There has been a lot of talk lately about the importance of Authorship Markup when it comes to search results, click-through rates and the way Google views you and your content around the web. Hopefully, you have taken a few moments to claim authorship of your site. But, the fun does not end there. There are several other structured data (schema) markups that could get you more search traffic and visibility.
What are Schemas and Rich Snippets?
Schemas are simply HTML tags that you can add to your website that will help search engines read and display your data in search results. All major search engines recognize these markups.
Rich Snippets is how your data (post or page) appears in search. This may include a few lines of text, an image, and maybe a few other relevant pieces of information depending on how you structured your data through schemas.
Businesses and Organizations – This markup will display a business’ address, phone number and hours. It may also pull in reviews, maps and images.
Recipes – This structured data will show searchers an image, cooking time and sometimes calories.
Events – Concerts are a great example of events in search. They often give you the locations, venues and dates.
Reviews – You are probably no stranger to review snippets. When you search for a product review these display a star rating, author and short introduction.
Videos – YouTube takes advantage of structured data for videos. A thumbnail and runtime is always displayed when a YouTube video shows up in search.
How Can I Add Structured Data Markups to My Site?
You can structure the data of your post or page according to the examples on schema.org. This is a little too time-consuming for me (and confusing). The schema for an Organization listing looks like this:
There are also a few schema creator WordPress plugins available. I am currently using Schema Creator from Raven Tools on one of my websites. This adds a little quick button above your post editor. When clicked, you can choose from Review, Organization, Recipe, Book, Event, Movie, etc. Fill in the requested information and a short code will then be added to your post/page.
I think it is imperative when relying on an outside source for things like SEO that you stick with trustworthy companies. In many cases, there is a wide gap between the ethical and unethical marketers. And there a dozens of developers out there creating products meant to “game” the system. Be careful who you deal with. You do not want to use a product or plugin that will actually hurt you in the long run. Raven is a well-known and trusted company that seems to keep their products up-to-date and Google compliant.
After creating new structured data, you can then test it with Google’s Rich Snippets Testing Tool. You can also make sure everything is working correctly in the Structured Data Dashboard in your Google Webmaster Tools.
Are you using structured data to improve your site’s visibility and get more search traffic? Do you know of any other plugins I should try?