If you’ve been following SEO and digital marketing trends in 2022, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Schema.
A recent study suggests that just 31.3% of all websites are using Schema, also known as Schema markup, structured data, or schema.org.
Adding Schema to your website will put you at an advantage over sites that aren’t using this strategy. If you have experience coding with HTML, Schema will be a breeze for you.
Even if you’re not a coder, you should still understand how Schema works. You can attempt to add Schema markup to your website by yourself or consult with a web developer who can do it for you.
What is Schema Markup?
By definition, Schema is a semantic vocabulary. Adding Schema markup to a website’s HTML code will help search engines understand the information better.
In doing so, search engines can highlight specific information and display it SERPs.
Schema markup is arguably the best way to improve how search engines crawl and index your website.
Search engine bots are already crawling your website, but they might have trouble processing complex info. Schema speaks to those bots in a language that they can understand. This makes it easier for search engines to digest the most critical components of your content.
The Schema vocabulary uses something called microdata tags. These tags are types of structured data used for HTML5 (the current standard coding language for websites).
Why Schema is Important
Schema markup is a great way to improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO).
If you’ve landed on this post, I’m sure you already understand the importance of SEO and what it means to the success of your website. So I won’t sit here and explain the basics of SEO.
With that said, Schema brings your SEO strategy to the next level. That’s because the structured data enhances the way your website appears in SERPs.
SEMrush conducted a study on Fortune 500 company domains. Of the 214 domains using Schema markup, just 12 use structured data on 80%-100% of their pages.
Progressive, Bed Bath & Beyond, Nordstrom, Dish Network, and Home Depot had the highest percentage of pages using Schema.
We’ll look at some actual examples of Schema in SERPs shortly. But the concept is simple. Two websites could be back to back on a search engine page result. However, if one is using Schema markup, it will draw more attention from users viewing the search listings.
If your content appears as a rich snippet, featured snippet, or knowledge graph in SERPs, it will drastically increase your clicks and traffic.
Types of Schema Markup
Whether you realize it or not, you’ve experienced the effects of Schema markup in your personal life. Certain searches on Google will yield sites using Schema in the SERPs.
You can view the full hierarchy of Schema classes here. This will give you more information on the properties and descriptions for implementing structured data in your HTML. We’ll discuss that in greater detail later.
For now, let’s focus on how different Schema markups will appear in SERPs. These are a few common examples.
This Schema will show basic information about the individual that was searched for. You’ll see a brief description of their life, birthday, education, and family members.
Personal achievements, quotes, and other notable information will be displayed here as well.
The results will vary if the person is an athlete, actor, musician, or something else. For example, If you search for an NFL football player, you’ll probably see their height and weight in the results. But for Warren Buffett, it shows his net worth.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. It’s similar to the person Schema, except for the information is about the company that’s been searched for.
It displays the company logo and other relevant information like the CEO, headquarters, founders, and stock price (if applicable).
An organization Schema page will vary if it’s a local business. In those instances, the SERPs will display things like an address, store hours, and phone number.
Health and Medical
This medical schema markup is very diverse. It can range from searches related to specific diseases or symptoms to drugs.
In this example, the search for “antibiotics” resulted in a featured snippet from WebMD.com and appeared at the top of the SERPs. Even though the second or third results in the SERPs have outstanding SEO value, the featured snippet will draw the most attention.
With this Schema type, websites can label individual components the recipe. It includes things like cooking time, ingredients, and more. You’ll also be able to organize structured data by recipe category (appetizer, entree, etc.).
Include information about dietary restrictions (gluten-free, diabetic, etc.) using Schema.org. You can add quantitative information about the number of servings needed in the recipe, or the number of people that the recipe serves.
Event Schema shows additional information about the event in the SERPs.
In the example above, you can see that the search for “Red Sox tickets” yielded results displaying dates, opponents, and the locations of the events.
The creative work Schema markup is versatile as well. It can be used for things like books, movies, music recordings, TV series, and more.
In the example above, this SERP shows the album cover, artist, release date, studio, and producer. You’ll also be able to add the songs on the album and any awards it received in the structured data.
I could continue giving you examples of Schema in Google results, but I think you can get the picture by now. All of the above examples have the same thing in common; they stand out from the rest of the results on the page.
Structured data basically takes your SEO strategy and brings it to the next level.
How to Add Schema to Your Website
Now that you’ve seen a handful of Schema examples, it’s time to learn how to add Schema markup to your website.
As I mentioned earlier, this will be easier if you have some experience with HTML. Even a basic understanding of coding will give you an advantage here.
For those of you who have never used HTML before, it’s in your best interest to consult with a developer or someone who has. Using the HTML editor to make changes on your website is not a basic or beginner SEO strategy. Those changes could affect the way information is displayed on your website or negatively impact your SEO rating if you do something incorrectly.
These are some popular tools that I’d recommend for adding Schema markup to your site:
Google Structured Data Markup Tool
Google’s Structured Data Markup Tool is the first place I’d start. Just paste the page URL into the tool to see what markup data is missing.
To add missing tags, simply select the tag type, and fill in the form. Google will automatically generate the HTML using the information you provide. Then you just need to copy and paste the code to your website.
JSON-LD Schema Generator
As the name implies, this tool helps you generate the text required to write Schema markup in JSON. Just fill out the form fields, and the tool will automatically generate the code required for your website.
For example, if you have a local business website, you’d fill out information on its name, phone number, address, website, logo, etc.
This is another excellent tool for people who aren’t comfortable writing in code but know how to copy and paste lines of JSON code onto their website.
Google Structured Data Testing Tool
Once Schema has been added to your website, you can use the Structured Data Testing Tool to validate the markups. All you need to do is drag and drop your page or lines of code into the tool check for errors.
I’d recommend running this test before going live with your code.
Manually Add Schema
You can also manually add the microdata markup for a property. This method should only be used by people who are comfortable writing in HTML.
You’ll need to use Schema.org to see the appropriate way to classify information in your Schema. For example, if you were adding Schema to a recipe, you’d go the Schema.org recipe page to find these instructions:
Next, you would take these properties and add them to your code. Here’s an example of what the code would look like when you apply Schema:
Focus on the text in green. All of it mirrors the recipe properties from the initial chart above.
You can review this step-by-step guide on Google for additional assistance on manually adding markups for properties.
Schema is an advanced component of technical SEO.
But with that said, I’d recommend it to anyone with a website. Since it’s not used by beginners, this will give you a significant advantage over your competitors. This is especially true for small business owners.
Schema makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index the pages on your website. As a result, your content can be displayed directly in SERPs.
If you’re not comfortable writing code, that’s OK. Try using one of the Schema tools that I talked about in this guide. Then you just need to copy and paste the generated code into your site’s HTML editor for a given page.
Otherwise, you’ll want to consult with a web developer who can help you out with this. It’s not complicated for anyone who is comfortable writing in HTML.