Using Schema Markup for Local SEO

Written by: Jason Bayless | September 17, 2016
Being listed in the local search results can be a challenge, especially for small business with limited budgets and technical knowledge on how to optimize for local SEO. When it comes to SEO, one of the latest evolution that’s already being adopted by experts globally is the schema markup. This is an incredible valuable tool, especially when you are trying to achieve relevancy in local searches.

What is schema markup?

By definition, schema markup is a way of describing your website’s content to search engines in a manner that they can understand it. It can also be described as a semantic vocabulary that you integrate on your website to assist search engines return more useful results to the users.

When popular search engines crawl your webpage, their goal is to find what your page is all about. The crawlers are incapable of viewing the website the way human beings do but process the HTML of the page in a bid to figure out different aspects such as the title of the page, publishing date, main content, author, images, and other elements that they deem useful in the indexing process.

To make their work easier , major search engines have agreed to come up with a set of common standards that cover a wide range of content types including articles, images, and videos as well as other entities such local businesses, organizations, people and much more. This set of common standards is referred to as schema.

So by using schema markup on your website, you will be highlighting to the search engines some of the most significant information on your site like your address details, opening hours, contact details, testimonials, and events among others. This information is then used by the search engines to include rich snippets in your SERPs, which in turn boost you click-through rates (CTR).

Why is s schema markup important for local SEO?

  • Ranking Signal: Google is constantly updating its ranking algorithm to deliver more valuable results to its users. Recently, the search giant stated that it will start to consider structured data as ranking factor in future. So you will be in a better position when this is implemented.
  • Better CTR: Rich snippets enhance your business listing in the search results considering that they give more information than results without schema markup. This translates to better CTR.
  • Higher rankings: Several studies have pointed out that sites with schema markup tend to rank 4 positions higher in search results than sites without. Other experts also believe that feeding search engines with structured data (or schema) help them understand your WebPages faster, which result into higher rankings.
  • It is also a way to get into Google knowledge graph and taking advantages of the numerous benefits that this feature offers to website owners.
  • Lastly, new technologies such as accelerated mobile pages depend heavily on structured data for their advanced features and you will be in a better position to take advantage of the benefits that they come with.

Parts to markup in your website

To improve your visibility in local search results, there are certain parts of your website that you can markup. These include:

  • Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP): to show up in local search results your NAP information should be available in the header and footer of every page on your website
  • Testimonials and Reviews: Marking up testimonials on your website will enable search engines to display the information in the rich snippet for your website in the search results.

Bottom Line

Schema markup is very important when it comes to local SEO. Marking up your website will allow it to display rich snippets in search results which in turn help your visitors to find the information or products they are looking for—and can even go a long way in boosting your search rankings. Nonetheless, there are so many businesses that are still reluctant to implement this simple tactic. If you fall among them, move with speed and markup your website to boost your local SEO.