Don’t Be Scared of Schema

Perhaps the biggest battle for any website is to appear higher in search engine ratings meaning that it appears near the top of any search, be it from a laptop, tablet or smart phone. There are lots of ways to do this, all with varying degrees of success. One that may seem a little intimidating to use but that has real concrete results is the Schema markup. But what is it and why should your business use it?

Understanding Schema

When you submit information to a search engine, it can appear in a variety of ways. When you search for something and see a neat little box with a quality image, additional information about the site and even things like customer ratings or associated keywords, then this is what is called a ‘rich snippet’. To create these snippets, you need to use a special markup that adds extra details to the basic text for a search result.

Rich snippets not only tell the search engine who the business is but also what it does, information about products or services offered, possibly even information about where the business is. Because it has an attractive format and images, it is also more clickable and therefore more likely to catch the eye of the person doing the search.

Avoiding confusion

Using Schema markup can be hugely beneficial in ensuring your business is found and for the right reasons. Let’s take the search term ‘avatar’ used by Schema themselves to describe what their system does. If you searched for ‘avatar’ you could get results about the film, about an avatar in a game or a profile picture. All of these are relevant to avatar but if you just wanted to search for something about the movie, you would have to plough through these to figure out which one you wanted.

On the other hand, if the makers of the film used Schema markup, the movie poster would appear next to their listing along with information about the film, the stars even a rating from when it was at the cinema. All of these things would catch the eye of the searcher and let them know that this was the result they require.

Why use Schema?

So what kind of businesses and what kind of content can benefit from using Schema markup? The list is quite extensive and includes everything from local businesses, restaurants and pubs, software applications, events and products. It is used for TV episodes including their ratings, book and movie reviews and also to showcase articles.

As well as creating a more attractive snippet to attract attention, Schema also appears higher in SERPs than those without it. In fact, some studies say it could be as much as four positions higher with the use of Schema than without it, although these ratings are as variable as anything else in search results.

Finally, the amount of tools available mean that grabbing these advantages is relatively simple – as the system was created with the likes to Google, there are tools such as the Structured Data Markup Helper and the MozBar can all create Scheme markup to replace standard HTML at the touch of a button.