Stand Out with Schema Markup

There are so many types of schema.org markup to choose from, so it’s not surprising to see them pop up all over SERPs.

What’s the point?
Structured data markup schema (like schema.org or hreview) is supported by major search engines like Google and Bing. Code that is added because it helps search engines better crawl and understand the information on that specific page. If search engines can better understand that info, they can provide better search results that will benefit the user.

How hard is it to use?
Take a look at the full list of different markup you can use here. There are generators which make it as easy as 1) choosing the right type for your business 2) filling the fields on thoroughly 3) pasting onto the page 4) depending on the design of you’re site, it might require some CSS adjustments.

Let’s take a look at a few different types of markup data that you could also easily implement:

Google + Authorship

Want to claim your unique content, help increase click-through rates, establish your voice and more? Remember how we’ve talked about Author Rank? There isn’t a good reason NOT to claim authorship.

Review and Breadcrumbs

Check out this example for reviews and breadcrumbs. This is excellent for e-commerce sites as well as service oriented businesses.

Entertainment

IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes is an excellent example of how structured data can help make our lives a little bit better!

Events

As spring and summer approach, the demand for tickets to concerts and other entertainment events is going to increase. Although a giant like Ticketmaster uses structured data, you can see this example of how a smaller business can also take that advantage.

Recipes

Is it surprising to hear that the cooking industry is one of the most competitive when it comes to markup data? Check out pictures, recipes, calories, ingredients and servings all before clicking on a listing. It’s safe to say, if you’re a food blogger who’s not using markup, you don’t stand a chance!

Social Optimiziation with Open Graph Protocol

We’ve previously talked about microformats like Schema.org, but what is there for social networking sites? Have you ever attempted to Like or share something on Facebook with strange titles or pictures showing up? You might not even get what you’re looking for unless you manually input that information and let’s face it, what customer is going to do that themselves? Such a thing does exist to help and it’s called The Open Graph protocol.

What is Open Graph?
This protocol allows developers to integrate their site into a “social graph”. Using specified markup, you can make any page on your site socially shareable by setting custom type (video, article etc.), title, meta description, contact information, and even address/location.

How do you implement it?
Open Graph supports simple markup data and it’s not really hard to apply. It’s really a matter of copying and pasting the right information. If you’re using WordPress, there are plugins that can generate this for you. It’s important to use the right code when using the markup on your website. As a rule of thumb, it’s important to test and check your work before going live or before you implement it on many pages, or even site wide. Check out this Facebook Tool which gives you feedback on a page where the code is added so that you can see any potential errors. It’s also helpful to check a live, working example such as Amazon or IMDb to see how they’re using the markup and replicate it on your site for maximum effectiveness.

Why is this important?
For e-commerce retailers, product pages could have unrelated or boring information when it shows up Liked or shared on Facebook and Google Plus. Having control of what shows up in your customers’ feed is important because you want to optimize for consumers, and not just have a default blurb of what the site pulls up. Moreover, using these tags means that you’re putting it in a language that search engines can easily read and it could help boost your rankings. You can also test it on 2 similar pages, one using the markup and one not and see what difference it makes for your particular product/service (in terms of comparing bounce rate, conversions, click through rate, etc). In other words, optimizing your site for social using Open Graph can only help as you’re making your site more search and social friendly.

Feel free to leave a comment or contact us if you have any questions about Open Graph or any other social media marketing strategies!