Semantic markup, also known as schema or rich snippets, refers to structured data that works as a companion to HTML. The idea behind semantic markup is to define a website’s content so a search engine is able to understand what information a particular page has to offer an online user. If this is already way out of your league, then you might want to think about hiring some help from an online marketing specialist, but if you are ready to get stuck in by yourself, them here is some further information on what Semantic Markup does ad how it works. Even if it is something you won’t be trying to address by yourself, it will give you a really good understanding of what you need and why when you start to discuss your plans with a digital agency.
How Can Semantic Markup Improve a Site’s Ranking?
Firstly, it’s important to note that semantic markup is not an easy way to get your website ranked, it must be used with a number of other strategies to ensure that the site is fully optimised. However, ensuring that your semantic markup clearly describes the content of your web page can ensure that your website’s visibility is increased. So while sites such as Google infer that semantic markup may not be used as a ranking signal, it does help your website appear more prominent within search engine results.
Semantic markup can also help with a website’s click-through rate, as online users will be able to see a synopsis of what information the website contains. Ensuring this information is correct will greatly increase your CTR, as online visitors are evidently interested in your content because your website has been put before them within their search results.
How Does Semantic Markup Work?
Like many factors in the world of search engine optimisation, semantic markup can be deemed a little tricky when faced for the first time, but when looking at how semantic markup works, it’s best to take a simplified view in the first instance. Semantic markup uses microdata and data classification that communicates with search engines. Just like HTML and CSS communicate with the web browser as to how your website should be displayed, microdata and data classification will talk to search engines and tell them what your content is and how it should be indexed.
What Kind of Sites Benefit from Semantic Markup?
Semantic markup is a common practice used for SEO, so generally all sites can benefit from it. However, there are a number of different types of semantic markup that can be used, depending on your target audience and website niche.
- Facebook Open Graph
Facebook plays a large part in promoting online content. Although it’s not unusual to see online stores and service providers advertise on Facebook, you generally find that the majority of posts containing website content will be based on an interest. Think movies, music and humour and you get the general idea. Facebook Open Graph allows users to define how a website will be displayed in Facebook, as well as other social networks. In this regard, it is important that a social-specific headline is used so content can be shared successfully via social networks, and acquire the right kind of engagement.
- Products and Ratings
This type of markup will benefit those with an e-commerce store, as it allows you to specify products and their related data to search engines. This means that when online users enter the relevant keywords and your content is put in front of them, not only will they be greeted with a clear and concise description, but they will also be able to see recent reviews of your products. This again will improve your CTR dramatically.
Breadcrumb navigation is often neglected, but breadcrumbs can be very useful to those who have a website with a lot of information. Ensuring you implement breadcrumb navigation will give online users the option of where to begin their search on your site. Not only does this provide the user with relevant information, but it can also lead to more activity on your website.
Overall, semantic markup alone won’t be a major factor as to how your website is displayed within search engine result. However, if used correctly with other SEO strategies it can help your page rank well, as well as providing your audience with clear information which in turn will help increase your CTR.