How To Use Schema Markup For Local Businesses
Discover how to use Schema Markup (Pronounced Ski-ma) for your local business and rise above your competition. We all know what the impact of good SEO execution can have on your business. But unfortunately there are still thousands of business owners falling behind as the search engine algorithms evolve every single year.
What is Schema Markup in Plain English?
Schema Markup is a piece of text (code) that is placed inside your website, and used to identify key pieces of information (metadata) on that given web page. The information is sent back, interpreted and used by the search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc). It’s used to display search results in a much more rich and user friendly way. As an attempt to provide the most relevant search results possible for the user.
Have you ever made a Google search online recently (Past 5-7 years) and noticed information showing up in different ways? Google and other search engines in a push to innovate, now offer more results than your standard web link.
Your Google search results are now filled with colorful images, text, drop-down FAQ menus, carousels, videos and more! The landscape has changed dramatically since Google's inception in 1998.
How Long Has It Been Around?
Schema.org was stated in 2011. A collaborative project launched by the world's 3 largest search engine operators (Google, Bing, and Yahoo respectively).
The mission: “To create, maintain, and promote schemas for structured data on the Internet, on web pages, in email messages, and beyond."
So essentially, the 3 kingpins of search got together and decided on a set of ‘rules’ or ‘guidelines’ to dictate how we identify information on our websites in a way that all search engines can understand and use. A common language.
So what does this mean for us?
Why is Schema Markup Important for Local Businesses?
Schema Markup can be implemented in tandem as part of your long term Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy.
A recent Forrester online survey of 300 marketing agencies revealed search as the number one source a customer uses to find information about a company. The same survey also revealed Schema Markup as having the lowest (17%) of all search tactics being implemented.
This is a huge opportunity right now for you to gain a foothold on some of your larger competitors in your industry. A low hanging fruit that will help you get in Google’s good favor. Helping you rank your web pages higher in more situations than not.
The Top 3 Benefits of Using Schema Markup for Your Local Business
- Elevated Search Engine Rankings
By offering more information to Google, you are offering it’s algorithm more data points and a deeper understanding of your content. This in turn will increase the likelihood of one of your web pages out ranking a similar one. By winning rich snippet placements you have the ability to jump the rankings of larger sites.
- Seamless User Experience
There’s a reason Google and all the other big search players implemented the Schema language. To create a better end to end experience for anyone who makes a search online. By adopting this new technology you’re in turn also offering a better user experience to anyone who finds your content online.
- Gain the Edge on Your Competitors
As mentioned above, right now Schema Markup is not being widely adapted across the board. It is by no means a brand new technology but it is a relatively new adoption when you look at SEO innovation as a whole. Now's the time to update your site and implement Schema Markup up while your still have the upper hand.
Schema Markup is not going to rank your website #1 over night, but over time with patience, it will have a positive impact on your organic search results and should be part of your long term SEO strategy.
Schema Markup Examples & Applications
Below are some example images of various ‘Rich Snippets’ as Google calls them. Google uses the information you provide in the form of Schema Markup on your website to display these search results in a more appealing fashion.
You can find a full list of examples at: Search Gallery - Examples of Various ‘Rich Snippets’ and How They Appear in Google
Schema markup for Reviews
Schema Markup for Products
Schema Markup for Local Business
Schema Markup for FAQ
Schema Markup Structured Data Tools
Search Gallery: Examples of Various ‘Rich Snippets’ and How They Appear in Google)
Structured Data Testing Tool: Test a URL or various URLs to see if it uses Schema Markup.
Schema Guidelines: Official Schema Markup website with more information!
How to Add Schema Markup to Your WebFlow Site
WebFlow is my number one preferred all-in-one website hosting, design, and development platform. And the one Socialscape recommends to all of our clients. Adding Schema Markup to your WebFlow website has never been easier. I’ve outlined the simple and easy to follow 6 step process.
The process below can be reiterated on each web page and modified depending on the exact ‘Schema’ you want to add. For example you will want to add the ‘Article’ schema for your blog posts and the ‘FAQ’ schema for your FAQ page and so on.
Open up your WebFlow designer, and click on the pages tab found on the left side bar.
Find the page you would like to add Schema Markup to and click the gear icon that appears when highlighted. This will open up the page settings.
Go to the Google Search Gallery, scroll down until you find the type of Schema you would like to add. In this example, Schema Markup for an Article is being added. Click ‘Get Started.’
You will see a bunch of text and code appear. Don’t worry too much about this. Simply copy the text between <script and </script as seen in the image below.
Go back to Webflow, scroll down and paste the text into the ‘Before </body> Tag’ section. Next you will need to replace Google’s generic filler info and replace it with the relevant information pertaining to your website. Delete only the highlight text as seen below before replacing. Every comma and colon is important so be very careful at this step.
You can use the Add Field button to pull information automatically or simply replace Google’s own information with yours. You can see how this was accomplished below.
All you have to do now is save and publish! That’s it you're all done! If you would like to see if it has been implemented properly you can use the Structured Data Testing Tool to see if it has worked. Just copy and paste the URL of the web page you would like to test. If done right your’s should look similar to the image below.
As search engines continue to change and evolve, it is important as business owners to ensure you're doing what you can to stay relevant and grow with the changes. This will ensure your business is built for not only for today but years to come.
If you have any questions at all feel free to reach out or drop a comment below!