Schema isn’t new in the SEO world but it is new for many small businesses looking to improve their rankings on the search engines. Schema.org developed a revolutionary collaboration between the top search engines that created a way to make it easier to identify and categorize information on a website. Unfortunately, local businesses are far behind in practicing this on their own websites.

using schema for local businesses

Before we dive any further into Schema, let’s get a clear understanding of what it is…

Schema markup is code that is added to your website, which enables the search engines to better understand what your site is about and therefore return better search results for the user. If you’re familiar with rich snippets, you’ll probably know what schema markup is all about.

Here’s an example of a query for an event:

schema event markup example

The schema markup told the search engines to display a schedule of upcoming events for the Denver area. If someone is looking for this information it would be very helpful. Basically, schema tells the search engines what the information on your website means, not just what it says.

So, How does this help my local business?

There are many different types of markup that can be added to your website but we will only look at the ones most relevant for a local business.

Geographic Markup

First, you’ll want to make sure the address and phone number match your Google maps listing and that it is correct — You’ll be using this in your markup. Next you’ll need to choose the best category for your business — Schema.org’s local business section has a list of business types. You can include your address, phone, business hours and the types of payments your business accepts

A realtor’s site code would look like this:

schema markup geo example

In the example above the only information that is displayed on the website is the the markup info between the “itemprop” and the “span” tags. But for the bots crawling your site, they know that this is a real estate agency, where they are located, and their contact information.

Social Properties

Social media is playing a greater role in ranking our websites than ever before. But not in the way that you may think. Think of social media as a way for people to vote for your business — you can read more about social media in your SEO strategy.

Telling the search engines which social properties are related to your site will help them connect the dots and discover other properties related to your business. The markup for this looks like this:

schema markup example 3

It is especially important to include properties owned by Google like Blogger, YouTube, G+ Page and G+ Profile. Another good source to include are Google’s social Data Hub Partners.

Why is Schema Markup Important for Local Businesses?

In a nutshell…. Schema just flat out helps your website rank better! There are hundreds of markup types from nail salons to medical dosage schedules. When you can help the search engines understand what your site is about, where your business is located and authority sits your business is associated with, you will improve your rankings.

Does my site have schema markup?

If you’ve had someone else make your website and don’t know if schema was incorporated in your websites structure, you can use Google’s schema testing tool. Just login to Google, put your web address in the box and run the test.

Need help adding schema to your website?

Adding schema to your website isn’t as difficult as it may seem. All of that code can seem a little intimidating if you’re not familiar with it. By adding schema to your website, you will improve your rankings and improve the way the search engines use your site information. For help adding schema to your website contact Social Climb — we are always happy to help a small business!

Read Full Article Here: How Schema Markup Can Help Your Local Business Rankings

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