What Is Schema Markup, and How Should I Be Using It?

Posted on in Blog

Schema markup creates an enhanced description, on top of HTML, that is visible only to search engines and provides context to otherwise ambiguous content. It is especially important to Google and other search engines because accurately interpreting the context of a query will determine the quality of a search result.

In the following example: <h1>Apple</h1>, this HTML tag does not give any information about what “Apple” means, but if we change it to <h1 itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/tech”>Apple</h1>, the search engine will know we are referring to the corporation and not the fruit, making it easier for search engines to intelligently display relevant content to a user. Schema markup is this extra microdata that helps to put regular HTML into context.

Oneupweb compiled these answers to schema markup FAQs to help you effectively use microdata for search engines.

Is there a difference between structured data and schema markup?

All schema markup is structured data, but not all structured data is schema markup. Structured data uses name and value pairing to describe data, especially for search engines. Schema markup is a type of syntax describing structured data that works with HTML.

What are the main benefits of schema markup?

Schema markup will help your website’s content get noticed – by search engines and users – and allow it to be better formatted in search engine results, which will ultimately boost your SEO performance.

For example, various Product schema markup pulls the product image, color, aggregate rating and other information into the search engine results page (SERP) so people can view this content before clicking to the website.

What are the different types of schema markup?

Most search engines support three types of schema markup formats: JSON-LD, Microdata, and RDFa. In 2015 Google announced JSON-LD as their preferred method, though the other formats are still acceptable.

How to write schema markup and add it to your website?

The best way is to find an online schema generator, such as this one from Merkle, which allows you to fill out a form with all the relevant information. The tool will output the properly formatted schema markup for you to add to your website. You may also look at schema markup examples in different formats on schema.org.

What are schema tags?

Schema tags are structured data that identifies specific content on your website and allows a search engine to find that content more easily. For example, you can use schema to label your content as a Movie, Article, Product, Review, etc., and to help a search engine find specific text (like the Author of an article) by naming it.

Explain how to use schema markup for SEO.

While schema markup doesn’t directly affect your rank in organic search results, you can use it to support better clickthrough rates and technical SEO health. Use schema to make your web pages look more appealing in the SERP, with helpful rich snippets displayed under the page title of your content. Because those snippets help users learn about you before they click, they are somewhat pre-qualified and more likely to be engaged with your content; this will send relevancy signals to search engines, ultimately helping you rank better.

Is there voice search schema markup?

Yes. Google recently released a new markup specification, the speakable schema. As we write this at the end of 2020, this is still in beta and can only be used in news. Normal schema markup can still be used to help identify content for voice search, if you think of your content in terms of a conversation.

Do developers prefer a specific WordPress structured data plugin or other structured data tool?

On the Oneupweb site, we use Yoast as our structured data plugin. Our developer Ed Kauffman explains,

“The Yoast plugin can be useful for adding structured data to a site. Other plugins, such as Schema and Structured Data for WP & AMP, are good for more generalized schema and structured data.”

Get More of Your Questions Answered

In today’s competitive search landscape, it’s more important than ever to make use of schema on your website. Oneupweb’s experts specialize in optimizing web pages for search engines and providing other services you need to make your business shine online. Have questions about schema markup or something else? Reach out online or call (231) 922-9977.

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