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

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 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?

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!

 

#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…

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.

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

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

 

Script #2: Official Social Profiles

Really original…

 

Script #3: Contact Numbers

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

 

Script #4: 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.

Wow!

 

5. Tweak It

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

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?

Do you feel confused like JC?

Dennis Seymour :Entrepreneur, Author, Father. Follow me and Say Hi! Snap Me / Tweet Me / Instagram

View Comments (33)

  • 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

    • 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

  • 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 :)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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

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 There are script generators out there but they are pretty outdated.

      • 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.