Search engines understand a different language. What we write is not how our content is viewed by search engines. Schema Markup is the language (code) that search engines understand and use to read the content on a web page.
It is with the help of these schemas that search engines are able to differentiate and categorise the content. When a user enters a search query, the search engine lists the most relevant content with the help of these code structures.
Schema Markup is the best way that we can help the robots to understand the content that we have added and enable them to crawl the same. This is done by guiding the crawlers using codes in a structured way to help them understand what the written content is about.
There are various tools available that can help you to create the schemas automatically. You just need to add the required details and have the schema codes generated.
Adding schemas is the best way to answer the basic questions that generally come up on search engines by users.
The how-to, what, where, why, when, who and which are the questions we can help the search engines understand using specific schema codes. Schemas can help you to achieve the positions on SERP.
Schema code languages are of three types JSON-LD, RDFA and Microdata.
This is the most widely used code used as it is easy to generate and does not require an HTML tag every time it is added. Any part of the HTML page can contain JSON-LD. The attributes used by JSON-LD have a ‘@’ sign. (@type, @id)
A sample JSON-LD article schema markup is shown below for your reference. Depending on the attributes needed for a website, the code will differ.
Resource Description Framework in Attributes (RDFa)
As opposed to JSON-LD, RDFa requires HTML tags to be added to a web page. It is not possible to add RDFa to an HTML page just anywhere on it. They need to be added with HTML tags. RDFa uses attributes such as ‘about’ and ‘typeof’.
A sample RDFa Breadcrumb schema markup is shown below for your reference. Depending on the attributes needed for a website, the code will differ.
Microdata codes are those that need to be used within each HTML tag that is there in the body of the web page. Microdata uses attributes such as ‘ ’ and ‘’.
A sample Microdata article schema markup is shown below for your reference. Depending on the attributes needed for a website, the code will differ.
Using schema in HTML is essential to let search engines know what the content is all about. And as we discussed above, there are three ways we can generate these schemas for HTML web pages. Adding schema markup in the HTML also helps to enhance the user experience to the next level. A user can be guided to a webpage by showing what it consists of without even opening it.
This can help build trust in the users and build brand reach while potentially increasing the CTR.
The syntax of schema markup consists of several codes, but their function is quite different. When certain information is added to the schema markup code, the search engine reads this specific code and matches it to the search query entered by the user.
The relevant content having the nearest and relevant content to the user search query gets displayed in the search results.
Schema markup can be for different requirements. It may be for local business, organisation schema, article schema, how-to schema, FAQ schema and many more. Let us see, for instance, we have a how-to article with the title “How to generate schema markup for an article” added to a website.
Once the article is published, a how-to schema is generated with the exact steps mentioned in the code that appears in the article and added to the HTML web page using any of the three codes above.
Once a user searches for the same or similar title-based article, the search engine will display the article (provided it is the most relevant) with the steps mentioned in the schema in the search results.
The user can read the content details without even opening the website link. This adds to the user experience. Below is an example of Google search results with schema.
One of the most important benefits is to let search engines know what the content is about and how it is structured. Second, users will be able to comprehend what is written in the content without having to open the website. Additionally, schema markup provides several other benefits.
As mentioned previously, structured data does help search engines to have clarity of the content present on a web page. When a search engine can understand the content, it can relate the particular webpage to a specific search query.
Structured data’s effects on rankings have been a point of discussion many times. But when structured data is added for a web page, the indications show positive results most of the time. It depends not only on the structured data but also on the content relevancy that a particular search query shows a specific result.
So we can say that error-free structured data along with relevant content can help search engines understand and rank a web page to a specific query. This in turn does help rankings.
The basic difference is that schema is a shared language while structured data is the data that we provide to generate a specific schema which describes the content that is present on a web page. Structured data is a kind of measurable content that we want the search engines to understand for a particular web page.
There are many tools available that help to generate schema as per requirement. Not necessary that these are error-free. When you test a schema, the most common error you will come across is the ‘Invalid Values Error’. This generally occurs when a field value is missing. This error can be fixed by simply adding the missing value in the code.
Some other schema errors are missing price field errors, missing tags and missing best or worst values in the rating.
Yes, content can rank without a schema. As mentioned previously, relevancy is the primary ranking criteria for any search engine. Content with irrelevant, duplicate content with schema has no chance of ranking but relevant content to a specific search query has all possibilities of ranking even without schema.
It is also true that schemas will help search engines crawl your content much faster.
There are around 32 schema types that Google understands.
can be generated using a number of online tools. You just need to decide on the schema type that needs to be created and add the structured data in the provided spaces in that particular tool.
Once you have added all the details required for a particular schema, you simply need to copy the code and paste it on the webpage. In addition, plugins are available for adding generated schemas.
Schema markup validator provides easy steps to test the structured data. You just need to enter the web page URL and click on ‘Run Test’. The validator detects the existing schemas and lists those with possible errors and warnings if any.
A schema without any errors or warnings is considered an error-free schema which can be added to the web page.
SEO’s major aim is to improve the website’s ranking on the search engine. For this, SEO strategies are formed to help index and crawl the website by search engines. SEO aims at creating user-friendly content and content that search engines can understand. Schema markup improves the way how search engines view web page content and this in turn helps the search engine crawl the content. Schema markup does play an important role in technical SEO.