In this post, we’ll examine website schema and its impact on search engine optimization.
In addition to providing users with relevant search results, a website schema helps search engines.
Deepak Rahal, Director of Digital Strategy at Immortal Business, examines schema markup examples and dives into a variety of schema.org types. This guide to improving your search engine optimization through rich results will teach you all about website schema.
What is Website Schema?
The schema of a website is the code that helps search engines display relevant results to users.
They use it to understand the primary parts of your website and to populate your SERPs with rich results, based on that information.
Google, Bing, and Yahoo collaborated on the Schema.org entry. In 2011, Yandex, Yahoo!, and Google developed a web-based structured data vocabulary. (Bing and other search engines, however, have not explicitly stated they support JSON-LD implementations of Schema.org).
A website can be enhanced with the addition of different markups using schema.org.
In order to reap the benefits of website schema, Google and other search engines constantly update their SERPs. The company not only tests new design elements on a regular basis, but it also changes its algorithm frequently.
A non-HTML SERP may pop up when you type a person’s name, a business, or even a question, or even HTML SERPs may have additional features like reviews, pricing, and breadcrumbs.
Schema tags do not yet produce rich results for all of them, but it’s good to be prepared for when they expand.
In addition, you should note that having a schema does not guarantee a rich result and that the schema does not help improve rankings. In the past, I have observed schema negatively affect rankings and click-through rates.
Schema offers the advantage of taking up more retail space on the first page. When schema can create a FAQ rich result, a search box rich result, and even a sitelink rich result, you now occupy a huge portion of the first page.
It is understandable that Google will limit rich results to keep up with the competition. In 2019, Google limited the number of rich snippets per FAQ page to three.
You should determine the type of schema you would prefer to use before beginning to use schema.
Schema Org Types
Schema orgs can be divided into three types.
The three are JSON-LD, Microdata, and RDFa. As RDFa is largely an extension of HTML5 and has many similarities to microdata (they are usually intermixed online), we will mainly take a look at JSON-LD and Microdata.
Choosing one style and sticking to it throughout your website is a good idea. Additionally, I recommend not using both types on the same page. It can be challenging to diagnose when you add multiple schema tags to a website.
Google recommends JSON-LD whenever possible, and is adding support for markup-based features. JSON-LD is easily integrated into a header and can be developed in a short amount of time.
Microdata is another option, which requires you to code things into your website. This can be a challenging process for some odd reason, which is why I don’t like it. There are several types of schema.org. The following are basic definitions for each type.
Google now supports more types of website schemas using JSON-LD, which is now the preferred method of schema markup.
Microdata is added to the body of a website, whereas JSON-LD is usually added to the header. JSON-LD can still be implemented within the body, just don’t try to tag individual elements as you would with microdata. In Google’s view, the preferred method is to place it in the header.
The JSON-LD schema markup specification was created to make implementing schema markup within code easier than tagging every HTML element individually, as microdata does.
Using JSON-LD, you can annotate what is found on a webpage using multidimensional arrays. You should verify whether the content is actually present on your website when you are adding JSON-LD schema markup.
A microdata tag is an annotation on an HTML element which can be read by machines. In order to support the website schema, you must add an item type, which represents the content of your page.
Identifying and Finding Website Schema
Finding schema can be done multiple ways.
Google’s structured data tool makes it easy to verify. Crawling web pages or entering the source code will let you know what schemas are implemented on the website, whether there are any errors, and whether there are any warnings.
If your website has multiple pages, this can be challenging. You can also check a page’s schema markup with tools like ScreamingFrog. Open configuration -> spider -> and look under extraction before running a crawl. Be sure to check microdata, RDFa, and JSON-LD.
It’s important that you check Google Tag Manager if you’re having problems finding tags via source code or the above tools, but the client is getting rich results. The schema may not appear in any of these tools when GTM is used for dynamically adding it to a website.
Common Schema Markups Examples:
There are many known usages for website schema.
Schema elements for SEO purposes are presented below. It is possible to add or remove many things from the list. You can find different elements to insert on schema.org.
Organization schema is a necessity when it comes to clients.
You can add social media links and operation hours, opening days, the number of employees, a description, and more to this tag. But the very base of this tag is Business Name, Logo, and Web Address. A company’s knowledge panel can benefit from an organization schema, even if it is not a necessity.
** Do not use this schema on all pages. Only implement this schema on the home page or about us page.
Sitelinks Searchbox (Website)
In the Sitelink Searchbox schema, or Website Schema, you can specify the name, URL, logo, and URL of a website to be used for the search engine. When a branded search is conducted, a rich result will be produced using schema markup.
You can add breadcrumb lists to any page.
The robots will know what page they are on and what structure they need to follow in order to get there. If adding the breadcrumb list to all pages, you may be better off using a Schema Plugin or using microdata on the breadcrumb list template on the page (see Implementation section).
Adding this schema example to your FAQs page or blog would be useful if you ask of answers frequently questions. As far as FAQpage schema is concerned, it is typically used on an FAQ section of a website.
Using FAQpage schema in blogs would be another example of schema markup. In addition, by using this schema, you can take up more retail space in the SERPs by adding a question and answer section to the blog. If you use headers as questions and answer them within content, you can also use this feature on PLPs.
The How-To schema can be used on pages that describe how to use a product or feature. Installation guides and product setups are common examples.
Q&A schema, as opposed to FAQpage schema, is used when a user asks a question on a page and other users have the opportunity to answer. The difference between this and FAQpage schema is that users answer questions on an open forum, and the website itself doesn’t provide the answer.
A website can use this on every blog page. You can mark up the publication date, the author, the image, and even the body content of the blog. Articles could possibly display richer results when this is done.
Each product page of a website should contain this. Adding properties such as pricing, ratings, in-stock versus out-of-stock, and colors are all possible. When shopping online, you will often see results that look like this.
A review schema is incorporated into a product schema for each individual product. As a standalone schema, you can still use Review schema if you have a review of a website or any other type of review. Schema markup examples like this one result in HTML search results with rich, user-generated reviews.
A website can include this on every page. Among the possible properties are publish date, logo, image, breadcrumbs, and more.
A page cannot contain a video without a schema for video. This can be used to show the video source, the video title, the video description, and the video timestamp within a video.
A schema such as this is a must-have for local companies or companies with local entities, since it can be used to define different hours of operation, location, name, etc.
This is a list of the top common schemas, but there are many others to suit your needs.
There are many other schemas I’ve seen people use, including gyms, restaurants, airports, person, recipes, job advertisements, and events. Use schema.org to search for the type of page you are creating if you are not sure if it qualifies for a schema.
Schema markup implementation is the most challenging aspect.
In case you are using JSON-LD, you are in luck. That bad boy just needs to be pasted within the header of the page and you are good to go! When using Microdata, make sure you identify the itemtype and itemscope of the page, and test, test, test.
You can test your code before and after adding schema to a website using two tools:
If any errors were detected, warnings were generated, and if it would produce rich results, these tools will alert you to these.
If you find schema errors in Google Search Console, check it as well. The Search Console may display a new section dedicated to the schema you added when you added schema features. If there are any errors in Search Console, you will lose the rich result for that SERP.
You don’t have access to their CMS? With Google Tag Manager, JSON-LD schema can be implemented if needed. This method is not preferred by Google, but it can work. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always show up within the source code and the tools.
Dynamic Implementation & Automation
Manually adding schema to each of your hundreds of pages may have to be avoided if you need it for hundreds of pages. It is possible to dynamically generate schema on a website in a variety of ways.
It can be built within the template of a webpage. Using microdata on the template page will generate this code automatically if your product page includes a FAQ section. Then, the code won’t need to be added every time a new page is created.
Additionally, other website elements, such as breadcrumb lists, can also be edited in this way. You’re likely to find a plugin to dynamically display breadcrumbs at your client’s e-commerce site. It is possible to generate a BreadCrumb List schema by adding microdata to the plugin.
In addition to dynamically generating schema, Google Tag Manager provides bulk schema generation functionality. This method was introduced in 2016 and was typically used on product pages and blogs. The full guide on how to create this can be found here. Google does not recommend this method.
You can add dynamic tags to the post schema, the breadcrumb list, and other elements of your WordPress website with plugins.
Schema Pro and All In One Schema are the most common. When you are using these plugins, you need to be VERY CAREFUL. It has been my experience that these plugins have caused countless errors, so run tests.
Obviously there will not be any rich results from that tag if the schema generates an error (even just 1). When this schema is poorly implemented, the wrong schema is added to the wrong pages of the website, which can cause damage. As a result, Google may lose its ranking due to this confusion.
Read more: How to Find a Profitable Blog Niche
Resources on Schema
Schema can be challenging to use at first. The most important thing is to actually build the code. These can be automatically generated for you by websites that can get you started.
A plug-and-chug option for common schema code, this website was developed by Merkle. The website will produce the appropriate code for you when you copy and paste what you need.
Do you have a particular schema in mind? The most likely place to find it is on Google’s developer site. Look through their website to see what you can find, most of the time they will also provide you with a basic (and working) structure for JSON-LD and Microdata.
The beginning of the story can be found here. To get ideas on what properties can be used for different kinds of schema, check out this website. When digging up a nasty schema error, this website is your best resource.
Wrapping It Up
Taking up as much space as possible on the search engine’s first page is the biggest advantage of website schema.
With Google’s algorithm continuing to change on a regular basis, different opportunities for new design elements will continue to emerge. For the most accurate Google search results, stay on top of the various examples of schema markup used for websites.