Webolutions Digital Marketing Agency March 1, 2013

Should Your SEO Efforts Include Schema?

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You may have noticed Google listings for some websites being a little bit more extensive lately, for example, look at the picture attached to this post. This listing looks the way it does because Rotten Tomatoes has marked their website up with Schema.

Schema is more advanced way of using html tags (microdata) to indicate to search engines what you would like to appear in your website’s listings on the search engine results pages (SERPs). The standard listing on a search engine will include your page title, URL, and meta description; with Schema you are able to incorporate more to help differentiate your page from a competitor’s. It is universally accepted through the major search engines and there is an ever-expanding list of different types of mark up you can use as Schema depending on the purpose of your page. If you would like to see a comprehensive list of what you can mark up, visit the Schema hierarchy page. So how exactly does this work on your listing? Here are a few examples:

Let’s say you own a local restaurant and want to enhance your web listing. There are a number of ways to use Schema to display what you want searchers to see directly on Google or Yahoo! before they even click through to your site. For example you can place an extra link directly to your menu, tell customers whether or not you accept reservations, hours that you are open, and even show an aggregate of ratings from your customers. There are quite a variety of store locations you can use Schema for, to differentiate your ad and increase your visibility and relevant clicks. Learn more about Webolutions’ Local SEO Services.

If you don’t actually have a physical store front and sell a product directly from your site, you can also use Schema to improve your product listing. If you want to post reviews or show special offers directly on your SERP listing, Schema allows you to do that. You can also describe physical properties such as size, color, and weight and you can post a picture which is a real attention grabber for searchers.

As an SEO nerd, I really could go on and on about how you can use Schema to separate your listing from your competitor’s. Rather than do that, I think it is more important to talk about why I think it is important to start using this in your SEO campaign. While this markup is not designed to help your website rank higher, it is designed to help you get higher click through rates (CTR) from your listing. Higher click through rates on your listings are an indicator to the search engines that your page is more relevant than the pages above it and can increase your rankings indirectly. Plus, a majority of websites have not started utilizing Schema so it is a chance to really stand out in the SERPs. This is a great chance to get ahead of your competitors. While they may not have implemented Schema mark up yet, at some point they will.

How to use this Information
The only reason I would say you shouldn’t bother with Schema is if your business somehow does not match any of the criteria listed above. If you would like to learn more about Schema and how it can help with your online marketing efforts contact Webolutions today!

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