SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) is becoming increasingly important in our web driven world. It is critical that your website be visible to users looking for the services you provide. While good SEO techniques will still be the biggest determining factor for ranking your website in organic searches, there is a way to possibly get a leg-up on all of the many websites using the same SEO techniques.
Enter Schema.org markup. Schema.org markup is a form of microdata that can be added to the existing markup of a webpage in order to provide more context regarding the content on the webpage. To quote Schema.org:
“Most webmasters are familiar with HTML tags on their pages. Usually, HTML tags tell the browser how to display the information included in the tag. For example, <h1>Avatar</h1> tells the browser to display the text string “Avatar” in a heading 1 format. However, the HTML tag doesn’t give any information about what that text string means—”Avatar” could refer to the hugely successful 3D movie, or it could refer to a type of profile picture—and this can make it more difficult for search engines to intelligently display relevant content to a user.”
In short, when adding Schema to your webpage, you provide greater context to the search engine so it can better determine relevancy to the user’s search query. And having higher relevancy to a user’s search can potentially lead to more traffic on your website. Another benefit of Schema markup is that it allows for search engines to create an enhanced description (known as a rich snippet) of your website that appears in the search results. This gives your webpage greater visibility next to other relevant search results and gives more information to the user regarding your site. This, in turn, makes your site more attractive to the user and thus more likely to be clicked.
The benefits do not end there, however. As Google and other search engines work to leverage Schema, you can use this microdata to make your site more visible in contexts beyond the more “expected” searches. For example, if you have a page on which you list current open job postings, you can use Schema’s microdata to alert search engines (such as Google) to these job postings. With the additional context provided to Google your website will now show up in searches like “restaurant jobs near me” as well as conventional search like “restaurants near me”.
While there is no indication yet that Schema.org microdata markup effect search rankings one way or the other, by leveraging the additional context it provides to search engines such as Google, Bing, and others, you become even more visible and thus “more highly ranked” to users. Thus we can, perhaps, consider Schema markup to help optimize your SEO.