What Is Website Schema & Why Should You Care?

Posted By: on November 25th, 2014
Filed Under: Online Marketing, Web Dev

“Dog-Gone It! You got my attention with your leading question Wilson. So tell me, what is Website Schema, and why SHOULD I care?”

Information on Website Schema

(Disclaimer: This post is intended for business owners, and oversimplifies some of the technicality of Schemas in general – a more technical schema post is in the works!)

Website Schema was introduced in 2011 by Google as a means of helping search engines more accurately display relevant results to users. Unlike us humans, who can understand the context of our search, search engines can’t do this. They can only display results from the structured data they read on your site.

An example would be this: You and your buddies want to go hunting some red deer in Alberta, so you pop it into the ole’ Goog, but can only get results of Red Deer the city! Google thinks this is what you wanted, because it had no context that you wanted information on the animal, not the city!

Website Schemas are essentially words or tags  in a “shared vocabulary” that can be used by your on-line marketing company (like us!) to talk to search engines like Google & Bing to provide refined searches. The website Schema.org provides a list of these “shared code vocabularies” that are in a easy to use format called Microdata. These are then separated into different categories with their own respective subcategories.

For example, there is an organization schema that can be funneled into the more narrow Local Business schema that can funnel into a Store schema. Each of these “categories” have their own tags/code that are unique to them, that also include all the tags one level above them, and so forth.

The end result? Your website result sticks out on the SERPS and you increase your chances of a user choosing your webpage over a competitor –  which is the end goal of all this work!

 

Website Schema at Work

“Oh man, that sounds too good to be true. But before I try it, I want to see it in action first. What does it look like in application?”

Cost Schema Example

Notice how despite not being the top search result, this result still is able to stand out? They’re using a price range  tag which is part of the Offer schema that shows the price range of their used Ford Focus inventory on the page. This above snippet achieves a couple important goals:

Helps qualify and funnel customers – Customers who aren’t willing to pay that much will likely pass over the link, and those that DO will likely click on this one because they already know how much it’s going to cost. At the very least, more traffic is going to this page.

Differentiates from the competition – Notice how none of their other competitors are using this schema. Immediate differentiation in the SERP’s is a huge advantage, especially in a super competitive industry like car sales.

Review Schema Example

Alright alright. So let’s say we want to check out a movie before we rent or pirate it from …that site we all use. In this example, we’re looking for some background info on “Honey I Shrunk The Kids” (the good version with Rick Moranis). An aggregated review schema from 85,458 votes gives the movie a resounding 6.2 /10. Obvious benefits here are:

Time Savings – If a large number of people review a product or service and come to an aggregated high or low rating, this can  make the buying process for a potential prospect easier. A bunch of people rated this a 6.2/10, which in my books is still passable.

 

More Examples of Website Schema

 

Localbusiness Schema Example

 

Local Business schema example

Event Schema Example

Event schema example

Ecommerce Schema Example

Ecommerce schema example.

Conclusion

Keep in mind these schema examples are only a drop in the bucket. The rabbit hole goes deep with this, and can be daunting at first if you really want to get into it. The pay-off is completely worth it – in some cases, it might even be the case that you need it to not get ahead of the competition, but to stay in competition!

Hopefully this top down overview of website schema has piqued your interest, and given you a general idea of just how helpful it is to utilize these in your online marketing endeavours. There are some technicalities that I purposely left out in order to streamline the information, but you are welcome to read more here, or tune in next month when I write a more technical post that goes deeper into this topic.

Thanks for reading, and let us know what you think or contact us if this is something you’d like to get into.

 

 

What Makes a Junior, Intermediate, or Senior SEO?

Posted By: on October 29th, 2014
Filed Under: Online Marketing

googlebot loves you and your seo knowledge!

Googlebot wants to know what makes you a junior, intermediate, or senior seo!

Truthfully, there isn’t really such a thing as an “SEO School”, so it can be difficult for online marketing professionals to know where they sit in the online marketing world. Years of experience alone is a poor indicator of  a person’s ability in this industry. We thought we’d share how we, Top Draw, go about rating online marketing people in different knowledge verticals. While the guide below is Google-centric, it should help give you a more accurate idea of what your SEO knowledge and skill level is like.

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Social Marketing… It’s Like a Chainsaw

Posted By: on October 23rd, 2014
Filed Under: Online Marketing

Social Marketing, Is It For You?

Social Media Marketing is like a chainsaw, it can be extremely effective, or you can cut your damn hand off. There are a lot of marketing firms out there pushing social media as a must have in any given company’s marketing strategy. You’ll have phrases like viral marketing, direct contact and share value thrown at you, with the force relative to the Jays plunge out of playoff contention after the all-star break. So what’s the answer? Should social media marketing be a priority in your company or brand’s marketing strategy? Should you invest the time and the money (good social takes money regardless of what someone may tell you) into the development and establishment of your company’s social identity? Well the answer is sadly as unclear as why Tuuka Rask can’t get his game together against the Habs. Sadly all I can offer you today is a firm “Maybe.”

“Social Media Marketing is like a chainsaw, it can be extremely effective, or you can cut your damn hand off.”

Tuukka Fail

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Video Remarketing with YouTube

Posted By: on October 17th, 2014
Filed Under: Online Marketing

As more and more companies turn to digital mediums to contact their customers, new opportunities in targeting and ad delivery are making for much more relevant ad impressions. One of the assets that companies are looking to re-use and get more play out of are their beautifully produced TV spots. While posting those ads to YouTube helps get the ad into the video platform with the greatest reach online, the next question is how to target prospective customers. One targeting method I wanted to showcase today is called Video Remarketing.

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10 Questions to ask Before Hiring an SEO Company

Posted By: on September 25th, 2014
Filed Under: Online Marketing

There’s probably an email in your inbox offering you SEO services right now. If not, your spam folder caught it… or you deleted it already…

seo-spam-email

The point is there are a lot of folks who want to sell you SEO, and a lot of them just don’t do it very well. In many cases they just don’t know better, and in others they are simply out to get you.

mean-seo-companies

Of course, there are also just people out there committed to solid online marketing and measurable results. Below is a list of questions that can help you weed out the unwitting or unscrupulous.

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Google Partners Connect Event with Top Draw

Posted By: on September 23rd, 2014
Filed Under: News

download

More clicks, more visits, more customers—we’ll show you how!

We’re hosting a livestream Google event on October 15th, and you’re invited to join us!

With nearly 90% of the population using Google to search for product and services, this is a great opportunity to learn about how to grow your business from Google experts. 

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What Kind of Music Would Top Draw Recommend?

Posted By: on September 22nd, 2014
Filed Under: Edmonton

I try to keep an open mind and try new things and as part of that, I recently wanted to try some new music. I also wanted to show a little more of Top Draw to the world, so that new job applicants or prospective clients could know us better. What better than a selection of music that people around the office like? I chose a new person each day and asked them what music they might suggest for me, without letting any of them know that I was compiling all results for a blog post (cue evil laughter). I then listened to that genre all day. It ended up feeling like a month where I let other people pick the radio station. Results and links to the related playlist on Songza are below:

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Creating a SMART Online Marketing Strategy

Posted By: on September 18th, 2014
Filed Under: Online Marketing

So you want to create a Digital Marketing Strategy. Maybe the boss isn’t getting enough visibility into what you’re doing, maybe they’re concerned about digital’s rapid growth and wants to make sure the company isn’t being left behind, or maybe you want to create a plan to stop the cycle of reactive fixes and start being proactive. A well built online marketing strategy should:

  • Give you some time to work out needs and “nice-to-haves”. This is time outside of the “shopping list” reactive-work mentality that occupies most days in marketing.
  • Stop ridiculous external requests. Sorry Mr. Sales Manager, our priority this quarter is fixing website navigation and starting an online campaign to support our new non-toxic candy, I’ll have to get to your bus stop advertising campaign another day.
  • Give visibility to the outside and improve perception. You could be doing amazing, earth-shattering work but for many marketing leads and managers, perception outside of their department matters. A simple-to-understand plan shows that you’re proactive and that things will be moving forward.

There are a multitude of ways to structure an online marketing plan, but I prefer a Goal-Strategy-Tactic breakdown.

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5 Lessons to Dominate Social Media

Posted By: on August 26th, 2014
Filed Under: Online Marketing

In light of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge becoming a worldwide phenomenon, I bet a lot of Content Marketers are thinking the exact same thing, “How come my social efforts never pay off like this?” Many of us will spend our entire careers attempting to capture the ALS-type lightning in our own marketing bottle.

Sadly, most of us will fail in our attempts to replicate this massive level of viral success. There are, however, a number of practices that we can all adopt based on the successes and failures of our comrades in arms. Contently recently published a report on a BuzzSumo- and FRACTL-conducted study of the 1 million most-shared articles from the first six months of 2014. It’s certainly worth a read and some thought, as these 1 million articles accounted for 2.6 billion shares. To put that in perspective, that is 74 shares for every man, woman and child living in Canada.

So here they are: the five lessons that you can take away from this year’s most popular social content (so that we can all get a little closer to that dream of Ice Bucket reach).

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