Schema Markup for Local Businesses

July 6, 2016
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What is Schema Markup?

Schema markup is certain code in your website that helps search engines more easily recognize information to show to users. If you’ve ever used rich snippets, you know exactly what schema markup accomplishes. By adding this code to your website, your helping the search engines identify certain text on your site such as your business’s name, address, phone number, event schedule and things of the like.

Natural language processing is a powerful tool, enabling search engines to figure out about 80% of what your website is. For the other 20%, Google, Yahoo and Bing relies on the schema of your website. It is one of the most powerful ways to differentiate your local business online, but many business owners do not take advantage of it. In fact, only 32.3% of websites use Schema markup and most of them are only doing the basics.

How Does Schema Work?

Schema tells the search engines where your content means, not just what it says. As a standard, your website’s content gets indexed and returned in search results. With schema markup, some of that content gets indexed and returned in a different way. For example, if you had your business name on a blog post, the search engine will see it and produce a SERP entry with that business name. However, if you put the right schema markup around the name, the search engine now knows the it is your business name, not just a couple random words. The search engine uses that information to provide results that display better information for the user who is conducting searches.

It explicitly tells search engines what the page is about so it can get matched better with searches who are looking for you. By defining the “things” on your website, search engines will reward you by adding additional information about the business into search results with the hope users will send them to your site. There are countless of elements you can take advantage of. The ones you’ll definitely want to use are:

  • name
  • address
  • telephone
  • logo
  • description

But depending on your business, you will want to incorporate other elements as well such as “priceRange” if you are a restaurant or “RealEstateAgent” if you’re a realtor. As mentioned, schema markup is written in code, more specifically JSON-LD, Microdata or RDFa, but you don’t need to know code to begin implementing these tactics into your website.

Why Should I be Using Schema Markup?

Schema markup clarifies what your business is all about including what you’re selling and how to get in contact with you. Search engines not only display this elegantly on SERPs, it increases your visibility and increases higher click-through rates. In fact, as high as a 30% increase in click through rates could be the result of using schema markup.

Additionally, schema markup can be used for more than just local business search optimization. Scheme markup can be used to describe all of the content in your website, not just the basic information. You can take this and apply schema to your analytics as well to gain invaluable business intelligence.