Schema Markup: How to Get the Most from Your Local SEO
SEO is a rapidly evolving system. If you do not keep up, it will quickly leave you behind.
SEO sees new innovations all the time. The early years of heavy keyword stuffing are in the distant past. Google, the SEO deity, makes the rules, and over the years, Google has progressed from a clunky, SEO style to a content heavy system that strives to give users what they search for the first time around.
But, in addition to playing by Google’s rules, you can also take out other SEO insurance policies for your website. One of the most useful insurance policies to use is to follow the schema markup, which will help to boost your local results.
Schema is a structured markup format. It is not a new innovation; it has existed for a few years now. However, not very many people have chosen to include it in their websites.
Before you get to understand how the schema markup can boost your local SEO, it is important to understand what schema is. Schema is a kind of microdata. This microdata enables search engines to read, interpret and recommend your webpages more effectively. Essentially, it helps sites like Google make sure that your site is included with relevant search terms.
Schema is a part of the Schema Project. It is housed at Schema.org but it is a collaboration between all the major players in search. Schema is the brainchild of Google, Yahoo! Bing and a Russian engine called Yandex.
You get involved with schema by including it in the HTML code of your webpage. The collaborators made it relatively easy to use and ensured that elements of the program could be added directly into your code. In fact, schema was created with the user in mind. Including it, reading it and tweaking it is very simple.
Because Schema has not yet been widely adopted by the majority of websites, you have a few advantages if you get started now.
While it is not currently used in Google’s ranking system, schema helps make the most of your SEO in ways that other websites are not currently experiencing. For example, using the microdata in your website code increases your visibility in the search engine. As noted above, this works by ensuring that your site is picked up with the relevant search terms.
Schema will also increase the visibility of your content on Google itself. Since your site is easier to categorize, Google will use your microdata to display rich snippets. Rich snippets are the previews of your content that are displayed on Google’s search. The more Google knows about your site, the more relevant content it will display to people trying to find you.
This is almost better than trying to ‘hack’ your way up the rankings. This is because these rich snippets, when relevant, lead to higher click-through rates. When users can see that your website will be useful, they are more likely to click on it. Hence, schema is a great way to increase the right kind of traffic to your website organically.
To be brief, schema helps you make the most of your local SEO by telling Google what your data means. When Google knows what your data means, it can share it with the people who are looking for it. You do not need to learn any complicated code to get involved. Although it is not a huge tool right now, it is in line with what the major players in the industry are interested in achieving. Adding schema markup to your website now will put you ahead of your competition in the not so distant future.