What is Schema Markup and How To Add It

TL;DR: Schema markup highlights your content, makes you stand out from competitors and improve SEO results. Learn how to add it to your website.

logo-short-whiteErik Bonsaksen
Date modified
What is Schema Markup and How To Add It

What is Schema (structured data) and why do my website need it?

Schema, structured data and rich results is buzz words in SEO nowadays, but what IS IT? First we'll start with what it is, then we'll talk about how to add it.

Schema markup
Shared language between search engines on how to represent website data.

Structured data
The actual data on a website page with an applied schema markup type, inside schema tags. Sometimes referred to as data models.

Rich results
Visual representation of your content in search results. Enabled with structured data.

Said in other words:

Schemas helps search engines to read and understand your page content, and can give you special features in search results

Schema markup example: This is schema type "Book" with the following structured data:

  "@context": "https://schema.org/",
  "@type": "Book",
  "name": "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets",
  "author": "Rowling, JK",
  "offers": {"itemOffered": "#record"}

This is a type of schema coding we would add to a landing page for a single book, with it's required properties (name, author, etc). This in turn can enable rich result, also called "rich snippet" features in search results when your page show up on top in search results. Example:

Schema Markup: Book

It takes a lot of real estate on a search result page, and looks pretty good.

Why should I care about schema markup?

Because all major search engines do.

They use structured data to understand your content, as it gives them a clue about the meaning and how to classify the information. Hell, even Google, Bing, Yahoo! and Yandex collaborate on the main schema type archive schema.org on how to mark up data.

At the time writing this, the archive has 797 types and 1457 properties. When these mechanized companies make a joint effort, you should pay attention.

When they care (even Amazon), you care. It's all about making your text, images and videos more accessible, and those rich results are really more tempting to click on, don't you think?

Why schema is important

Structured data it not required, but it's no longer considered "nice to have" - it's one of the major low hanging fruits of SEO out there.

All major search engines consider it beneficial for understanding a website, and since SEO is all about increasing organic visibility of your content, you should be all over that shit.

Used strategically, it can become a key factor for increasing search engine traffic and conversions.

Nonetheless, it can't be denied that most stakeholders still don't know it's significance. Shockingly, only 31% of all websites use structured data, and the majority of them only on a very basic level. If you ask me, that only makes it more important for SEO, having an edge over your competitors.

Only 31% of all websites use structured data

How can you add schema markup?

Step 1 - Choose structured data format

There's 3 major structured data formats you can add to your page:

  • JSON-LD: JavaScript notation added to a <script> tag in the <head> or <body> section of an HTML page.
  • Microdata: HTML specification used to nest structured data within HTML content.
  • RDFa: RDFa is an extension to HTML5, embedded to HTML.

From the above, JSON-LD is the recommended format by Google for structured data whenever possible, so I would select this.

Step 2 - Decide which schema type to add

What kind of content do you have? If you have videos, use type "Video". Use "Recipe" for a recipe page, "FAQPage" if you have a page where you answer questions.

Not all 797 types provide rich result enhancements. Google search gallery documentation shows 32 different rich result types, so I would focus on one of these:

  • Article
  • Book
  • Breadcrumb
  • Carousel (only available for recipes, courses, restaurants, and movies)
  • Course
  • Dataset
  • Education Q&A
  • Employer aggregate rating
  • Estimated salary
  • Event
  • Fact check
  • FAQ
  • Home activities
  • How-to
  • Image metadata
  • Job posting
  • Learning video
  • Local business
  • Logo
  • Math solvers
  • Movie
  • Podcast
  • Practice problems
  • Product
  • Q&A
  • Recipe
  • Review snippet
  • Sitelinks search box
  • Software app
  • Subscription and paywall content
  • Video

Here's some visual examples of high impact schema markups.

Step 3 - Add structured data to your website

Adding structured data requires editing your HTML. A few CMS such as Wordpress have various plugins to add it. Websites built from scratch or through a developer framework would likely require a developer to add it programmatically.

Or, you can easily add it with metamanager. TA-DA, yes this is self-promotion (sorry, not sorry), but it's really a smooth way

Schema metamanager implementation

I - Create a metamanager account

We're not self service yet, but book a time with us here and we'll create it for you quickly.

II - Connect metamanager to your website

Add our snippet to your website. Example using Tag Manager:

Schema metamanager implementation

III - Publish schemas with structured data

Select schema type, add information and deploy to website.

structured data / schema markup optimisation example

Hopefully enabling rich results such as this:

Schema metamanager implementation

Integration takes approximately 10 minutes, and works on most CMS or tech stacks.

If you want to learn how you can add any markup type to your pages fast to improve schema SEO, try our structured data publishing tool. Google will thank you for it.

"Want to explore which schema markups that can be added to your website? We'll analyse it for you, for free!"