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Structure Data Markup – A Competitive Edge

 

Schema-based structured data markups enable rich snippets to be displayed in search engines with greater value and authority. 

Anyone using it to the full extent will have an edge in attracting organic search traffic, at least until the practice becomes mainstream.

Search engines love schema markups because it helps them convey better information to searchers.

Savvy internet marketers seek out and ride the latest wave while it is still gaining momentum. They do this to gain a competitive advantage in search engine rankings.

The use of schematic structured markups in 2018 will continue to be a growing trend and is predicted to become mainstream best practice. 

In search engine marketing, implementing important trends sooner rather than later can benefit those who take advantage of the momentum before it becomes commonplace.

For example, I wrote about video marketing a few years ago and how embedding videos on your website could help boost search engine rankings. 

Now that video marketing is a common practice, it can no longer be called a “trend”.  My point is that getting video content listed at the top of the search results was much easier when the trend was in its growing phase.

A trend, by its nature, changes and evolves.  Now that it is commonplace to publish videos, newer strategies are needed to stay competitive.

No doubt recent trends such as the more widespread use of SSL website encryption and Accelerated Mobile Page [AMP] will soon become best practice. Google has already indicated the sites with SSL encryption will have a ranking advantage. The writing is on the wall that the same will happen with structure data markups. 

Today my focus is on schematic structured data markups

Using Schemas for Structured Data Markups


While certain business practices will stand the test of time, with search engine marketing, which is ever evolving, what works today will probably not work tomorrow.

Company websites with high traffic and quality backlinks have always been able to rank well  in search listings. But you may recall that back in 2011, when the video marketing explosion was emerging, the little guy who published videos was suddenly more readily seen at the top of search results.  Back then merely publishing a video was a competitive advantage in search.

The future in search engine marketing is going to be in the use of schema-based structure data markups, not just for videos but also for other important website content.

What are Schema Markups?

Structure data markup is a standard way to annotate web content so that search engines can understand it.

Schemas are specific vocabulary tags or microdata that can be added to HTML to enhance the way web content appears in the search engine pages. Schema markup is supported by all major search engines.  

Search Engines Still Like Videos


 

5 ways to get more trafficPeople are tired of static information. They want to interact, and Google made a smart move when it bought YouTube and did not tinker with the YouTube formula. Google learned that the click-through rate on video links were winning the race.

Smart marketers know that hitting the play button can bring the customer one step closer to hitting the buy button.  

Videos, especially ‘how-to’ videos, that are tagged with targeted keywords, can still get ranked higher than static pages or dynamic blogs without videos.

The search engine advantage of videos will not be as easily won as in the early days of the trend. Software that enables users to produce and distribute videos without using cameras or taking footage but by copying and pasting from existing materials online are now more widespread in the marketplace.

This is good and bad.  It means that a flood of amateur and gimmicky marketing videos are being produced and people are becoming more selective in their viewing habits. 

The fact remains that despite new technologies, search engines understand text much better than images or videos.

Quality videos can still attract a ranking advantage, but it won’t be enough just to publish a video to get a top search listing, especially if the video is promotional instead of genuinely informational.

The Future of SERPs is Schema Markup


While video marketing will continue to have sales conversion advantages, other important metrics, such as schema-based markups will play a more important role going forward in the way information about your website will be displayed in search results. 

I must point out that using schema markup on your site is currently not a ranking factor, per se, but including microformats may rank pages above pages that don’t include it.  It does determine the way search engines display the rich snippets data of your content. That, in turn, can give the page a higher click-through rate in the search results.  In turn, higher traffic and clicks tend to boost SEO performance.

Search engines don’t do well in determining the inherent value of a video or web content.  But  they love interpreting schemata markup. It helps the engine to display your site’s most important content in a way that provides more useful information to searchers. This in turn can drive more targeted traffic to your web content.

The Schema Community Group


Schemas for structured data markup have been on the table for collaborative discussion since 2011. In April 2015 the Schema.org community group was formed.  You can read more about it at Schema.org website. They mention that over 10 million websites are already using schema-based structured data markups.

That’s a pittance, considering that in 2015 the total number of websites was estimated to be close to 1 billion. Source: NetCraft and Internet Live Stats.  However, that figure includes parked domains and inactive websites.  NetCraft conducts monthly surveys and reports that 75{b836676211964b66ddb1a94012779accd2cb69eec60a63bc16d10fd7c8344bc8} of host named websites are inactive. 

It also means that schematic structure data markup is still at the low end of a swelling trend. There is time to gain a competitive advantage in the same way as it occurred during the early phase of the the video marketing explosion. 

The goal behind the schemas project is to standardize structure data markup across the web to enable search engines to deliver more relevant and consistent results to end users. 

Structured Data Markup Competitive Advantage


I attended a training class at Wealthy Affiliate conducted by Jay (Magistudios) on the “Ultimate Guide to Structure Data Markup”. Jay showed us the results of his case study in adding schema-based structure data mark up to his website content.

Clearly this is going to be the next trend in getting website rich snippets displayed with greater authority not only in Google search, but also in the search engines of the schema project contributors, Microsoft (Bing), Yahoo, and Yandex.

Those who provide quality informational videos plus use proper schema-based structured data markups on their websites will have a competitive advantage for achieving better search engine conversion results going forward.

As I said earlier, using schemas is not ranking factor (not yet anyway).  But it can contribute significantly to improve your SEO. 

One of the many aspects I value about the educational environment at Wealthy Affiliate is that they regularly update the training to include the latest trends and innovations that helps us to not only remain viable but also stay ahead of the competition.       .

Jude Banks - Bridging The Gap  

 

 

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Comments 2

  • Excellent post, always seeking for extra knowledge. I agree with you. The information you provide about markup and schema, and page rank in Google is useful. Keep going. Looking forward to reading future posts.

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