The Impact of Schemas on Your Digital Business

Published: Jan 08, 2019
The Impact of Schemas on Your Digital Business

Are you taking advantage of schemas for your web pages? Here is why schemas are an essential part of your digital presence.

For your local business to survive, potential customers need to find out about you quickly and easily. The simpler you make it for consumers to find out basic information, the more likely you are to win their business.

Enter schema markup.

Schemas are an essential part of digital marketing for local businesses. Google, Bing, and Yahoo came together to create a more user-friendly experience through the use of well-structured data. By utilizing schema, you can create a more user-friendly experience that will benefit your business.

Here are the top questions about schema markups, how they can improve your digital presence, and why they are necessary for your business:

What are Schemas?

Schemas are structured microdata that allow your web content to be better understood by search engines. Adding schemas to your web content allows search engines to create an enhanced description of your business and content in search results. The enhanced description is most often referred to as a “rich snippet” and it helps to create a richer experience for consumers in search results.

Schema markup was created to make it easier for publishers to provide “contextual” information to search engines about website content. Indirectly, schemas are also beneficial for users, allowing them to get a better overall view of businesses through enhanced search listings. Schemas allow search engines to understand the meaning behind your web pages to place you better when potential customers search for your information. It allows your company to provide useful information to consumers with more data about your business directly on the search page.

While there are literally hundreds of schemas – across a wide variety of topics, some sample types of schemas include:

  • Events
  • Reviews
  • Products
  • Organization
  • Video

Schemas make finding content exceptionally easy for consumers. They can learn what they need to about your business, products or services without having to click on your page directly. For instance, schemas about reviews on the Rottentomatoes website give consumers an immediate glance at the overall rating of a movie:

Similarly, schemas allow banks to publish accurate address information and hours of operation:

How Do Schemas Impact How Consumers Find Content?

Schemas are critical to success in the modern world of search. The less effort your customers need to expend looking for your business, the more likely they are to click on your links and (eventually) purchase from you.

Rich snippets are often referred to as a “virtual business card” since they advertise your place, rates, reviews, etc. in ways that are easily presented to consumers. Schemas can make a huge contribution to having stronger rich snippets and can give consumers all the information they need to contact you without going to your page directly.

Schemas also makes search more contextual. How the search engine interprets the context of the content on your site will determine the quality of results. You can make an otherwise ambiguous web page more specific through schemas, so you can reach the correct audience.

For example, if your webpage is discussing jaguars, it is important to differentiate whether you are talking about cars or wild animals. Schemas make it easier for search engines to display relevant data related to your page, depending on the context of a user search. Schema markup allows search engines and consumers to quickly figure out what your page is specifically about.

Schema markup makes it easier for search engines to provide the most relevant results to consumers, giving them the ability to quickly find whatever information they need without bouncing back and forth on pages. They can rapidly find answers to their questions and will click on a page accordingly. Schemas help you expose consumer-friendly content so that search engines can give potential consumers good, direct answers to their search and attract them to your page. Whether they are looking for a well-reviewed product, local hotel or business hours, schema gives them a chance to find the information they need right away.

How Do Schemas Impact SEO?

For the modern company, page visits are vital for business growth. If you cannot get potential customers to click on your webpage, you cannot create a relationship with them. They will simply move on to the next business.

In order to get customers to visit your page over others, it is necessary to stand out from the crowd. However, consider that Google can only estimate that it handles trillions of search queries per year. That means your company has extensive competition for your customer’s attention.

In order to get ahead, your company needs SEO to make content more easily discoverable and attract attention. Although the basics of SEO include optimized title tags, meta descriptions, and targeted keywords, in order to truly make a distinction you need schemas.

In times past, the average SERPs displayed results that had a title, description and URL link. However, the latest search display has changed significantly. There are paid ads, “People also ask” questions and plenty of rich results. In fact, rich snippets are growing in search results, so businesses that embrace them will be the sites that people visit.

Google themselves state that properly structured data improves the appearance of your page in their results. This means that more structured markups are better for search results. Although schema does not affect ranking directly, it will give you an edge over the competition since it makes it easier for search engines to place your page where it belongs. One study found that sites with markups ranked 4 positions higher on average.

Schema markup not only helps your page rank better and provides an attractive option for potential customers, but it will allow your company stand out because this simple tool is not utilized by much of the competition. In fact, a recent survey showed only 20% of pages were using schema.org microdata. In the age of trillions of searches, schema gives you the edge over a vast number of websites.

The increase of visibility with rich snippets means more traffic for your website. One study found that CTR quadrupled and organic visitor revenue went up by 677% with the use of snippets. If your website isn’t being represented properly in snippets, then you are leaving money on the table.

What is the Relationship Between Schemas and Voice Search?

When consumers utilize voice search, they want immediate help regarding local business as quickly as possible. It is also the perfect opportunity for businesses: 50% of local mobile searches by a consumer led to a store visit within one day.

Because consumers are looking for practical information, schemas are essential to make sure that they can find out about you quickly. Most voice searches are geared to find out operational hours, directions, reviews, etc. Schemas will make it easier for them to get this information.

What is the Impact of Schemas on Websites and Businesses?

Schema markup has become increasingly indispensable for businesses in the age of Hummingbird and RankBrain. Schemas are essential for driving traffic to your website, and effectively your business. Customers are more likely to click on links that display rich snippets. Websites that use structured data get a 30% increase in click-through rate.

The ease of information, professional look and informative nature of rich snippets encourage traffic to websites and allow businesses to get an increase in exposure. In fact, one enterprise Milestone customer saw a 42.8% increase in mobile click-through rates after implementing schemas to their web pages.

How to Implement Schemas

Utilizing microdata is a great start for companies just starting out because it is easy to deploy. Microdata is a set of tags that make annotating HTML elements easier.

To start, you need to decide what your web content is focused on. This will allow you to figure out the ‘item type’ content for your page. Some examples could be food, events, products, technology, etc. Once you have settled on your item type, you can tag it up accordingly.

To give an example, say you have a brick and mortar video game store. Your code might look something like this:

<div>
<h1>GamePlace</h1>
<h2>The best games in Sacramento!</h2>
<p>Address:</p>
<p>3116 Martin Place</p>
<p>Sacramento, Ca</p>
<p>Tel: 916 555 3203</p>
<p><a href=”http://www.gameplace.com/menu”>Click here to view our best games!</a></p>
<p>We’re open: </p>
<p>Mon-Sat 11am – 10:30pm</p>
<p>Sun: 10pm – 3pm</p>
</div>

Once you look into the code, find the part that talks about your business that you want to emphasize. For our purposes, it is between the <div> tags. Now you can add in the tag <div itemscope> to signify that the HTML code between the <div> tags are a specific item.

If you are new to coding, there are various resources that can help you identify what tags you may want and to help you navigate putting them in your web content. The first and foremost resource is schema.org, which has all the information you may need for utilizing schema markup, including a list of item types to help you find the specific entity you need for your niche. They also make tagging much simpler by giving examples on how to use different item types.

To use the previous example, you can use the ‘itemprop’ tag in the name of the business, in this case between the <h1> tags, to label the business:

<h1 itemprop=”name”> GamePlace</h1>

Now you can tag the rest of the page only in the portions the property makes reference to. For example, if you want to tag the address you only need it around the address specifically, not anything else. This is where checking out schema.org can be useful to find specific examples to help guide you.

For larger websites, however using this inline methodology can be tedious, time-consuming, prone to error and difficult – if not impossible – editing hundreds, sometimes thousands of pages related to products and services can quickly become problematic. Schema injection platforms, like Milestone Schema, can provide a viable solution. With schema injection, the process of creating schema tags and assigning them to your content is done outside of the website itself – in a dedicated platform. The schema is then associated with each individual page on your site by adding a few lines of JavaScript to your website. This allows the management, editing and curating of schema to be separated from the website itself. It gives larger businesses the flexibility to add and remove schemas as necessary, without having to add nearly endless development cycles to the web programming or IT teams.

Schemas: Good for Consumers, Great for Businesses

Schema markups provide an excellent way for your business to stand out from the competition and get noticed. By structuring your data in a way that is helpful to search engines, you can get effectively placed and provide potential customers with useful information. With the amount of competition online, schema markup is not optional for businesses: it is essential for standing out from other websites.

Although it does not have a direct effect on ranking, schemas are still incredibly important in making your webpage as effective as possible. In addition, schemas provide more information for a better voice search experience.

Want effective schemas that will drive business to your website? Get more information on how your business can use schemas by contacting Milestone CMS through our website or send us an email at [email protected] today.

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