Summary of Structured Data Markup
Do you want your web pages to stand out in search results? If so, then you must incorporate structured data markup in your web page encoding.
Rich snippets (structured Data Markup – Schema) are designed to summarize the content of a page in a way that makes it even easier to understand what the page is about in search results.” Some people call this Schema, microdata, and even Google sometimes calls it Structured Data.
Structured data makes it possible to present your search results in a more visually appealing and informative way in search engine results pages. According to a Searchmetrics study, the addition of structured data markup to a website leads to a 36% increase in Google search results.
Google Structured Data Markup has become a big part of Google’s Search Results Ranking Algorithm (Program). Structured Data Markup Schema is the joint effort of the schema.org and sitemap.org to improve the Google’s Search Result. When Google next crawls the page, its indexing algorithms will process the your markup and make its content eligible to be used in Search results. Note that this process can take up to a week from the time that your page is re-indexed.
Obviously, this extended information is likely to attract attention and stimulate higher click-through rates. Thus if you haven’t already heard of rich snippets or incorporated them in your site, you’re missing a great chance to attract extra organic traffic. There is little doubt that Structured Data Markup can boost SEO rankings for local business search and also for products on a website.
Search engines want to make it easier for people to find relevant information on the web. From an internet marketing perspective and SEO, using structured data markup with Schema.org can help a website rank better.
Google provides a tool for testing your website’s structured markup confirming its importance to search engines– (https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool#).
Example of the Problem and How Structured Data Markup solves it.
The author directs a Business Networking Group– ebn Woodford. There is an associated webpage – http://www.ebn.uk.com/groups/woodford which states that the group meets at “Hallmark Prince Regent Hotel, Manor Road, Woodford Green, Essex. IG8 8AE”. It would be obvious to anyone reading this that this is the venue and does not mean that the property is the address or property of the group. Obvious to readers, but not to computers including the search engine bots scanning the Internet for data and trying to make logic with it. Interestingly, The Prince Regent Hotel webpage does not have Structured Data Markup and therefore does not make its postal address clear to search engines.
At the time of writing, March 2017, less than 1% of websites are using Structured Data Markup. The majority of web designers may not have heard of it or find it too difficult to implement. Website owners should use it to boost their rankings now.
There are some limitations in the available markup options. For example, when it comes to markup for local business, a number of web designers report that the best available option for them to indicate the work they do is Professional Services’
Available options are: –
Real Estate Agent
This compares with accepted markup for accountants, lawyers, house painters and plumbers who each have accepted markups.
There are, however, other options for Schema markup including Person, Product, Events and Organizations.
The author looked at the top 10 search results for ‘Web Design London’ on Google.co.uk. Eight of the top ten pages had Schema Markup.
Rich Snippets for SEO: –
Having the structured data markup on your website does not directly guarantee high search engine rankings, the increased click through rate created by a rich search snippet is an important ranking signal for your site. Hence, if the search result for your site is equipped with photos, videos, ratings and such additional and useful information, the click-through rate on your site’s search results will be comparatively higher than other sites without structured markup data.
While Meta Tag content and Meta Description content is featured in search results it is the search engines that choose what exactly to show. When you have schemas in place for rich snippets, this process is more organized. Bounce rates on the site increase if a snippet shows something that is not on the site. This could create a negative signal to the search bots and the site may experience a ranking drop. Hence, it is essential that you spend time checking that the appropriate markup and schemas are used on your site. This will improve the click-through rate on your site’s search results and also ensure that the information seen in the rich snippet is exactly the same as the information on your site.