What is a Schema Markup?

Every day, your boss gives you a stack of notes from meetings and miscellaneousSchema Markup documents. You are responsible for sorting each file into a filing cabinet. In my review, I will show you what is a schema markup and how it can help you.

It involves going through every document and identifying the key points. It can be tedious and stressful. The company appoints a new manager and insists that all company documents must include the same key information at the top.

With the Schema Markup application, you can now quickly see all the information that you need to correctly sort and file all documents.

What is Schema Markup?

We use Schema Markup to share important information about pages and provide context.

It acts as a beacon for spiders to follow when they are crawling your content. To enhance rich snippets on Google SERPs, you add the code to your HTML.

Do you remember how to format in school? You remember your teachers getting tired of the hard-to-read cursive fonts and line heights that make a one-page essay look like five pages.

Google is looking for a better way of understanding your content, just as your teachers did. Okay, so you are a local company. Where did you locate your company and what is its name?

Now you are posting a recipe. What’s the name of your recipe? What are the ingredients and the steps to make it?

Alright, you have reviewed a product. What’s the name of this product and what star rating would it get?

Google defines Schema Markup as “a standard format for providing information on a page and classifying its content.”

Schema offers more information for search engines and users. It also stands out from other results, which increases the Click-through Rate (CTR).

How Did Schema Get Created?

The four biggest search engine companies (Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex) initially created it, but it is a community-led project.

Everyone can participate and share their ideas. This is a great place for troubleshooting problems and confusion related to different snippet types. You can easily search for the issues.

Schema Simple

There are many languages that you can use to code websites, just like humans around the globe.

HTML is the basis of a web page. It tells the website how to view your content. We can’t assume all search engines understand this language.

Google is attempting to guess who the author is, which company/organization it represents, and what data it can use in the SERPs.

Let me give you a quick example. Let’s say I’m looking to host a local SEO meeting. My goal is to appear in the box that appears when you search “SEO events near us” on Google.

There are many ways to do this. To get started, create a Google My Business Event. Google’s little snippet provides a lot of information about the event.

Schema.org vs. Rich Snippets vs. Structured Data! What Are the Differences Between Them?

Structured Dataplugin to a board

What is the meaning of structured data? Search engines can understand your data because it is you organized it well. Schema is the only structured data Google is interested in.

OpenGraph is a type of structured data that you may have heard about before. Site owners use it for social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Rich Snippets, which Google creates with your data, are fancy widgets. Although we don’t have complete control, our structured data increases our chances.

What Structured Data Types Does YouTube Use?

No one knows which type of data it uses, but we do know that it does! Google is the core player behind all structured data.

However, no matter how many data types it uses to rank websites, it only uses a handful of these in rich snippets.

They are:

  • Organization
  • Article
  • Local Business
  • Recipe
  • Review
  • Video
  • Product
  • Event
  • Person

However, this doesn’t mean that the others aren’t worthwhile to implement. We will be discussing a range of data types that can prove to be useful.

What’s the Process of Adding Schema Markup to Your Website?

There are three options available to add Schema markup to a site:

  • Manually add the markup code
  • Use the Data Highlighter
  • Use a WordPress plugin

It is important to check what you do on your website before you add anything.

You can enter a URL into the Structured Data Testing Tool. Any markup that you have displayed on the right-hand side of the page will appear.

Option 1: Manually Add the Markup Codegraphs of sales data

Although you could create your markup code entirely from scratch, you don’t necessarily have to. Google has created the Structured Data Markup Helper, and it’s great!

Select your content type, and then enter one of your URLs. Next, highlight and tag different elements on your page.

Google SEO Data Highlighter GIF

Click the “Create HTML” button to grab your code and add it to the head section.

This works great for your homepage or a single page. It can get tedious when you have to tag each blog post individually.

There are many other options available if this is the case. Data Highlighter is the first.

Option 2: Data Highlighter

Google wanted webmasters to be able to tag their data with a simpler interface. Perhaps you don’t feel confident editing HTML pages to add Schema markup.

Data Highlighter is useful. Log in to your Google My Business account and add one URL. Then, tag it with the Structured Data Markup Helper.

It will then display similar content on your website and you can ensure that you tagged it properly.

Option 3: WordPress Plugin

A WordPress plugin such as Yoast could help you get started. The free version includes the basic Schema types Organization, Person, and Breadcrumbs.

You can also upgrade to premium, which supports e-commerce and local business schema types.

Where do you go next? Blog posts and Articles are two possible schema types. Local businesses may prefer the Local Business type.

WP SEO Structured Data Schema is a great plugin that you can use for free. The free version supports many schema types.

Below are the most common schema types:

Schema Data Types That You Should Be Using

  • Breadcrumb Schema Data
  • Organization

There are some data types that you can apply to all websites, regardless of whether they’re news publications or online stores.

Google recommends that you set up the Organization and Breadcrumb schema types in order to improve the appearance of your website’s search results.

You will need to provide all information, including your brand name, address, official social media channels, and logo.

Breadcrumbs are a way to display the hierarchy of your pages. They will appear in search results. They are a hierarchy of pages, products, and blog categories.

Google recommends that you add a ContactPoint section to your Organization markup. This will ensure you get your contact information to correctly show in search results for your company.

Tip for Organization Markup: Don’t place your organization markup everywhere. John Mueller from Google suggests you only place it on the contact page or home page.

Person Markup

People use the Person markup most often to get rich snippets.

It is not always easy to get these rich snippets. This is especially true if you haven’t yet built a brand or you have a relatively common name.

You can use this schema markup for SEO if you have a personal website. This is especially useful for companies that have dedicated pages about each member of their team.

Local Business Markup

Implementing the Local Business schema markup can be a great way to get started if you are a local business.

Local business rich snippets, however, rely on data you obtained from your Google My Business listing. It is worth continuing to implement NAP (Name, address, phone number) consistency.

Article Markup

You could also use a NewsArticle type or a blog posting type to get more specific than the Article type.

Article Markup may contain all the data you would associate with an article, such as its headline or publication date. You can also include the word count and awards it has received, as well as a brief description.

Rating/Review Markup

This type of rich rating snippet appears well in search results. You could use it to show ratings from customers or your review of a product.

Instead of arbitrarily granting five stars to all your products, be sure to get real customer reviews.

This schema type is probably the most frequently used. Site owners use it to increase click-through rates and rankings. Google is now aware of this and may penalize you.

Product Markup

For e-commerce shops, product schema is essential! I recommend that you combine it with the review/rating scheme.

Video Markupgirl behind a video camera

Google shows video results in their Videos tab, but also in line with their regular content.

YouTube dominates video results a lot of times. Sometimes, however, other sites with high authority are able to secure rankings.

Event Markup

Re-read the section “Simple Schema”, where you will find a practical example for event markup.

You can use this markup for any event type you create. It allows you to include all details about the event in the markup.

Recipe Markup

It is a must-have for any cooking blog! You’ve probably seen any recipe-related search results page…

It is clear that the results for other keywords are completely different. Google should be able to easily understand your recipe.

Markup for Your Niche Industry

There are many markup types that we can use to target niche industries. Local SEO is a great option, especially if your competitors don’t take advantage of them.

Schema markup should be added to Apple’s email client. Did you know Gmail and Apple account for over half of the email client market share?

You’ll find two of the most common schema snippets in your inbox: hotels and flights.

However, most people aren’t in the airline or hotel business. You still have some amazing data types that you can use!

Go-To Activities

Go-to actions are the most effective for almost every business. It simply adds a button or link to your email which allows your subscribers to access a URL. You can use this markup to encourage openness and provide a call to action.

Events and RSVP – To make it easy for your subscribers, you could use the event registration data type and RSVP data type.

You can create custom responses (ex. Split testing, tracking, or personalizing the user experience is possible by creating custom responses)

Tracking Orders & Shipments

If you’re in e-commerce, then you’d know that the most important elements of email markup are Order and Parcel Delivery.

Invoices

The Invoice data type can be useful for sending invoices to clients and reminding customers about automatic subscription payments.

This data type has a unique feature, and you can choose from a wide range of payment statuses.

Schema for Developers

This isn’t something you should know if you are a marketing manager or someone who doesn’t like code.

How to Read the Docs

Learning any technology is only possible if you are able to understand the documentation.

Three main resources are worth keeping an eye on:

  • Schema Full Hierarchy
  • Google Structured Data Docs (Or Gmail Structured Data Docs if you deal with email)
  • Schema Github Issues Page for discussion and last-ditch assistance

Schema Docs

These provide detailed information about every type/class that is possible, as well as the configuration options available.

Its documentation isn’t the most enjoyable to read. It is laid out so you will be able to hit the “Home” or “End” keys on your keyboard.

Google Structured Data Docs

These offer code examples and a glimpse behind the scenes of Google’s schema types.

It is easy to navigate. You will find everything you need under “structured Data” in the panel to your left.

Schema Github Issues

Sometimes you will find yourself reading through the documents and not understanding anything.

There is a good chance that you aren’t the only one having this problem. You can find the best way to get clarity on these types of issues by browsing Github issues.

Final Notes

This post was a tremendous help to you in learning about Schema Markup and structured data. I have covered a lot and gone through many different types of schema.

Structured data will become more important as Google implements richer search results features.

If this has helped you in your research, I would love you to leave a comment, or a like and share.

Thanks for visiting.

LILY

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4 thoughts on “What is a Schema Markup?”

  1. This is very interesting to read! I love how you explained everything in such detail and made it simple to read. When it comes to this I know very little on the subject and love to find articles that will help me learn as much as I can. Everything you included about schema markup was laid out very well and I feel like you taught me so much. Thank you!

     

    Reply
    • That is great to hear Alyssa. We all need tools to help us run and improve our business and Schema is one that I would reccommend. 

      Reply
  2. Thank you so much for this Lily! You did an amazing job with this. And I have to be honest, I thought I knew what a Schema Markup was before reading your post. Let me just say, you’ve opened my eyes and helped me understand it so much more. I had no clue how important structured data was to Google. Also, the fact that you laid out Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter use the open graph type of structured data, it just makes so much more sense now. Again, thank you for this!

    Reply
    • You are so welcome Rod. It can seem a little confusing but if the big boys are using this structure you can be sure that it is working for them. Keep up the good work.

      Reply

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