Probably the biggest conundrum for businesses when working out their SEO strategy is whether they should invest (time and resources) in implementing structured data or schema. To answer this, we’ll have to look at some facts – the search evolution and then the business practical aspects.
You’re already aware of the Google’s shift from keyword-based SEO to semantic SEO with entity mapping the driver of this change.
Search now is not just limited to text, we’ve got multi-search (images – for example Google Lens, and then videos and voice) that’s gained steam and you should commend Google entity-SEO approach for this being a possibility.
And here comes in the key ingredient to entity optimization – Schema markup or structured data.
Schema helps search engine bots recognize the entities on a page and relate them to their Knowledge Graph. What that means is that they make people, products, and things and the relationships between them clearer to the search crawlers. In fact, Google does rely heavily on schema. You might ask why? Well, it aligns with their quest to offer the most relevant answer for online queries.
Blast to the recent past during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This SEJ article’s headline clearly captures the reliance of search engines on schema to better search results.
This put schema in the spotlight and for the right reasons. It helps search understand the content better. As a result? It drives the visibility of your content on search as rich results or otherwise as well.
Keeping Google’s evolution of search in mind and what’s helping them deliver results precisely, is schema implementation for businesses now an “option”? Or is it imperative for brands now to drive their visibility? In the article, Just How Important Is Structured Data in SEO?, the contributor Winston Burton, exclaims its need to be part of any business’ SEO strategy. And this was back in 2021.
Officially they are not declared to be a ranking factor, but Milestone Research sees gains of 20 to 40% on sites with error free advanced schemas implemented.
TRY OUR SCHEMA ROI CALCULATOR TO SEE WHAT YOUR RETURNS COULD BE.
Of course, the important part is not just mere deployment of schema across pages (basic tagging which most websites are guilty of) but focusing on creating a nested schema architecture. Or in other words, a knowledge graph of your business for Google to recognize – which will supplement your business’s visibility on search.
The process of schema deployment and maintenance is not a one-time effort but cyclic and this is well articulated in ‘How to Deploy Advanced Schema At Scale’ by Benu Aggarwal, President & Founder, Milestone Inc.
If you are looking for some practical advice on schemas, how they benefit your business and how they can be used to boost your SEO ranks, you’ll love this infographic.
It’s a simple checklist of what schemas are, how search engines use them and the kind of impact your business might see by properly adding schemas to your website. Want to take it one step further?
Use Milestone’s Schema Validator to see how many schemas are on your website. Then compare what you find with the appropriate list of available schemas for your type of business at schema.org. Using Milestone Schema Validator, you can also see the errors and warnings for your deployed schema. Errors are impediments to your entity recognition and need to be addressed, whereas warnings are your content opportunities to improve the nesting of your schema. It gets better, you can even visualize how you’ve mapped the entities on your page using schema.
Adding schemas to your website can be a simple and painless process. Start with reading through our infographic – then get in touch – and we can explain how you can get schemas on your website in a painless and simple process that won’t disrupt your IT or website developers.
So, schemas are important because they give context that helps machines match content to human intent, and using them will give you an advantage over your competition.
Always remember, there’s a cyclic process to maintaining schema and in doing so, there’s a sure return on investment. After all, you’re optimizing your content for visibility and getting ahead of your competition that hasn’t adopted structured data.
What is Schema Markup?
What are Schema Types?
Schemas are basically a set of types, and each type has its set of properties. As defined by search engines Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex, schema types are arranged in a hierarchal structure and to date, there are 797 Types, 1457 Properties, 14 Datatypes, 86 Enumerations, and 462 Enumeration members. in the schema dictionary or vocabulary. Some of the common schema types are: Person, Event, Health, Action, Organization, Review, AggregateRating, Product, Offer, AggregateOffer, Place, LocalBusiness, and Restaurant.
What are Schema Attributes?
Schema attributes are basically information in JSON code that make up the schema property. While the attribute is simplistic, the combination of attributes is complex and help define the schema property and its relationship. There are generally two types of attributes – Default attribute and Fixed Attributes. As the name suggests, a default attribute is what it is and cannot be changed while a fixed attribute is one which has a fixed value and cannot be changed.
Does Schema directly impact SEO?
While search engines have made it clear that adding schema tags to your website code isn’t a direct signal to rank, it favors recent Google Algorithm updates like Rankbrain and more recently, BERT. Schema gives search engine bots context of the website content and in turn, the content is featured as a rich result on SERPs which even gives online users answers to their queries even without having to click. This helps boost the impressions of the website content on SERPs and possibly the Click-through-rate (CTR) as the answer to a query is directly displayed.
How many schema types can I put on a page?
While there are no limitations as such of how many schema types you can put on a page, Google recommends that you use one schema type per page. In fact, to give you an example of what the search engine prefers, as per the latest schema guidelines released by Google regarding FAQs, if a website has the same FAQ (same question and answer) across multiple pages of the website, schema markup has to be added for one instance of that FAQ across the website and not for every instant.
What is a schema error?
Schema error is basically if an invalid character is included in the schema markup or structure or order of the file is incorrect. If there is a schema error then markup cannot be validated, hence fixing the error is of importance.
Does schema help with EAT scoring?
Emphasizing on quality content as a key factor for websites to rank on search, Google rolled out the E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) framework and has since become the guidelines for SEO experts around the world to ensure their pages rank on search. Getting to the whether schemas help in EAT scoring, yes, they do. In the words of Google, schema mark-up offers clues of the relationship of entities of the website and as it helps search engine bots understand the context of the content. In short, schemas help Google’s EAT scoring process easier as they help the search engine reduce ambiguities between entities, create connections between them and provide additional information about an entity that Google might not have picked up when indexing a page.
Does schema help you get the voice search answer?
While you can’t directly co-relate schemas and voice search answers, schema help you optimize your website content to displayed on SERPs as a rich result and featured snippet – which are generally picked up as voice search answers. Considering that a good portion of the voice search queries revolve around ‘Ask for’ directions, ‘Near me’ searches or research on product or services, having quality content wrapped with the right schemas will improve the chances of your website content being picked up as a featured snippet or rich result, and voice search answer. In relation to the common queries, utilize the following schemas to boost your chances of being picked as a featured snippet, rich result or voice search answer: Speakable schema, Local Business and its specific types, Product schema, FAQ schema and How-to Schema.
What are the most common schema types?
As per Schema.Org, listed below are some of the most common schema types:
Creative works: CreativeWork, Book, Movie, MusicRecording, Recipe, TVSeries … , Action, Event, Person, Review, AggregateRating, Embedded non-text objects: AudioObject, ImageObject, VideoObject, Organization, Product, Offer, AggregateOffer, Health and medical types: notes on the health and medical types under MedicalEntity, Place, LocalBusiness, and Restaurant.