TECHNICAL SEO | CHAPTER 3.4
How to utilise Schema Mark-up to boost SEO in 2023Share page
What is Schema Mark-up and why is it important for SEO?
PART 1 OF 4
Schema mark-up is a form of structured data that search engines use to better understand the content of your site.
Google has taken to using certain mark-ups to increase the fidelity of its listings, including rich features such as star reviews directly on the search engine results page. These rich results have been shown to improve click-through rates, which benefits SEO performance.
PART 2 OF 4
Understanding the terminology, microdata, structured data, and schema.org
Schema.org is the open community founded by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Yandex to standardise the mark-up types. It is open and constantly evolving.
Structured data is the term used for classifying a page’s content. For example, a search engine won’t inherently know the difference between a string of numbers and a phone number, but structured data will help define it.
Microdata is one form of structured data used in HTML5. It uses HTML tag attributes to name properties and can exist within either the head or body of the HTML. In the past, this was the most popular and preferred use of structured data, but as it needs to be generated inline with your HTML, it can add unnecessary weight to a page.
Rich snippets is the term used to describe listings in Google that have utilised some form of structured data to improve the fidelity of the listing.
JSON-LD is a type of structured data embedded within a tag in the page head or body. As it is not inserted into the visible text, nested data items are easier to express and easier to reference within a script. Therefore, Google recommends using JSON-LD above Microdata where possible.
RDFa stands for Resource Description Framework in attributes and uses the HTML5 format to publish linked data. Overall, Google recommends avoiding using RDFa, due to its limitations and complexity, in favour of Microdata or preferably JSON-LD.
OpenGraph is an alternative to structured data created by Facebook, and works in a similar way by adding meta tags to thetag of a page. This is not recognised by most search engines, but is used by most major social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
PART 3 OF 4
What types of Schema are there and what do search engines use?
Schema.org provides a comprehensive list of structured data vocabulary. The below outlines the most commonly used Schema mark-ups:
PART 4 OF 4
Tools to help validate schema
Google’s Rich Result Test
Google provides a tool that examines if a publicly-accessible page can generate rich results, and if so, what types. This is a useful tool when aiming for a specific result type to appear in the search engine’s results, but can also be used to validate if schema has been implemented properly. This tool is set to replace Google’s previous structured data testing tool.
Google Search Console Structured Data Report
If your website is connected to Google Search Console, then it will list supported rich result types that it found under the ‘enhancement’ panel. This is often the most effective way of validating schema implementation as it will flag errors if found, such as depreciated schema types.
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