Officially, Google doesn’t use markup language when determining how a site will show up in search results, but the language shows up in a disproportionate number of search queries. Despite finding that only 0.3% of websites utilize markup language, Google says that nearly 33% of all search results display them.
Schema might not help your site rank, but it is a powerful tool to make your page more attractive among those results, which will drive traffic.
What Is Schema?
Schema is an HTML markup language recognized by most major search engines as a way for them to display structured data to their users. While search engines are becoming increasingly complex, information that the average user will easily discern is not always interpreted properly by their code.
Markup languages, such as Schema, give context to to Google, Bing and Yahoo, letting them know what the data displayed means by using standardized tags to identify relevant content. Schema is not the only markup language, with Twitter and Facebook both offering their own options, but it is one of the most comprehensive and widely recognized.
The Schema.org website has a detailed list of the different markups and how to use them, but there are a few markups that are particularly powerful for eCommerce sites looking to improve the presentation of their links in search engine results.
This will make customer reviews appear in search engine results directly below the link in the form of a star rating. Used by sites such as Yelp! and Amazon, a review will give searchers a visible summary of how other users found a particular product or service. Most eCommerce sites already understand how valuable public feedback is for shoppers, and the aggregate review schema will allow you quickly translate that information directly into the search results.
If you’re selling merchandise with a static price, including this in the search results could give you a competitive edge if you are cheaper than you competitors. Even if they don’t use Schema themselves, the language can make your result stand out by offering the price up front.
If your company offers digital as well as traditional business locations, including the address could help local shoppers identify your store and give them 1-click access to finding directions to it. You can also list your business hours, which is particularly useful for mobile results where users can limit their location search by displaying only those that are currently open.
Standing Out To Boost Your Ranking
By displaying relevant information to consumers directly from the search results, you’ll increase the likelihood that users clicking through to your site will find the information they are looking for. This will tell Google that your content is valuable, which can lead to increase ratings. Schema also adds highly visible content to search results, which can make them attractive to shoppers even if your result isn’t currently number one.
Schema is an tool set that most of your competitors likely don’t use which can give you an advantage when vying for organic traffic. Markup doesn’t have a direct impact on your rankings with Google, but in results dominated by text links, a few golden starts are king.