Humans can easily distinguish between different types of data on a website and instinctively understand their purpose and meaning, but it’s difficult for search engines to determine what each piece of content really means.
To solve this issue Google, Bing, and Yahoo came together to create Schema.org so search engines can return more informative results for users.
What is Schema.org?
Schema.org is an industry organization that sets standard tags that allow you to define what each piece of content on your website means. Each different data type (such as author, publish date, rating, price, or weight) and content type (such as product offerings, informational/educational content, video clips, or event announcements) is given its own unique tag.
A schema tag works like a heading tag but rather than define a style, it defines context. Schema markup tells the search engines what your data means, not just what it says.
<span itemprop="price" content="9.95">9.95</span>
For example, the above schema tag tells the search engine that the price of the item tagged is $9.95. This tag allows search engines to display better results from your webpage. In the example below, this search result shows the price of “$9.95” and “In stock” (in gray) because both of the attributes are defined within the schema markup.
Schema tags can also help with your SEO efforts by positioning your site as a featured result, which can drive additional traffic to the post or page. With the rise of voice search, featured results are more important than ever because most virtual assistants use featured search results when answering questions.
Top Schema Markup Types:
- Organization (company introduction, including official name, logo, contact info, location and social profiles)
- Person (name, birthdate, address, education and family members)
- Local Business (address, opening hours, menu, contact info)
- Product & Offer (item, service, product details, price, status, sale)
Check out this handy markup generator
Should I use schema markup for my company’s website?
Yes. From providing semantic context for news articles and product reviews, to identifying movie clips and upcoming events, schema markup is an important component of your overall website, SEO, and marketing strategies.
Schema helps your website rank better for all kinds of content types. There are hundreds of markup types, so there’s a good chance any type of data you want to provide context and meaning for is going to have an associated markup.
The very search-engine companies that created this language use it when deciding what to display and how to rank your site on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). If the big dogs are using it, you should too.
If you have questions about how Schema.org and other technical SEO improvements could benefit your business, drop us a line.
This article was updated January 25, 2023.