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Schema Markup and How it Boosts your SEO

This post will help you to understand what exactly Schema Markup is and how using it effectively can and will improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Learn how a simple piece of code can increase clicks on sites by making it easier to find.

So what is Schema Markup?
In simple terms, it’s a type of microdata or code that can be used by different search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo! to effectively scan websites for information and terms used on your websites to deliver precisely what the searcher is looking for.

Who should be using Schema Markup?
To put it bluntly, everyone! No matter what the site, the markup system will benefit you. Whether it’s for a restaurant or business, news articles or events, the schema markup improves the odds of people that want to find your website and content actually finding it.
While it’s possible to use schema markup on every page of the website, it’s far more time consuming than a smaller site with less pages or someone planning the creation of a site.

How does it work?
Essentially, schema markup uses microdata to explain what your data means instead of just simply stating what it is. The famous example uses the word ‘Avatar’. If a person using a search engine is searching for information about the 2009 James Cameron film, sites that have also used the word ‘Avatar’ but haven’t used markup to explain that they refer to an online avatar or the animated TV series may appear. However, these sites are not relevant to the person searching.
Similarly, dates and times often cause problems for search engines. They often have difficulties in discerning whether the date has passed or is in the future and by using Schema Markup can specify the numbers as upcoming events.
Schema Markup was designed to improve the user searching experience but also ensures that websites appear easier for those interested in them. It’s a win win situation!

How do I implement Schema Markup?
Google themselves have created a relatively simple guide called the Structured Data Testing Tool to learn how to use microdata effectively. In the guide, you need to choose which kind of markup you desire, whether that be reviews, restaurants or other. The guide will then guide you through the process in easy to use and understand instructions.

Rich Snippets
A positive side effect of using more markup tools are the more detailed rich snippets. These are the pieces of texts that appear under the link to a website. They often offer quick and simple information that is available on the page. This helps searchers understand exactly what the site is going to offer in terms of content and information and discover the most useful and relevant websites. By using Schema Markup, the search engine can specify what kind of rich snippet to display, for example rich snippets for restaurant may include reviews of the location.

Disclaimers
Readers should note that this isn’t some kind of hack to improve the SEO in a quick and dirty way, nor is it a way to boost or increase a website’s standing in the search ranking. Many people compare it to healthy eating, it won’t result in quick gains and may be difficult to continue implementing in the long run. However, it will improve things in general and considering how few companies have begun capitalising on Schema Markup, it can give any website an easy leg up on the competition.

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