These are two bits of backend stuff that are very useful…. if not essential….SEO tools to help your website.
They add information that is only read by the search engine bots.
So what are they and what do they do?
Schema tells the search engines what your data means, not just what it says.
I explained about how search engines get to know what your site is all about in a previous article
The bots put the content of your site into the index which then returns your site in the search results.
But if your site uses schema markup, some of that content gets indexed and returned in a different way.
How? Because the markup tells the search engine what that content means.
For example, let’s say the word “Joe Smith” appears on an article. The search engine sees this, and produces a SERP entry with “Joe Smith.”
However, if I put the right schema markup around the name “Joe Smith,” I’ve just told that search engine that “Joe Smith” is the author of the article, not just a couple random words.
The search engine then provides results that display better information for anyone who was searching for “Joe Smith.”
Schema.org explains it this way:
“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.”
Schema markup is code (semantic vocabulary) that you put on your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users. If you’ve ever used rich snippets, you’ll understand exactly what schema markup is all about.
Here’s an example of a local business that has markup on its event schedule page. The SERP entry looks like this:
The schema markup told the SERP to display a schedule of upcoming hotel events. The search engine does the rest and displays useful information to the searcher.
Schema markup helps a website rank better for all kinds of content types. There is data markup for…
In fact there are hundreds of markup types — from toy stores to medical dose schedules. If you have any type of data on your website, there’s a good chance that it’s going to have an associated itemscope and itemtype.
Websites that use schema markup will rank better in the SERPs than sites without markup. One study determined that websites with markup rank an average of four positions higher in the SERPs than those without schema markup.
While it’s not totally clear that this higher result is due to the markup alone, there is obviously some correlation.
This video shows you how to see if you are using schema on your site or not.
But not everyone uses this great little tool which means that there are millions of websites missing out on a huge source of SEO potential.
If you use schema markup you will have a huge advantage over your competition!
And its not just for businesses. It can and should be used on every site.
Having watched the video you can see the markup for this page on about line 153. Notice how several fields are left empty as my NAP is not included.
It is left out deliberately as my services are not limited to just the UK where I am based.
Like everything on the internet you do have to take care that you do not shoot yourself in the foot by limiting or overdoing the information you give out.
Another acronym of course. It stands for Name Address Phone number and is rather important for business websites.
Somewhere on your site will be contact details as you want people to find you or ring you. You need to make sure that the details are presented properly.
The rule is that you must be consistent!
Consistent listings include not just the same basic information, but the same spelling and formatting, as well. Search engines are all about the details!
When your NAP is consistent, the same information shows up on all profiles and in all directories.
This helps search engines understand who you are, what you do, and how users can find and reach your business.
Your site may say
Franks Pizza Parlour-Main St, Park City,Utah
But your Google Business listing might say
Do you see the differences….because the search engine does and sees the two listings as different businesses. Even the www is seen as a separate site.
Then as the other directories pick you up …such as Yelp or Yellow Pages then their information could confuse the search engines even more.
I have written about footprints and how important they are which you can read HERE and it is such a shame that so many miss out on getting rankings simply by having too many different NAP’s.
If you want to have a chat about your NAP and/or schema then use the form and we can start making it all work for you.
My thanks for reading….and as always,please click the button if you like what you have read