There are a number of factors that decide user behavior on seeing search results. Granted that rankings brought about by search engine optimization (SEO) decide which results come in the SERPs, healthcare digital marketing companies are also well aware that it’s important to understand the factors that make people actually click the listings. Improving the click-through rate (CTR) is essential for conversions and ROI. That’s where schema markup comes in.
Why You’ll Thank Schema Markup
We’ve all heard of schema markup, and we probably consider it to be too technical. So perhaps we don’t spend as much effort on it? Though schema and structured markup have been around for quite some time, they don’t seem to be getting as much focus in many SEO efforts healthcare practices undertake. Their technical nature probably keeps many website owners from spending some time on them.
Even those who don’t quite give schema markup the attention it deserves are focused on so many other aspects, which are important for sure, such as keywords, backlinks, PPC campaigns, social media marketing, etc. But they all come down to search rankings. And whatever happens you can never guarantee the user will click a particular result in the results page just because it’s up there, though the results further up in the SERPs have a greater likelihood of being clicked.
For the best results to justify the investment you put into SEO, you need to focus on schema markup and microdata because they are integral to getting Google’s algorithms to track your web pages. Google’s machines are in charge, and you need to be able to make yourself detectable to them. Not only that, you need to be able to convey to Google what your web pages are about. Only then would all the other steps and processes you follow give you the desired results and advantage. While schema microdata doesn’t directly influence SEO as a ranking signal, it does have a role to play in making your listing in the search page richer.
What’s Schema Markup?
Schema refers to microdata that gives information to search engines to help them interpret what your web pages are about. It is essential for the search engine to know what your web pages deal with so that they can include them in the appropriate search results as responses to appropriate search queries.
Schema microdata gets applied to a page’s content to define what the page deals with and what search queries it should appear for in the search results. These elements need to be directly added to a web page’s HTML code so that the crawlers of the search engine get the additional information they need about the page. Here’s an example of the various aspects of schema markup in the order it should be, broken up for easier understanding:
This is how the schema starts, which in this case is for the home page:
The following is the actual description part, mentioning what the website is all about and telling Google to display this for readers to see:
Then comes the rest of the schema:
The following is the part of the schema stating the map, location, working hours and contact information of the business for, so that the reader gets a comprehensive idea of where the business is and when it is open.
The schema ends with:
Tools such as SEO Profiler have a Schema Creator to help you enrich your search result listings with additional information that can give the reader more information to decide whether to click the listing.
Why You Absolutely Need Schema Microdata
Schema doesn’t decide how your page needs to be ranked in the results for a particular query, but it gives Google an indication of whether it can be categorized among the pages dealing with a particular topic or query. That shows schema microdata is super-important. Only if the search engine algorithms understand what category your pages come in can SEO ranking factors be effectively applied to decide where to rank the page. That contributes to your visibility and conspicuousness in the search results.
But, as seen from the examples above, schema microdata can help your listings in the search results ranking page (SERP) by making them richer and more informative. They can help display your page’s rich snippets in the SERPs. Now what are rich snippets? They refer to the piece of information that appears beneath each search result. The better your schema microdata is in presenting your page content in a concise manner, the better the snippets for your web page would be in the search results. These snippets play an important role in helping readers understand whether your listing is worth clicking. Only if they click would you be able to get traffic to your site and increase your chances of conversions. Greater traffic also, in turn, plays a part in raising rankings.
It can be tough to manually mark up your pages with the schema microdata. It’s easier for smaller websites though, particularly if you’re just planning your site. The more the properties you add markup for, the easier it is for Google to create rich snippets – you need to have a certain number of properties in your web pages for which you have applied schema microdata to. Once you’ve added the schema markup, the Structured Data Testing Tool by Google can be used to check if everything is how it should be.
And when you think of schema markup, you need to remember Schema.org, which is standardized structure markup guidelines that you find on the web and is the result of collaboration between all the major search engines including Google, Yahoo, Bing and Yandex. To do schema markup the right way, you need to do follow schema guidelines.
Speakable Schema for Voice Search
This is the age of voice search, with people just asking stuff through voice assistants and smart speakers rather than typing on the search box. And optimized schema microdata significantly helps in voice search by helping identify that your content fulfils what the user is looking for. Your web pages need content that is appropriate to be read aloud. And you need speakable schema to enable voice assistants to identify what you wish to be read out for content on your pages. Learn more about speakable schema here.
Schema implementation is part of healthcare SEO services offered by advanced and experienced search engine optimization companies. Get started and experience the advantages for your medical practice.