JD Prater | Growth Marketer | San Francisco

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I'm a seasoned growth marketer living in the San Francisco bay area. I'm quick on my feet and excel at digital strategies and storytelling.

Benefits of Schema Markup for Local Businesses

This post originally appeared on Amadeus Consulting's blog.  

Back in June 2011, Google, Yahoo! and Bing collaborated to create schema.org, a common vocabulary for on-page markup that helps search engines categorize and identify information about websites. In simple terms, it is hidden tags on a website that help a search engine understand different kinds of information. This includes store hours, location, telephone number, events, reviews and ratings.

However, local businesses have been slow to implement schema and markup on their websites. In so doing, they’re missing the opportunity to display valuable business information in search results. Adding markup will help your business stand out next to the competition and allow users to quickly find relevant information in the search results.

Benefits of Schema Markup

Start implementing basic markup to drive traffic to your business.

  1. Give users relevant information quickly and efficiently
  2. Gain exposure in organic search listings
  3. Build credibility with online reviews and ratings
  4. Use pictures to entice customers to click-through and learn more
  5. Makes your site appear more legitimate and reputable in the SERP

Examples of Schema Markup

What schema markup should your business include?  When adding schema markup to your site, start by thinking about what information you want to be shown when your business shows up in a search result.

Including a picture, reviews and ratings in your markup will help your business gain more exposure and build credibility. Here’s an example of two search results for “chicken and pasta recipe.”  You can clearly see that Food Network made it convenient for users to find ratings and reviews by adding markup schema for a picture, ratings, reviews and cook time.

This page also does an excellent job using markup to tag certain aspects of the page. Even though it only ranks 4th in the SERP for “Chicken and Pasta Recipe” the markup helps it stand out on the search listings and leads to much higher click through rates.

Below is an example of the code used to create this listing.  This follows fromschema.org/recipe guidelines.

This section provides the rating:

<div id=”recipe-meta”>
<div class=”rm-block lead fn_hreview-aggregate fn_review” itemprop=”aggregateRating” itemscope
itemtype=”http://schema.org/AggregateRating”><div class=”rating-box fn_rating  stars4″>
<span>Rated <span itemprop=”ratingValue”>4</span> stars out of 5</span></div>

This section shows the cook time:

<div class=”rm-block”> <dl>
<dt>Total Time: </dt>
<dd><meta itemprop=”totalTime” content=”PT0H35M”>35 min</dd>
<dd class=”clrfix”><meta itemprop=”prepTime” content=”PT0H10M”>10 min</dd><dt>Cook</dt>
<dd class=”clrfix”><meta itemprop=”cookTime” content=”PT0H25M”>25 min</dd></dl></div>

Create a Google + for Your Business

Markup is a bit complex, admittedly. But Google has made this very easy by doing most of the work for you in your Google Business Profile (now called Google+). If you have a business, my advice is to create a Google+ business page. Google+ will display most of the information we have talked about for you.  In the example below, Google’s search result pulls in contact information, reviews, ratings and displays the restaurants Google+ profile on the right sidebar complete with a map and pictures.

Further Resources

For a full list of schema markup code for a variety of businesses, go to schema.org. For additional help applying this to your business, give us a call.

Also, make sure to run your website through Google’s Structure Data Testing Tool and Data Markup Helper.