Get Started Using Schema
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Knowing how to use schema markup for SEO is critical if you want to maintain your search engine rankings. It can help you stand out in front of the competition, and it can be relatively simple to implement too. Schema is all about adding structured data to your website, and you can start to get a feel for it by visiting Schema.org and having a browse. The goal of schema web design is to optimize your content for featured snippets. By becoming that featured snippet, you can dramatically improve your website traffic and search engine performance.
Schema Markup: What Is It?
In 2011, the top search engines in the world collaborated and the result was Schema.org. Google, Yahoo, Yandex, and Bing have worked together to create the basics of Schema, and it’s becoming more important with every search engine algorithm update. What Schema does is provide context to a page so that search engines can understand it more quickly and more effectively. Knowing how to create structured data for Google is more important than ever, especially when looking at how the Hummingbird and RankBrain algorithms work on Google. If you want to create rich snippets for website traffic gains, then Schema is indispensable.
Understanding the HTML
If you manage a website, you should already be familiar with the HTML tags you use on your pages. In the vast majority of cases, those HTML tags will be telling your browser how information is to be displayed. A standard schema code example is if you have the word <h1>Apple</h1>, then your browser is being told to display the text string of ‘Apple’ in your H1 format. The problem is that this solitary HTML tag could mean different things, and search engines may not be able to differentiate between an Apple computer or the fruit. The result is search engine results pages that are irrelevant to a user query.
Schema and SERP Rankings
Microdata has not been proven to have any clearly defined effect on an organic search ranking. However, it does help to make you appear more prominently on a SERP because of rich snippets. It’s been shown that when you create rich snippets for website use, your click-through rates will improve, boosting your online visibility and earning more traffic. One of the most underappreciated facts about knowing how to add structured data on your site is that so few of your competitors will be doing the same. This means that you have the opportunity to take advantage of that lapse and dominate snippet rankings easily. When most SEO techniques take time to show improvements, schema org SEO impact is immediate.
Using Schema Web Design
Your first step is to start to add Schema to your webpages. This can be a time-consuming and delicate process, but the effects on your search engine performance will be more than worth it when schema org SEO impact is so effective. Your first step is to learn a little more about microdata.
On every website there are tags that make it easier for search engines to identify what your pages are about. Microdata is relatively simple to start using, but it can be laborious. You are going to have to mark every individual item that’s in the body of every web page. You will first need to identify what your page is ‘about’. This will depend on your business and sector. Then, it’s a matter of delving into your code. This is an example of what you might see for a restaurant:
<h2>The best food in the USA!</h2>
<p>Area and state</p>
<p><a href=”http://www.restaurantname.com/menu”>Click here to view our best menu items!</a></p>
<p>We’re open: </p>
<p>Mon-Sat 8am – 10:30pm</p>
<p>Sun: 2pm – 8pm</p>
That code is telling browsers what information to display, and everything between the two </div> tags is where the action is. If you now add <div itemscope> to the top of your code, you’re highlighting that what should be shown is a specific block of information. What that block of info will be identified as will rely on the ‘itemtype’ attribute and will be based on your website’s subject matter. Following the restaurant example, you would then have:
<div itemscope itemtype=”http://restaurantname.com/food”>
As you can see, item type is all about the URL. Schema has provided a comprehensive list of item types, which you can select from here. However, there are still gaps in some item types, and your niche may not be included.
Making it Easier
If the thought of all that coding sends a little shiver down your spine, don’t panic. Code Schema can be very intimidating, but there are ways to make it easier. Google has a Structured Data Markup Helper that takes you through the process schema web design and makes it much easier to quickly understand how to add structured data on your site. All you have to do is choose the most appropriate item type and then enter your target page’s URL and highlight the elements you wish to add tags. Learning the Google markup language can take time. Still, when rich snippets can have such a positive effect on your SEO performance, it’s worth taking the time to develop even a basic understanding of what it is and how it works.
What is RDFa?
Resource Description Framework in Attribute (RDFa) is an HTML5 extension that makes it easier to add web schema and structured data. If you have managed to reach the limits of what Schema.org can do for you, then RDFa is the next step. What RDFa does is let you string structured data vocabularies together, and while that may sound complex, it’s just an extension of what you’ve been doing with Schema.
Learning how to write schema markup might be daunting, but it’s a lot easier to apply than it first appears. Once you know how to create structured data for Google for one page, you’ll find that process becomes second nature. With so many advanced SEO tactics available, it’s easy to dismiss the importance of Schema, but it could be the key to dramatically improving your performance on search engines. Get your basics right when you create rich snippets for website use, and your online visibility will be transformed.
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