Ever heard of Schema.org? If you’re not aware by now, Local SEO is taking over, and using Schema markup is one of the foremost strategies to ensure that you are ahead of the game.

Schema Markup Explained

highlighting schema markupBy definition, Schema provides HTML markup options to webmasters. These markups ensure that major search engines can decipher exactly what data they’re seeing when they crawl a page, whether it be an organization, a local business, or a product. Think of it as highlighting certain aspects of your business so that Google and Bing know exactly how to give authority to your site.

Schema.org falls under the category of “rich snippets,” which is one of the latest rages in SEO. While at first this may seem like a new SEO tactic, the truth is, rich snippets are all around you. You may not notice them anymore because they enhance your overall search experience. If you’re not familiar with what a rich snippet is, the following example will be helpful.

Schema Markup Illustrated

Let’s say your lovely wife asks for a recipe idea. Your taste buds have been craving the holiday pork chops you saw in an ad the other day, so you Google “pork chops recipe.” Among many results, we will compare the following:

Example 1:

Schema explanationA generic, non-specific recipes page with a meta description that doesn’t even carry over to the second line.

Example 2:

Rich Snippets ExampleQuite in contrast to Example 1, this result draws your attention because of the enticing photo and the rating scale–it even gives you the number of reviews and the calories!

While both of these results provide recipes for pork chops, the odds that I click on Example 2 are 99 to 1. The reason? All pictures, star ratings, reviews, etc., are a result of Schema markup.

Why Schema Markup Is Necessary

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, one of the primary reasons for Schema markup is purely local. Schema markup is a risk-free way to denote who, what, and where you are, not to mention what you sell, your hours of operation, your phone number…you get the point. As crafty as the search engines seem, don’t leave it to them to figure this out on their own.

Also, stay tuned for our “how to” post on implementing Schema markup for a local business into your website.

photo credit: photopin cc

Jamie Bates