Schema, also referred to as schema markup is microdata added to a webpage that allows search engines to gain a greater understanding about a page by creating an enhanced description which is also known as a rich snippet. Schema provides search engines with more context for a webpage, therefore improving its chances of ranking better in search engine result pages (SERP).
schema.org has been around since 2011 after world leading search engines came together to produce schema to enhance their search results.
There’s no evidence that implementing schema and structured data will improve the ranking performance of your desired pages directly, but there are still plenty of reasons as to why you’d want to implement schema across your website where appropriate. Schema will allow your pages to be presented in a much nicer way in SERP’s and makes pages more indexable, too.
As we’ll explain in this article, not only can it improve click-through-rate but it can also be used as a tool for building trust with users before clicking through to your website.
There are a number of different schema markups and schema can be applied to pretty much most things imaginable. Currently, there are 836 different types of schema according to schema.org.That’s a lot of markups!
The most commonly used schema markups are event markup, person, places, product, review and organsiation. We’ve picked the most relevant and interesting schema markups out and explained how they work in search engine result pages.
Review schema is a fantastic way to improve click-through-rate from organic listings and is a brilliant trust mark for your business. Review schema, if implemented correctly will list a star-rating in SERP’s for your desired web page. These star ratings could be the difference between your business getting the click or your competitor getting the click.
As you can see here, this Gillette Razor Blade product has a review schema (in specific, aggregate review) added to the page, therefore it’s pulling the start rating through into the SERPs.
Please note that review schema can be manipulated to display false information for star ratings and number of reviews so it’s worth checking out the actual page for reviews before making a purchase.
Product schema is a must for any business who’re operating an ecommerce store. Product schema showcases basic product details in rich snippets. There are a few different product schema’s and some may be more relevant than others. Some consider things like product dimensions so if you were selling skirting boards for example, that type of schema would be more relevant but you can see the different types of Product schema on schema.org.
One property of product schema is the availability markup as you can see here on the John Lewis listing. If a customer clicks through to your page and finds that your product is out of stock, they may never return to your site so it’s important to have this markup to both acquire customers if the item is in stock and to reduce bounce rate.
Article schema is a great way to try and get your blog, news or scholarly article into Google’s rich snippets. Article schema allows search engines to understand and process information such as the article title and description, the author and even the featured image for the article.
Site navigation is a great way to increase a search engine’s understanding of your website’s navigation and hierarchy of pages.
It can also help your website dominate the search engine results pages if the domain has enough authority to.
There are a number of different websites out there that can generate schema markup but our favourite website to use is technicalseo.com. You can generate all of the usual popular schema markups on the site, from review to article. All you have to do is simply input the relevant data in the fields provided and technicalseo.com will do all the hard work for you and create the JSON code you need to add to your desired webpage.
If you are using a wordpress site and you’re just wanting to add blog schema or other basic markups to your pages, there is a handy schema plug-in that does all the hard miles for you. There is an option to upgrade within the plug-in to gain access to more markups.
Schema may look like a complicated process and if you’re not experienced in basic web development, it may be a little problematic. If you’re thinking about adding schema to your site (and we recommend that you do) but aren’t sure how to do it successfully then we recommend you use a developer to add it to your site. Schema with errors in it can be more harmful than no schema at all. However, it is certainly worth investing the time and resources in as you will definitely see the benefits of it as the SERP landscapes change.
There are a couple of ways of testing your schema markup and legibility for Google’s rich snippets. Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool is our go to favourite. You can test both web pages and code snippets if you don’t want to add the code to your webpage without testing first. However, we come with bad news. The Structured Data Testing Tool is slowly being phased out by Google and is being replaced by Google’s Rich Results Testing Tool.
But it’s not all doom and gloom as the Rich Testing Tool is live now and accessible to everybody and similarly to the Data Testing Tool, you can test both web pages and code snippets, however, we certainly prefer it’s predecessor.