Through structured markup, you can boost your SEO efforts and drive even more traffic to your site as you give search engines the chance to comprehend the content on your site.
From product descriptions, events, ratings, reviews to recipes all other efforts simply tell search engines what your data says but hardly what it means.
By putting the perfect schema markup on a set of information you'll be letting the search engines know they aren't just random words but information or data that means something.
Keep in mind schema markup is there for users, meaning that websites with schema markup already in place let users know what the site is all about, what the site deals with and much more.
It's basically premised on the fact that search engines are there to offer users all the information they require. To maximize on structured data markup, here are tips worth noting:
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1. Maximize on Properties for Clarity
When it comes to schema every kind of data or information comes with diverse properties that can be maximized to provide a clearer description of an item. For instance, when it comes to ‘Reservation’ you can have such properties as ‘BusReservation’, ‘ReservationPackage’, ‘TaxiReservation’, ‘EventReservation’, ‘FlightReservation’ or ‘RentalCarReservation’, among others. You can actually go with as many properties as you want to describe 'Reservation'.
2. Markup Contact Info and Address
One of the semantic markups at Schema.org is one allowing a local business to be described. Use it to markup the contact and address details on a website. Don't forget to include other important fields such as modes of payment accepted, operational hours, among others.
3. Mind the Testimonial Part
Of course, if you have gone shopping on the internet probably what compelled you to complete a purchase were testimonials. Through reviews semantic markup you can disclose a testimonial and it'll be appearing with the business' SERPs listings all the time.
4. Don't Neglect Breadcrumbs Yet
Most usability professionals believe breadcrumb navigation should not be ignored, even in very small websites. It gives visitors a chance to understand the hierarchy of the site and find related pages to visit. Breadcrumbs are great while targeting local names, especially for businesses with diverse offices within specific urban areas while offering extra links to a website across search pages, which boost the odds of being found and clicked by users.
5. Include Schema Markup for Events
Any company dealing with events can incorporate events structured data on their website. If this is too hard to do use your account at Google's Webmaster Tool through the Data Highlighter. Through the interface, the events of the different elements will give Google a chance to know the event element’s particular data represented, such as URL, address, name, venue or date.
6. Make the Most of the Offer Markup Schema as Well
In case you're offering special offers, discounts or coupons don't neglect the offer markup schema. It's already included in the Schema.org particularly by Bing and Google.
7. Video Is Very Important Today
If you have heard of the Video Object markup schema you've heard why Google recommends it. It ensures the search engine has represented and interpreted your data well in search engine results. If you've not been using video it's about time; most search results have video listings taking up the most room due to their ability to grab attention.
8. People Love Recipes
If you deal with recipes, you probably know how popular they are among searchers on the web. Their presentation on search engines is also perfectly done in search engine results. Even if you deal with tech and not food, having a recipe or two is a good idea they’ll help maximize on structured data by attracting lots of traffic and better ranking.
9. Highlight Yourself and Your Staff
Clearly highlighting yourself or staff does help a lot, particularly in local search rankings. Schema for individuals will help you display authorship information as well as markup details on employees and executives.
10. Get Your Tabular Data More Attention
While bullet lists and tables might not have a unique semantic markup your tabular content or data can be given a bit of attention on search engines by providing it on your site, more so if it lends itself to bullet lists or table formats. This can be done through a menu or other data on HTML table for instance, rather than go for images, PDFs or flash formats other sites go for.
11. Markup Your Products
Any website selling products online need to consider the efficient product schema, which is an important markup allowing listings to display availability, ratings and prices across search engine results. In fact, you can definitely combine both bread crumbs and product markup for more efficiency.
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12. Optimize for Open Graph
The use of Schema.org protocol and Open Graph protocol that's hugely used by Facebook, for instance, can help to ensure the pages of your website are well presented in diverse searches and interfaces. Even after adding semantic markup ensure you've used the Testing tool for Structured Data by Google.
13. Don't Forget the Human Visibility Is at the Center of Structured Data
Search engines such as Google insist that lots of the Schema markup elements must be clearly visible by a person, meaning perhaps that Meta Tags should only be used when they are absolutely required.
14. Time Sensitive Pages
Remember if you have pages that are time-barred or time-sensitive Google doesn't provide rich snippets for them.
15. Schema Markup Must Reflect the Page's Content
The schema markup you've used should always reflect the page's content. For example, if you've displayed reviews with an average rating within the markup ensure the ability to rate is actually there.
16. Stick to One Structured Data Markup
It's worth noting that while all types of schema markups are supported by Google, sticking to only one is very important and to use it as properly as possible. It means you can go with RDFa, Microdata or microformats for effective content markup but pick just a single standard and consistently make the most of it on a page.
17. Social Graph Protocols and Structured Data
While Facebook uses RDFa based Open Graph, Twitter sticks to the Twitter card. Both social sites hardly recognize Schema.org as such and to please both you might want to use their individual social graph protocols. In the process, you might have to go against the recommendation of Google. Nonetheless, the use of graph protocols for social sites and Schema has been used successful so far.
18. HTML5 Support on Your Site
Using schema markup effectively requires the theme of a website to support HTML5. For a site that doesn't support it, redesigning or updating it is very important so that themes supporting HTML5 can be used to make the most of schema markup.
19. OpeningHours in Local Business Markup
LocalBusiness schema item is great for specifying the phone number, address, and name of a business to make sure it's distinct from any other business out there. You can also add openingHours markup, which is very useful in localBusiness markup and express it in hours and days to indicate when the business operates.
20. Extend the Offer Markup
Using the offer markup as mentioned is great for your business but you can be even more detailed in your description. For instance, you can use the 'Service' element to specify that you provide ‘Home based tutoring service’ or ‘landscape local service’.
21. Boost the Service Element
The potential of the 'service' schema element is that you can even boost it with lots of additional values to offer even more details on your site on the type of service offered. For instance, you can add ServiceType, hoursAvailable, category, OfferCatalog, or areasServed to the element's list. This will make sure your business is easily and properly identified across all search engines.
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22. Precise Identification of Your Business' Location
Such elements as geoCoordinates with postalCode, geoCircle and address values can easily help in identifying the specific location of the business, indicate how close it's from a potential customer.
23. Review Markup Is Very Wide Contrary to Popular Wisdom
Remember the review markup is not just reserved for E-commerce sites, hotels and restaurants only but also entertainment, events, music, movie sites among others to give a user the rating of a service or product before following the link.
24. Schema Integrations Rank Domains Better
As indicated by a Search Metrics study, schema integrated domains have been found to rank better than those that haven't by four positions on average with less than one percent of domains being schema integrated-a perfect opportunity to rise above competitors.
25. Not Every Site's Element Should Be Schema Markup Incorporated
Google has advised against applying schema markups across every element on a page. Rather, apply on elements human users or visitors will be able to see. As already mentioned, pages with time sensitive information will not receive rich snippets from Google, such as a landing page on your site offering a deadline. In such a scenario Schema markup is not really needed.