You’ve probably heard the word “SEO schema” being bounced around in the search engine optimization world and wondered what it’s all about. It’s actually become more important in the world of SEO as voice search has become increasingly popular and new algorithms like Hummingbird have come to the forefront. However, with all of this hype, what is schema and how can you use it to improve your SEO?
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What is SEO Schema Markup?
Schema markup is a type of microdata found at schema.org, a website created by the major search engines in collaboration. These are Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex. Schema markup creates a better description for your website that appears in search engine results pages as a snippet.
There is still no conclusive evidence that schema markup improves your ranking on search results. It does, however, give you rich snippets that improve your website’s visibility and that improves your click-through rates. You’re also at an advantage if you use it. Less than a third of Google’s search results currently use schema markup, which means you’ll be better placed to benefit from it if you’re one of the first adopters. This is one of those things that can blow up in SEO, and it might just blow up very soon.
How Can I Use Schema Markup?
Schema markup is commonly used to categorize the item types and properties of your content, much like regular HTML tags. If none of this makes sense, give me a moment, I’ll explain everything.
Let’s start with microdata. When you use regular tags, a typical page will look something like this:
<h2>some other heading</h2>
<p>some info goes here</p>
This is all good, but a simple HTML tag doesn’t do much to say what the content is about. Say the content is about tech, you can add schema markup to show this. First, you add itemscope to the wrapping div to tell schema.org that you intend to categorize that data, an itemtype attribute to show what type of item type it is, then you add itemprop attributes to the different sections to give them content types. Here is the example above with microdata added in to show that’s it’s a tech page.
<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/tech”>
<h2>some other heading</h2>
<p itemprop=”description”>some info goes here</p>
This goes on for each subsection that you want described properly. You can visit schema.org for all the various attributes and the accepted codes.
Additionally, you can use RDFa, or Resource Description Framework in Attributes, which is an HTML extension, to bring even more detail to your structured data as it can go beyond schema.org.
RDFa tags are pretty similar to microdata tags. For example, the wrapping div would look a little like below:
<div vocab=http://schema.org/” typeof=”technology”>
You can find examples of the tags you can use and other useful information on schema.org.
Ultimately, SEO schema markup is not as complicated as it may seem at first glance. This simple enhancement to your webpage can do wonders for your search result snippets, boosting your visibility and click-through rates in the process.