Schema.org is a site that provides HTML markups which can be used by webmasters to tag their content for better understanding by search engines. Some of the top search engines who recognize schema are Google, Yahoo, Bing and Yandex.
Let’s start with Semantic Data or Semantic Vocabulary. You see, when search engine crawl a web page, they store the data in their database and based on relevancy of your page they are ranked for keywords. However, it’s really difficult task for search engine to categorize your content and understand what exactly it means and to whom the content majorly cater to.
Schema vocabulary helps search engine understand the meaning of your content in a more systematic and pre-defined way. Making it simple for search engines to summarize your content and categorize it at the first place.
How it works?
There are different types of markup for different types of site. Almost all section or niche can be covered within schema markup.
There is data markup for:
- TV episodes and ratings
- Book Reviews
- Local businesses
- Software Applications
There are tons of more schema markups ranging from medical drugs to breadcrumbs. Almost every data your website contains can be marked by schema tags. Websites using schema markup have better chances of ranking in SERPs than website which doesn’t implement it.
All you need to do is markup your data for each type of your website data with its relevant schema markup. Example: Header, Title, Breadcrumbs, Article Body, Article snippet, author & date of publishing are some of the markups which are present on every site and hence can be marked up with schema.
Also, based on different type of site, various schema vocabularies can be used. The best example would be recipe sites; they have a specific markup pattern for defining recipes and almost all site ranking for them are using these microdata. Here is the link: http://schema.org/Recipe
How does it look?
The tags used to mark up different content type are called Microdata.
Let’s understand the basic elements of this mark up tag:
1. Itemscope – It is used to define the type of content you’re about to discuss. For example: If you are about to write about a person then the tag would look like <div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Person”> or if you are about to specify a Music album the tag would be <div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/MusicAlbum”> or if it’s about an offer, the tag would contain <div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Offer”>
2. Itemprop – It is used to define the properties of Itemscope. For example: If I’m writing about a person so the properties would consist of name, address, date of birth, brand or organization he/she is associated with, etc. These are then defined by <span itemprop=”name”>Vipul Aggarwal</span>
So, here is the final example of how the tags would look like:
<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Person"> <span itemprop="name">Vipul Aggarwal</span> <img src="vipul.jpg" itemprop="image" alt="Photo of Vipul"/> <span itemprop="jobTitle">Digital Analyst</span> <a href="http://www.vipul.biz" itemprop="url">vipul.biz</a> </div>
Some of the tool to create schema mark ups
There are plenty of freely available tools which can help you generate schema mark up within minutes. Here are some of them:
1. Google Websmaster Structured Data Markup Helper
https://www.google.com/webmasters/markup-helper/ – This will help you create mark up code for your webpage. You just need to define the type of web page you have and start tagging. Once, done you just need to copy paste the code in your current webpage.
2. Micro Data Generator
http://microdatagenerator.org/ – Another simple yet powerful tool to generate local business markup by just filling up predefined form.
The best way to create mark up is to first understand your requirement and content piece. Then define in which category you want classify your content and you can always google that category on schema.org by using site:schema.org “CATEGORY NAME”. This will give you all the elements and vocabulary for that category.