An Intro to Schema Markups
There are so many s-words when it comes to SEO. If you’ve been doing some research, you’ve probably come across terms like “schema,” “snippet,” “SERP,” or “structured data.” But what do they mean? And how do all these pieces fit together?
Defining Schema Markup
When you see someone mention “schema markups,” they are actually referring to specific snippets of code. This code, or structured data, serves as a translator for search engines and provides context for the supplied content. That supplied content is called a SERP entry, or Search Engine Results Page.
Another way to think about schema markups is to compare them to business cards. Schema markups, like business cards, were created with the recipient (user) in mind. By having critical information properly labeled and on display, users know exactly where to look.
Where Does the Code Come From?
You see, the term “schema” is actually shorthand for schema.org. This website is a collaborative database of code snippets that has grown large enough to be considered a, if not THE standard. Contributors range from savvy freelance developers to employees from big names like Google, Bing, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex.
Basically, think of schema.org as Google’s current favorite version of the dictionary.
Bypass Hardcoding with Plugins
That’s right. You don’t have to be a master developer to gain control of how your content is displayed on SERPs. If your site is run on WordPress, go ahead and let out that sigh of relief. There are TONS of plugins out there to assist with all your SEO woes.
Our current favorite here at Roundpeg is newcomer Rank Math. This currently free plugin provides easy to use tools to set up defaults and add schema markups to individual pages.
It’s also loaded to the brim with SEO customization options while still remaining relatively light-weight on the backend of your website. You can read more on why we switched from Yoast to Rank Math mid-2020 here.
7 Popular Mark Up Examples
Now that we have a better understanding on what schema markups are and how they work, let’s dive into a few examples.
Article Schema Markup
These are one of the most common schema markup types used. If you are using a WordPress SEO tool such as Yoast or Rank Math, there’s a good chance a majority of your pages and posts are going to default to this schema type.
The metadata magic behind the scenes of the article schema translates your posts into a language that search engines understand. It also increases the likelihood of your post displaying as a rich card, like these three articles about the popular game, Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Recipe Schema Markup
Use the recipe schema markup to bring your favorite recipes right to top of your favorite search engine. In addition to displaying a photo and name of the recipe, you have the ability to add reviews, steps, ingredients, and more.
I don’t know about you, but these bean recipes sound far more appetizing to me displayed as rich cards!
Podcast Schema Markup
Podcasters rejoice! Activate this schema markup to have your latest episodes display in the search results as rich cards.
With one click, users are transported to Google Podcast where they can listen to the latest episode of More Than a Few Words (or whatever podcast they are trying to find).
Review Schema Markup in Rich Snippets
Review schema markups trigger the little star ratings below otherwise normal search results. It’s a very subtle bit of HTML that adds a small pop that makes your entry stand out.
Reviews can also be used in tandem with other schema markups, such as products and items that display in the knowledge graph.
Product Schema Markup
Adding the product schema markup code to your page is like opening up a window to your shop from your favorite search engine. In addition to displaying the name, price, and an image of your product, you have the ability to add specific specs or a short description to the rich card as well.
Mind you, this markup type is only usable for online stores, not lookbooks or pages that provide a general overview of goods provided. There is a completely different schema markup for services, too.
Video Schema Markup
In this graphic driven world, no one wants to read a bunch of text to find the video they want. And why make users click over to the video tab for visuals when you can have them display on the main search page? Make sure your videos are easy to find rich cards with this markup type.
Local Business Markup
Inputting the local business schema markup will trigger a lovely snapshot, or knowledge graph, to highlight your organization upon search.
Other schema markups currently that trigger a knowledge graph include:
- Person Market
- Software Application
- TV Episode
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