If you’re like most local businesses, search engines provide you with a substantial opportunity to get consistent traffic from prospective local buyers interested in your products or services. With that said I think you’ll agree that helping search engines to better understand your business, what you do, and things like your location and phone number is probably a worthwhile endeavour. Beyond that, making your pages stand out from your competitors in the search engine results can only lead to more traffic and opportunities. Who wouldn’t want that?
If you’re not already familiar with Schema mark-up ( also known as microdata or structured data ) then it’s time to do some investigating because it can help you accomplish everything I mentioned above. What’s Schema? Here’s an excerpt from the Moz blog that I think summarizes it nicely.
Schema.org is the result of collaboration between Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo! to help you provide the information their search engines need to understand your content and provide the best search results possible at this time. Adding Schema markup to your HTML improves the way your page displays in SERPs by enhancing the rich snippets that are displayed beneath the page title.
There’s lots of great ways that content can be marked up with Schema and you’ve most likely already come across rich snippets for things like recipes or events but today I want to focus on 3 types of Schema every local business should be using. Before we start, are you wondering if your web pages are already using structured data? You can check out Google’s structured data testing tool to find out. Enter a page url and the tool will show you all of the structured data present on the page. If you’re not using Schema yet then it’s time to get to work.
LOCAL BUSINESS SCHEMA
This Schema is a great way to create some context and really help search engines understand your business. You can include some of the following elements
- Business Name
- Business Description
- Phone Number
- Email Address
- Business Hours
- Social Profiles
You can use the generic “local business” schema type but I recommend checking to see if there’s a more specific match for your business. Phil Rozek put together a handy spreadsheet with the full list of business types. Here’s an example of what some basic schema.org code would look like for your business. Google recommends using the JSON-LD format for your mark-up.
Marking up reviews with schema.org is an excellent way to gain a rich snippet for your pages. The addition of a star rating will not only make your page stand out, but by leveraging social proof you can further improve traffic and conversions. Here’s an example of how one of my web pages shows up in the search results with review Schema.
Any product or service on your site can be marked up with offer schema to gain a rich snippet and make your listing stand out from the competition while giving some valuable information to prospective buyers. Here’s an example from an Edmonton real estate website leveraging both offer schema as well as event schema to get multiple rich snippets on the same listing. This really make their search result pop out on the page.
If you’re ready to start implementing schema for your local business these 3 schema types are a great place to start.