Are you Leveraging Schema Mark-ups when Optimising for Search?
When it comes to optimising your website to get the best possible results (ie. prominent rankings and abundant traffic) there are many different components of SEO to consider. Some are essential, while others are generally considered merely optional and even ignored by webmasters. But might you be overlooking something that could be of great benefit to your online marketing efforts?
Schema mark-up tags are one such component that is under-utilised by many websites. In fact according to a new study by Searchmetrics (http://www.searchmetrics.com/en/searchmetrics/press/schema-org-in-google-search-results/), only 0.3% of websites are currently using what could be a powerful tool. But surely if so few webmasters are using Schema tags they can’t be that significant? Wrong. The same research indicated that Schema ‘rich snippets’ appeared in a third of Google search results in the US.
Schemas and rich snippets explained
A Schema tag is effectively an html tag that can be used to ‘mark-up’ a web page with information relating to its content. This information can then be used by the search engines to present to users things like ‘rich snippets’ – little sneak previews of information – and to display your content when it is most appropriate.
For example, you can you use schema mark-ups to tell the search engines what kind of ‘item’ your page is about. A page about ‘traffic’ for example could be about the hard-hitting film starring Don Cheadle, the 1997 song by the Stereophonics, or it could be about the actual traffic on the roads. Schema mark-ups can be used to draw the semantic distinction, potentially making your content easier to find by those who are looking for it.
You can also tell the search engines if your content is about a person, a business or an event, or whether it’s a product page, a review or just about anything else.
Schema.org is a good place to get started with implementing mark-ups, and is a joint collaboration by Google, Bing and Yahoo.
While using schema mark-ups in and of itself will by no means guarantee you better results in search, they are a powerful tool for giving the search engines and web users additional information about your content. It’s also going to make it a lot clearer what your content is about, and that will ensure that the click-throughs you get are users who actually want to be there. That in turn could lead to a higher conversion rate.