Why Schema.org is important to your website

In this blog we will try and persuade you that alongside the negatives, the positives of Schema.org make it so worth it.

In June 2013 Schema.org was introduced as an easy way to improve the click through rate of your website’s search results with minimal effort. A common thing that you may hear is that people who aren’t using Schema think there’s no point because Google doesn’t use it for rich snippets; well they’re wrong!

Introduction

At one point Google didn’t use Schema for rich snippets; however this is now no longer true. Various websites in different markets are now seeing the benefits of using Schema in the form of rich snippets.

Schema is not a language, in fact Schema is known as a vocabulary. This causes a lot of confusion inside the SEO community so let me explain.

The various languages that do the job are:

  • Microformats
  • Microdata
  • RDFa

In most cases when marking up any content for rich snippets or similar machine readable reasons, both a vocabulary and language are used. For example:

Microdata Langauge Schema Vocabulary

"<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Person”>"

When using vocabulary and languages to mark up content, the vocabulary part is what the major search engines have agreed to standardize with Schema.org.

Regardless of the type of website you have, I personally believe implementing Schema.org is the best thing to do; for now and in the future. That said, there are some cases in which you can gain more of an advantage by implementing it. Here are just a few examples where I think Schema.org should be used.

Events

The event schema allows you to get very specific about what event you are describing. You can specify an event as any of the items shown: BusinessEvent, ChildrensEvent, ComedyEvent, DanceEvent, EducationEvent, Festival, FoodEvent, LiteraryEvent, MusicEvent, SaleEvent, SocialEvent, SportsEvent, TheaterEvent, UserInteraction and VisualArtsEvent.

This being said it’s very important that you give Google as much information as possible due to the recent QDF update. In their own nature Events are time sensitive; so using Schema.org to enforce even details is a good idea.

Jobs

A while back Google released a custom search engine that specifically looks for Schema.org Job markup. They use it to find veteran committed job openings. So when searching, popular jobs crop up inside the rich snippet.

Reputation Management

With this you will use the Person schema (http://schema.org/Person) to make the page about the person in question. You can mark up the basic facts like their name and age, but also you can also mark up the tiny details such as what university they went too (alumniOf), what awards they have won (awards), were they work (worksFor) who their colleagues are (colleagues), and even the names of family members (parents, siblings, spouse, relatedTo). With all these it makes it an easy way to create a super-targeted page about a person that can be tested with Google’s rich snippets tool.

News Sites

Schema.org has broadened its vocabulary to include a section specifically about news (http://schema.org/NewsArticle). News sites should be using this markup to tell the search engines what their content is about and when it was published.

Ecommerce

Rich snippets are an amazing way to increase your click through rates by just drawing attention to your listings such as reviews for products and the price.

Local Business

The best way to utilise Schema regarding your local businesses are simple. Showcase your reviews and testimonials, make your brand seem trusted and well used through a simple bit of vocabulary and if you haven’t’ add reviews to your website. Of course, Schema reviews aren’t a quick fix for poor SEO and poor website architecture as it wouldn’t improve your rankings what so ever. However they will improve your organic listings and search results and make them stand out.

Wrapping things up

To wrap things up, I hope I’ve managed to convince you that Schema.org is worth implementing as soon as possible.

At the end of the day it’s about creating content that machines can understand and reference. There are already services that try and make use of this kind of information such as Apple’s Siri, Microsofts Cortana and Google Now plus many more. Be ahead of your competitors and incorporate Schema.org today.

Google Partner