Rich Snippets & Schema Markup

 

Increase click through rates with this definitive guide to Rich Snippets.

 

Schema.org Structured Data and Rich Snippets

Have you ever wondered how some websites get those cool and useful extra bits of information to show up in their search results? Things like star ratings, images and videos can really help to make your website stand out in a list of otherwise boring text-based results. In fact, schema markups are one of the best and most under-utilized ways to grow your business’ online presence. Because only a small proportion of websites are currently using this valuable tool, it leaves those of us who are willing to get on board with Schema.org, structured data and rich snippets a great opportunity to positively leverage our search engine results and draw in more traffic. In this article, we’ll show you how.

Higher Click Through Rates with Rich Snippets

What is Schema.org Structured Data?

When it comes to search engine optimization, search engines can seem a little evil. With complicated algorithms that often aren’t totally explained, as a website owner, it can be hard to know what is and isn’t worth spending time on.

However, the role of search engines is simply to match a searcher with the best possible information for their query. In order to do this, they crawl websites to look for keywords and other things that help them to understand what the page is about. From this, search engines can generally understand what most of your website is about but there’s still some blanks that it would be great if it could fill in.

This is where Schema.org comes in. Schema.org structured data is basically a special language of tags that’s understood by search engines. It was developed through a collaboration with Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex (Russia’s largest search engine) to help them to learn more about your business. Schema.org can tell search engines exactly what it is that your business does, what products and/or services you sell and almost anything else that you’d like to tell them. It’s what helps Google to understand that your company sells Java coffee and isn’t a coffee shop in the country of Java and it doesn’t have anything to do with the online technology platform either.

When you add Schema.org structured data to your website, search engines will have a better understanding of your site. As such, they’ll be able to add additional rich snippets of information underneath the page title. So, if you’ve ever seen things like star ratings, pictures and videos show up in search results, these are simply the direct result of having added Schema.org to your page.

Schema Markups vs Rich Snippets

What’s the Difference between Schema Markups and Rich Snippets?

You might have heard the terms schema markups and rich snippets being used interchangeably and while they are related, they’re actually two distinctive things.

Firstly, schema markups are the pieces of structured data, code or tags that give a search engine more information about a website and its related business. They’re generally written in a language that’s made up of symbols and other codes that are difficult for readers to understand but can be easily deciphered by a search engine.

On the other hand, rich snippets are the results of schema markups. That means that they’re the detailed, extra pieces of information that show up in the search results of a website that uses schema markups. Depending on the context, this could include things like average reviews, a price range for a restaurant, nutritional information for a recipe, a photo, video or link to a song.

So, when the words schema markups and rich snippets are used to mean one and the same thing, it’s more than likely that the person is talking about the whole process of optimizing your website to create rich results, rather than referring to either of these individual components.

Rich Snippets Minneapolis SEO Firm

Can Schema Markups Help My Website Rank Better?

The effect that schema markups can have on your websites ranking is a much debated topic. At the moment, there’s no solid evidence that using Schema.org has any positive or negative direct effect on how you’ll rank in organic searches. While Google initially claimed that using schema markups doesn’t contribute to higher search engine rankings, they have since claimed that, over time, it is a factor that may help websites to rank better.

Nevertheless, effective search engine optimization largely relies on being able to accurately tell search engines what your website is all about. Therefore, because the role of schema markups is to do just this, using structured data is a useful way to improve your search results in six key ways:

Increasing the Relevance of Your Results

There’s absolutely no benefit to you if your website shows up in the search engine results for the fruit apples if you actually sell Apple accessories for iPhones and iPads. Therefore, any time that you use schema markups to optimize your website, you’re giving search engines a better idea of what your page is really about. This means that it’s then better able to correctly target it’s results to show searchers relevant results for the particular keyword they’ve entered. Correct results generally means a higher level of organic traffic.

Improving Click-Through Rates

Using schema markups to create eye-catching rich snippets makes your website listing much more predominant when it does show up in search engine results. This means that people are more likely to click on your link and visit your website, increasing your chance to convert the reader. Because only a small portion of businesses are currently using Schema.org, creating rich snippets generally increases click-through rates by as much as 30%. This means that a listing that’s in a second or third position on Google may even receive more clicks than the first position listing.

Offering Direct Call-to-Actions

Although it’s currently in its early stages, some rich snippets created by schema markups allow users to buy your products or book your services directly from a button on Google itself. So, while this doesn’t directly improve your website ranking, it may serve to significantly improve your gross sales.

Promote Events in Search Engine Results

Schema markups also allow you to directly promote events in the search results when people search for your business or what’s going on in a local area. This gives you an additional opportunity to get your offerings in front of potential clients at your location to increase ticket sales.

Ensure Your Customers Get the Correct Business Details

Just two days ago, I went to the wrong business address because Google directed me to an old location. A simple error like this can potentially cost your business a lot in the way of lost sales and negative word of mouth. However, by using and updating your rich snippets to reflect your business’s current name, address, phone number, location and business hours, you can ensure that your customers have the correct details to make doing business with you easy.

Manage Your Brand Image

Instead of relying on the search engine to choose the right business logo, name and other details, schema markups let you control your brand image for consistency. By selecting a specific logo to be displayed alongside your business details, you can start to build the instant recognition that helps to drive business success. You can also enter details such as your founders’ names, social media accounts, distributors and suppliers to build a strong network that reinforces your search engine optimization efforts.

Schedule a FREE Rich Snippets Consultation

Call or email us today to set up a FREE Schema Markup Consultation.  Reach out today and we’ll answer questions and provide you with an exact quote for success!

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Which Types of Websites Can Benefit from Using Schema Markups?

Schema markups can be applied to almost any type of information, product or service. This includes things such as your business details, blogs, vlogs, recipes, events, creative work, events and specific products. By using structured data to give search engines more information, each resulting rich snippet will contain a unique set of facts that will help views to make a more educated decision about whether your website will provide them with what they’re after before they’ve even clicked on it.

However, when you’re starting out with schema markups, focus on marking up the things that will one, help to define your business and make it unique, and two, improve your search engine performance.

This means that it’s important to ensure that the search engines have your correct business information including things such as the right business name, logo, industry, contact details and physical address. It could also be useful to include things such as the details of your product and/or service offerings, recent reviews and upcoming events.

Once your basic business information is set in place with structured data, it’s time to look at which specific rich snippet data will best improve your search engine visibility and performance. To do this, have a look at Google’s markup content properties. Here, you’ll find details about what information you should include for each specific type of content. Alternatively, contact an SEO expert to help you to transform all the important information into schema markups that will truly enhance your content marketing strategy.

What Languages Can Schema Markups Can Be Written In?

Schema.org is a special type of vocabulary that’s designed specifically to communicate with search engines. However, there are actually three languages that schema markups can be written in. These include Microdata, RDFa (Resource Description Framework in Attributes) and JSON-LD (JavaScript object notion for linked data).

Microdata and RDFa are similar languages that use HTML to label specific types of information so that it can be read by search engines. They’re considered to be the classic way of writing structured data for Schema.org and both of these formats require you to have a technical knowledge and follow very specific guidelines. This can make writing and updating Microdata and RDFa quite difficult.

On the other hand, JSON-LD, is a relatively new protocol that allows you to communicate with Schema.org by collecting all the data about your company, products and services in a single, small piece of JavaScript code that can be place anywhere on a page. This means that using JSON-LD is much more flexible than the traditional methods. However, it hasn’t yet been accepted for use by Bing which means that by using JSON-LD, your rich snippets won’t show up on this Microsoft-based search engine result page.

Minneapolis Schema Markup and Rich Snippets

How Do Schema.org Markups Effect Your Minneapolis SEO Rankings?

Although there’s currently no proof that implementing Schema.org on your Minneapolis website will affect your search result rankings, adding structured data to your site does directly complement your SEO strategy as a whole.

In fact, Google actually recommends using Schema.org markups to improve your website’s search engine performance by making your site more indexable with accurate and targeted search engine data.

So, if you’ve invested in building great content with strong links, you might think that you’re on top of your SEO strategy. However, if you’re not using schema markups, you’re not getting the results that you could be.

Adding structured data to your website will continue to strengthen your valuable content marketing assets by creating more relevant and eye-catching search results. With extra information, viewers will be enticed to click on your search engine listing and you’ll then be able to pitch your products and services to a much larger potential audience. In addition, increasing your click-through rates is one of the very factors that can increase your overall search engine results. As such, you may start to naturally see an upward cycle of positive SEO benefits from enhancing your content with rich snippets.

If you’d like to get ahead of other companies who are yet to use rich snippets, talk to us today about how we can help you to use this new and largely untapped area of search engine optimization to improve your Minneapolis SEO rankings.

Schedule a Free Schema Markup Consultation

Call or email us today to set up a FREE Schema Markup Consultation.  Reach out today and we’ll answer questions and provide you with an exact quote for success!

GET A FREE QUOTE