What is Schema Markup? Know Top 6 Easy Types to Use for Your Small Business
What are pattern tags?
Schema.org markup is a shared vocabulary of microdata that helps major search engines better understand the content on web pages.
A pattern vocabulary includes specific ways of structuring data around people, places, and things. When Google’s crawlers find a specific schema type on their page, it helps them understand what that content means and what rich results to provide.
The Schema.org website estimates that only about 10 million web pages use schemas. In the vast Internet environment, this is only a small percentage.
As a result, digital marketers who take the time to add patterns to their pages have more opportunities to outperform their competitors in search.
What are the SEO benefits of Schema markup?
The main value proposition of Schema markup is that it enables your pages to appear in rich results or a more prominent SERP position.
For example, look at the first page of the SERPs for the keyword phrase “target.”
This SERP isn’t just the standard SERP results with blue, clickable page titles and accompanying meta descriptions, it also has a variety of rich results that also appear at the top of the page.
All of these rich results are powered by schema.org markup.
But aside from improving the SERP space, adding schema.org to the web has other benefits.
- Higher CTR: The average CTR for rich search results was 58% compared to 41% for non-rich results. CTR can jump up to 87% for some rich media search result types
- Improved targeting: If you’re trying to get users to book an event, buy a product, or make a reservation, rich search results can help you reach the audience you want to do
- Brand awareness: being present in top and more visible real estate can help your brand gain more recognition
- Get CTAs from Google: Some rich search results come with CTAs, such as “call” or “get it now,” which can help increase clicks and conversions.
Types of Schema Markup and When to Use Them
About a third of Google search results contain rich results. Rich results not only look more enticing in the SERPs but can provide users with the exact information they are looking for faster.
For example, a searcher who types “indoor garden” into the search bar may be looking for products that allow them to garden indoors.
Example product enrichment results for the keyword “indoor garden”
However, searchers typing “how to garden” are looking for step-by-step information. Naturally, Google populates the second set of search results with “How-to” rich results.
What is schema markup: an example of how to enrich results
Because Google likes to make the search as simple and easy as possible for users, Google will likely continue to add different types of rich search results to match the various types of searches people conduct on the internet.
Google now has over 30 different types of rich search results. Here are some of the most common things you might see in a Google search:
- Bread crumbs
- Recruitment notice
- Review clips
With a product, job, and event model, and an educational site as of earlier this year, it doesn’t look like Google will be slowing down with rich results anytime soon.
This means that if your page isn’t already in rich search results, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities to stand out from the competition.
But no business needs to add every pattern type to their website. Your specific industry and the type of content on your website will influence which pattern tags are best for your brand.
Pattern Markup Examples: 6 Powerful Small Business Pattern Types
Overall, there are some basic pattern types that almost every small and medium business should add to improve their SEO performance, brand awareness, and conversion rates.
If you have content on your pages that fits one of the following schema types, your brand may benefit from adding the appropriate schema markup to your pages.
Organizational structure markup
Increase brand recognition and awareness
Organizational structures combine basic information about your business or organization into a knowledge panel that appears to the right of search results.
This knowledge panel will appear for search queries that include your brand name.
Here are some specific benefits of adding organizational structure types to your pages:
- Brand identity: Because an organizational structure integrates key information about your brands, such as your name, logo, founder, location, and services, it can help increase overall brand awareness.
- Social media following: By combining links to your social media profiles in the knowledge panel, you can generate more links to your social media pages and more followers and engagement
- Reputation Management: For a business brand with a lot of brand recognition, and therefore a lot of other people posting content on the internet under their brand name, patterns can help with reputation management – by helping direct users to the ones you want them to focus on information and understand your business.
Local business schema markup
Get more appointments and reservations
Google knows when users search for local products and will rank local businesses at the top of search results accordingly.
Since most local searches happen on mobile devices, it’s important to help improve your appearance in Google Map Pack.
Local search results on mobile for “physiotherapist”
Local business architecture makes it easy for Google to find and display key information about your business, such as hours of operation, address, phone number, and display your reviews.
In the local business model tag, you can add an action model to the results, such as “appointment” or “make an appointment”.
Some of the information that appears in rich search results for local businesses is pulled from your Google My Business listing, so make sure your business is properly set up and claims your listing.
Then, I recommend adding schema markup to your home page, about page, and contact page.
Breadcrumb mode markup
Help users (and search engines) understand your website architecture
The breadcrumb pattern helps search engines understand how the pages on your site relate to each other. Breadcrumb mode is a must if you have a lot of content on your website.
While the appearance of SERP results won’t change dramatically with breadcrumbs, it can help users and search engines understand how your content is organized.
It can help reduce the number of times users bounce back to search results and instead encourage them to browse more pages of your site.
Sitelink schema tags
Give searchers more choice and take up more real estate
Sitelinks can help you give searchers more choice and take up more space when it comes to making an impact on the SERPs.
What is Schema Markup: Examples of Sitelink Enrichment Results
Some of the key benefits of the site links architecture include:
- Provide users with more options related to their queries
- Direct users to the most converting pages
- Make your SERP results more desirable and clickable than others
Product Mode Marking
Let shoppers see key information about your products
E-commerce companies will greatly benefit by adding product schemas to their product pages.
Product Schema shows search engine users key information about your product in a carousel at the top of the SERPs.
Information like prices, reviews, or special promotions also appears next to product images in your rich media search results.
Product architecture puts your products front and center in the user experience, so they don’t have to navigate category pages or the search bar of your eCommerce site.
You can also easily outpace your competitors who don’t use a product model by appearing in a carousel at the top of the page.
View schema markup
Let searchers know you have happy customers
Censorship mode is arguably one that every business should use, regardless of its industry.
This is because reviews are a key part of most users’ purchasing decisions. Almost 90% of buyers check reviews before purchasing a product. So if you have great reviews, there’s no reason not to show them.
Review snippets will display these yellow stars next to the number of reviews your product, local business, or software product has received.
Seeing that your business, product, or service has many 4 and 5-star reviews directly in the SERP results will make your results more popular in the eyes of users who trust ratings and reviews when choosing a product or service.
How to add schema to your web page
Many digital marketers are reluctant to add schemas because adding schema markup means venturing into the backend of their website.
While beginners are best guided with the help of a skilled web developer, anyone can use the Pattern Tool to add pattern markup to their web pages.
Choose a schema markup format
There are three different schema markup formats. These formats determine which attributes in the schema markup are required, optional, or recommended.
No schema format is better than another, but you must know and understand them to ensure your schemas are properly validated and can appear in rich results.
- JSON-LD: For beginners, this format is considered the easiest to implement because the comment type can be simply copied and pasted into the header of a web page.
- RDFa: Short for Resource Description Framework in Attributes, you can add this code to any HTML, XHTML, and XML based document
- Microdata: Microdata has different properties than RDFa, but the implementation is similar.
If all this code talk makes you nervous, don’t worry. You can implement the schema for your web pages using tools that generate code for you.
Using the schema tokenizer
To add a schema to your web page, use the Schema Builder tool. These tools simplify adding schema markup by doing the hard part (coding) for you.
Schema generator in the SearchAtlas software suite
Just select the type of schema you want, add the required properties for the tooltip, and you’ll see the tool generate your code.
The above tools use JSON-LD markup, so you can just copy and paste the markup into the page title.
Test your schema markup
You can then check that your schema has been implemented correctly with the help of Google’s rich results testing.
After deploying the web page with the new schema, copy and paste the URL into the tool.
Google will notify you if the page is eligible for rich search results, which results in it qualifies, and if there are any warnings on the page.
If the page is not eligible, you will see:
- Google Search Console shows pages not eligible for rich media search
- Improve your SEO, CTR, and reputation with Schema markup
If you’re not comfortable choosing your schema and implementing the code yourself, don’t hesitate to work with an experienced SEO strategist or web developer to implement schema markup on your web pages.
However, if the cost of hiring these services is holding you back, you can implement this powerful SEO optimization yourself.
Adding architecture to your website will be worth the value it brings in the long run: more visibility, more clicks, and more converting traffic.