How to easily add Schema to your website (when you’re not a coder)
Would you take the opportunity to get ahead?
Using this tactic on of our client’s website, we’ve seen an increase in over 1 million search engine impressions and a near 50% increase in CTR during a 2-month period.
How did we do it?
Let me introduce you to the world of Schema.
Simply put, Schema mark-up is code that can be added to websites to help Google understand what your content is.
Coding? …But I am in marketing!
I am in no way a coder or developer. Sure, we have them at Epix Media to build our absolutely fabulous websites. But me – myself – my skills of coding are limited to what I learnt from doing up my super-sweet Myspace profile.
When I was first introduced to Schema and saw it was all about code, I won’t lie, this is what my face looked like:
But two things changed that for me. I went from being fearful of this strange code to being converted and singing its praises.
Those two things were:
First, I actually took the time to learn about how amazing Schema is, the benefits that can come from using it and what the code all meant.
And secondly, when I got confused about all the code, I cheated and found a tool to create the code for me instead (which I will share with you in this article).
But before we get into how to apply Schema to your website, let’s delve into what it actually is and what it can do for your web presence.
What is Schema?
Schema is a type of mark-up you can use for SEO, it gets added to your website to help tell search engines what your data means.
To put it another way, when you add content to your website, Google is able to understand what that content says. However, it does not necessarily know what it means in context.
For example, if you add a cake recipe to a website, Google’s algorithms will be able to read it and understand it. However, it would not know that it is a recipe that someone could use to help them bake.
By adding a specific recipe mark-up around the content, search engines are able to go “Ah! This content is about how to make a cake and could help someone trying to bake.”
As a result, when someone searches “how to bake a cake”, your website has a better chance of appearing as the search engine will be able to go “Oh! I know some content that will guide you through those steps!”
Schema is basically a way to make the data on your website more understandable for search engines. Instead of them taking a guess at what your content means, you are essentially labelling your content in a universal way that is easy to understand (at least for computers and coders).
And when I say universal, I mean universal.
Schema does not just work for Google. In fact, it is the result of one of those rare occasions when competitors come together to create something that benefits everyone.
It came about from a collaborative project by Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex. The aim is to have a universal mark-up language for structuring data that all search engines can understand.
Ultimately this makes your life easier! There is no reason to add different markups for different search engines. Because of this your site code is kept lightweight and loading quickly for your users.
But… What does it actually do?
Sure. Marking up your site so Google and the likes can understand the content sounds great. But what does it actually achieve?
Ever heard of Rich Snippets?
Even if you’ve never heard of the term, I can guarantee you’ve seen and used them before.
Rich Snippets help highlight key information to users on a search engine result page (SERP). For example, they can highlight key local business information, provide review stars, give you relevant answers to questions, event listings, nutritional information, job listings, and plenty of other bits of information.
Rich Snippets can help you portray information on your website directly on a SERP. This can have two results: Either encouraging users to click onto your website through enhancing your listing; Or by imparting information without the user even having to click onto your website – think about how people can call your business directly from a SERP listing, for example.
What type of Rich Snippets use Schema?
At the time of writing, Google identifies 29 different types of Rich Snippets that you can add to your website to enhance your search appearance.
This list is regularly updated with new Rich Snippets and it is wise to keep an eye on what’s being released by visiting Google’s Search Gallery page: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/search-gallery
For businesses though, I would concentrate on implementing the following:
This markup ensures that your business information is displayed. Details include opening hours, ratings, directions, contact details and actions to book appointments or place orders. This can also be managed through a Google My Business listing.
This tells Google what your business logo is.
The product markup can be used for both individual products and services offered by your business. It can enhance your search results by listing review stars and product prices.
If you consistently post blogs or articles on your website, I recommend adding the article markup to them. This opens up the possibility of your website appearing on the ‘Top Stories’ feed in user’s searches.
I’m a big fan on including FAQs on a webpage and I’ve discussed their value for User Experience (UX) & SEO previously. The FAQs markup helps these FAQs enhance your SERP appearance by listing the questions and answers under your search listing.
Will using Schema improve my SEO and search result position then?
The short answer is no.
The long answer is no, but….
Google has hinted that introducing Schema markups to your site does not improve your SEO. But the reality is slightly more complex than that.
Whilst adding Schema does not necessarily improve your SEO, it can improve your rankings by giving your content more context for Google.
Take the cake recipe for example again. By adding the markup around your recipe, you have a higher chance of your recipe appearing as a Rich Snippet which features at the top of any SERP.
Another way it can improve your SEO is not necessarily through your SERP position, but through enhancing your listing visually.
In 2019, UX research group Nielson Norman Group identified a Pinball effect now happening on SERPs as a result of Google introducing Rich Snippets.
The Pinball effect basically states that rather than users sequentially processing the information on a SERP, instead, they bounce their eyes around the page seeking out the information they’re looking for.
Elements such as review stars, product pricing and FAQs in a listing helps draw the eye by standing out. And, as mentioned previously, seeing as so many businesses are not employing Schema to their websites, you might be the only one with these elements on your listing.
This, therefore, can result in having a higher CTR to your website.
How can I apply Schema to my website?
So, I promised you earlier that I’d share with you a way to easily add Schema to your website without the need to learn the code language or involve a developer.
In an ideal world, it would be useful to involve a developer in setting this up so they can add this information in a clear, concise way. But it isn’t totally necessary.
The first step, head over to https://technicalseo.com/
This website is cracking for a whole range of technical SEO tools. If you’ve never used it before, it is worth getting familiar.
For what we’re interested in though, you’ll want to click on the SEO Tools button. Once here, you’ll want to click on ‘Schema Generator’ found on the left-hand menu.
Once on the generator, you’ll find a drop-down menu where you can select the type of Schema you want to create.
As you fill in the information, you’ll notice the code on the right-hand side starts to fill in for you.
Once completed, simply hit the blue Copy button located in the top right-hand corner:
This adds the code to your clipboard.
Head over to your website and paste the content into a text field as close to the content on your page as possible. As it is wrapped in script tags, it should not appear to visitors to your website.
Once done, it’s worthwhile just heading over to Google’s Search Console to request an index of the page so that Google knows that a change has happened.
Give it a bit of time for Google to register the changes and you should see the element appear in the Enhancements tab on Search Console:
And that is literally how easy it is!
No reason for us marketeers to be scared of a bit of code right?
But if you are struggling to get the markups added to your site, reach out to me or the team at Epix Media and we’ll be more than happy to help you get it added to your site.