Schema is a markup language that helps search engines understand the data in your web pages.
Schema markup is an HTML code that you can add to your site’s pages to make it easier for search engines to understand the information on your pages and display it in rich results, like carousels or videos.
For instance, if the search engine detects that “Mihael Cacic” appears in an article, it will create a SERP entry for that term.
However, by putting the appropriate schema markup around the name “Mihael Cacic,” I’ve effectively informed that search engine that “Mihael Cacic” is the article’s author and not just a collection of unrelated words. As a result, any user looking for “Mihael Cacic” receives more useful results.
In other words, it helps search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing understand what is on the page, instead of just indexing the contents of the page and hoping the context is correct.
The addition of schema will improve search engine indexing, improving your website’s ranking while keeping other SEO best practices in mind.
The schema.org vocabulary describes the types of information that can be marked up with schema and provides guidance on how to mark up each type of information.
When you embed schema markup on your site, there is an improvement in the way your page is displayed in SERPs through rich snippets.
Rich snippets, which are displayed at the top of SERPs, highlight key information on a Google results page, providing items like carousels, images, and other non-textual elements as well as the standard blue links and meta description.
This improves the visibility of your website and may draw organic traffic to your content.
Schema is important because it exposes your site to more relevant queries which can increase the time users spend engaging with your content.
Less than a third of webpages on Google use Schema. This is a great opportunity to stand out against your competitors and be more visible in SERPs.
It’s important to use schema markup to gain visibility and improve the ranking of your content.
The use of schema is essential because it enables you to show up for searches that you otherwise wouldn’t have if Google didn’t understand your page.
For instance, nearly half of search engine users use voice for web searches. This means that websites that use schema markup for voice search and voice-activated devices are more likely to stay visible in SERPs.
However, there is no proof that Google uses schema markup to determine search rankings.
Google has stated explicitly that the use of structured data is NOT a ranking factor. So far, improving the appearance of your website in SERPs and possibly increasing clicks are the main advantages of schema markup and rich snippets, which indirectly may help with rankings.
These are the types of Schema code languages that can be added to HTML to embed schema on a web document:
Microdata — Microdata annotates HTML tags making them easier for computers to understand. They are simpler to use, however, they must be used with each HTML tag in the webpage’s body, which can become quite messy.
They include attributes such as itemref, itemid, itemprop, itemtype.
Resource Description Framework in Attributes (RDFA) — These are similar to microdata in that they must be added with different HTML tags within the webpage’s body.
The different attributes of RDFA include datatype, content, typeof, about, and property.
This code can be generated more easily because
- it does not need to be added to every HTML tag,
- it can be placed anywhere on the HTML webpage,
- it is easy to read, and
- it can be added and removed easily.
As a result, JSON-LD is regarded as the most user-friendly way to implement schema for beginners. In fact, Google recommends using it “wherever possible”.
Its attributes include @context and @type.
Here are a few of the most common applications for schema markup.
- Local businesses
- TV episodes and ratings
- Software applications
- Medical conditions
There are many tools available to create a schema, including Merkle’s Schema Markup Generator, Schema.org, and Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper — plus there are a few free plugins for common Content Management Systems (CMSs) like WordPress.
These are the steps to generate schema for your web pages using Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper:
- Identify the webpage to which you want to add schema markup: Google offers a search gallery of popular page types that benefit from schema markup. A great example is product pages and pages with your contact information
- Go to Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper
- Select the type of Data. There are several options listed like Articles, Breadcrumbs, etc.
- Paste the URL you want to markup and click “Start Tagging”.
- Select the items you want to mark up. For example, if you want to markup an article, highlight the name of an article, then select the “Name” option from the drop-down menu and the tool adds it to “Data Items” in the right pane.
It’s important to markup as much data as possible. Make use of every relevant data item and make the best use of your schema markup.
- Create the HTML code. Once you’re done selecting tags for all the relevant data on your page, click “Create HTML” and select either Microdata or JSON-LD from the drop-down menu. The tool will generate your code.
You can copy or download the automatically-generated HTML file.
Copy and Paste the generated HTML code into Google’s Structured Markup Tool and click “Preview.” The testing tool will display what the page will look like in Google search results.
The tool will point out any broken code and suggest fixes to help you optimize your website.
Open your source code or CMS(If you have it) and copy/paste your new HTML code into the source code. Click “Finish” That’s it.
When you have applied the marked-up page on your website and are certain that it is functioning properly, request a recrawl of your site so that Google can recognize the schema markup as soon as possible.
Requesting a site recrawl is the quickest way to improve your page’s rank or display rich snippets in the search engine results
The Google Console Help website has instructions on how to submit your sitemap to Google and ask for a recrawl.