Why Schema Is Important And How to implement Structured Data

Why Schema is important and How to implement Structured data

First lets us understand what is schema? It is vocabulary of codes, which are used to tag the HTML pages and make it more structured. In other words it is used to structure or mark up the HTML pages of sites through mark up codes to help google understand the actual purpose for it has been created.Structured data mark up’s functionality is to enhance the visibility of pages. It can highlight the pages in the form of Rich Snippet, Breadcrumb, and Sitelinks search box. In addition to it, it can filter the queries and bring more factual, authentic information by presenting them in knowledge graph form.

Content writers write for its audience and not for crawlers and spiders whereas an SEO geeks optimize their hard work by adding knowledge into it to make it more fitting for search and traffic. But now the biggest challenge is what you want to show yourself as and how the audience is going to perceive you. There is a difference between intent and adamant. Your users want to find the possible and proximate answers to queries and Google unprecedentedly wants to match answers by its machine learning artificial intelligence system.

SEO has advanced many notches ahead and every time a new standard are being set by new guidelines in the aftermath of new updates, which affect the ranking and topple all bad sites, which have been wriggling out of it by using some underhand techniques.

Technical SEO has been gaining momentum and some prerequisites are being set on month on month basis due to changing landscape in the algorithm to show relevant content.

Search engines have started acknowledging the importance of structured data markup for more valuable and rich experience based search by annotating the content so that machine can understand it explicitly.

Major search engine unanimously collaborated on schema.org to create and promote the schema for structured data. Many applications from Google, Microsoft, Pinterest, Yandex and others already use these vocabularies to power rich, extensible experiences.

Schema.org is the set of vocabulary codes given to web pages by the developer in the form of microdata, RDFa, and JSON-LD., in other words, you can use appropriate Schema vocabularies to HTML. There are lots of microdata. You can help add HML tags to pages depending upon nature and target it is aiming at.

You should use only Microdata markup for enabling schema to your site and its pages. Micro data’s job is to add more significance to the WebPages by highlighting the key points and indicating the content in a more structured way to a Search engine to read, index and present the URL and its content to users.

microdata

Mirco data are highlighted in Yellow color. The goal of microdata is to describe the content. The purpose of embedding microdata to HTML is not for users but for search engine and I say it empathically that google loves Schema markup.

Display or presentation capability of site or page can be enhanced and can be useful in SEO though Rich snippet, Sitelink search box, breadcrumb navigation and knowledge graph

Rich Snippet can be shown through structured data in the following way. This defines that what exactly is your page Be it product page, review page of a movie or restaurant, event page, which describes the musical concert, new car launch or to be organized activities, Recipe which can be shown in searches and Software applications with its review rating, URL, and price.

Product — Information about a product, including price, availability, and review ratings.

Product

  • Recipe— Recipes that can be displayed in web searches and Recipe View.

receipe

  • Review— A review of an item such as a restaurant, movie, or store.

review

  • The event– An organized event, such as musical concerts or art festivals, that people may attend at a particular time and place.

Event

  • SoftwareApplication— Information about a software app, including its URL, review ratings, and price.

ApplicationSimilarly breadcrumb too can be defined through marking up the structure of a page. Breadcrumb URL in simple language is navigation path defined to reach the destination page.

Amozon customer book reveiws

Breadcrumb Fiction leads itself to the page; Breadcrumb Books is one path ahead and closer to main page theguardian.com.

So breadcrumb trail Fiction depicts the position of the page in site hierarchy and the user can navigate up in URL hierarchy by starting from breadcrumb trail.

Site link search queries enable the searchers to reach out to result through navigational queries from the main search page of search engine. To put it simply, it helps the audience to find what they want through site link search box.

Example: If I want to find out information on website conversion, I know kiss metrics being the site to explore, I would delve deeper into a site by entering my keyword in the site link search box of it and it will straight land me into desired page containing information on website conversion.

sitelink search

To make content searches easier for your users, add just one markup declaration on your home page, telling the Google crawlers that users can search your site directly from Search results. Once we scan your home page and after users perform relevant navigational queries for your property, the search box appears in results. If you also have an app that corresponds to your website, add another line of markup so that your app users can search their apps directly from a mobile device following a navigational query.

Source: https://developers.google.com

Sitelink search box can be shown by applying the microdata to the page. In order to know more you can read the link below

https://developers.google.com/structured-data/slsb-overview

And google also helps webmaster to disallow this markup by following simple meta tag

<meta name=”google” content=”nositelinkssearchbox” />

The importance of structured data is being felt more clearly now. It is not vociferated by Google if it carries any weight on ranking. But this can be a unparallel experience to the audience and may prod them into clicking and browsing the page with piqued curiosity.

Searchmetrics surprisingly spills the beans that quite a diminutive number of domains have been structuring their HTML by adding schema markup. This is astonishingly .30% of domain following it.

Domain schema

So it clearly states that visibility scores of domain embedding scheme in their site are higher than those not adopting it. This means it can vitally play a major role in organic traffic and thus be the backbone of technical SEO. This has also revealed in its study that domain with schema markup rank better by average position of 4 than domain which do not follow

Another significant revelation by the site that 40% keywords derived rich snippet based result in SERP integrated with at least one Schema markup.

This shows that it is perceived to be tough and tedious to implement that’s reason webmaster are shirking from it. But it is not that tough. It is unarguably the best time to implement schema into the site before it becomes standard practice and which can be a protocol for enriching user experience relevancy and engagement wise.

There are standard markup codes, which can be implemented across site wide. You need not implement all of them, but there are mainly three types of Schema tags mainly being used by webmasters

  • Itemscope (It refers to content that is about same topic and it put inside “div” tag)
  • Item type (It is types of item and it has value, unlike item scope. Here are commonly used item types

type of schema

  • Itemprop (This attribute is used to replenish additional information within “div” tag and help you list the properties)

itemprop

Let me try to explain

There is name called Avatar, but it not defined that what is it? We used AVATAR with items come attribute within “div” tag. In order to define the AVATAR what item it is, we have defined AVATAR a “movie” with item type attribute.

Now What additional information can be supplied to search engine about movie AVATAR?  It has an actor, director, it is fiction film etc. All properties in terms of detail can be added as mentioned above in the above image.

Keep in mind whenever you are adding item type, it should come immediately after item scope.

itemprop

For more knowledge, you can read https://schema.org/docs/gs.html

Caution

Although this is part of technical SEO and every Experienced SEO manager should know the implementation part but it should be done by developers as they are the abler to implement it fast.

Schema Markup Page Tagging and testing if is done correctly

If you want to do HTML tagging using schema type, then follow the below-mentioned steps

Click on the link and select the data type followed by page which you want to mark up

https://www.google.com/webmasters/markup-helper

structuredata1

Here I selected this page as Article and you can similarly define your page based on data

You can start tagging  pages one by one.

Structuredata-help-tagging-2

On the right side is mentioned data item, now you can tag each data by clicking on any item on the page you want to highlight.

For example, I have highlighted name of the article, author, data published and article section

structuredata3

On the right top corner is tab “create HTML and click on it. You can see on the right side inside the box that highlighted text indicates the addition of Microdata markup. You can either download or copy it and save in notepad.

structuredata4

By now you must have understood that how the tagging is done using microdata markup.

The important part is testing and implementation.

Steps to follow

This link will help you assess your implementation part. Google has already HTML markup testing tool.

This can help you nicely. Enter your HTML in the box.

Html Markup1

After entering the HTML, validate this marked up HTML. This will let you know if schemas are properly in consonance with the desired result

Html markup2

In this case, it is coming good, but if you encounter any error like below, you can manually plug it as suggested by result box on the right clicking the error tags. Once you click on that error tag, it will throw you back on the highlighted section of HTML. Which you can easily edit with suggested changes on the right.

Html markup3

Example: I encountered three errors while tagging the HTML page. These three errors are 1-Date published 2- headline 3- image.

Let’s understand the date published part, which is not tandem with schema’s guideline. So changed the date to 2015-11-05 and then again revalidated. Then I found the result below only with two error

Html markup4

Similarly, you can strike off those error by the procedure mentioned above.

Google has simply given lots of tools to follow and implement them accordingly. You can download the plugin if you are using word press site or you can initiate some changes.

My suggestion is that run the changes in the child theme and not in the main theme or else it will be your nemesis. You can always switch to the main theme and call for the expert developer, who knows his domain expertise.

You can read further Google may add structured markup & data to ranking algorithm

Conclusion:

You would have realized the importance of schema.org. Keeping the current trend and fast changes in SEO word, implementation of structured data has become important to give your site a great visibility and traffic. Your eventual goal is to minimize the bounce rate and increase the engagement so that you can get good conversion. SEO world is not limited to the old school of thought. There can be written a scripture on it. Our hard work can go into vain If it does not translate into conversion and great ROI.

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