Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Simple Web Design Tips to Integrate Schema Markup & Improve SEO

Because on-site SEO only accounts for about 30% of the SEO equation in getting site ranked in Google, we as SEO's do all that we can to ensure our money sites are as optimized as possible. An emerging means to further optimize a site's content to its fullest potential to is use Schema.

A Quick Briefing on Schema

In short, Schema is basic yet specific HTML markup that you add to pages' content.

There are many types of Schemas, but their underlying purpose is the same: to better define and communicate a site's content to Google.

For instance, when Google crawls a block of text that contains an address, we assume that Google knows and interprets the content as an address. However with Schema markup, we can clearly indicate to Google each component of the address (name, business address line, phone number.) This takes all assumptions out of the mix and tells Google specifically what the content is.

Why Schema Works for SEO

The latter address example is important for local SEO as a business's name, address, and phone is its citation - a key element that shapes a company's ranking in the Google local listings. Integrating schema markup to define this information can offer a boost for local SEO. In a competitive local search landscape, such as SEO for plastic surgeons, this technique is a game-changer.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. SEO's can integrate schema in many ways to better define content and communicate their site to Google. For instance, schema markup for videos and images can be clutch to help get this media ranking in Google's universal search results, image search results, and/or YouTube. The possibilities are quite plentiful.

Where Does Web Design Fit In?

Although there are many approaches to web design, in this case we're talking about structure - or the layout of content. Some of the most well-optimized sites are designed to show the citation and address information of a business in the header as well as the footer. So for local SEO, it's only appropriate that LocalBusiness Schema markup is included in this content.

That's web design tip number one: design the layout of the homepage and inside pages to include the citation in both the header and the footer, and ensure the text is parseable (or can be highlighted, copied/pasted, and crawled and indexed.) That way, you can easily introduce Schema and check-off one of the most essential forms of on-site optimization for local SEO.

Self-hosted Videos for Richer Snippets & Better SEO

Another way you can design and develop your site for better SEO is self-hosting videos. That is, instead of using YouTube or Vimeo embeds, you can self-host videos on your site. From earning and building links to generating rich snippets, the decision to self-host videos can help immensely in keeping the SEO value entirely on-site.

To learn more about this, here's a detailed read all about hosting videos for SEO. Once you have the technical stuff figured out, the second step is to ensure proper Schema markup for videos. This will help increase the SEO value of videos, all while maximizing the potential to generate video rich snippets in Google's blended search results.

There are numerous ways in which you can integrate Schema for better SEO. Whether for local SEO, ecommerce SEO, or enterprise-level SEO, Schema offers possibilities for all types of websites.

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