Schema markup is one of the latest evolutions in SEO. This new form of optimization is one of the most effective but least-utilized forms of SEO available today. Once a brand grasps the concept and method of schema markup, it can boost their website in the search engine result pages (SERPs) to a great extent.
Schema markup is a code (semantic vocabulary) that a brand applies on a website to help the search engines return more informative results for the users. Schema markup tells search engines what the data means and not only what it says. The content on the website gets indexed and returned in search results. But with schema markup, some of that content gets indexed and returned in a different way because the markup tells the search engine what that content means.
For instance, the word “Steve Jobs” appears in an article. The search engine checks this and produces a SERP entry with “Steve Jobs.” However, if the correct schema markup is put around the name “Steve Jobs,” then the search engine will take the name “Steve Jobs” as the author of the article, not just any random words. Hence, the search engine provides results that display more relevant information for the user who was searching for “Steve Jobs.”
According to Schema.org, “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.”
There is no strong evidence that microdata has a direct impact on organic search rankings.
Nevertheless, rich snippets do make a brand’s web pages appear more prominently in SERPs. To improve click-through rates, this improved visibility is much needed. According to a study by ACM queue, less than one-third of Google’s search results include a rich snippet with Schema.org markup.
Here are some of the most popular uses of schema markup. However, if a brand has any sort of data on their website, it’s going to have an associated itemscope, itemtype, and itemprop.
Microdata is a set of tags that aims to make annotating HTML elements with machine-readable tags much easier. Microdata is easy to use and hence great for beginners. However, one disadvantage of using microdata is that a brand has to mark every single item within the body of a webpage. Before adding schema to web pages, brands need to figure out the ‘item type’ of the content on its webpage. For example, is the web content on food? music, or tech? Once that item type is figured out, brands can determine how they can tag it up.
Schema.org provides examples of how to use the different item types so that brands know about what the code is supposed to do. But if coding still seems difficult, Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper may help tag web pages in a much easier way. To use this tool, SEO experts need to select the item type, paste in the URL of the target page or the content that has to be targeted, and highlight the different elements so that it can be tagged.
The full-form of RDFa is Resource Description Framework in Attributes. RDFa is an extension to HTML5 and was designed to help users in marking up structured data.
RDFa is a W3C recommendation, meaning that it is a web standard, and it can be used to chain structured data vocabularies together. If one wants to add structured data that stretches beyond the limits of Schema.org, then it will be useful.
Similar to microdata, RDFa tags incorporate the preexisting HTML code in the body of your webpage. If one compares microdata and RDFa, the typeof attribute in RDFa is equivalent to the itemtype attribute in Microdata and the property attribute of RDFa would be the equivalent to the itemprop attribute in microdata. For a detailed explanation, one can visit Schema.org to check lists and examples. One can find which kinds of elements are defined as properties, and which are defined as types. Moreover, Schema.org also provides examples of how to apply tags properly or else one can also refer to Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.
Schema.org provides a list of the most common types of schema markup. Brands can visit the Organization of Schemas page to check this list. Brands need to check and pick the types that are best suited to them.
There are a countless number of markup types. For the complete list, brands need to visit The Type Hierarchy. This master list provides most of the markup types that are available.
According to instructions on Schema.org, “the more content you mark up, the better.” When an SEO expert starts understanding the vast arrangement of item types, one begins to see how much content is there on the web page that can be marked up. However, the disclaimer should be kept in mind: “You should mark up only the content that is visible to people who visit the web page and not content in hidden div’s or other hidden page elements.”
Schema markup is simple to implement but still very few businesses and websites take advantage of it. Schema markup is an SEO innovation that will be there for a long time. It is now time for brands to learn and implement the relevant microdata to improve search results. Doing so will keep a brand ahead of the curve and give others a competition. Schema is much easier to apply than it seems and it’s a best practice that brands need to incorporate into their web pages. To know more about Schema Markup, leave us a text and we will get back to you!