Amidst the flux of content, Schema.org introduces structure and professionalism to your site through the use of microdata.
According to Wikipedia, Schema.org intends “to mark up website content with metadata about itself. Such markup can be recognized by search engine spiders and other parsers, thus gaining access to the meaning of the sites.”
Search engines are constantly evolving to deliver optimal and educational value to users. And in doing so, they have been weeding out the intricate techniques employed by sneaky webmasters to rank higher on SERPs. They have been penalizing lazy and poorly designed sites. You no longer get credit simply for choosing the right keywords, these days search engines want to know more.
1. SCHEMA.ORG IS A DETAILED DIGITAL BUSINESS CARD FOR YOUR BRAND
I have found that understanding the process of search engine optimization is always much easier to digest when we analogize its methodologies with real-world situations.
So let’s make Schema make practical sense to you. Let’s pretend you just moved into a new neighbourhood. You are searching for a gym. Would you sign up for a membership just because you come across a flyer that only says ‘gym’? Probably not. You would have questions. Where is this place located? What time does the fitness centre open? Do they offer trainers? During what hours are these experts available? What sort of equipment can you expect? Who can you contact? Search engines are looking for these pieces of information so that visitors don’t have to. Schema is organized and serves it all up for you.
Think of the Schema markup as a format that explains your business more than a keyword might. You inform search engines of what you are all about. Crawlers know exactly where to dig up your gems and visitors will trust you because you answer their questions before they have to ask. Shcema.org is an integral part of curating a semantic web. Don’t ignore it.
If I already convinced you, and you have a WordPress site, then do yourself a favour and install the easy to use Schema plugin. Log on to Shema.org to understand how they benefit your site from a technical perspective.
If you are yet to be convinced, continue reading for the next four reasons Schema will help your site.
2. SEARCH ENGINE FAVOR SCHEMA OPTIMIZED SITES
You may think Schema is not worth the effort but powerful indexing agents like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex will beg to differ. Why? Because they found it wise to set their egos aside to create Schema.org. And though it may be argued how beneficial Schema is to organic traffic. Few will contest the logical sense it makes for your business.
Search engines give a preference to sites that reduce the guesswork of crawlers, spiders and robots. And especially if you operate a local business, it is more important to you that you set yourself apart from other entrepreneurs who invest little time in their sites. Make visitors want to click your page with Schema.
Did you know that as a small business with a web platform, it is important to register your name, address and phone number. Did you falsely think it was enough to tuck this information on your contact page, or are you ready to let search engines know your NAP, enhancing to your page authority.
Plus with Schema, the benefits are much deeper. Schema allows you to highlight, events, authors, products, reviews and video. If there is a detail that will send you more traffic, schema s your chance to take advantage of in-depth indexing.
3. ENHANCE YOUR META DESCRIPTION/ RICH SNIPPETS
A Rich snippet is your first chance to lure a visitor, a potential customer. It is that tiny sample content displayed on result pages. It is information about your site, shown before visitors click on your page after a search query. Schema offers the best rich snippets.
I am sure you have thought of the ideal keyword driven meta-description, but you are still competing with hundreds of thousands of people who feel the same way. Take a look at a Schema optimized snippet. Notice how it categorizes the most important attributes of your business. Consider the benefit of selling your unique selling proposition before a visitor enters your site. Oh, the potential click-through rates! Think about how much more likely you are to convert traffic into leads if people could see your five-star rating right after reading a summary of your product/services. Impressions count in the webosphere and a Schema markup is a great way to leave a great one.
4. MAPPING DONE STRATEGICALLY FOR SEARCH ENGINES
Once you get used to the ‘itemtypes’ of Schema.org, you will begin optimizing your site for search in a meaningful way. Schema does more than an XML Sitemap. It is not just about connecting pages and categories. How could an XML sitemap connect your upcoming events to the fact that you are are a yoga instructor? How would search engines know when to prioritize this information without the appropriate structured data?
Use microdata to your advantage. A Schema markup of your site is a breakdown of your most important attributes, starting from the most overarching detail, drilling to the more minute. You may have mapped your entire site but Schema allows you to map specific pages. It then presents the information in a way search engines can follow. It is about explaining individual entities to search engines in a step by step format that helps them understand you the way a human would.
5. VOICE SEARCH WILL BE CRUCIAL
People are using their iPhones to ask Siri for the nearest restaurant. And I never thought it would catch on so quickly, but Amazon’s Alexa has become a part of millions of homes. People are talking to search.
Even though I do not believe written search will become obsolete, I am confident that voice search will gain a strong foothold in the digital landscape. I even more convinced that Google’s Rank Brain is trying to understand social conversations surrounding your brand while preparing to respond for efficiently to voice searches. And with Schema, search engines do not have to start from scratch when creating algorithms that respond well to these innovative times. They have Schema. They know where to find pertinent information amidst the billions of content on the internet. And truth is, online businesses without a Schema markup will be missing out on great opportunities if they haven’t properly explained themselves.
Schema allows for a more thorough indexing of your site, so your value is not ignored as the web evolves. Search engines better understand what sort of visitors you can satisfy, regardless of how people choose to search. If you employ Schema’s utility, you just may come up when someone says something like, “find spas that are open on Saturdays.” Instead of losing out on traffic because search engines don’t more about you. Don’t get left behind in an advancing world.
Search is going full semantic, get with it.