What Is Website Schema & Why Should You Care?
Information on Website Schema
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
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.
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
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.