What is schema markup

If you are reading articles around improving your websites appearance in Google Search Result pages, or articles about SEO and optimising your website for voice search then you will probably have seen the term “schema markup”.

Schema markup is a language that helps search engines understand what the content on the webpage is about. If we take the simple example of a webpage about a Movie.

This is what the standard html Code would look like.

<div>

<h1>A Great Movie</h1>

<span>Director: Joe Bloggs</span>

<span>Comedy</span>

<a href=”../movies/a-great-movie.html”>Trailer Clip</a>

</div>

The text on the page would look like this.

A Great Movie

Director: Joe Bloggs

Trailer Clip

If we were to do a voice search here and ask “Hey Google, Who was the director for the movie “A Great Movie?”, from the text above google would not be able to distinguish the director from the text as it is no different to other text in the paragraph. Schema markup is used to differentiate each piece of text.

When we add schema markup language to the paragraph we start by telling google that we are using the markup language for a movie.

<div itemscope itemtype =”http://schema.org/Movie”>

From this then google will know that the information below is using tags (itemprop attributes) that define attributes of a movie.

The director is identified by using the line <span>Director: <span itemprop=”director”>Joe Bloggs</span>.

Now when we ask “Hey Google, Who was the director for the movie “A Great Movie?” it is able to look at the below text and say, this text is about a movie and the director is Joe Bloggs.

<div itemscope itemtype =”http://schema.org/Movie”>

<h1 itemprop=”name”>A Great Movie</h1>

<span>Director: <span itemprop=”director”>Joe Bloggs</span>

<span itemprop=”genre”>Comedy</span>

<a href=”../movies/a-great-movie.html” itemprop=”trailer”>Trailer Clip</a>

</div>

The text on the page will still look like the below but the code behind it has identifiers in order for google to understand the data.

A Great Movie

Director: Joe Bloggs

Trailer Clip

There are hundreds of different schema markup types that cover a range of common item types such as a place, local business, person, menu or recipe.

Take a recipe as another good example.

If we were to ask, “How long to had boil an egg”.  Google returns the below results. These results are using schema markup to give us the answer. If you do a voice search it would also use schema markup to give the answer.

schema markup egg example

Again, how this works is that Google would use schema markup to identify the cooking time within the text. The schema would start by identifying the text as a recipe as by using the opening tag for a recipe <div itemscope itemtype =”http://schema.org/recipe”>

Google then knows that all the items under here are tags (itemprop attributes) in relation to a recipe

Part of the code for the cook time would use the tag (itemprop attributes) “cookTime” to identify the cooking time of the item:

Cook time: <meta itemprop=”cookTime” content=”PT1H”>6-7 minutes

Schema markup language is basically a language that helps structure the content on the page so that search engines know what the content is about. Websites that use schema markup will help rank better in text search engine results and voice search results.

If you have a WordPress website, you can use a schema markup plugin to help you edit each page to reflect the content of the page in schema markup language. If you are not using WordPress, you can generate the html markup code using the Google structured Data Markup Helper found here

https://www.google.com/webmasters/markup-helper/u/0/

You don’t have to know or understand the code to implement schema markup into your website,  ask your web developer to use this code or use the WordPress plugins available that will help you get schema markup code onto your website.

Get ahead of your competition and start to use schema markup code in your website content.

 

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