Term: Schema Markup
Definition: Schema Markup is a semantic vocabulary of tags (or microdata) that can be added to HTML to improve the way search engines read and represent your page in SERPs.
Alternative Names: Structured Data, Schema.org Markup, Microdata
Expanded explanation: Schema Markup, often referred to as Structured Data or just Schema, is a form of microdata that, once added to a webpage, creates an enhanced description (commonly known as a rich snippet), which appears in search results. Schema.org, the central home for the Schema Markup, is a collaborative community activity with a mission to create, maintain and promote schemas for structured data on the Internet.
Benefits or importance:
– Enhances your website’s SEO by improving the way your page is understood and presented in SERPs.
– Can significantly increase click-through rates.
– Helps search engines’ crawlers interpret the content of your pages more effectively.
– Can provide users with more informative and attractive search results.
Common misconceptions or pitfalls:
– Schema Markup doesn’t directly improve search rankings. Instead, it can lead to better indexing of your pages, which may indirectly influence rankings.
– It isn’t always easy to implement, particularly for beginners. Incorrect implementation can lead to errors and missed opportunities.
– Not all types of schema markup will result in a rich snippet. This depends on what Google chooses to display.
– E-commerce websites can use Schema Markup to provide detailed product information, such as reviews, price and availability.
– Recipe websites can provide cooking time, ingredients and calories.
– Events, business articles and software applications all have specific schemas, among others.
A recipe website might use Schema Markup as follows:
<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Recipe">
<h2><span itemprop="name">Grandma's Holiday Apple Pie</span></h2>
<div itemprop="author" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Person">
<strong>Author: </strong><span itemprop="name">Carol Smith</span>
Best practices or tips:
- Choose the right schema: There are hundreds of schemas, so pick the one that best represents your page’s content.
- Test your markup: Always use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to validate your markup before going live.
- Start small: If you’re new to Schema Markup, start with popular markups like ‘Product’, ‘Person’, or ‘Recipe’.
- Consider using JSON-LD: Google recommends using JSON-LD for structured data whenever possible.
Limitations or considerations: Not all search engines use Schema Markup and not all types of Schema Markup are recognised by the search engines that do. Furthermore, incorrect implementation can lead to negative results, while overuse can be seen as spammy.
Comparisons: Schema Markup is often compared to other forms of structured data like Open Graph and Twitter Cards, which serve similar purposes but are used mainly for social media platforms.
Historical context or development: Schema Markup was born out of a collaboration between Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex. They created Schema.org in 2011 as a shared vocabulary to help search engines understand web content.
Resources for further learning:
- SEO Consulting: Having a well-implemented Schema Markup strategy can be a significant part of improving your website’s visibility.
- Web Development: Our agency’s web development services can help you implement an effective digital marketing strategy for your business.
Related terms: Structured Data, Microdata, JSON-LD, Rich Snippets, SERP Features