In the Schema Things
What is Schema?
Search engine optimization is ever-evolving with whatever growing trends and tendencies are emerging every day. Think about it: nowadays, people are using more screenless devices than ever to perform their search functions. Screenless means Siri, Cortana, Alexa and more. How are these devices finding the right thing the user is looking for without the user even looking at a search results page? How are these devices able to easily and quickly find exactly what the user wants? The answer to that is pretty complex, but one of the many pieces of the puzzle is having proper schema and data structure on your website.
How Does Schema Work?
When good ol’ trusty Siri is trying to find something for you, she goes through a whole process of mapping the entire internet looking for what you need in just a few short seconds. She grabs what the easiest-to-read and most relevant website is for her to be able to give you the answer to your query, and those are websites that are well optimized for voice search. Being optimized for voice search is much different than being optimized for regular search, and nowadays, it is important to have both capabilities.
Even if another website has the same – or a better – answer than the one that she chose, she won’t find it because it’s not optimized enough for her to find. One of the many ways you can optimize websites for her to find is by organizing the data for her via schema. This means assigning categories to certain things, such as person, place or thing. Think of it as doing Siri a favor – she’s working hard and only has a few seconds to come up with an answer, so help her out!
The Technical Speak
According to Schema.org, schema vocabulary can be used with many different encodings, including RDFa, Microdata and JSON-LD. These vocabularies cover entities, relationships between entities and actions, and can easily be extended through a well-documented extension model. Over 10 million sites use Schema.org to markup their web pages and email messages. Many applications from Google, Microsoft, Pinterest, Yandex, and others already use these vocabularies to power rich, extensible experiences.
Is My Website Schema Friendly?
If you’re looking to improve your voice search ranking and visibility (which you should be!) you need to be testing your website for data structure. Google offers a tool that you can find here, and Bing offers one as well which you can find here. Check out the notes that the tools give you and make improvements from there. The important thing to remember is that Bing is the engine behind most voice search tools, so if either of them is giving you different information, sway in the direction of Bing.
If you’re ready to get your website optimized for search, including incorporating schema techniques, let us know!