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Schema Mark-up or simply “Schema” was originally conceived back in 2011 through the collaboration of the major search engines of Google, Yahoo, Yandex, and Microsoft (Bing) in order to create a new type of “Structured Data” which helps the search engines understand what the content of a web page is about. The home of Schema Mark-up is schema.org, on this website you will find further information about the different “types” and full documentation on how to implement it.
The best place to start when looking to implement Schema is schema.org, here you will find everything you need to get started including code examples and full documentation. However, if you are not a “techie” then don’t worry, there are plenty of plugins available which can help you to implement Schema without having to edit any code. One of the most popular plugins is the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin which has a dedicated module for adding Schema Mark-up to your website.
If you are looking to improve your SEO then implementing Schema Mark-up is a great place to start, it is relatively easy to do and can have a significant impact on your organic traffic. Whilst adding Schema to your website will undoubtedly improve your SEO there are some things you need to be aware of before you start. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Be as specific as possible with your mark-up – this will help the search engines understand your content more easily.
Don’t mark-up every element of your website – only mark-up the elements which add value and are relevant to your business.
Test your code before you implement it – there are a number of online tools available which will help you to do this including Google’s own Structured Data Testing Tool.
Once you have implemented Schema on your website don’t forget to test it again to ensure it is working correctly.
If you are not comfortable editing code then there are a number of plugins available which can help you to add Schema Mark-up to your WordPress website.
Web pages are usually written in HTML, and webmasters are used to “tagging” their content using specific HTML tags. Schema Markup works along this same principle, by using specific micro data tags to help search engines understand what specific pieces of content mean and how they should be interpreted. The following example is taken directly from the schema.org website.
Let’s imagine that you run a film reviews website and you have a page about “Avatar”.
To a human it is fairly obvious that the page on your website is talking about the film Avatar, however to a machine these are just lines of code. We need to start putting some “context” to our code to help search engines understand the “topic” of the code.
By placing itemscope within we are telling the search engines that this section of code is where we are placing this context.
Here we are identifying the data are relating to a Movie title.
Finally, we have now told the search engines the “name” of the movie, who the “director” is, and what genre the film sits within. These are all determined by using the “itemprop” attribute.
As you can now see, it is a pretty clever way to tell the search engines more about your content, and in turn the topic of your website.
It is really quick to get started implementing Schema within your own site, it does however require knowledge of HTML coding, and if you are using WordPress (as a huge amount of sites do these days) you may also need to understand how to edit the code of your WordPress theme.
Google has a really useful tool to help you get started with implementation, The Structured Mark up Helper does exactly that, and can be found here – https://www.google.com/webmasters/markup-helper/u/0/.
By implementing Schema within your site content you are helping the search engines gain a much more in-depth understanding of the topic of your content and whether it is relevant to the user’s query.
Schema mark-up is a code that you add to your website in order to help the search engine understand your content better. This is done by using specific microdata tags. When the search engine understands your content better, it can rank your pages higher in the search results.