Schema is a type of structured data that serves as a coding markup glossary that can be added to a webpage to define features such as operating hours, photos, or ratings. This allows search engines to communicate the pertinent page information composed of rich snippets and rich data in the search results.
There are over 600 categories that can be found on Schema.org, and these are five examples that can be quantified to demonstrate improvements because of implementing the structured data:
- Business Locations/Contact
What Does This Mean?
Though search engines may not be able to pick up every single one of the 600 schema markup categories, it’s likely that they will recognize them if the markups are used correctly.
While there may not be a direct algorithmic influence, by allowing more rich snippets and rich data to aggregate the SERP, users are given more significant information about the page. This doesn’t just apply to users, but search engines too. Structured markup from schema.org tagging enables search engines to reduce the ambiguity of on-page text. More meaning behind content means that search engines can do more with the context. Specialized SERP features like the Knowledge Graph box and the Answer Box are both heavily influenced by structured markup.
Specialized search results enhance the view of the results. Therefore, the implementation of schema can improve the click through rate and potentially cause an increase in organic traffic. Specialized results win more clicks, fact.
During the advent of support for structured data, there was a unique first mover advantage, one where the “haves” won top visibility in comparison to the diluted visibility of the “have-nots”. Now that advantage has dulled, what was once considered nice-to-have, has become a mandate in a more competitive SERP where top results are using all available code-based standards. In mobile search this includes the AMP standard and that’s a topic for another discussion.
Should I Use Schema Markup?
It’s possible to markup a page with schema using Microdata, RDFa, and JSON-LD, which allows the markup to be read across multiple search engines as opposed to just one. There are also tools available to aid in marking up a page with schema correctly, which can make the useful process easier, so there is no reason not to implement structured data; Google Structured Data Markup Helper, Google Structured Data Testing Tool, Schema Creator, Schema.org. A Searchmetrics report previously showed that pages that use schema may rank four spots higher than pages that do not use schema. However, as the use of structured data has become a mandate it probably wouldn’t have that kind of influence but should still be implemented to secure standing in a competitive SERP. Regardless of whether a direct impact exists, schema provides opportunity for richer presence on the search results of multiple platforms. This signifies that it is worth taking time to correctly mark up a page, if you haven’t already, and further implement code-based standards to enhance SERP presence.