Why use Schema Structured Data on Your Website

What is Schema Structured Data

Google defines Structured Data as: "Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content; for example, on a recipe page, what are the ingredients, the cooking time and temperature, the calories, and so on."  Furthermore, they give you a pretty compelling reason to use structured data: "Google Search works hard to understand the content of a page. You can help us by providing explicit clues about the meaning of a page to Google by including structured data on the page. Google Search also uses structured data to enable special search result features and enhancements. " In regards to SEO, one of the primary benefits of Schema markup is the improvement in search results and often the increase in click through rates. Schema Markup is also commonly know as "rich snippets" or also micro data.  Unlike many search innovations, this is not a Google specific feature, in fact, Schema was built as a collaboration effort between Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex originating over 10 years ago.

Schema is Not the New Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing was an SEO technique that was successful in the early 2000's, but all major search engines have sniffed this out as a spammy blackhat technique and now ignore the keyword tag and even penalize web pages that attempt to stuff a keyword in to the copy in an obvious manner.  Instead, as mentioned above, Schema is instead a method developed and encouraged by search engines to help identify the content and purpose of a page. So when a recent study suggested that less then 30% of search results on Google include rich snippets (Schema markup), that should be motivation enough.  You have an opportunity to get the benefits for this enhanced listing method before the rest of the world, or at least your competitors of note, does it as well.

Types of Schema

There are many types of Schema Markup available.  The most widely used are shown in the list below.
  • organiziations
  • local businesses
  • products or services
  • people
  • videos
  • artists (including musicians)
  • recipes
  • company and product reviews

How to use Schema

To get a jump start on using Schema on your own website, we suggest using the Google Structured Data Markup Helper.  There are many other structured data generators available and each has a particular strength, such as some are very good at recipe schema and others are very good at reviews schema.  But for a good general use tool, start with Google's Tool.