Local SEO Schema and How It Helps with On-Page SEO

by Dennis Seymour May 22, 2015
How to Use Structured Data Schema

Using Schema as part of your Local SEO Process

This is the presentation I did for PeepCon in late March. Maybe the worst one of the day! 😀

Before anything else, I just want to say that I dislike using really flashy slides, hence the slide deck with big ass, specific text.

You might also deem it boring to look at but I can’t really do anything about that at this point.

For the placement problems, I have to apologize because I used Keynote and uploading it to Slideshare just messes everything up.

I really hate PowerPoint so if you want to see it in Keynote, then here’s the link.

I have a special gift for those that reach the last part of the presentation, a free WordPress plugin that we developed mainly because you guys requested it a couple of blog posts ago. I will give you the link at the last part of this part so there’s NO need to use the plugin link within the deck.

Let’s get started:

Here are the slides.

Schema is going to be part of the whole “search” picture, long term. It just will.

Unless they decide to pull the plug last minute, that is.

The slides are mostly for visual cues not really suited for learning, really.

Most of the important things in there were mentioned during the presentation but I’ll break down the important parts here.

 

Using Local Schema SEO

Using Local SEO Schema for Your Business Website

Introduction to Schema

The major search engines came together back in 2011. Google, Yahoo, Bing and eventually, Yandex agreed to use schema to organize and better understand the information online. (Quickest introduction to schema EVER…)

Why do you have to know that? Well, it’s because you need to know the whole picture.

If you see how that ties into the whole vision of Google and the other search engines, then you’ll understand that this schema thing is here for the long haul so you better learn to use it now.

 

Different Types

You can use a LOT of different ways to structure the data on your websites. You can use schema for:

  • Image Galleries
  • Recipes
  • Product Reviews
  • Videos
  • Q&A Sites
  • Official Social Profiles
  • Critic Reviews
  • Event Information
  • Product Details
  • Location Related
  • Concert Details
  • Movie Trailers
  • Your Official Logo
  • Contact Numbers
  • Google Authorship (LOL)
  • Answer Box? (I don’t think so, but some want to claim that it is.)
  • Knowledge Graph? (Definitely.)
  • Lots more!

All of them can be seen on Schema.org

 

Does Schema Help with SEO?

Let’s shoot it down right now…

Marking up your data for rich snippets won’t affect your page’s ranking in search results, and Google doesn’t guarantee to use your markup. – Some Guy at Google Support (and that page is now gone…so does that mean????)

BUT who believes Google??

I do, sometimes…

 

So, Why Use Schema?

If it doesn’t work or help with SEO, then why even bother?

Well, which would you click?

Which would you click with or without schema

Probably still the first 1 but…

 

A lot of you will say the 3rd one but statistically, it will still be the number 1 result BUT the 3rd one will receive more clicks than it usually gets.

Remember your ranking factors? There are “200+” of them right??

Well, are these “possible” ranking factors affected?

  • CTR (Click Through Rate)
  • Time on Site
  • Bounce Rate
  • Page Views/Engagement/Usability
  • Conversions (In terms of a user getting to a part of the site that is deemed to be important by Google and not necessarily about actual conversion tracking using Goals)
  • Pogo Sticking? (This is not the same as bounce rate.)

Which leads me to concluding that Google is actually telling the truth!

Schema doesn’t have direct effects to SEO, but indirect effects!

 

Success Kid Wins

#WIN – Don’t let me see an older version of you kid

 

Plus, less than 25% of the websites out there actually use schema.

Why wouldn’t you use it then? You have absolutely NOTHING to lose.

THAT is why you need to use it as part of your SEO process, because schema is not a hack, it’s a best practice, much like you use add meta titles and meta descriptions on your pages.

Got your attention?

Here’s how you can use it for your business website today.

[hr]

Crash Course to Local Business Schema

It actually took me 20 slides to get to this point because the tedious part starts here.

Showing code and trying to make it “actionable” is the worst thing ever for presentations, which is why I tried my best to make it funny before getting to this part…I also tried to make it really simple, hence, breaking down the whole process to even smaller steps.

Here we go!

When we optimize for local SEO, we all know the usual factors:

Before we start, it’s better if we had an actual example to make things simpler.

So, let’s pick a target!

Let’s say… a Business Website. Like this one…

SEO Philippines Company

Ain’t mine… 🙂

Now go to: https://developers.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/

Quick Pro Tip: Is the structured data page showing a different language?? Force it to show in English by adding ?hl=en at the end of the URL

Now, going back to the example, enter the site URL and it will show the basic schema on the site. For this plug and play theme for Genesis, it shows these schema and some errors that I have already notified them about.

For your website, you might see just 1 or 2 results. Sometimes, you won’t have any at all.

Structured Data Testing Problems

Don’t mind the built-in Genesis Theme Errors

[hr]

1. Identify Which Schema You Need

You can check on the following links if you want to:

  • https://developers.google.com/structured-data/ (It’s a sure thing if it’s on this page. Some Schema.org types are still not active on Google)
  • Everything else? Just use Schema.org

For most local business websites, the staples are…

  • Name
  • Address
  • Corporate Contacts
  • Social Profile Links
  • Official Logo

Basically, your NAP.

Eventually, you can add breadcrumbs, articles, sitelinks searchbox and many more schema types.

 

2. Generate Scripts

I have to admit, I am not a “programmer” or a “coder” or whatever. Contrary to what you might think I am, I can barely read code.

I don’t have a passion for it at all… which is why when I heard about JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) for schema?

= #WIN

It was like the angels were coming down and singing Hallelujah with me!

It just made it super easy. I didn’t have to force schema text to show on the page of a website in most cases now!

Note: I’m not saying to just use JSON all the way. It should still be used alongside microdata, especially for content specific schema.

 

Script #1: Official Logo

Schema for Official Logo

That’s not even a logo, just sayin’. 🙂

 

Script #2: Official Social Profiles

Schema of Official Social Profiles

Really original…

 

Script #3: Contact Numbers

Schema of Contact Numbers

Don’t try this at home. Don’t fake it.

 

Script #4: Address

Schema of Address

That’s the room I gave the presentation in…

 

3. Use on the Site

Now comes the simple part.

Paste them into your HTML code.

If it’s part of the NAP, then it can be sitewide.

If it’s a page specific schema, then stay on that page!

 

4. Test It

Go back to https://developers.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/ and test the URL.

Testing Schema Codes

Wow!

 

5. Tweak It

It’s now time to tweak the code since everything is working.

Schema After Testing and Tweaking

Super awesome end result!

You might be asking by now why I opted to do this part last.

Well, like I said earlier, I am not that good with writing scripts.

It’s easier for me to test each script and see if they all work fine individually so I can fix them one by one if there’s a problem.

It’s also an easier way to teach people about it.

Imagine doing that on stage in-front of 300 people?

One final note: DO NOT fake the information in your schema. I just made those details up just to show an example. You can check out the URL and it will show what I presented here.

 

Schema Resources

 

How Do You Feel Now?

How to Use Structured Data Schema

Do you feel confused like JC?

 
 
 

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34 Comments

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  • Informative! Thanks for introducing Schema with us. Schema markup uses a unique semantic vocabulary in microdata format. You don’t need to learn any new coding skills. This is applied to the content of a page to define exactly what it is and how it should be treated.

    All in all, I’m grateful to know another tool to use. This is a must share. We can use Schema in SEO and create better value. Great benefits awaits, aside from making it easier for search engines to properly categorize your site’s content, marking up your pages can also be used to define and display rich snippets of your content in SERPs.

    Reply
    • Thanks Metz!

      Let me know if you need help with it! 🙂

  • Hello Dennis,

    Awesome guide and I so loved the slides! 🙂

    I am not an active user of Schema thing yet but I hope that I will be sooner, thanks to the plugin that you gave us! 🙂

    I always heard just good things for Schema, it makes me want to explore it more in-depth.

    Thank you for putting up this post! It’s my future reference! 🙂

    ~ Adeel Sami

    Reply
    • Thanks Adeel. Let me know if you have questions

  • Great! Is it available through the WordPress plugins repository too?

    Reply
    • Not yet Rich. We want to keep it like this for now.

      • Okay, thanks. I went looking for it there, hoping to find screenshots and for clarification on the availability of beta functionality like entities. But I guess I’ll just try it out! Thanks for doing this!

  • Hi Dennis,

    You’ve given a brief detail about local seo schema and I guess I just came to know about it. Local seo schema seems really important to get more accurate results.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Thanks Samir. It will eventually get more valuable. Never hurts to have it up early. 🙂

  • Great data. I would: 1.) Break this content into several posts. 2.) Create a “how-to” video that takes one through all the data above. 3.) Make this into an online course on Udemy.

    Reply
    • I actually should! 🙂

      Haha. Thanks Edwin.

      Building a course is something that I have in the plan for sometime down the road.

  • Hi Dennis,

    Can’t say that I’ve ever used Schema Markup, well not knowingly for sure. It looks like it could be useful in certain situations, especially for local business, and perhaps review sites.

    I hope your plugin proves to be a success and gives people an easy front-end in which to key their respective information.

    Thanks
    – David

    Reply
    • Thanks David. I hope it does help out a lot of people 🙂 Well, at least, that’s the plan. Let’s hope it reaches more people.

  • Hey Dennis,

    This was very informative about schema markup and how to set it up for local marketing. I understand the concept of it, but when you went into the coding, I started to look like Jackie Chan for a second LOL

    What’s even better is that you have a plugin to make it easier to set up for all of us that aren’t coders. I’m sure the majority of us bloggers will feel relieved knowing that there’s a plugin to help set it all up!

    Thanks for sharing Dennis! Have a good one!

    I found your post on kingged.com under the category of SEO/SEM
    http://kingged.com/local-seo-schema-and-how-it-helps-with-on-page-seo/

    Reply
    • Yeah, I hope it helps you out Sherman! It’ll be even better next time! 🙂 Let me know if you need help with it!

  • Hi Dennis,

    What a wonderful Schema tutorial.

    It’s way beyond me to do this, even with the plugin.

    But I can certainly see why so many people are sold on it, and for those who want to get a better idea of how to do it…. I’ll be sending them right here!

    Great job.

    -Donna

    Reply
    • Hey Donna!

      The plugin will make it tons easier. Just install it, enter your business details and official social profiles etc.

      Then click save! 🙂

      Thanks for checking it out though! I appreciate it a lot!

  • Hi Dennis,
    Using Schema for local SEO could prove effective if applied well. I am totally ignorant of how effectual this tool is before now.

    I guess its time to try and test it for client on-page SEO.
    I am certain that we can get the best work if we identify which SEO Schema really works!
    This comment was shared in kingged.com

    Reply
  • Hi Sunday!

    The earlier you get on the better. Won’t hurt even if it does “fail” in the future.

    I feel like it’s only going to get bigger and better 🙂

    Reply
  • I wasn’t aware of this “Local seo schema” and I must say I’ve learned something valuable today.

    Thanks a lot for detailed information.

    Reply
    • Hi Vicky

      Thanks for checking it out 🙂

  • Hey Dennis,

    Thank you for the in-depth tutorial on technical seo. Good to hear about Schema, most people skip such topics and cover the much lighter and the same-old stuff.

    Good to know that you are working on a wordpress plugin for Schema. Will give it a try right away.

    Also do expand it beyond wordpress as there are other CMSs too that needs plugins such as this.

    Reply
    • Yeah, a lot of people do! 🙂 Thanks for checking it out! I appreciate it!

  • Hello Dennis,
    Few days back one of my friend told that Google had penalized sites with wrong schema, this sounds crazy to me.

    Can you tell me a best way to get the Schema done without getting penalized? or is their any WordPress plugin which will get the job done?
    PS: Currently my blog is on Genesis framework. with Dynamik website builder theme add on.

    Would highly appreciate if you can get the doubt clear.

    Reply
    • Hi Sandeep,

      Yes, Google can manually penalize you for that. My next post is actually about penalties so Ill be touching on that topic a little bit.

      As long as you dont have too much structured data errors then you should be fine. (Go into webmaster tools/search console, check Structured Data)

      I have a schema plugin if you read the post. The new update will be coming out this week.

      Genesis by default will have errors with schema. I’ve notified them about it and they are working on it.

  • Nice tutorial for making a blog with SEO standards and strategy.

    Reply
  • Great schema post. I’ve been trying to figure out some of the productontology stuff, but I usually get errors when I test it. This post was a decent intro to getting started with it – http://www.localvisibilitysystem.com/2014/06/30/how-to-pick-or-improvise-the-right-schema-org-markup-for-your-local-business/

    Reply
    • Thanks for the resource Matt! It can be pretty frustrating but you’ll eventually make it work. What caused the errors? The actual script?

  • Hey Dennis thanks for the plugin. Going to try it. I attempted markup years ago on an html site and it was the most complicated of my web design. A plugin is so much easier. QUESTION: once you install the plugin and execute your markup, can you uninstall the plugin without affecting the markup data? I’m trying to keep site load speed down so I want as few plugins activated as possible

    Reply
    • It will disappear once the plugin is deactivated. Sorry about that! There are script generators out there but they are pretty outdated.

  • Kent

    Do you have longtitude and latitude items in the schema plugin? I heard those are important for local.

    Reply
    • Hi Kent, it doesn’t have it yet at the moment. Sorry about that.

      • Kent

        Hey Dennis, that is okay…I just heard that those items help a local site to rank better. I really don’t know if that is true or not but i plan on trying it soon.

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