November 7th, 2016
Today, I think the best place to start this little discussion of ours would be to make sure that we all understand what Schema actually is! Otherwise, the rest of this article won’t make much sense… So, what on earth is it?
Well, to put it simply, Schema is a type of additional coding that can be added to the HTML of your website to define what certain parts of the content are. This, in turn, helps both Google and Bing to better understand your content and what it is, leading them to potentially add extra information to your search result listings. For example, when you search for a product online and the price and star rating are shown in the results, that’s because the site have used Schema to define that content as a product.
Why do we even need that?
That is one question that I have heard a lot throughout my career since Schema was first released to the wild. And you know what? It’s actually understandable, as the implementation of Schema can be time consuming and expensive depending on the CMS system you are using. In fact, if you are using a custom built CMS or a static site, this can increase drastically. So, why on earth should you spend your time and money for it?
Well, first off don’t expect a ranking increase just because you added Schema to your site. That’s not really the point and it won’t happen. Instead, your listings in search results can (and it’s up to Google or Bing) start to show the extra information to make them more relevant. This additional information leads to an average of 30% increase in CTR, or click-through rate – this metric refers to the percentage of people who have actually clicked on your listing compared to how many have seen it in the search results.
Therefore, the biggest benefit of Schema is that it can increase the amount of visitors you get, many of whom will already be prepared to convert as they will already have key information like price, reviews, opening times or anything else included in the listing. On top of that, it can indirectly lead to improved rankings and visibility.
How do we implement it?
Well, the first thing you should be doing is going to Schema.org and getting your head around what the coding looks like and what types of content can be defined. Once you have found the right type of content markup for your site, all necessary additional coding will be provided for you through examples. Then, depending on your confidence with coding, you can do it yourself or pass the information on to your developers to do it for you.
If you are using WordPress, there are a number of plugins available to can add the Schema markup coding to your website, such as All In One Schema Rich Snippets. These plugins allow you to easily add the markup needed, whether you are looking at the Product, People or Review categories of content, just to name a few.
For Magento users, there is an extension called the Rich Snippets Suite, which works in a similar way to the WordPress plugin. Therefore, you can get your product details and reviews showing up in search results, which should lead to a higher conversion rate for Organic traffic!
Finally, for those of you using Drupal, there is a project being worked on that will allow you to add Schema markup to your site once it is finished. You can find more information on the project here.
But what if we’re not an E-commerce site?
Whilst E-commerce is one of the biggest investors in the use of Schema, it is certainly not limited to that industry! In fact, even if your business is a local restaurant, you can use Schema to define both the business and the place of business. That way, things like customer reviews, map locations, opening hours and much more can all be marked up with the Schema coding. There are a huge amount of different categories, from businesses to people to events or even video games.
So, no matter what type of industry your business is involved in, I can almost guarantee that there’s a Schema category type that can be used on your website. With a potential 30% increase in click-through rates and the chance of higher conversion percentages, it is totally worth it when it comes to the time and money to get Schema implemented!
Do you use Schema? Have you been wondering about it? What are your thoughts on its use? Let us known in the comments! And of course, if you want some help getting it implemented, we’d be more than happy to work with you!
Need more information on Schema? Or perhaps some help getting it installed?