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Optimizing Your Website with Schema Markup: A Step-by-Step Guide

While optimizing your website with schema markup, you can embark on a digital voyage. Imagine enhancing your website’s search engine power and standing out in the vast online landscape!

Home / Blogs / Optimizing Your Website with Schema Markup: A Step-by-Step Guide
Raghav Tayal

Head Of Operations - Digital Web Solutions

January 21, 2024

When you have great content on your website, you must make it readily available for as many visitors as possible. One way to do so is by driving organic traffic to your website and ranking high on SERPs. But how do you do that? The answer is by implementing schema markup.
Schema markup helps search engines recognize the content on your website and help it rank on the results pages. It is structured data that can guide search engines in understanding your web pages and their elements.
Sounds tricky? The following guide will answer all your questions.

Benefits of Schema Markup

Schema markup has many benefits. Some of them are mentioned below:

  1. Helps search engines understand your content better: Humans can understand your content by reading and interacting with it. However, search engines must be taught to decipher what your content is trying to say with the help of machine learning. This is why search engines need some extra help to understand your content. One way you can assist them in determining what your content is trying to say is through schema markup. Schema markup is a standardized vocabulary that has been developed by search engines to interpret your page easily and allow their algorithms to make better content available to the user that precisely matches their search intent. 
  2. Makes your website AI-ready: Search engines increasingly rely on AI to give users the best possible result. When you implement schema markup in your website, you make it easier for AI to understand what your content is talking about and help search engines provide the best experience to their users. 
  3. Helps control your brand search appearance: Schema markup also helps you control your brand’s search appearance, enabling you to control your brand’s image. Without schema markup, search engines solely rely on algorithms to gather details about your business, which can lead to misunderstandings and wrong interpretations. 
  4. Helps your website stand out: When Google understands your schema markup language, it helps your content rank on rich results in SERPs. A standard search result shows the title tag, URL, and meta description. But rich results show captivating images of your website, making it stand out from the crowd. 

The Difference Between Schema Markup and Structured Data

Schema markup is a shared language that has been created by search engines to understand and categorize your website better. 

While schema markup is the language, structured data is the actual data that is provided to the search engines. It describes the content on your website and the actions that visitors need to take. Moreover, it gives search engines a better understanding of what your website is all about and helps in giving its users rich results. 

Now, as a reader, you may wonder what rich results are. Rich results mean that by providing structured data, search engines can give users accurate data about what visitors will find on your page and allow the search engines to present your website more clearly and visually.

Encoding schema markup: What are Microdata, RDFa, and JSON-LD?

There are three kinds of structured data that Google supports:

  1. JSON-LD.
  2. Microdata.
  3. RDFa.

RDFa (Resource Description Framework in Attributes)

RDFa stands for Resource Description Framework in attributes. It is an extension of HTML that allows you to create a syntax and use existing vocabularies of attributes or create your own. RDFa has two versions, RDFa and RDFa Lite. 

Microdata

Microdata is a part of the HTML specification and is an approach to add metadata within an HTML code. 

Microdata, also known as WHATGW, an abbreviation for Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group HTML standard, is used for marking up a webpage with HTML. It is metadata included in the HTML code and published within the body tags that is readable by Google bots. 

JSON-LD (JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data)

This schema markup language allows you to communicate important information with the search engines. It is comparatively easier to use than microdata and RDFa. JSON-LD is not embedded with the HTML as metadata or as an extension of HTML itself. 

It can be placed anywhere, even in the head section of the webpage code, which is usually where metadata is present. It can also be placed at the end of the code or in the middle of the content. Moreover, it is not a part of the HTML code and has a script that can be reviewed and edited easily. 

How to Use Schema Markup to Optimize Your Website

The only goal of a schema markup is to enhance your SEO. It helps your website rank and look better in front of search engines and their users. 

You can use schema markup to optimize your website in the following ways:

Step 1: Identifying Essential Elements of Your Business to Explore Structured Data Possibilities

Structured data can be used in a variety of content. Before implementing any strategy, understand the elements of your website. 

Data markup for a wide range of content includes articles, local businesses, restaurants, TV episodes and ratings, book reviews, movies, software applications, events, products, and frequently asked questions (FAQ).

There is a structured data possibility for every type of content on your website. If you have any data on your website, you will have an “itemscope” and “itemtype” possibility. 

Step 2: Analyzing Google’s Available Features for Your Prime Content

In the second step, go to Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper tool and analyze its features. Ensure you follow the structured data guidelines to ensure the content is eligible for rich results displayed on Google search. 

Once you are well-versed with the guidelines, you must determine which feature to use for your top content. 

There are 32 types of structured data features that are identified by Google:

  • Article
  • Book
  • Breadcrumb
  • Carousel
  • Course
  • Dataset
  • Employer Aggregate Rating
  • Event
  • Fact check
  • FAQ
  • Home Activities
  • How-to
  • Image license
  • Job posting
  • Learning video
  • Math Solvers
  • Movie
  • Education Q&A
  • Estimated Salary
  • Podcast
  • Practice problems
  • Q&A
  • Recipe
  • Software app (Beta)
  • Speakable
  • Subscription and paywalled content
  • Video

Step 3: Assessing the Feasibility and Approach for Implementing Your Schema Markup Strategy

When implementing a schema markup strategy, you must analyze which pages you want to optimize and what schema markup vocabulary you must use for optimal organic search results and the most Google “rich results.”

For this, you need to figure out areas that offer high value at a low cost. 

When you are implementing a strategy, keep the following things in mind:

  1. Is your content single or recurring?
  2. Whether you have built-in capabilities. For example, a CMS with outstanding schema facilities
  3. How you will implement it: Is it through the backend, frontend developers, marketing, or SEO team?

You must strategize which aspect of your website or part of the content you want to highlight in search results. You need to check whether doing so will be feasible for your brand and image. One of the great things about schema markup is that you can measure the feasibility of your strategy because the results are quantifiable.  

Step 4: Analyzing Individual Pages for Schema Templates – Distinguishing Between Single and Repeated Content

Whether you are doing schema markup for a single or repeated content, remember that the schema markup should reflect what is on the page. 

According to Google guidelines, “schema markup should be an up-to-date and accurate representation of the content and topic on the webpage.”

Step 5: Consolidating Resources to Implement Your Schema Markup Strategy

After the completion of the steps mentioned above, it is time to implement your schema markup strategy. 

  • Go to Google’s structured data markup tool and choose the common data type from the list. 
  • Now, you have to paste the URL of the page you want to markup. You also have the option to paste the HTML. After pasting, you have to begin with “start tagging.”
  • Once you select this option, your page will appear on the left side, and data items will appear on the right. 
  • Highlight the section on the left that you want to markup.
  • Add all the markup items and generate your HTML tag
  • After you have clicked on “Create HTML,” you will receive code to add to your site. 
  • Now add the markup to your CMS
  • You can use Google’s “Rich Results Test” to test your markup.

Linking Content via Structured Data Implementation

Linking content through structured data results in a robust content structure for your website. The goal here is to make search engines conceptualize the content on your web page to crawl better. 

For instance, you have a business that sells online apparel. There are basic pieces of information that you can add to your structured data, such as the type of apparel and the materials. Doing so will make search engines understand your website and its content better. 

When building a strategy for your content, you must clearly understand your business goal and what part of your website content you want to highlight in SERPs. 

Advanced Schema Markup Strategies

Entity-Based Schema

With entity-based schema markup, websites go beyond standard box searches and expand their horizons. 

In traditional search intents, the keywords are given importance. While it is still one of the most sought-after SEO tactics, in entity-based schema markup, more focus is given to context, robust content, and a greater return on investment.

Entity searches make search engines connect with the world’s information together, regardless of the language. 

Custom Schema Types

You can create a custom schema for specific data on your website, specifically tailored to your content. You can use this schema markup language for specific data types of ambiguous fields—for instance,  BigInt, for a field that might be inferred as an Integer. 

Dynamic Schema Implementation

You must implement a dynamic schema if you have a big website with thousands of pages. This approach allows you to add schema to multiple pages with one code. 

Schema for Voice Search

With the rise of voice search in search engines, developing your content for voice assistants like Siri and Alexa is crucial. Schema Markup for voice search can play a role in SEO by providing structured data that these devices can use to answer user queries.

Best Practices for Schema Markup

Now that you have understood what schema markup is and its advanced techniques, here are some best practices to implement it:

  • Take your time to implement Schema Markup: Implementing schema markup tags and data is a lengthy process because each code must be manually added. So take your time. 
  • Use JSON-LD: JSON-LD is always preferred over microdata and RDFa. This schema markup has an added advantage compared to others- it doesn’t negatively impact the performance of a webpage because it is uploaded asynchronously. Moreover, it is added to a page without impacting the existing HTML tags and structure. It is easier to be used by web developers, and it leverages linked data.
  • Use specific classifications: Schema.org has a huge list of classifications that can be used for schema markup.  Categories include class, event, place, action, person, product, property, etc. Understanding and selecting the most specific categories to your schema markup will help search engines better understand your site and improve the quality of search results.  
  • Mark only what is on your page: It is essential to perform accurate marking. It should represent what is available on the page and should match the details about your company on the web. This includes your Google business profile and other website and social media account details. 
  • Be well versed with Google Spam guidelines: It is crucial to keep in mind that your schema markup shouldn’t mislead your website visitors. Ensure that the information you are providing is accurate and true. 

The Future of Schema Markup

The future of schema markup looks very promising. It is evolving and helping search engines provide informative and visually appealing search results. This development may lead to new schema markup types or enhancement of the existing ones to provide richer search results. 

Moreover, voice search is becoming more and more prevalent. Hence, there is a greater emphasis on structured data to help search engines understand and present information in a suitable format for voice-based queries.

Additionally, with the introduction of search generative experience powered by artificial intelligence, the importance of schema markup is projected to grow even more. 

Google will increasingly rely on structured data to provide its users with relevant and accurate information.

Case Studies: Success With Schema Markup

(See https://www.zaginteractive.com/work/portfolio/success-with-structured-data for reference.)

 

 Conclusion

Top businesses and websites have used schema markup to stand out. It may sound tricky at first, but it is not as difficult as perceived. 

It is one of the most essential SEO techniques that will undoubtedly be with us for a long time. You need to learn and implement this fantastic tool in your website to give search engines and website visitors the best experience possible. 

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