Not many people (even in the SEO community) know about schema markup and its importance in all aspects of digital marketing. You would be surprised to hear that schema markup is an essential aspect of enhancing the website’s position in search engine results.
Websites use schema markup for presenting product rankings and ratings, product information and related data right in the Google’s search results.
Now, I think this is the first time some of you have heard of the phrase (really?)
This is why I have written this blog to give you a detailed picture of what Schema markup is, how you can implement it on your blog, and how to test it with SEMRush.
What is Schema Markup?
Simply put, schema markup is the vocabulary of structured data that defines a web entity. At this point, it is important that you should know the difference between HTML tags and schema markup.
Suppose, you inserted the tag, <h2>Room</h2> at the backend of a webpage. When someone visits this page, they will see this tag as a second level heading. This is also true for search engine crawlers that visit the page. However, the crawlers do not know the meaning of Room. This tag could refer to a room or the 2015 movie, Room.
This is where Schema markup comes in. The purpose of the markup is to make search engine understand the context of the content. For instance, if the Room in the example refers to a movie, you should use a movie item type structured data to make Google understand your perspective of the content. Now, this will appear in Google SERP as the movie review with stars.
I am not going into the details of schema markup. You can check out this beginners guide on schema markups to understand the details.
What Does Schema Structured Data do?
Structured data allows Google to discover the actual meaning of the content of a webpage.
Believe it or not, schema markups do increase the CTR of your website.
Let’s say, a user searches for La La Land review. The top ten results would crop up immediately. Let’s say the first one lacks schema review rating and the second result has it. In this scenario, it is very probable that the user will check out the second result first because of the star rating system that indicates a dedicated movie review..
In effect, schema markup enhances user experience as it guides users to better and more appropriate resources.
What do you think Google cares about the most?
On-page SEO factors?
When it comes to user experience, everything moves to the second place. For Google, the UX aspects of a website is the most important signal that determines the position of a website in SERP. As the CTR increases, the position in the SERP improves gradually. Another important benefit of schema markup is the increase on the relevancy of a webpage for a particular topic.
Now that you have an idea of the importance of schema markup, I will discuss how you could add the markup to your website.
Structured Data Types
There is a structured data type for almost every type of information and data you could imagine. Common types include tables, featured snippets, table of contents, etc. It is important that you select the most appropriate data type for the particular data you wish to format and highlight through schema markup.
Useful Plugins for Implementing Schema Markup
Almost all of us use WordPress, right? (Still using Blogger? Migrate NOW!)
Here is a list of two WordPress plugins that help you implement schema markup on websites and display the results in SERP.
Affiliate marketing has become huge. That’s why I have placed Schema Ninja in the first position. Not only does it improves user experience by implementing rich snippets on your website, but also shows recommendations below the content and in the sidebar to increase sales.
At the time of writing of this article, the developers of this plugin are working hard to take the new version live. For the time being, you can download the free version from the WordPress repository. (You can also directly install the plugin by searching for the schema ninja in your admin panel as well).
I hope you have heard of MyThemeShop, a popular marketplace of WordPress themes. They also offer a few plugins, including WP Review. This plugin allows you to add different review rating schema markups to your articles.
Similar to Schema Ninja, there are free and paid versions of the plugin available. I recommend you try out the free version first. Unlike Schema Ninja, this plugin is not ideal for affiliate marketing as WP Review can only display review ratings.
How to Test Schema Markup?
Testing whether the structured data on your website is working is easy through a site audit tools.
Note: If you are using SEMRush you will need a PAID account for using this tool
To audit schema markup, just visit SEMRush and enter the URL of the page you want to audit. Then, go to Site Audit. That’s it. You can see the option to test the structured data.
Another important tool that offers similar functionality is Google’s Structured Data Testing tool.
I hope you have a clear understanding about schema markup. Once you have installed one of the above mentioned plugins and then added structured schema markup to your website, you could then use SEMRush or Google’s tool to test whether the structured data is working properly.
If you have a question about schema markup or how to use it on your website, do leave a comment below..
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