Schema Markup, Structured Data, and Microdata are the latest buzzword among SEO experts & Webmasters – and for good reasons.
Besides traditional SEO practices, this new form of optimization is one of the most effective but least utilized SEO practice available today.
Once you understand the whole concept and start using schema markup correctly, it can have a significant positive impact on your website’s organic traffic.
In this post, I will explain what Schema markup is, show you some of the benefits along with examples. In the end, You’ll also learn how to use schema markup in WordPress and other CMS to improve your SEO.
Explore the Image SEO Guide:
- What is Schema Markup?
- What is the difference between Schema Markup and Structured Data?
- Why is schema markup important to SEO?
- What are the types of schema?
- How to add schema markup on WordPress website?
- How to add Schema markup without plugin?
- How to test schema markup or structured data?
- How to monitor schema markup performance with GSC?
- 1 Basics of Schema Markup
- 2 What is Schema Markup?
- 3 What is the difference between Schema Markup and Structured Data?
- 4 Why is schema markup important to SEO?
- 5 What Types of Schema Markups Are There?
- 6 01. Organization Schema Markup
- 7 02. Person Schema Markup
- 8 03. Star Rating/Review Schema
- 9 04. Article/Blog Posting Schema
- 10 05. Product & Offer Schema Markup
- 11 06. FAQ Schema Markup
- 12 07. Recipe Schema Markup
- 13 08. Video Schema Markup
- 14 09. Event Schema Markup
- 15 10. How To Schema Markup
- 16 How to add schema markup on WordPress website
- 17 How to add Structured data without plugin
- 18 Testing Your Schema Markup
- 19 Monitor results in Google Search Console
- 20 Frequently Asked Question for Schema Markup:
- 21 Final Thought On Schema Markup:
Basics of Schema Markup
In this section, I’ll discuss what is Schema markup, structured data and why it is so important for your website.
What is Schema Markup?
Schema Markup which is sometimes just called schema or structured data is essentially a kind of metadata (referred to as microdata) that can be added to the backend of your website to make it easier for the search engines to crawl, organize and display relevant content to users.
With traditional HTML scripts, search engine crawlers are only able to determine what your data says, but not what the data means.
So, implementing schema markup helps us communicate to those search engines what our content actually means and why it’s important.
For example, if a search engine sees a number listed on your site, without schema markup they have no idea what that number means. It could be a price of a product, a street number or a telephone number listed on your site.
In this case, we could implement schema markup to communicate to those search engines that this number is, in fact, a phone number, so that they can display that information to users who are looking for it.
What is the difference between Schema Markup and Structured Data?
Schema markup is usually used as a synonym for structured data, but there is a slight difference between the two:
Structured data is any code added within your HTML to provide search engine additional information about your page and help them classify your page content.
On the other hand, Schema markup is a type of structured data supported by major search engines like Google, Yahoo & Bing.
It has a standardized set of defined values and classes that helps you specify certain types of information on a page that will make you eligible for rich result in SERPs.
Schema markup, as a standardized set of structured data vocabulary, is the result of Schema.org – a collaboration between Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo with the goal to improve the web.
Why is schema markup important to SEO?
Here are some of the important reason why you should consider implementing schema markup to your website.
Although schema is not part of Google’s ranking algorithm, yet Google loves schema right now and probably will in the near future.
There is at least one rich result in a massive 36.60% of searches:
It is obvious that when something is that popular, you have usually fallen behind if you have not implemented it yet.
But here is the surprising fact:
By now only 0.30% of websites regularly use structured data (that is about one in 330).
Plus, when it was asked from Google’s John Muller about whether Schema helps in ranking or not? here is what he says:
Schema markup is not yet part of Google’s algorithm but Google may use structured markup in their ranking algorithm in the near future.
So there is still a golden opportunity for you to get benefit from the schema markup before it becomes a standard practice.
One of the big advantages of using schema markup on your webpage is that it creates what’s known as a rich result or rich snippets.
Yes, proper use of schema markup will turn your regular snippet into rich snippet in SERPs, as well as make your page/post eligible for the featured snippet (appearing at the top of SERPs.)
Now you must be thinking why rich snippets are so important?
Well, see Google displays the same 3 pieces of data for the majority of the search result.
(1) Title Tag, (2) Meta Description, (3) URL of post
Here is an example:
That’s a normal regular snippet.
Rich snippet takes normal snippet and adds more relevant information to your organic result.
Here is an example of rich snippet in the SERP:
As you can see, rich snippet results are more visible, eye-catching, and engaging than normal search results… which can lead to a higher organic CTR.
In fact, a study done by SearchEngineLand found that schema markup can increase organic CTR by 30%
When it comes to Local SEO, Schema markup is a great addon.
With the proper structured data, you can give Google more information about your Local business including contact details and address.
That being said, there is an entire category for schema data you can use for your local business.
AMP (Accelerated mobile page) rely heavily on schema markup for some of their advance features.
For example, You must have to implement structured data on your page, if you want your AMP page to appear in the top stories carousel or host carousel in Mobile SERPs.
Google itself has talked about this in their AMP guide (Read the full article here).
With more and more people buying ‘voice search devices’, there is no denying of the fact that voice search is going to bigger and bigger day by day.
We have statistics to back this up:
The good news?
You can get ahead of your competitor in this new voice search era by implementing Google’s latest “speakable” schema on your web pages.
Speakable schema allows you to markup the excerpt of the information you want to feature from your content.
This means that you can optimize a particular section of your full content to work well with voice-assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri.
It is very similar to the featured snippet you see in Google SERP. You select a chunk of information that is relevant to your target query in hopes that voice search devices will read out when needed.
But here’s the thing:
For now, speakable schema markup is available in beta version and can be used by only certain type of publishers (especially news publishers)
I will suggest deploying speakable markup now and reap the full benefit of voice search as soon as full adoption get realised.
Recommended reading: How to optimize your image for Google?
What Types of Schema Markups Are There?
Now that we have covered what actually schema markup means and why it’s important, you might be wondering what type of contents are eligible for schema markup?
Well, there is pretty much a markup for everything on the web. However, a good chunk of them (like Job posting, Job Training, Books, Movies, Flights info, etc) only apply to a very specific category of the site. This is why here are 10 most important and common used schema markup (eligible for most websites):
01. Organization Schema Markup
The organization schema markup is not a rich snippet on its own, but it is impacted by structured data so worth including here.
The organization schema markup emphasizes your company introduction, including contact details, address, logo, founder details, stock information and social media profiles.
Some of these informations come from the third party trusted websites like Wikipedia, and others are collected from your structured data.
Note: Don’t put organization markup on every page of your website. In most cases, it fits best on the home page.
02. Person Schema Markup
The person schema markup is used to show basic information about an individual, such as the name of the person, education, birthdate, achievements, or other important info.
Google assumes that if a user is searching for someone by name, he/she will be likely looking for some basic information about that person.
With this schema, Google is aiming to deliver the quick info of the person without needing to click through to another site.
03. Star Rating/Review Schema
These days a lot of people look at reviews on the internet before buying a product or service.
If you have a website where you post review of any product or service, you can use this schema type to make your content stand out in the search result.
04. Article/Blog Posting Schema
Article Schema markup is commonly used for news and blog posts.
It makes it easier for the search engine to understand the type of content, its headline, featured image, URL, and description.
However, there are different type of article schema available for a different types of content, such as News Article, Blog Post, and Scholarly Article.
For most bloggers (unless you publish news), I would recommend using ‘Blog Posting’ as it is more specific to what the article is.
05. Product & Offer Schema Markup
The Product schema is used to sell a specific item of a product or service.
It allows you to quickly deliver important information of the product like product’s image, price, currency, brand name, stock availability, and even reviews of users.
This structured data markup can help you make your product stand out from the competitors that do not use schema.
06. FAQ Schema Markup
This is one of the latest and my current favourite schema markup to boost organic CTR.
The Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) schema markup lets you add a list of questions and their respective answers related to your topic.
Here is an example of how FAQ rich snippet looks like in the SERPs:
From my experience, this schema is super beneficial as it increases the overall visibility of your site since it takes additional space in SERP and provides the target audience with a method of interaction.
Note: Make sure your FAQs are relevant and replicate the content that can also be found on your main page.
07. Recipe Schema Markup
A recipe schema helps food blogger show their content as a rich snippet in search result pages.
The benefit of using this schema is the searcher can see the ingredient, cooking time, ratings, calories, and more, all within the SERP.
It will help them evaluate the result of the recipe before they even reach the website.
08. Video Schema Markup
As you might be knowing Search engine can’t watch videos posted on your site.
So, with properly structured data information, you can tell the search engine what your video content is all about.
According to your markup information, they will rank you video in Google Video search, alongside those from YouTube.
09. Event Schema Markup
Event schema is used for providing additional information for scheduled events like the date, location, time, organizer, and ticket price.
This makes it easier to draw people to the specific event they are looking for and give basic information about the event they are interested in.
10. How To Schema Markup
How-To rich snippet aims to provide step by step instruction directly in the search result pages for how to based queries.
There are two types of ‘how-to snippets’ you will usually find:
1. A list view of instructions in accordion format.
2. A carousel of images showing each individual step
As I said above, regardless of these 10 common used schema markup, there are many other available for use. available. You can find the full list here.
How to add schema markup on WordPress website
Understanding how schema markup works is one thing but knowing how to effectively implement it on your site is a whole other challenge.
Luckily, if you are using WordPress CMS, the availability of ‘Schema Plugin’, make it pretty easy and straight forward to add the right structured data to your page/post.
Step 1: Download and install the ‘Schema Pro‘ plugin on your WordPress website.
Although there are dozens of free and premium schema plugin available for use, but I personally use Schema Pro as it is one of the most easy to use yet versatile schema plugin available right now.
Step 2: Optimize your website for appearing in the Knowledge Panel.
Remember, we showed you how the ‘Tesla’ company information appears in Google Knowledge Graph.
If you also want your website information appears in the same way, here is what you need to do.
Open Schema Pro dashboard > select website information tab > and now fill all the information related to your website/blog.
(1. ) General – Here you need to choose what kind of website you own, your website name, and an official logo.
(2. ) Social Profiles – Enter all your possible social media profiles. These link can appear in the knowledge panel in the search result.
(3. ) Contact Information – Here you need to enter your contact details like your telephone number and contact us page of the website.
(4. ) Other Schemas – Here you need to enter additional information about your website so that Google understand your website in a better way.
These information includes your about page, primary menu for site links, and enable/disable sitelinks search box.
Step 4: Now it’s time to add schema markup to your content. For that, under Schema Pro, go to Schemas and then click on Add New button.
Step 5: Select a schema type that best suits your needs. For now, I am selecting, ‘recipe; schema.
Step 6: Select pages/posts that you want to apply this schema markup to. You can set display rules and also exclude pages and posts you want to exempt this schema from.
Step 7: Finally, click on the complete setup button.
Now you’ll be taken to fill the required properties of the schema you have just selected (in our case, recipe schema).
Here you can basically create a template for your schema. That means, whatever data you’ll select here will work as a template for all your targeted page/post and applied automatically (as long as you don’t change them manually on the page level basis).
Step 8: Configure Schema on a Single Page/Post.
As I mentioned, all the values you’ll set will be common for all target locations, but in case you wish to change these value for a particular post, you can also find all the schema field on each of your targeted post/pages.
In our case, I have got a recipe schema box in my post editor. Here I can enter all the information of my recipe manually in the respective field.
That’s it, this is how you can easily implement any type of schema markup on your page/post with Schema Pro plugin without any technical knowledge.
How to add Structured data without plugin
No matter which content management system you use, Google has made a very simple tool called ” Structured Data Markup Helper” that will help code your schema markup for you..
Here is the step by step process to generate & implement structured data (i.e schema markup) on your website:
Step 1: Open Google’s Structure Data Markup Helper tool.
Step 2: Select the type of schema you want to use.
Step 3: Paste the URL or HTML source of the web page you want to markup.
Step 4: Now the tool will load your page/post in the left side and in the right side, you will get a list of available tags for the selected schema type.
Step 5: All you have to do now is highlight the area of your web page and assign them the relevant tag.
For example, I wanted to add ‘article’ schema on one of my blog post, so now I will highlight my blog post title and assign it to ‘name‘ tag.
Similarly, I’ll highlight the author name and assign it to the author tag, and so on so forth…
Step 6: Once done click the “Create HTML” button in the upper right corner.
Step 7: Now the tool generates HTML structured data based on your selection. Here you’ll find your markup data information in two formats: first is microdata and the other one is JSON-LD
I personally prefer to use JSON, as it is easier to incorporate JSON into your code because the schema markup is grouped together, unlike with Microdata.
So, Just copy the JSON-LD Markup data from here and paste into the head section of web page’s HTML.
Google has developed a few simple tool to ensure that all of your schema tags match up with the correct information:
The first one is Google Structured Data Testing Tool.
To use it, either pop in a live URL from your site or copy and paste your HTML.
Finally, click on the “Run Test” button.
Then the tool will show you any structured data that is found on your page.
And if the tool find anything wrong with your markup, they’ll let you know:
Another tool Google has developed is called Rich Results Testing Tool. This tool will tell you whether your web page is eligible for rich result in SERPs or not.
Using this tool is again very simple. Just enter the URL of your web page and start scanning. If your page is eligible for the rich result, everything will be green.
Worth Checking out: How to write SEO friendly Meta Description
Monitor results in Google Search Console
Now that you have added relevant schema markup to your site, its time to test it out.
As I mentioned earlier, there is often a correlation between the rich result and increased CTR, so it makes sense to measure the actual impact.
To do so, I would recommend monitoring the performance of all your web page with rich snippet through Google search console.
Go to Performance section and filter for search appearance.
Then select the type of result (i.e rich result).
Now you can check the report over time and quickly compare the result to your typical CTR to see if it improves when you add schema markup.
Frequently Asked Question for Schema Markup:
Final Thought On Schema Markup:
Structured data or Schema markup is important for SEO. It is something that you need to use sooner or later to keep up with modern SEO.
While it may seem technically intimidating to add structured data, it is actually a very simple process.
All thanks to powerful CMS like ‘WordPress’ and schema plugin like ‘Schema Pro’, which has made implementing any type of schema easier than ever.
Now your turn:
Have you ever used schema markup on your website/blog? Do let me know in the comment section below.
And yes, don’t forget to check out my latest 2021 Technical SEO checklist to properly optimize your website for crawling, indexing, and ranking phase.