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A Guide To Schema Markup & Structured Data SEO Opportunities By Site Type


A Guide To Schema Markup & Structured Data SEO Opportunities By Site Type

You have probably heard that leveraging schema markup (or other kinds of structured data) can help increase search engines’ understanding of your site’s content, as well as enhance search visibility via rich snippets, featured snippets and Knowledge Graph results. Structured data is a great way to create more search engine-friendly signals, which can indirectly impact search rankings.

Google’s John Mueller recently stated that the search engine giant may add structured data markup as a ranking factor. So it is definitely worth the effort to implement schema markup on your website, as this is becoming more important to Google.

However, it can be confusing at times to determine which schemas you should use on your website. There are many, and determining which ones to use can be difficult. Below, I have listed a breakdown of which schemas might be used by specific website types. Some can be used across all sites.

All Sites

The following schema markup types can and should be used across all different site types. They are not specific to any vertical or industry.

Organization Schema Markup

The organization schema markup helps generate brand signals which can enhance your Knowledge Graph entry and website snippet presence in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Be sure to specify your logo, social profile links and corporate contact information.

organization-schema-knowledge-graph

Example (using JSON-LD)

<script type=”application/ld+json”>
{ “@context” : “http://schema.org”,
“@type” : “Organization”,
“legalName” : “Elite SEM”,
“url” : “http://elitesem.com/”,
“contactPoint” : [{
“@type” : “ContactPoint”,
“telephone” : “+1-646-350-2789”,
“contactType” : “customer service”
}]
“logo” : “http://elitesem.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Elite_SEM_Logo_2014.png”,
“sameAs” : [ “http://www.facebook.com/EliteSEM”,
“http://www.twitter.com/elitesem”,
“http://plus.google.com/+Elitesem”,
“https://www.youtube.com/user/EliteSEMInc”,
“http://www.linkedin.com/company/elite-sem”,
“https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q20736641”]
}
</script>
view raw org-schema-markup hosted with ❤ by GitHub

Google Resource Page: Customizing Your Knowledge Graph

WebSite Schema Markup

The WebSite schema markup helps generate the Sitelinks Search Box feature for brand SERPs and can help your site name to appear in search results. You must, of course, have an existing site search on your website to enable the Sitelinks Search Box element.

site-name-sitelink-search-box

Example (using JSON-LD)

<script type=”application/ld+json”>
{
“@context” : “http://schema.org”,
“@type” : “WebSite”,
“name” : “Elite SEM”,
“url” : “http://elitesem.com/”,
“potentialAction” : {
“@type” : “SearchAction”,
“target” : “http://elitesem.com/?s={search_term}”,
“query-input” : “required name=search_term”
}
}
</script>
view raw website-schema-markup hosted with ❤ by GitHub

Google Resource Pages:

  • Sitelinks Search Box
  • Include Your Site Name in Search Results

Breadcrumbs Markup

The BreadcrumbList schema allows you to mark up the breadcrumbs on your site to generate breadcrumb rich snippets for your pages in the SERPs.

breadcrumb-rich-snippets

Example (using microdata)

<ol itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/BreadcrumbList”>
<li itemprop=”itemListElement” itemscope
itemtype=”http://schema.org/ListItem”>
<a itemprop=”item” href=”https://example.com/”>
<span itemprop=”name”>Home</span></a>
<meta itemprop=”position” content=”1″ />
</li>
<li itemprop=”itemListElement” itemscope
itemtype=”http://schema.org/ListItem”>
<a itemprop=”item” href=”https://example.com/activewear/”>
<span itemprop=”name”>Activewear</span></a>
<meta itemprop=”position” content=”2″ />
</li>
<li itemprop=”itemListElement” itemscope
itemtype=”http://schema.org/ListItem”>
<a itemprop=”item” href=”https://example.com/activewear/tops/”>
<span itemprop=”name”>Tops</span></a>
<meta itemprop=”position” content=”3″ />
</li>
</ol>
view raw breadcrumb-schema-markup hosted with ❤ by GitHub

Google Resource Page: Breadcrumbs

Site Navigation Schema Markup

The SiteNavigationElement markup can help increase search engines’ understanding of your site structure and navigation and can be used to influence organic sitelinks.

organic-sitelinks

Example (using microdata)

<ul itemscope itemtype=”http://www.schema.org/SiteNavigationElement”>
<li itemprop=”name”><a itemprop=”url” href=”http://www.travelstore.com/our-advantage”>Our Advantage</a></li>
<li itemprop=”name”><a itemprop=”url” href=”http://www.travelstore.com/our-travel-experts”>Travel Experts</a></li>
<li itemprop=”name”><a itemprop=”url” href=”http://www.travelstore.com/destinations”>Destinations</a></li>
<li itemprop=”name”><a itemprop=”url” href=”http://www.travelstore.com/cruises”>Cruises</a></li>
<li itemprop=”name”><a itemprop=”url” href=”http://www.travelstore.com/interests”>Interests</a></li>
<li itemprop=”name”><a itemprop=”url” href=”http://www.travelstore.com/explore-your-world/interests/hotels-and-resorts”>Hotels</a></li>
<li itemprop=”name”><a itemprop=”url” href=”http://www.travelstore.com/travel-guides”>Travel Resources</a></li>
</ul>
view raw nav-schema-markup hosted with ❤ by GitHub

Resource Page: SiteNavigationElement (on Schema.org)

Video Schema Markup

A site with embedded or hosted video content can leverage the VideoObject schema. Google primarily displays video rich snippets for YouTube videos, but this will help video rich snippets to appear for your Web pages in Google Video Search.

video-schema-markup

Required Properties:

  • Name.
  • Description.
  • ThumbnailUrl.
  • UploadDate.

Example (using microdata)

<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/VideoObject”>
<link itemprop=”url” href=”http://www.ted.com/talks/boaz_almog_levitates_a_superconductor”>
<meta itemprop=”name” content=”The levitating superconductor” />
<meta itemprop=”description” content=”How can a super-thin 3-inch disk levitate something 70,000 times its own weight? In a riveting demonstration, Boaz Almog shows how a phenomenon known as quantum locking allows a superconductor disk to float over a magnetic rail — completely frictionlessly and with zero energy loss. Experiment: Prof. Guy Deutscher, Mishael Azoulay, Boaz Almog, of the High Tc Superconductivity Group, School of Physics and Astronomy, Tel Aviv University.” />
<meta itemprop=”uploadDate” content=”2015-02-05T08:00:00+08:00″ />
<meta itemprop=”duration” content=”PT10M25S”>
<img itemprop=”thumbnailUrl” src=”https://tedcdnpi-a.akamaihd.net/r/tedcdnpe-a.akamaihd.net/images/ted/b9693798223a4101be834398af15df5560d3f25c_1600x1200.jpg?quality=95&amp;w=480″ />
</div>
view raw video-schema-markup hosted with ❤ by GitHub

Google Resource Page: Enabling Rich Snippets for Videos

Schema Software Application Markup

Leverage the SoftwareApplication markup on your software apps to enable app rich snippets.

software-app-rich-snippets

Required Properties: The only required property is the “name,” but Google notes that rich snippets are currently only shown for apps that include at least two of the following properties: AggregateRating (including ratingValue and either ratingCount or reviewCount).  AggregateRating (including ratingValue and either ratingCount or reviewCount).

  • AggregateRating (including ratingValue and either ratingCount or reviewCount).
  • Offers.
  • OperatingSystem.
  • ApplicationCategory.

Example (using microdata)

<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/MobileApplication”>
<meta itemprop=”url” content=”https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.elitesem.calculator”>
<h1 itemprop=”name”>SEM Calculator 2.0</h1>
Updated: <span itemprop=”datePublished”>September 3, 2014</span>
Size: <span itemprop=”fileSize”>1.9M</span>
Requires <span itemprop=”operatingSystem”>Android 2.3 and up</span>
Category: <span itemprop=”applicationCategory”>Business</span>
Rating:
<div itemprop=”aggregateRating” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/AggregateRating”>
<span itemprop=”ratingValue”>4.0</span> (
<span itemprop=”ratingCount”>1</span> rating )
</div>
<div itemprop=”offers” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Offer”><meta content=”0″ itemprop=”price”></div>
</div>
view raw app-schema-markup hosted with ❤ by GitHub

Google Resource Page: Enabling Rich Snippets for Software Apps

E-Commerce Sites

Schema Product & Offer Markup

Used together, the Product and Offer markups can help product information to appear in the SERPs, including price and status information. Note that the Offer markup is required in order for the price to appear in Google SERPs.

product-offer-rich-snippets

Required Properties:

  • For the Product schema, only the “name” property is required.
  • For the Offer schema, the “price” and “priceCurrency” properties are required.

Example (using microdata)

<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Product”>
<h1 itemprop=”name”>Back to the Future 1:1 Scale Hoverboard</h1>
<span itemprop=”description”>Time traveling to 2015 and back is only the beginning of the adventures found in Back to the Future Part II. The coolest part…was finding the hoverboard! And now the future is finally here and you can have a hoverboard of your own! This replica prop is an exact recreation from the one seen in Back to the Future II. Sure, it doesn’t truly hover (come on scientists!) but carrying it around will let everyone know that you’ve just come back… from the future! Just don’t try to use it on water! <i>Back to the Future is a trademark and copyright of Universal Studios and U-Drive Joint Venture. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLC. All Rights Reserved.</i></span>
<span itemprop=”offers” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Offer”>
<meta itemprop=”priceCurrency” content=”USD” />
Buy New: $<span itemprop=”price”>48.99</span>
<link itemprop=”availability” href=”http://schema.org/InStock” />
</span>
</div>
view raw product-offer-schema-markup hosted with ❤ by GitHub

Google Resource Page: Enabling Rich Snippets for Products

Schema Rating Markup

The Rating schema is primarily used on e-commerce sites but can also be used for a local business site, such as a restaurant. When an item has multiple ratings that have been averaged together to produce an aggregate rating, you’ll want to use the AggregateRating schema.

(Note: Google assumes that you use a five-point scale, with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. If you use anything other than a 1–5 scale, you’ll need to indicate the highest possible rating with the “bestRating” property.) These markups will help generate star rating rich snippets in the SERPs.

Example (using microdata)

<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Thing”>
<h2 itemprop=”name”> Super Book </h2>
<div itemprop=”description”>Ultra interesting. Super impressive.</div>
<div itemprop=”aggregateRating” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/AggregateRating”>
<div>Book rating:
<span itemprop=”ratingValue”>9</span>
<meta itemprop=”bestRating” content=”10″/>
<meta itemprop=”worstRating” content=”1″/>
based on <span itemprop=”ratingCount”>20</span> ratings
</div>
</div>
</div>
view raw rating-schema-markup hosted with ❤ by GitHub

Google Resource Page: Enabling Rich Snippets for Reviews and Ratings

Publisher Sites

Schema Article Markup

If you’re a publisher website, the NewsArticle or BlogPosting schemas are recommended (choose one or the other, depending on your site/content).

Leveraging these markups accordingly can help your content to appear in Google News and in-depth articles search suggestions.

Required Properties:

  • Headline.
  • Image
  • DatePublished.

google-news-schema-markup

Example (using JSON-LD)

<script type=”application/ld+json”>
{
“@context”: “http://schema.org”,
“@type”: “Article”,
“headline”: “Emmys 2015: The 5 categories we’re most excited to see”,
“image”: “http://rack.1.mshcdn.com/media/ZgkyMDE1LzA5LzIwLzQ0L2YyOGFiZmM5NmNkLmQ5ZjgxLmpwZwpwCXRodW1iCTEyMDB4NjI3IwplCWpwZw/418b1a9e/940/f28abfc9-6cd9-217b-8bc7-fd48dd3621a9_MM714-21.jpg”,
“keywords”: [“television”,”emmys”,”uncategorized”,”entertainment”,”tv”,”emmys-2015″],
“datePublished”: “2015-09-20T13:39:38Z”,
“articleSection”: “entertainment”,
“creator”: “Sandra Gonzalez”,
“author”: “Sandra Gonzalez”,
“articleBody”: “The 2015 Emmy Awards are upon us, and while television’s biggest night has in several years etc….”,
“mainEntityOfPage”: “True”
}
</script>
view raw article-schema-markup hosted with ❤ by GitHub

Google Resource Page: Enabling Rich Snippets for Articles

Local Business Sites

Schema Local Business Markup

You can leverage LocalBusiness and PostalAddress schema markup to impact your local listing. This markup can be implemented on sites with brick-and-mortar locations. The schemas can be used to indicate your physical address, opening hours, payment types accepted and more.

(Note: Keep in mind that there are also industry-specific schemas, such as AutomotiveBusiness, SelfStorage, TravelAgency and many more.)

Example (using microdata)

<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/LocalBusiness”>
<h1 itemprop=”name”>Elite SEM</h1>
<p itemprop=”descripton”>A performance-driven digital marketing agency.</p>
<p>Open: <time itemprop=”openingHours” datetime=”Mo-Fi 09:00-17:00″>Monday-Friday 9am-5pm</time></p>
<p>Phone: <span itemprop=”telephone” content=”+16463502789″>646-350-2789</span></p>
<address itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/PostalAddress” itemprop=”address”>
<span itemprop=”streetAddress”>142 W 36th St, Fl 11</span>
<span itemprop=”addressLocality”>New York</span>,
<span itemprop=”addressRegion”>NY</span> <span itemprop=”postalCode”>10018</span>
</address>
</div>
view raw local-schema-markup hosted with ❤ by GitHub

Resource Pages:

  • LocalBusiness (on Schema.org).
  • Schema.org examples for location pages (on Google).

Event Sites

Event Schema Markup

The Event markup can be used for sites that organize events, musical concerts or art festivals to generate event rich snippets.

event-schema-markup

Example (using JSON-LD)

<script type=”application/ld+json”>
{
“@context”: “http://schema.org”,
“@type”: “MusicEvent”,
“name”: “AC/DC”,
“image”: “http://s1.ticketm.net/tm/en-us/dbimages/199365a.jpg”,
“startDate”: “2015-09-25T19:45:00-07:00”,
“url”: “http://www.ticketmaster.com/acdc-san-francisco-california-09-25-2015/event/1C004E43C5D25EDC?artistid=1170951&majorcatid=10001&minorcatid=200”,
“location” : {
“@type”: “Place”,
“name”: “AT&T Park”,
“sameAs”: “http://www.ticketmaster.com/AT-T-Park-tickets-San-Francisco/venue/229585”,
“address” : {
“@type”: “PostalAddress”,
“streetAddress”: “24 Willie Mays Plaza”,
“addressLocality”:”San Francisco”,
“addressRegion”:”CA”,
“postalCode”:”94107″,
“addressCountry”:”US”
}
},
“offers” : {
“@type” : “Offer”,
“url”:”http://www.ticketmaster.com/acdc-san-francisco-california-09-25-2015/event/1C004E43C5D25EDC?artistid=1170951&majorcatid=10001&minorcatid=200″
}
}
</script>
view raw event-schema-markup hosted with ❤ by GitHub

Google Resource Page: Enabling Rich Snippets for Events. Note: You can also promote your events in Google’s Knowledge Graph; get more info here: Listing Your Events in the Knowledge Graph.

Recipe Sites

Recipe Schema Markup

Recipe websites can leverage Recipe schema markup to enable recipe rich snippets.

recipe-rich-snippets

Required Properties: The only required property is the “name,” but Google notes that rich snippets are currently only shown for recipes that include at least two of the following properties:

  • At least one of prepTime, cookTime, totalTime or ingredients.
  • Image.
  • NutritionInformation.
  • Review.

Example (using microdata)

<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Recipe”>
<link itemprop=”url” href=”http://allrecipes.com/recipe/12682/apple-pie-by-grandma-ople/” />
<meta itemprop=”mainEntityOfPage” content=”True” />
<img src=”http://images.media-allrecipes.com/userphotos/720×405/736203.jpg” alt=”Apple Pie by Grandma Ople” title=”Apple Pie by Grandma Ople” itemprop=”image” />
<h1 itemprop=”name”>Apple Pie by Grandma Ople</h1>
<div itemprop=”description”>”This was my grandmother’s apple pie recipe. I have never seen another one quite like it. It will always be my favorite and has won me several first place prizes in local competitions. I hope it becomes one of your favorites as well!”</div>
Prep Time: <time itemprop=”prepTime” datetime=”PT30M”>30 min</time>
Cook Time: <time itemprop=”cookTime” datetime=”PT1H”>1 hour</time>
Total Time: <time itemprop=”totalTime” datetime=”PT1H30M”>1 hour 30 min</time>
Yield: <span itemprop=”recipeYield”>1 9″ pie (8 servings)</span>
Ingredients:
<span itemprop=”ingredients”>1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie</span>
<span itemprop=”ingredients”>1/2 cup unsalted butter</span>
<span itemprop=”ingredients”>3 tablespoons all-purpose flour</span>
<span itemprop=”ingredients”>1/4 cup water</span>
<span itemprop=”ingredients”>1/2 cup white sugar</span>
<span itemprop=”ingredients”>1/2 cup packed brown sugar</span>
<span itemprop=”ingredients”>8 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced</span>
<ol itemprop=”recipeInstructions”>
<li>Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).</li>
<li>Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste.</li>
</ol>
</div>
view raw recipe-schema-markup hosted with ❤ by GitHub

Google Resource Page: Enabling Rich Snippets for Recipes

Personal Sites

Schema Person Markup

The Person markup can be leveraged to influence Knowledge Graph results about an individual.

schema-person-knowledge-graph

Example from BenKirshner.com

<div itemscope=”” itemtype=”http://schema.org/Person”>
<meta itemprop=”gender” content=”Male”>
<meta itemprop=”birthDate” content=”March 21, 1978″>
<meta itemprop=”spouse” content=”Rebecca Kirshner”>
<meta itemprop=”parent” content=”Jack Kirshner”>
<meta itemprop=”jobTitle” content=”CEO of Elite SEM and Coffeeforless”>
<meta itemprop=”email” content=”ben@elitesem.com”>
<meta itemprop=”url” content=”http://www.benkirshner.com”>
<meta itemprop=”memberOf” content=”Young President’s Organization”>
<meta itemprop=”memberOf” content=”SEMPO”>
<meta itemprop=”image” content=”http://www.benkirshner.com/resources/Ben-Kirshner.jpg”>
<span itemprop=”name”>
<link itemprop=”sameAs” href=”https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q19753495″>
<link itemprop=”sameAs” href=”https://www.freebase.com/m/011n3f_r”>
<link itemprop=”sameAs” href=”https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIHSn0i6CRIk9Fyby2LZ3yw”>
<link itemprop=”sameAs” href=”https://www.linkedin.com/pub/ben-kirshner/0/799/87″>
<link itemprop=”sameAs” href=”https://twitter.com/benkirshner”>
<link itemprop=”sameAs” href=”https://plus.google.com/+BenKirshner1/”>Ben Kirshner</span> is the CEO of Elite SEM Inc. and Coffeeforless.com…
</div>
view raw person-schema-markup hosted with ❤ by GitHub

Resource Page: Person (on Schema.org)

Be sure to use the following resources to monitor and test your Schema and Structured Data Markup.

  • Structured Data Testing Tool.
  • Structured Data Markup Report in Google Search Console.

Note that your site can be hit with a penalty if you do not follow Google’s guidelines for Structured Data. Read more here.

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