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Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Schema Markup – Learn How to Use It

Don’t be afraid of technical SEO, this guide to schema markup will help you understand and implement it on your website for better rankings in search.

First of all, to all the non-technicals, don’t let this term scare you. I know Schema Markup can come out as a complex technical term that one might ignore intentionally. However, once you understand its meaning, its use in SEO, and how to optimize for Schema Markup, you can improve your chances of gaining higher online visibility.

 

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • What is Schema Markup?
  • How can Schema Markup boost your site’s SEO?
  • How to optimize your website with schema markup?

What is Schema Markup?

Schema markup is a semantic vocabulary of tags (microdata or code) that you can add to your site’s HTML and help improve how search engines crawl and display your website in the SERPs. Adding schema to your HTML allows the search engine to return more informative results to the searcher’s query.

 

Here’s how Google displays schema optimized results compared to the other results in the SERPs:

 

 

  • Schema optimized SERP results:

 

Schema optimized SERP results

Source: Google Search

 

 

  • Normal SERP results:

 

Normal SERP results

Source: Google Search

 

Can you see the difference between both these results? In the schema optimized one, you can see the rating of the device along with its price.

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Source: Google Search

 

Such additional information on the searched query helps the user learn more about it, which lacks in the standard way that Google displays the other results.

How can Schema Markup boost your site’s SEO?

Schema markup does not influence your SERP rankings directly. However, in different indirect ways, it can. When you optimize your website with schema, you are offering Google crawlers with more information. The crawlers utilize that ‘information’ and allow the search engine to display your site in the SERPs in different yet innovative ways.

 

Depending on how your result is displayed, the chances of it receiving more clicks increases. Since the result delivers more information, searchers will click on it only when they find it relevant to their needs; thereby reducing the bounce rate, increasing the CTR and conversion rate.

 

Furthermore, schema optimized results or rich results receive more online visibility than the other results. Searchmetrics did a study to test this hypothesis.

 

In their research, Searchmetrics performed a search on multiple individual keywords and analyzed a maximum of up to 50 results with and without schema. Their study concluded that the domains without schema integration ranked at 25 (on an average); whereas the domains with schema integration ranked at 21 (on an average). This means that schema-optimized domains ranked four positions better than the other domains.

 

Bottom line: Schema can boost your site’s SEO.

How to optimize your website with Schema Markup?

After understanding what is schema markup and how it can boost your SEO, let’s discuss the ways to integrate schema markup on your site.

 

You can optimize your site with schema in 4 simple steps:

 

Step I: Login to Google Structured Data Markup Helper

Google Structured Data Markup Helper is a free tool by the search engine which allows site owners to create free schema code for their web pages.

 

Open Google Structured Data Markup Helper and login with your Google account. Once logged in, you’ll face this window.

Google Structured Data Markup Helper

Source: Google Structured Data Markup Helper

 

These are the various types of schema markups which you can create using the tool. Choose the preferred nature of your page – Is it a book review? Contains details regarding an event? Or just an article? Enter the page’s URL or HTML code and hit ‘Start Tagging’.

 

Note: The tool offers you the option to implement schema on emails as well, to learn more about it follow the detailed guide on tagging emails by Google webmasters.

Step II: Enter all the necessary information

Now, you must provide all the essential data about your page to create the schema code. For most schema types, you will have to fill up different datasets which makes this a very long process.

 

The datasets that you must fill are aligned to the right, like this:

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Source: Google Structured Data Markup Helper

 

There are two ways of entering the data items:

 

The First Way
Highlight any part of your page and a tooltip will appear.

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Source: Google Structured Data Markup Helper

 

Select the related tag for the highlighted section and that particular field will be auto-filled.

animated

Source: Google Structured Data Markup Helper

 

Similarly, I will fill every field of ‘My Data Items’. 

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Source: Google Structured Data Markup Helper

 

However, you can see that some of the fields are missing information, which cannot be highlighted. For example, you cannot highlight the URL; therefore, you must enter it manually, which is the second way.

 

The Second Way

Click on the ‘Add missing tags’ button below ‘My Data Items’.

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Source: Google Structured Data Markup Helper

 

This triggers a popup where you must select the tag type and enter the required information. If you want to add another tag, click on ‘Add another’, and hit ‘Save’ to confirm your submission.

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Source: Google Structured Data Markup Helper

 

Now, for entering the URL, I will first select the URL as the tag type and enter the page’s URL in the text box beside it.

add url

Source: Google Structured Data Markup Helper

 

I will follow the same process to enter ratings and Article Section.

 

When you’ve provided all the information, you are ready to create the HTML code and implement it.

 

Step III: Create and implement HTML

Above ‘My Data Items’, you can find the ‘Create HTML’ button. Click on it.

Create and implement HTML

Source: Google Structured Data Markup Helper

 

Once you do that, you will get the HTML microdata in the right panel itself. Also, every occurrence of the structured data in the code is highlighted by yellow.

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Source: Google Structured Data Markup Helper

 

HTML is one of the two output formats provided by the tool; the other one is JSON-LD.

14 add JSON LD

Source: Google Structured Data Markup Helper

 

When it comes to implementing, download the preferred output format and paste it in your page’s code or CMS.

 

Note: You’ll notice this line (highlighted in yellow) in your HTML code. It is not necessary for your page and adds no value, so you can remove it.

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Source: Google Structured Data Markup Helper

Step IV: Test the implementation of your structured data

Google has another tool that allows you to test your structured data implementation. It’s called the Structured Data Testing Tool.

 

Just enter the URL of your page with structured data and click on ‘Run Test’.

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Source: Google Structured Data Testing Tool

 

Here you get the option to add your HTML code snippet as well. 

Conclusion

So, Schema Markup isn’t a scary term after all.

 

Optimizing and implementing it may take a long time, but once you start doing it regularly, it will be a cakewalk. However, remember that I only addressed the Article schema type; there are several more. You need to provide accurate information, and you are good to go.

 

If you want to learn more about the schema, visit Schema.org.

 

Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments below.

 

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