Demystifying SEO: How to Skyrocket Your Traffic Through Schema Markup

seo traffic

Good writers always write for their visitors, not for search engines.

Actually, that’s not quite true…

At the dawn of SEO, you did have to write for the search engines. The primitive search engines could only evaluate the relevance of your content to the query by the number of times the searched keyword was mentioned in the content.

By simply including the keyword as many times as possible, you’d rank well.

Obviously, search engines have evolved since then.

With Google’s updates in the past few years, it’s become clear that keyword stuffing no longer helps you rank (in fact, it hurts you).

Now, Google looks at several on-page factors to determine a page’s relevancy.

The new advice for content writers is: write for your visitors, and let Google worry about the rest.

It’s not bad advice. In fact, that’s what the writer should do. However, SEOs can, and often should, optimize that content further.

Even if you write all your content yourself, you need to play the parts of both the writer and the SEO.

Want to skyrocket your traffic? Then download this cheat sheet to learn how to skyrocket your traffic through schema markup.

How can you optimize your content further?

One main way, that is heavily underutilized, is through microdata

How to send hidden messages to Google

Microdata exists primarily for search engines.

It is hidden within your HTML code, and visitors will never see it unless they inspect your page’s source code.

Microdata looks like HTML, but it isn’t.

image03

The point of microdata is to describe content.

While Google has gotten a lot better at detecting different parts of content and determining their relevancy, it’s far from perfect.

Using microdata, you can help search engines classify the most important parts of your content.

There are many different types of microdata vocabularies. However, there’s only one that you should use: schema markup.

It’s by far the most complete library of microdata, and furthermore, it’s the only one supported by all major search engines.

Search engine teams recognized the usefulness of microdata a long time ago, but they knew it’d be difficult to incorporate all the different markup vocabularies into their algorithms.

To solve this problem, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo (later joined by Yandex as well), all came together to create a standard microdata library. It’s name is schema.

How rich snippets help your SEO

It’s important to understand that the use of schema markup is not a ranking factor. However, it can affect your SEO results.

Like I said earlier, schema isn’t designed to be used for every single part of your content—only the most important.

Although search engines may, on occasion, use microdata to help determine the overall relevance of your page, the main role of microdata is to help the search engines display more useful data in the search results:

On-page markup helps search engines understand the information on webpages and provide richer results. A shared markup vocabulary makes it easier for webmasters to decide on a markup schema and get maximum benefit for their efforts.

“Richer results” is an appropriate term to use here because the way Google uses schema is to create “rich snippets.”

You’ve likely seen rich snippets before. They include anything other than the plain text that you see in the search results. That includes images, reviews, breadcrumbs, and other information.

image17

How do you think rich snippets affect the click-through rate of results? As you probably guessed, they almost always increase the click-through rate. Right away, this increases search engine traffic.

However, it may also increase search engine rankings in some cases.

Assuming you actually have good content on the page, the visitors that click through to your page will be satisfied and won’t return to their search results. This tells Google that they found what they were looking for.

By reducing “pogo sticking,” it is possible that your rankings will improve. So, although microdata doesn’t directly influence search rankings, it could eventually affect them.

Note: Although rich snippets will show up on any page of the search results, you will get the most benefit from them if you rank on the first page of the search results.

Why schema is an opportunity: I noted early that using microdata is an underutilized tactic. I meant it.

Google loves schema right now and probably will for the foreseeable future.

There is at least one rich snippet in a massive 36.60% of searches:

image04

When something is that popular, you’ve usually fallen behind if you haven’t implemented it.

But here’s the part that will surprise you.

Only 0.30% of domains regularly use schema markup (that’s about 1 in 330):

image13

So if you thought you were alone in avoiding schema, you aren’t.

And there’s still an opportunity to benefit from schema before it becomes a standard practice (which could be quite a while).

The main reasons I think website owners don’t integrate schema into their content are:

  1. It looks hard
  2. It takes time

Yes, microdata does fall under the technical side of SEO, which scares people. However, you don’t need to be an expert in schema to use it. By the end of this post, you will know everything you need to know to take advantage of it.

Secondly, it does take time. That’s a valid concern, and it’s part of the reason why I don’t use schema as much as I should.

However, if your site is in a niche where schema markup is important, you can’t ignore it. Once you get familiar with it, adding schema tags will only take a few minutes per post, which is well worth the benefits.

A word of warning: Just because you use schema markup in your content doesn’t guarantee that Google will create rich snippets for you. If you’ve implemented it correctly, you will usually get the rich snippets after a brief waiting period, but it’s not a guarantee.

The most common schema markup

Here’s the main reason why schema is scary: there are thousands of terms in the Schema.org library.

image30

Who has time to learn what they all mean?

Very few people.

The good news is that you don’t need to know what they all mean. You just need to get used to the most common terms.

Let’s learn them now…

i) “itemscope”: This is the simplest, but one of the most common schema tags you’ll use.

It’s a boolean term, meaning that you don’t have to (read: can’t) assign a value to it.

Instead, you put it inside a “div” tag (or similar, e.g., “span”, “html”, etc.), to indicate that all the content within that tag is about the same topic.

Here’s an example:

Avatar

Director: James Cameron (born August 16, 1954)

Science fiction

Trailer

Putting “itemscope” in the div tag indicates that the content inside of it is all related. In this case, it’s about the movie Avatar.

Because the itemscope markup was included, Google now knows that the movie was directed by James Cameron and that it falls under the science fiction genre.

ii) “itemtype”: This markup term tells search engines that the content within the HTML tag is about a certain type of item. It is not a boolean term, which means that you do have to assign a value to it.

However, that value needs to come from the schema library. Content can be defined as certain “types.” You’ll need to get the type from the Schema.org library.

image16

The item types are the top level terms on that page. We’ll get to the child terms within each of them soon.

Here are some of the most common itemtypes:

image21

If none of these are applicable to your business, you will have to find one on the giant list. While this will take a bit of time now, you’ll find that you use the same one(s) over and over again.

Ready to see it in action? Let’s continue with the example from before:

Avatar

Director: James Cameron (born August 16, 1954)

Science fiction

Trailer

Now, the itemtype term has been added to the overall div tag. The value is equal to the URL of the type, which in this case is a movie.

Again, you can get the type and the URL from the Schema.org library.

image08

iii) “itemprop”: This final common tag is where things get really interesting. Almost all “items” in the schema library have “properties” that can be defined.

The “itemprop” tag, as the name suggests, lets you define these properties.

This is probably the part that seems the most complex, but it’s fairly painless.

Go to that URL that you defined with “itemtype.” In the case of our example, it was for the movie type.

What you’ll see is a list (usually a large one) of properties that you could potentially use.

image29

Note that you always have the option of including as many or as few properties as you like.

Let’s look at how you’d use the itemprop tag in an example:

Avatar

Director: James Cameron (born August 16, 1954)
Science fiction
Trailer

Notice how the itemprop term is added to HTML tags that are within the div that itemtype defines.

There’s nothing too complicated about how it works. The “name” tag defines the name of the product being discussed, which is why it is placed in the h1 tag.

The “genre” tag defines the genre of the movie, which is why it is put in the span that contains the genre.

Summing up the most common schema markup: All you really need to know in order to use schema is how these three terms work.

The more you dig into it, the more you will discover how to include things such as breadcrumb markup:

image20

I suggest starting small and then searching for tutorials on how to create specific types of rich snippets once you have the basics down.

Option 1: Use a plugin

Understanding schema is one thing, but knowing how to use it is another.

Like I said earlier, you’ll typically use the same tags over and over again, which is a good thing.

If you’re using WordPress, the easiest way to use schema, by far, is to use the Schema Creator plugin by Raven.

You can either download it from that link or go to “add plugins” in your WordPress dashboard and search for “schema.” The plugin should be the first result:

image00

Once you install the plugin, you don’t need to do anything special.

When you go to the post or page editor for any content on your site, you’ll notice a little panel with the title “schema creator form” below the text editor:

image34

This plugin makes adding schema as simple as possible.

You can select one of the main schema types for your content. Depending on which one you choose, different text boxes will come up.

After that, you just need to fill in each of them one-by-one with appropriate values and click “insert” for the schema to be added to your page’s HTML code.

Although this plugin is great, it has its limitations. It obviously doesn’t list all of the potential properties for a schema type. If you want to get more specific, you may have to add some schema manually later.

However, the properties that it does prompt you to fill out are by far the most common and most important when it comes to creating rich snippets.

Option 2: Use Google’s schema generator

I know that most of my readers use WordPress, but many do not.

This option will work for anyone, regardless of which content management system you use.

Since the search engines recognize that schema markup can help them produce better results for searchers, they want to make it as easy as possible.

Not shockingly, Google created a free simple tool for webmasters called the Structured Data Markup Helper.

Using the tool is very simple. Start by inputting a website URL into the URL textbox and then picking one of the main types of articles:

image22

Then click on “start tagging.” That’s step 1 of 3.

Step 2 involves actually applying the schema markup to your content.

The tool will load a copy of the webpage into the left panel and load the most important schema properties into the right panel (for the type that you picked).

When you highlight text on the page (left click and drag), a small menu will automatically pop-up. It will have a list of properties that you can assign to the part of the page you just selected:

image32

You’ll notice on the right that some properties are “required.”

Technically, it’s not required. You can still produce valid schema even if you skip one.

That being said, if you exclude any important values, you may lower your chance of getting rich snippets (depending on which one you omit).

Keep highlighting and adding as many properties as you can and want. Once you’re done, move on to the final step by clicking the red “create HTML” button in the top right.

This will generate a new source code for the page, which includes everything that you had before—plus the new markup.

image15

The trickiest part here is actually putting the markup on your website.

If you have a content management system (CMS) that is based purely on static page files, it’s easy. Just click the “download” button in the top right, which will let you save a full copy of the code. Replace your existing website page with this new code.

Other CMSs are not so simple.

Some, like WordPress, divide your content into different parts. You have full access to the body copy in your page editor, but the header for each page is contained in a theme file.

Some schema needs to be put in the header, which means you will have to add it into your theme file. If you do this wrong, you can mess up your website. Unless you have a lot of experience, you may need to hire a developer for this.

Alternatively, just use schema in the body copy.

If you go back to the tool results, you can scroll down the new source code and see any added schema in yellow:

image18

You can manually copy and paste this into the HTML of your CMS’s page editor.

Option 3 (for expert SEOs): Skip the tools

The first two tools that I’ve shown you are great. They can save you a lot of time and effort doing tedious tasks.

In addition, they’ll produce more reliable markup than most SEOs can.

The problem with tools is that they have limited options. You may want to add a property that is not supported by the tool. Or you may want to make a quick change later on.

Instead of giving up or going through the whole process again, you can always add the schema manually.

It seems obvious, but I wanted to mention it so that you keep’ll it in mind for quick edits.

It’s easy to mess up schema unless you do this…

When you mess up HTML or CSS code on your site, it’s obvious.

You either end up with a broken web page, or something that looks terrible because it lost all of its styling.

But if you mess up your schema markup, the only ones who will notice are the search engines. Remember that schema never affects what the visitor sees unless you also mess up the existing HTML tags while you’re adding schema terms.

The reason why it’s important to have working schema is because if you don’t, you can’t get your rich snippets, which defeats the entire purpose.

The best way to check the validity of your schema is by using another Google tool called the structured data testing tool.

It’s very simple to use: just copy and paste your entire source code (HTML) into the left panel of the tool. Then click “validate”:

image09

Alternatively, if you’ve already published the page with schema, you can use “fetch URL” instead of pasting the source code.

Either way, once you click “validate,” the right panel will quickly let you know if you have any errors. If everything is in order, each section will be green. If there are errors, they will appear in red.

Putting schema into action (step-by-step examples)

If you understand everything perfectly at this point, you’re a very fast learner.

Most people will understand the gist of schema, but it’s hard to fully understand it until you actually see it in action.

So, in this final section, we’re going to look in great detail at a few common examples of where SEOs would use schema.

First off, when should a website use schema?

The same features or types of content come up over and over again:

image10

You’ll notice that when you search for information about a movie, the whole page is typically covered in rich snippets.

As an SEO, you’ll be exposed to a variety of content. I’ve picked three that you will come across very frequently:

  • product reviews
  • local business pages
  • website articles

i) Product reviews: One of the most effective rich snippets are those little star ratings below a title in search results. They stand out and attract a lot of extra clicks.

I googled a review term for the first product that came to mind:

image19

long tail pro review

Without looking at the articles, you’d probably click the one that I have in a box in the above picture. It has multiple pieces of markup:

  • star rating
  • numerical rating
  • author name
  • date of review (recent is highly important to most searchers)

So let’s say that we owned the first page in the results (cloudincome).

If I was using WordPress, I’d just use the schema plugin, but in this case, let’s use the Google markup helper.

I’d start by picking the most appropriate type of content, which is a product/product review, and then putting the URL of the article into the box.

image22

Note that as soon as you get to the next page, you’ll see that certain properties are already labeled as “required”, so let’s start with those:

image14

The “name” property exists for all items. It’s a general schema tag that describes the subject. In this case, I applied it to the title, but you could also apply it to part of the title—“Long Tail Pro.”

But what about the properties in the right side? For example:

  • reviewer
  • review date
  • price

Since there was no author, date, or price on the page, there was nothing that I could select to bring up the menu to assign values to those properties.

In those cases, you need to use the “add missing tags” button at the bottom of the right section.

When you click the button, a window will pop up. You’ll start by picking a tag type (one of the item properties) and then assigning it a value.

image36

You can click the “add another” link to add as many as you need.

Here’s what it looked like when I was done:

image26

After clicking “Save,” you’ll see that all the data items are updated in the right panel.

image12

Once you are satisfied, click “create HTML” in order to get your fresh code.

image18

Again, your next steps will depend on which CMS you are using.

If possible, just download the file, and upload it to your site.

If you’re using a CMS where that’s not possible, highlight and copy the relevant HTML (look for the highlights), and paste them into the HTML of your page:

image07

Alternatively, you could also try to create a custom page.

ii) Local business: Local SEO can also benefit from using schema markup.

As an example, I searched for:

chicago landscaper

image23

Yelp uses schema intelligently to add star ratings, numerical ratings, and a number of reviews.

Look at the Diaz Brother’s site (a few entries down from the top). Despite being a horribly designed and unoptimized website, it still ranks fairly well for this search. With a simple redesign and some schema, I’m sure that it would overtake the results appearing above it.

Again, let’s visit the structured data markup tool and enter the URL we’re using as an example. The type of page this time is “local businesses.”

image25

On the next step, let’s start off with the main properties (name, image, and telephone).

I selected the top header logo as the “name,” and the tool automatically uses the image’s alt tag for the property’s value.

In addition, I highlighted the only picture on the page for the “image” property and the phone number for the “telephone” property:

image01

Obviously, the webpage itself is missing a lot of crucial information that it should really have (like hours of operation and address).

In this case, we’d have to add them by using the “add missing tags” button at the bottom.

Occasionally, you will come across a property for which you won’t be sure what to enter for the value. That’s when you’ll have to look it up on Schema.org.

For our example page, I added:

  • Opening hours > day of week – Values are added in two-letter acronyms. They can be separated by commas or by a dash (e.g., Mo-Su is for all 7 days).
  • Email
  • URL
  • Aggregate rating > rating value – an average rating out of 5 given by past customers or website users
  • aggregate rating > count – the number of customers who rated the product

image37

Once we’re happy with how our sidebar of properties looks, we can create our final HTML code:

image35

From there, it’s just a matter of adding the new schema into our actual webpage.

iii) Article: Just about anyone can use the article type for schema. Any blog post could be classified as an article.

You don’t get any fancy star ratings with this type, but you can get an image as well as a date and an author name included.

image11

This is essentially what Google authorship was intended to do (back when it was still a thing).

While it probably isn’t as effective as schema for more specialized content types, it can still be worth your time.

So let’s go through an example of an article I published a while ago on Quick Sprout: 5 Modern Keyword Research Methods to Uncover Hidden Gems.

Again, we start with Google’s markup helper. This time, we select “Articles” for the page type:

image24

The one great thing about marking up an article is that it’s dead simple to do. None of the properties are particularly complicated to understand or tag.

image02

I highlighted and tagged all of the main properties:

  • Name (the title)
  • Author (my name)
  • Date (published date)
  • Image
  • Article body (highlight article text and then tagged)

Once I was happy with the properties I selected, I clicked through to the final step:

image33

One final thing that I haven’t shown you is how to test your markup, so let’s do that now.

If you click the “finish” button on the final page, a pop-up will come up with your next steps.

It contains a link to the structured data testing tool:

image05

I pasted the new source code into the left side of the tool. Even though I used the helper tool as I was supposed to, I still got an error:

image06

Clicking the “error” warning expands that section of the results. Once I scrolled to the bottom of it, I saw that it said my headline was missing:

image27

Clicking the headline brought up the relevant part of my HTML code. To fix this error, I had to replace the name property with the headline property, as shown below:

image31

Once I re-validated the results, the error disappeared:

image28

Now I could update my article with the proper schema.

Conclusion

Every little edge you can get when it comes to SEO can be the difference between a bit of search traffic and a ton of traffic.

That’s why it’s so important to take advantage of opportunities such as schema markup once you find out they exist.

Schema markup can lead to rich snippets, which will give you an instant boost to your organic search traffic.

If you read every word in this post, then you know what schema is and how to implement it on your site(s).

I encourage you to apply it on a small scale first and then adapt it on a larger scale if you’re happy with the results.

I know it’s an intimidating subject, so if you have any comments or questions, let me know in a comment below, and I’ll try to sort things out for you.

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Comments

  1. Ven Tesh @ BlashO :

    I just tried the schema creator WordPress plugin, nice one. The best place to start learning is from schema.org and the free schema creator tool by SEOChat is worth a try.

    Thanks.

  2. Absolutely fantastic. There are quite a few Schema plugins out there do you reccomend any one in particular?

  3. Wow. This was one epic guide I have ever read.

    I saw some results on search and I have clicked a few once. But, I never thought I’d need this as part of my SEO. I actually thought it was one of those shiny objects. Little did I know the value behind them.

    In fact, I thought this strategy was only for businesses.

    Thank you so much for this. I will certainly implement what I learnt.

    Best,

    Magz

    • Magz, I always find hidden gems when reading blogs as well — glad you found this post helpful. Let me know how it works out for you!

  4. very nice post and tutorial 🙂 keep going ………… your site is passed in schema Markup 😛 i have checked ;0 😛

  5. Fantastic Article! Currently add everything in manually. So will check Raven out, as the main site I work on is WP.

    I know it’s different but, it’s still in the background, is there a wordpress plugin you’d recommend for Opengraph Meta?

    Thanks for the time that went into this.

    Alex

  6. Wow do I ever have a lot to learn! I’d never even heard of schema markup. Thanks for more great tips, Neil.

  7. Hey Neil, thanks for the quality advice. One question: I don’t see the rich snippets for articles displayed in google web search results. Does this only affect results when the user searches within “news”.

    If so, have any sense of % of search queries go to news vs. web? I’d venture to guess less than 1%…

    • I mainly see it in news related articles when I am searching. I am not 100% sure on the percentage, but I do know it is worth leveraging.

  8. What about json markup . How is tgat different than what you discussed . Isnt that googles preferred markup

  9. After reading this great post, I have only one question. My question is from where did you came to know this ?

    Thanks for such a great post

  10. Superb. I’ve been looking for a straight forward guide to microdata for a while to share with clients to help them understand it and this is perfect. I’ll be sharing this asap!

  11. Can you actually quantify these tons of traffic, Neil?

  12. In the way you suggest, Neil, I’ve gradually added Schema markup to my site as I’ve gone along.

    The reason I’ve been doing it this way is that I’ve never really understood the syntax. But as time has gone on, more and more people have been posting examples online of how to mark up entities for different types of local business.

    In other words, I didn’t need to understand Schema. I just needed to find the right example then follow the pattern.

    Although the Google Structured Data Tool confirms all my markup is correct, I’ve yet to see a snippet for my site in SERPs. I’d be interested to see at what point Google finally serves one up.

    By the way, I said I didn’t understand the Schema syntax. But after reading your post, it makes a hell of a lot more sense now.

    • Kevin, thanks for the insights and sharing your experiences.

      Let me know how this new information helps you out. Looking forward to it.

  13. Hmmm…you have hatom and hcard, probably derived from your theme. Yet the no schema, other than your Avatar example!

    https://developers.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/?url=http://www.quicksprout.com/2015/09/11/how-to-skyrocket-your-rankings-overnight-by-implementing-schema-markup/

    How about this article?

    Try this…

    { “@context” : “http://schema.org”,
    “@type” : “WebSite”,
    “name” : “Quicksprout”,
    “alternateName” : “”,
    “url” : “http://www.quicksprout.com/”
    }

    { “@context” : “http://schema.org”,
    “@type” : “WebPage”,
    “url” : “http://www.quicksprout.com/2015/09/11/how-to-skyrocket-your-rankings-overnight-by-implementing-schema-markup/”,
    “mainEntityOfPage”: “http://www.quicksprout.com/2015/09/11/how-to-skyrocket-your-rankings-overnight-by-implementing-schema-markup/”,
    “relatedLink” : “http://www.quicksprout.com/pro/”,
    “thumbnailUrl” : “http://quicksprout.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/seotraffic.jpg”,
    “keywords” : “Schema Markup”,
    “inLanguage” : “en-us”,
    “headline” : “Demystifying SEO: How to Skyrocket Your Traffic Through Schema Markup”,
    “description” : “Good writers always write for their visitors, not for search engines. Actually, that’s not quite true… At the dawn of …”,
    “isFamilyFriendly” : “True”
    }

    {
    “@context”: “http://schema.org”,
    “@type”: “BreadcrumbList”,
    “itemListElement”:
    [
    {
    “@type”: “ListItem”,
    “position”: 1,
    “item”:
    {
    “@id”: “http://www.quicksprout.com/”,
    “name”: “Quicksprout”
    }
    },
    {
    “@type”: “ListItem”,
    “position”: 2,
    “item”:
    {
    “@id”: “http://www.quicksprout.com/blog/”,
    “name”: “Blog”
    }
    },
    {
    “@type”: “ListItem”,
    “position”: 3,
    “item”:
    {
    “@id”: “http://www.quicksprout.com/2015/09/11/how-to-skyrocket-your-rankings-overnight-by-implementing-schema-markup/”,
    “name”: “Schema Markup”
    }
    }
    ]
    }

  14. Always a great article to read. To offer another quick solution, I use this site http://makeschema.com to help write schema on the fly. Hope this helps.

  15. Neil,

    As always, awesome article. ; )

    You said that around 36% of sites use schema markup, but that “only 0.30% of domains regularly use schema markup”…

    What’s the difference???

    • Mark van Berkel :

      Hi Bonnie, the way I read the study is that the 36% of Search Engine Result Pages which show a rich snippet are made up of those 0.30% of domains that use schema markup.

  16. Hi Neil
    Thanks for sharing such an awesome information. I shall have to read it again to thoroughly understand. An advance topic for me.

  17. amazing insight, thank you

  18. Schema provides great benefit for sites. If anyone is having additional issues building or validating your schema I wrote this post going into great detail not only about the uses of certain markup but I included a swipe file so people can use our exact schema on their properties. Thanks for the post Neil! One of my favorite topics. Check out the schema resource here.

    http://localclienttakeover.com/schema-markup-made-easy/

  19. How come you don’t implement social share buttons on mobile devices for your posts?

  20. Hey Neil,

    Awesome insights, although it was finally good to be a coder in the SEO business, we had our own little trick, and now you’ve gone and exposed it 🙁

    Toby.

  21. Priya Florence Shah? (@PriyaFlorence) :

    Love this post, Neil. Thanks for the tips about Schema Creator by Raven.

    One of my favourite Schema plugins has been the All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets plugin.

    Just a question. To your knowledge, does Yoast SEO also add Schema markup?

  22. Hey Sir,

    Really appreciate your effort, great insight. i used schema for my blogs and for some client works too. it really helps to increase CTR . in my experience star rating works really good for local business and products. i used raven tool for WP but its limited . Webmaster Structured Markup is very helpful to add schema.

    Rohil.

  23. This is really unique and interesting. I always wanted to know more about schema and all and you come to the rescue. Thank you Neil.

  24. Hi Neil,
    very useful, as usual. You really help people and I appreciate that. In order not to mess up my site, I always validate addenda here:

    https://developers.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/

    You know, this view is not popular, so you all please don’t stone me, but that is the problem with wordpress. As you said in your post on themes the other day, it is difficult not to waste one’s time if you are a beginner in WP. When you have found the theme you need a lot of knowledge to access the header and to gain total control of your site. So I think it is better to invest this time into learning PHP and javascript. You install one plugin, then you need another to repair what this plugin messed up, but the second one breaks the site and you go on looking for another plugin to do the job for you, one of these 50000, and you just might find the right plugin if you’re lucky. And once you have installed that you realize your html is not valid anymore because the attributes that the plugin uses are deprecated.

  25. Hi Neil,

    Congrats for the post, is fantastic as all yours!

    I have a question… If I put the same text of “Yoast WordPress Seo Meta description´s field” in the “Schema creator description´s field”, you think google could consider it duplicate content?

    Thanks for your help and I wish you a nice weekend!

  26. Thank you for another great article!

    I am not a coder but very proficient with most non-coding aspects of WordPress. Can you please explain: what parts of the schema do we omit, if just adding into the body / html text on WP?

    And does the plug-in you mentioned slow down the site?

    Finally, I was wondering about your answer to the question above regarding whether these rich snippets only appear in those who select “News” searches.

    Thanks for advancing my schema knowledge and comfort!

  27. This was a “pay attention” post and I’m going to try the wordpress plugin now. I love learning new seo stuff. Thanks Neil

  28. Mark Van Berkel :

    What a fantastic resource to bring people up to speed on SEO today. I would like to make two suggestions, the first is that there is a great community of enthusiasts at the Google group ‘semantic search marketing’ and add an Option 4, a tool we developed at http://www.schemaapp.com with all the classes and properties which has a JSON-LD generator and optional WordPress plugin to make manual markup a breeze. Its in beta and we greatly appreciate any feedback.

    Thanks again Neil, great post, I will share to the aforementioned group.

  29. Awesome artivle, i was searching for some scheme explaination and you explained it well.

  30. Great and useful article, Neil. But I still do have a question. How do I manually implement Schema Markup into my WordPress website?

    Thanks!

  31. Hi Neil, you mentioned that this info won’t show up on the page – only in the source – but when I installed Raven and added it to my post it showed up where I had the cursor position (bottom of post) and is visible to users. I notice there was no “itemscope” code generated (at least, none I could see in the WordPress post text area.

  32. Great article!

    I implemented the star rating on my site. However when my page reviewed more than 1 time the star rating won’t show up in Google.
    Checked everything looks good. What do you think Google just doesn’t want to show my ratings?

  33. Mary Jaksch |WritetoDone :

    After reading this excellent post, I immediately installed the Shema Creator plugin to try it out.

    But here’s the problem: the review form created an ugly box on the page of the post and I had to delete the schema markup. It’s all very well seeing the rich snippet on Google, but seeing an ugly box in the post isn’t a good tradeoff.

    Any suggestions?

    Here’s a screenshot of the box: http://screencast.com/t/yHyFEhV7

    • Maybe find a developer on Elance manually do it? That way you can have it done the way you want versus the default way a plugin may do it.

  34. Hey Neil…You probably already know this, but you can add schema via tag manager as well 🙂

  35. Neil,

    You gave me several great ideas here and I look forward to adding schema to both my video tutorials and to my book reviews.

    I also want to add that I am blown away at how I find useful (valuable!) information in almost every one of your blog posts. I have become a loyal reader! Thanks for all you help you give us!

  36. Thanks for the great article, I have been using rich snippets for a little while now. For those of you that use Joomla, there is a great plugin available as well that will only work with the JCE editor.

  37. Hey Neil,

    thanks so much for your great description how to use Google’s Structured Data Markup – now I understood a lot more and just tagged some of my blog posts. And I also installed the plugin 🙂

    Best from Berlin, Germany
    Bettina

  38. I was very excited to read this article and anxious to implement schema on my website. I discovered that the plugin you recommended does not provide the article caegory. And despite your explanation I was mystified about how to insert the schema information into WordPress manually.

  39. Finally Neil, I have been waiting for a detailed tutorial on Schema for a long time! I’m preparing my cup of joe because I’m about to read every word (read half so far).

    Question: Using schema via Google webmaster tools only validates the schema markup for Google but not other search engines, correct? If so I’m assuming it will be better to use the plugin or add it manually.

    Thanks!

    • That’s correct, it’s for Google. But if it works for Google it will work for others.

      You can use a plugin or do it manually, either work…

  40. Farcas Gelu Danut :

    Thanks, Neil! I want to use everything i learned from your posts.
    You have plenty of fans in Romania, my country.

  41. hi- added raven plugin for wp- worked ok but adds the schema highly visible for users right at the top of the page.
    Researched on google and the plugin developers appear to say ‘yes that’s what’s intended’
    since that breaks the look of the page i removed it right away- didn’t see anywhere a solution for this while still showing to the robots- any weigh in on this?

    Thanks

    • I wish I could help, but I usually just go to Elance and have someone do it for me. You could try that… there are a lot of cheap developers on that site.

  42. balu@ get recharge plans :

    Hi Niel excellent tutorial , I tried the schema markup two years ago . but some categories or are missed in the schema.org . I tried a lot to find the schema for Bank , and other organizations. but i cant find the schema syntax for many categories

  43. Hi

    How to set schema markup for the web application ?

    Thank You

  44. Hi Neil
    I think this article came at right time to my help. I was struggling to define Marks up for my site http://www.mobizdom.in. I was facing error everything. Let me admit the fact that I had not learnt as much as I have been learning from your insight.
    Eve most of my blogs are not based on reference taken from your articles. It is honest to tell you that my writing is based on your post and I am enriching myself.
    Keep it up the way you have been doing. Because honesty and transparency are two pillars of successful person.
    Anshul

  45. Antoniya K Zorluer :

    As already labeled by other comments, *epic* article, Neil. You lighten up the dark and mystic world of SEO, and not with a candle or flash light but with a super strong LED office light!

    Thank you once again for the detailed post, you are creating a big change for many small bloggers and entrepreneurs like me!

  46. Verve Innovation :

    Hi Neil,

    Yet Another Great Post ! I usually dont read post if it goes more than 4 pages but this made me read. Just installed Schema Creator and trying to do all you mentioned. Let see how it goes.

    This article also reminds of another blog post of Rand Fishkin’s in White Board Friday which talks about, “Why Effective, Modern SEO Requires Technical knowledge” which I lack.

    Thanks
    Aashath

  47. Great post! as usual. I run a startup which is a doctor discovery platform. We have profiles on individual doctors ( > 700 profiles). I’ve added schema markup few months ago but I still don’t see markup showing on all of them. In the Search Console I can see the graph is gradually going up under structured data. Is this normal? Does it take that long for google to index structured data? If yes, is there any way to speed up the process?

    • Yes it is normal and they don’t always so it for every site… Give it another 3 to 6 months and you will see things progressing.

  48. Hi Neil, A very useful and informative post.
    But I’m having a little bit of problem. I’m using Google Structured Data Markup and it generates some schema tags.
    Now I don’t know where to put these schema tags, since I’ve been working on WordPress. You said that ” Alternatively, just use schema in the body copy.”
    Can you please explain it?
    Did you mean to skip those schema tags which are placed in Header files?
    Thanks in Advance,
    Asfand.

    • I wish I could tell you, but I just have my developer do it all for me as I am not great with modifying WordPress code. What I would do is go on Elance and you can find someone to do it for you for $10.

  49. I didn’t include any Schema Markup into my site, but i didn’t try this due to lack of knowledge and now after reading your great article with understanding of images, I think i can do better it.

    Thanks for sharing this 🙂

  50. Hi Neil,

    Loved reading your views on this topic.

    I also wrote a detailed article on Schema Markup and Rich Snippets last month on WPism, especially focused on helping WordPress users.

    Here’s the article – https://wpism.com/schema-markup-rich-snippets-wordpress-seo/

    The article has done really well in search engines and I can see more and more people interested in implementing it.

    I would be really glad to hear what you think of it and if you could recommend it to WordPress users in the article (if possible)!

    • Hey Pradeep,
      I’ve read your mentioned post and actually liked plugins which you recommended like All in One schema.org rich snippets.
      Can you tell me how I can used Google’s Schema Markup Generator for wordpress.
      Because, I can’t find a way how can I implement that highlighted HTML into my wp site.

    • Pradeep, I don’t typically promote blog posts as I get overwhelmed with requests when I do it for one person.

      Your article is great though. Lots of research and in-depth — keep up the great work!

  51. I tried this markup in 2012 itself but no improvement. It’s truly happen in my case. and your article step by step is nice.

  52. Hi Neil,
    I have been doing eCommerce websites in Shopify for several years and see increases in traffic fairly quickly when adding schema markup to websites themes(I started adding it, and learning more about it sometime back when I read about it one of your blogs) . Many themes in Shopify are starting to include schema product markup. I need to use article schema more on my own site. Thanks for the reminder and for the detailed article.

  53. I’m going to try out steps tonight. I hope to get back with results. Thanks for sharing this, Neil.

  54. Dr. Muddassir Ahmed :

    Great insights! Awesome 🙂

  55. This article is kinda advance , but I already bookmarked it for further practical reading. Thanks Neil for sharing this info.

  56. I Didn’t Know about schema creator WordPress plugin. it turned out to be awesome.
    always wanted easy schema technique.

    Thanks,

    stay awesome neil

  57. I read this review about Raven’s WordPress plugin:

    “Would be usefull if it attached only the microdata markup to (selected) existing text, but in stead it adds its own visible output in a formatted div, besides the markup.”

    Can Anyone expand on what this reviewer means?

  58. Neil, you did a great job explaining how schema works and how it can be used for our advantage. most amazing part is the plugin you shared. I have been studying schema and using google schema creator & I was wondering if there is an easy way to implement that. but this plugin is nice.

    Also, I would like to add that I love to read your posts Neil. I first read your post on “7 seo tactics that sound smart but are actually dumb”. I found it on my blog, when one of the bloggers at SEO Falcons mentioned it in a very create post.. http://www.seofalcons.com/9-reasons-abraham-lincoln-would-be-great-at-seo/. There I read your mention for the first time and now I am a regular reader. Thanks to the awesome efforts you are putting in.

  59. Hi Neil good post.

    Can you tell me how the markup, if manually entered into a page, will effect the Yoast SEO plugin? Will this interfere with anything?

  60. Thanks Neil..a gem of a post again….m still working on advice from a few post I read earlier and suddenly spotted this. Really helpful.

    Pankaj

  61. WOW! QuickSprout is the right place to get all the important information about Blogging and SEO. Thanks Neil for this post.

  62. Anyone had an experience structuring Magento with rich snippets ? I would love to hear about some functional extension.
    Thank you Neil for the throughout article !

  63. What a great article, Neil. I look forward to reading your posts and actually set time aside to read every single word. I follow a lot of blogs and I skim those. Great work!

    I actually am a bit confused as to how I would approach schema in my situation and I’m sure you’d be able to provide great insight.

    I want to create a very thorough page on how to apply Jamberry nail wraps. As a side note, Jamberry is an alternative to nail polish and comes in hundreds of awesome designs.

    Id like to create a numbered, step-by-step guide that will show up when someone searches a term such as “how to apply Jamberry nails.”

    I aim to provide THE most thorough and helpful resources in regards to Jamberry aside from the official site itself.

    I’m not selling the product directly on my blog but rather providing massive info about it in several posts and linking to the main Jamberry website in which I’m an affiliate.

    How do you think I should approch schema in my circumstance? Should I tag it as an article or product? Im stuck.

    • Why even worry about Schema? In your case you should guest post on other blogs in the beauty space and use affiliate links to the main site. That’s the best way to grow your revenue.

  64. Seb Brantigan - Business :

    Neil you are the man! I had no clue about rich snippets before, going to re-analyse my on site SEO aspects for my blog…gotta present your content well in the eyes of big G 🙂 appreciate this post!!

  65. Hi Neil,

    nice article about schema.org. I have one question about marking content. Sometimes on WP sites, just like you mention it’s hard to markup all data because it’s need to be done it in more than one file and for someone who is beginner is this can lead to errors.

    Do you recommend than using JSON-LD instead of microdata and does JSON can produce rich snippets in search results?

    • For beginner’s I wouldn’t worry about the details. There are so many areas you can mess up on, I would just use a basic Schema plugin and go from there.

  66. The people who are facing difficulties to learn from Schema.org especially @Junaid Raza. They can go through this post https://www.eebew.com/blog/schema-markup-implementation/. I hope it will help them to comprehend the process to implement schema markup on your website.

  67. Neil,

    Although structure data is not a ranking factor but according to Barry Schwartz (conversation with John Mueller) on SEL, it could be a ranking factor in near future. What he said in his post http://searchengineland.com/google-may-add-structured-markup-data-to-ranking-algorithm-230402:

    “Google hints it may decide to use structured data in its ranking algorithm some day, though the company has previously denied it”

    So what you think about it Neil?

  68. Robert Giacomelli :

    Hi Neil,

    Schema markup are important micro data which can help people what they are searching for directly from the SERP. As Google has also said that it can help in rankings as well. So its an important factor which cannot be neglected.

    As you have made us understand it very deeply about it. Thanks for sharing for such valuable post with us. Cheers!

  69. Atiqul Bari Chowdhury :

    In one article, you’ve taken care of both beginners and experts! That’s why yours is the only email I still open (other than copy blogger).

    I am a beginner, but I haven’t gone for plugins to implement schema.org markup. I used a schema enabled wordpress theme. There are free wordpress themes that support schema these days.

    Just shared my thought.

    Atiqul

  70. Hey Neil! I want to ask you that data highlighting or schema microdata has similar work for on page SEO? I have to use both technique or any one is sufficient.

  71. Hello Neil,

    I absolutely agree that when writing content you have to write for both your visitors and search engines.

    What I didn’t know was how useful microdata can be for search engine traffic. It is very underutilized and I can’t wait to give it a go.

    Thanks

  72. Theodore Nwangene :

    Holy cow !,
    This is a very technical tutorial indeed, thank God there is actually a good plugin for implementing this schema markup of a thing else, a lot of us will just get lost on the process of learning how to do it manually :).

    Thanks for sharing Neil.

  73. Neil, When using the Schema Creator plugin by Raven do you have to insert the data at the beginning of the article or can you put it anywhere, even at the end?

  74. Hi Neil,

    The links to Avataar trailer in the post above return 404s. Thought of pointing it out so you may fix it.

  75. Neil, you’re really good at what you do. But honestly, this is too technical for me to comprehend. I’ll take my time to go through this again.

  76. This is a great post, and I’m still working through the details, however I am a newbie and got a little confused as tohow this fits with metadata and meta titles?I thought a meta title was what appears as the description of the page in the search ranking, does this replace it? Thanks

  77. Is schema important for a local business website that isn’t selling anything? i.e. it would only mark up the address?

  78. Pashminu Mansukhani :

    I implemented the Schema for my website using the Google Structured Data Markup Helper, but the resulting pages was no longer w3c compliant.

    It generated the following error: Element div not allowed as child of element span in this context.

    The resulting page looks visually fine and the Schema also got validated by Google Structured Data Testing Tool.

  79. Pashminu Mansukhani :

    Dear Neil,

    I have added the following too:

    Will this display 5 stars rating ? along with my website snippets in Google SERps?

  80. Pashminu Mansukhani :

    It is not displaying the HTML code that I pasted. How do I get it to display the HTML code in this comment box.

  81. Pashminu Mansukhani :

    How long does it normally take for the Schema rating to appear in SERPs?

  82. Hey, is schema markup the reason that some search results show up in a big box above others in Google at the moment? For instance I my competitors webpage is showing in a big box above all the other search results. Specifically noticing this for definitions and medical terms among other searches.

  83. Thanks for the article Neil, your posts on this site, yourname.com and SEJ were very helpful in breaking down best practices for implementing schema.

    Our site has ratings for tens of thousands of pages (it’s a database of all advertising companies and their relevant advertising info), but it’s taking Google a while to pick up our rich snippet Ratings for Business Application.

    I think so far only 5% of all pages with ratings have been picked up. Do you know why Google make be a little slower in picking up this information?

    • It is up to them to index and show whatever data they think is good. You should log into Google Search Console and have it crawl your whole site and then see if more get picked up.

  84. Rohit Shitole :

    It’s really confusing. I am really bad at coding. I will use Schema creater 🙂
    My one article is ranking 1st on google. Sometimes 1st, sometimes 2nd. Always battling with Wiki.
    But google shows snippet of websites which are below me in rankings, which really hurts a lot.
    Thanks for the article Neil. I just hope google shows the snippet of my blog on top of page, since i am already ranking so high.

  85. Is there any difference between using microdata format embedded in HTML and JSON-LD script?

    I have starting to use the JSON-LD script code just before the section because it is much more convenient for me.

    How do I test the schema? I use the e-mail tool at https://www.google.com/webmasters/markup-tester and put my pages HTML in there and it works fine. Just wondering if there was a different tool for HTML?

    Thanks Again

    • I wish I could help, but I am not that technical. I have a full time developer that just does it all for me. I found him on Upwork… hope that helps. :/

  86. Symond Wilson :

    First of all Neil Bro! It’s great title “Demystifying SEO” drives my crazy.. Because I am always digging into to SEO and Traffic Generating tricks.. As mentioned in this post that schema markup is not a ranking factor still it’s a important part of on page SEO.. So I am gonna analyse my site once again and set up these things as mentioned in this post..

  87. uthman saheed :

    Thanks for this post. It really give me more insight into the usage of Schema. I will try as muc as possible to use it on one of my blogs.

    Thanks

  88. Mauritz Mostert :

    First, thank you for a well prepared and executed tutorial. Which, has and will be, a constant go-to, while I develop my new strategy on a five-year old website. It used to rank around 70,000 and now ranks N/A, even though it receives a lot more original content and traffic.

    Secondly, I am aware you promote ‘Schema Creator by Raven’. Therefore my question about ‘Schema App Structured Data by Hunch Manifest’ is, without stepping on any toes! What is your take on what they offer, because I am using and developing schema markup with them at the moment.

    Thirdly, I have used you for years, so please, keep-on-truckin’.

  89. Hi there to every one, it’s actually a pleasant for me to pay a visit this website, it consists of important
    Information.

  90. Really good article, you made it very simple and you show it how to do it which is more important. Thanks a lot, Saludos desde Argentina !!

  91. Indian Super League :

    You have done in fact wonderful work by make such a great blog keep up the good work.

  92. Karnataka SSLC Result :

    Very good publish. I simply discovered your blog and prepared to be able to file that i incorporate definitely savored surfing around your blog articles or blog posts.

  93. I tried this markup in 2013 itself but no improvement. It’s truly happen in my case. and your article step by step is awesome.

  94. Steve Williams :

    Neil! Big fan of your stuff and thanks for this article. Schema updates can seem like wizardry to the uninformed (me).

    I thought we could just upload the schema markup to Google Search Console, without having to put the code directly on our site?

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