Small businesses always search for new ways to increase click-through rates to their sites. One of the easiest ways that companies can accomplish this is by using Schema data. This structured data allows companies to create rich snippets that provide detailed information to users. Additionally, these results are also visually appealing and highly attractive to users.
In this article, you’ll learn what schema is and how you can use it to help your business.
What is Schema?
More than 10 million sites use Schema.org data to markup their websites and email data, including applications from Google, Microsoft, Pinterest, and Yandex.
Schema.org is a collaborative project launched by Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and Yandex. It is a shared, semantic vocabulary of tags (called microdata) that web designers add to their HTML code to help improve click-through rates. The markup language also tells crawlers how to interpret and present a website’s information in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Schema markup allows search engines to gather information about sites in a systemic way. It uses a binary system of name-pairs that enables search engines to categorize and index content. Webmasters generally write Schema’s vocabulary using three different encodings: RDFa, Microdata, and JSON-LD.
Developers have to structure their Schema markup cleanly, so it tells crawlers what content is relevant. Once this occurs, the search engine result produces a result called a rich snippet.
It is a detailed summary of the website’s pertinent information that’s organized and laid out with extra information. You’ll learn more about rich snippets in the next section.
What are Rich Snippets?
Regular snippets are general results that Google shows to its users in its search results. The majority of Google search results display the same three pieces of data:
- Title Tag
- Either the Meta description or the introductory sentence of a blog post
These citations show the title in blue, the site’s URL in black, and a brief sentence offering a glimpse of the page’s contents. For example, if a person searches for a dark chocolate chip cookie recipe, the regular snippet would only list the introductory sentence from the blog post.
A rich snippet differs from a regular one. It provides additional information between the URL and description that tells users about the page’s content and its quality. For instance, instead of a general introductory paragraph of this blog, viewers would see the description of the dark chocolate chip cookie recipe ingredients.
The rich snippet would also provide ratings for the recipe. For example, it may indicate that 105 users rated it three out of five stars. This result could also offer details about how long it would take to make the cookies (25 minutes preparation and 30-minute cooking time).
You may even learn how many calories each treat has (210 calories) and if it is a sugar-free, diabetic-friendly recipe.
Not only can your company use structured data for rich snippets for recipe-related pages. You can also use schema data for your general product description pages, reviews, and other subjects. Larger retailers like Amazon.com, Walmart, Overstock.com, and others already rely on rich snippets for their products. They can provide more information about the following:
- Creative Works (Books, Illustrators, Movies)
You can use schema’s properties to describe items in additional detail. For instance, if a business can create a rich snippet for a children’s book using a schema that includes the name, title, author, ISBN, and illustrator.
How Rich Snippets Make Your Results More Visually Appealing in SERPs
Rich snippets make your search engine results stand out since they are more visually appealing to users. Although some developers believe that structured data can improve rankings, this is not the case. Google explained that they don’t use Schema as a ranking signal. These rich results, however, have a higher user click-through rate than regular ones.
Three Best Practices for Structured Data
1. Choose Your Rich Snippet
Do you want to create a rich snippet for your business? The first step is to pick the best schema class for your webpage. Schema.org has eight kinds of structured markup that will display rich snippets in Google’s search engine results pages. They include:
- Reviews: These snippets show a star rating from aggregate or individual reviewers about different products.
- Recipes: This structured data only applies to food dishes. They display the time it takes to prepare a recipe, along with some user reviews.
- Music: This data uses Google to create rich snippets about songs and albums. They list summaries, reviews, and release dates.
- Product markup: These snippets give descriptions about products, including sales prices, overviews, and images.
- Organizations: These summaries provide details about nonprofits and for-profit companies. They include contact information, such as telephone numbers and addresses.
- Top stories: This structured data allows media groups to appear in the top stories box in search results. These features only apply to sites approved by Google News.
- Videos: This data provides information that helps search engines describe your media files in their results.
- Events: These snippets provide summaries about upcoming events. They offer details about event dates, scheduled times, locations, and other pertinent information.
2. Use Markup Documentation from Schema.org
Once you find the schema you want to use for your rich snippet, visit Schema.org. The site will provide a list of descriptive tags you can use for each type. It also provides guidelines for each one. Google has documentation for people who are not web developers. If you use Word Press, you can also use plugins like Schema Pro or WP Review Pro to create rich snippets for your site.
3. Test with Structured Data Tool
After you insert structured data on your site, you can test it with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.
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