As SEO algorithms continue to evolve, more elements of website constructions and design are factored into the equations that push web pages to the top of search queries in engines like Google.
This year, Google has its sights set on the escalating importance of Schema.
What is Schema?
Schema is website code; whose strings of words that don’t always read literately, but it allows your idea to manifest on the web. Schema’s semantic vocabulary is the foundation of each page; the bricks in the foundation of a house.
Within Schema, there are several types of data
- Structured data
Structured data is information that is so highly organized, a relational database can seamlessly interpret its information. When this information is perfectly collected in the database, straightforward search engine algorithms can quickly and simply latch onto the web data. Structured data gets added directly to HTML markup. A search engine reads structured data to create rich snippets that appear in search results.
- Rich snippet
Rich snippets are small pieces of information that better communicate to an engine exactly what type of information is available on that site or on particular pages.
Microdata Schema includes particular vocabulary and formatting rules that can be read and understood by the major search engines.
- Unstructured data
Unlike structured data, unstructured data is information that does not follow a pre-defined data model. This type of information is usually text heavy and does not match typical search jargon. Unstructured data tends to include dates, numbers, and facts.
- Semi-structured data
Data is semi-structured does not follow the formal data models used by relational databases, but it includes tags and markers that give the data some separation and degree of hierarchy within its text records.
What is Schema in SEO?
In SEO, Schema is the microdata that makes it possible and easy for search engines to find relevant web pages to present to users’ search queries. The better the Schema, the more quickly the search engine can match your page to a search; the more likely you are to show up at the top of a search engine page and be clicked on and browsed by a potential consumer.
Does Schema help SEO?
Schema plays a large role in webpage’s SEO success. Which words are used in the text, quality of content (writing, video, photo), and web design all communicate to a search engine how valuable the site at hand is to a searcher.
Schema refers to the way these elements are constructed and how they correspond with pre-set equations in search algorithms. So, if a website’s Schema syncs easily with that of its relational database, the search engine will more quickly locate and present that site.
It should be noted that Schema is not a quick trick to boost SEO or search ranking. Schema is a tool that makes a site more readable and consequently, increases visibility, prompting likelihood of search ranking escalation.
Imagine a website with perfect design quality and content that presents keywords which overlap seamlessly with searches, but there is no Schema used methodically throughout the construction of the page. That webpage might have exactly what a consumer needs, but the search engine is going to find another website, first.
Now imagine the reverse: a website with mediocre design and moderate to sufficient keyword usage, but it is designed in Schema that syncs perfectly with the relational database. The database will find this website first, sure, but the search engine will likely reject the site once it is clear that major quality elements are missing.
To use Schema to its maximal SEO advantage, it is necessary to use methodical data structures within an expertly designed and content rich website. One facet of SEO will only get a page so far. It is the pages which excel in both realms that get found first and make it past search engine inspections to make the first debut to searchers.
How do I add Schema to my site?
First, Schema categories website items to easily communicate to databases what each element of a page offers to a user. This includes precise descriptions for images, text, sameAs and URL addresses.
If you have the time and task force, it is wise to invest in studying Schema documentation. The reading is heavy if you are not already in this line of profession, but understanding Schema in SEO is a critical piece to your digital footprint moving forward.
Google offers a Structured Data Markup Helper which is easy enough if you know your HTML. Once you select which format of structured data you want to work with, you can simply enter your URL and begin tagging. There is subsequent copying and pasting in specific regions of your code that will follow, but if you take it one step at a time, this avenue is manageable. Google also offers their Structure Data Testing Tool, which allows you to confirm that your Schema can be read easily and correctly by Google.
Plug-ins are perhaps the easiest way to apply Schema within your site and totally feasible as a DIY project.
Schema is continuing to grow as a prominent factor in engines’ abilities to locate precise webpage matches for search queries. If you do not already implore Schema in your code, now is the time to hop on board. The workload is heavy, but it is important to invest now to preserve your site’s ranking potential in Google and the other major search engines.
SEO is a heavy determinant in web success. Staying on top of trends, understanding keywords, monitoring site facets and being quick enough to evolve with changes are important to the vitality of your business and digital marketing efforts. If this sounds like a lot, consider reaching out to our SEO specialists at Executive Digital. Our team is well versed and experienced in SEO jargon and strategy. We can help get your business to the top of search results and consumer preferences so that you can focus on your services and delivery.