They say SEO is dead, huh? While there may be somewhat less control over organic rankings these days, SEO is still effective for local businesses. Today, we’ll discuss one of the lesser utilized forms of SEO – local business schema.
You might be wondering what schema is. Though it kind of sounds like the name of a Star Trek character, it’s actually one of the more powerful ways a website can communicate with search engine robots. You know, those programs that index pages of your site into search engine result pages.
Schema or “structured microdata,” as some call it, is literally a snippet of code with relevant information about your business that goes into the source code of your pages. This code then communicates directly with those search engine robots to help them learn more (and display more!) about your site. For more info, check out our Schema 101 guide.
Schema can add fun tidbits of service text around your organic search listing and help your business place in Google’s prized “knowledge graph system” - a silo of information which provides dynamically-generated information cards on search pages. Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s dive into how local businesses can benefit from schema.
1) Local Business Service Schema
We’ll start off with some local service schema. But before we do, we do want to preface that implementing schema can require development resources as you will need to have access to and be able to edit your website’s code.
There are plugins out there for CMS’s like WordPress, but be sure to heavily vet their reviews as some can make your code pretty messy (a big “no-no” in the SEO world).
Examples of local business schema that can be added to your code include your business’ name, address, contact information, and services. These basic details may seem trivial, but adding these schema markups to the site will not only enhance your visibility for location-constrained queries, but will also greatly enhance your overall marketing pitch within the ever-competitive Google SERP.
TL;DR: Schema can improve the rate of users who click on your listing in organic search, which can mean more organic traffic to your local business.
2) Review Schema
Particularly useful for service organizations, business owners can also use schema snippets to add review text, ratings, and stars to your organic listings and knowledge graph cards. With schema you can pull reviews from services like Yelp, Google Reviews, Bing Reviews to be displayed in organic search results. To give you a feel for what this actual schema code looks like, here is an example of review schema in its unadulterated glory:
<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Review">
<div itemprop="itemReviewed" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Thing"><span itemprop="name">Perfect Search Media</span></div> <div itemprop="author" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Person"><span itemprop="name"> David Feldbaum</span></div><meta itemprop="datePublished" content = "2016-08-24">August 24, 2016 <div itemprop="reviewRating" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Rating"
<meta itemprop="worstRating" content = "1"/><span itemprop="ratingValue">5</span>/<span itemprop="bestRating">5</span> stars </div>
<span itemprop="description">Digital marketing and advertising agency </span>
This is definitely a foreign language. We recommend tools like MicroDataGenerator.com’s Review Schema Generator to save you some time creating review snippets like the one above. Or, of course, contacting your trusty developer is always a great move.
3) SiteLink SearchBox Schema
We saved our favorite service schema for last! Adding SiteLink SearchBox schema to the code of your business’ homepage will add a handy little search box underneath your homepage’s organic search result that users can actually interact with. Users can search for other pages that have been indexed by Google and deemed worthy of a sitelink.
There are many, many case studies out there that have shown how a SiteLink SearchBox can drastically improve click through rate and monthly organic traffic volume. This form of schema is highly recommended for E-Commerce businesses that have numerous product pages indexed by Google.
Think about it this way – you’re saving your prospective customer a few steps in their shopping experience. Consumers are able to directly search for their desired product on a search results page, directly land on that page, and then can easily make a purchase decision. Traffic, conversions, and happy customers – what more could you want as a business owner?
Still afraid of schema? Have some burning questions? Tweet us at @Perfect_Search.