How To Improve Your Search Results Using Schema

How To Improve Your Search Results Using Schema

Are you aware of schema markup? It is an emerging trend in SEO, but is still vastly underutilized. Websites that use schema markup rank an average of four positions higher in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) than those that don't use schema markup (The Manta Community). But what is schema markup? Very simply, it is code that you use on your site to help search engines return better, more informative results.

Taking Control Of Branded Results

The number of people doing a branded search, a search for a brand name or brand-related keyword, varies. But it goes without saying that when someone searches for your company’s name that you want them to click on your result. Using Schema can help ensure people find you when searching for your brand. You’ve seen a few examples above. Here are a couple more:
A branded search for “Social Spice Media”

A branded search for “Social Spice Media”

As you can see, a search for “Social Spice Media” brings up a result where nearly everything above the fold on the computer screen is a link to a Social Spice Media page. And right below the top results you’ll find social media results:
Active social media properties also appear in branded search results.

Active social media properties also appear in branded search results.

Potential clients and customers often google your company name and related keywords before contacting you. Using Schema ensures they find the right information quickly so they can do their research and contact you when ready.

How Does Schema Work?

Schema enables the user to specify what they mean when they use a certain term, mention an author or brand, or talk about an event. For instance, the term "Matrix" could refer to a hair care brand, a movie, a hotel, one of its many dictionary definitions, or something else entirely. Search engines don't automatically know which "Matrix" you're talking about. But as with HTML tags, schema gives you the opportunity to clarify what you're referring to. Fortunately, adding this code to your website is not difficult. All you need to do is add schema.org vocabulary to your HTML microdata. With schema markup, you can display in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) what your site is about, where your business is located, what you do, how much your product or service offerings cost, and a variety of other things. This improves the experience of the searcher, who can get a sense of what your page or site is about without actually having to visit it, and more correctly ascertain whether or not it's the information they're looking for.

How Does It Help?

There are literally hundreds of different markup types: articles, restaurants, book reviews, movies, events (as you've already seen), products, local businesses, toy stores, and more. This means you can improve the way your content, your business, your software application, your TV episodes - and other items - look in search. You can also boost your rankings by implementing schema markup - something only 0.3% of websites have done (Kissmetrics). Quite simply, you have the opportunity to outrank the competition by helping search engines make more sense of the data on your website. But it is best to view these implementations as best practice rather than a quick-and-dirty hack for improving your rankings.

More Examples

Rich snippets are results on Google pages that show more than just a blue link and a short description. Rich snippets can include start reviews, prices, hours, events and much more. Rich snippets are meant to provide better results for searchers and they have proven to improve click rates for businesses. If you search for "Little Water Cantina", for instance, you can immediately see its overall rating (out of five stars), how many votes or reviews it has received, and how much the food costs. Little Water Google When you search for the band, Black Sabbath, you can see a listing of upcoming tour dates under the Ticketmaster search result. You can also see what genre of music they play. Black Sabbath Google Similarly, searching for the book, The Magic of Thinking Big, will instantly provide you with a rating, the number of votes the book has received, how many reviews it has gotten, what people are saying about it, and so on. Magic of Thinking Big Google

Final Thoughts

Over time, it’s reasonable to expect that Google will make schema a best practice, and even require sites, especially local business, to implement it - much the same way they warned about mobile optimization and eventually rolled out the Google mobile friendly update. Does SEO make your head spin? Are you having a hard time keeping up with best practices? Then why not take a look at how we can help you with your SEO, and get in touch with us when you're ready? Save