How important is schema markup for local search engine optimization (SEO)?
Most local SEO experts and webmasters are familiar with the impact of having well-optimized SEO elements on their landing pages, such as optimized title tags, well-written content, and more. However, what exactly can you accomplish by applying schema markup to your local business website?
The author says, quite a bit, actually.
When it comes to organic search, there are several reasons why having a proper and thorough schema applied to your website is a substantial competitive advantage. In fact, it's been reiterated by Google time and time again that schema helps search crawlers do their job more effectively by helping them comprehend a landing page and delivering relevant information in the SERPs.
In the original article, the author shares a few recommendations to help your local business get the most out of using schema to boost your local SEO.
The Difference Between Schema, Structured Data & Rich Results
The terms "structured data" and "schema" are often used interchangeably in webmaster and SEO verticals. However, it's helpful to know the semantic differences between these terms.
Google defines structured data as "a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content." To put it simply, this format was developed to help search engines accurately understand a webpage to properly display snippets of information in the search results pages.
Schema is a form of structured data that was officially launched via schema.org. Schema was created via a collaborative project by all the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex) in 2011. Utilizing the markup available on schema.org enables a landing page to be eligible for rich results.
Rich results (formerly called rich snippets) are any extra information you see in the search engine results pages (SERPs) that are beyond the atypical blue title tag and meta description (breadcrumbs, review stars, sitelinks, etc.). Google provides two tools to audit structured data on your website: the Schema Markup Validator and the Rich Results Test.