results.
How Does Schema Affect SEO?
There are differing views on whether Schema can be termed an SEO ranking factor. On one hand, Google itself published a case study showcasing the Schema success story of Rakuten, which increased traffic from search engines by 2.7 times, and more recently, a 2020 experiment by Dixon Jones found that twice as many sites with Schema gained rankings than lost rankings. On the other hand, Google’s John Mueller praised structured data but made it clear that “there is no generic ranking boost for SD usage.”
However, both sides of the ranking debate are clear about the importance of Schema: it plays a critical role in SEO by improving how sites appear on major search engines.
6 positive ways in which Schema impacts SEO
Enhanced Search Engine Visibility:
As Schema Markup turns a bunch of text and images into rich snippets, it showcases the relevancy of your website to search engines. When search engines encounter the Schema code, they interpret the content with more context and detail and thus display it to the right audience in the right context. These rich snippets, such as star ratings, product prices, and event details, can be displayed directly on the search results page.
Increased Click-Through Rates:
With rich snippets and a better display of website information, users are more likely to click on your web page and stay longer on it. For example, if you are searching for a recipe, wouldn’t you rather click on the search result that shows the recipe as well as extra information such as cooking time, ingredient list, images, and more, rather than a website that shows just the hint of a recipe?
Navigating Voice Search:
As voice search and virtual assistants become more popular, the queries have also changed to become more specific. Schema, with its contextual markup codes, is perfect for matching voice search queries to accurate answers. This is especially useful for physical businesses looking for local clients; Schema provides addresses, opening times, reviews, and more to help convince potential clients to visit stores.
Integrates with other SEO strategies:
Even if Schema is not a direct ranking factor for search engines, it is a great tool to enhance them. While backlinks, page speed, keywords, and metadata come out on top, Schema provides that extra flair that brings users to your website.
Using Schema allows users to position how their brand appears in searches. Using review snippets, product descriptions, FAQs, and other contextual snippets gives business owners complete control over how they appear to users.
Future-proof your SEO
Tomorrow’s technology landscape is sure to be vastly different from today’s; already, search engines rely on AI and Machine Learning to power their search queries, and this trend will become even stronger as AI becomes more enmeshed in our lives. By embracing Schema now, you’re future-proofing your website’s SEO strategy. Keeping your content accessible and relevant is sure to help, no matter how technology changes.
Schema Markup: The final piece of the SEO puzzle
Schema.org’s website claims that “over 10 million websites” use its code; this amounts to less than 1% of all websites. However, ACM Queue puts the figure at 31.3%, while a study by Bing and Catalyst found that only 17% of marketers use Schema.org markup. Even if we take the top number, it is clear that less than 1/3 of the websites worldwide use Schema.
This is great news for business owners and marketers! Considering the very evident SEO and business benefits of using Schema and the low adoption rate, integrating structured data can make websites more discoverable and bring in higher CTRs.
To unlock the full potential of Schema markup, include it as part of your ongoing site strategy. Contact The Good Marketer to learn how it’s done!