- SEO

Using Schema for Local SEO

What is schema markup?

Schema markup from Schema.org, is a form of microdata that can be used to enhance your website’s attributes. Google makes use of structured data on the web to further understand the content of a page. The majority of popular search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex) began to create Schema.org sometime around 2011.

Schema markup is especially important for modern SEO following the Hummingbird, RankBrain, and EAT algorithm updates in more recent times. Providing more context to search engines so that they can interpret a page even further can be especially helpful when the page is ambiguous or potentially thin on content.

From Schema.org “Most webmasters are familiar with HTML tags on their pages. Usually, HTML tags tell the browser how to display the information included in the tag. For example, <h1>Avatar</h1> tells the browser to display the text string “Avatar” in a heading 1 format. However, the HTML tag doesn’t give any information about what that text string means—”Avatar” could refer to the hugely successful 3D movie, or it could refer to a type of profile picture—and this can make it more difficult for search engines to intelligently display relevant content to a user.”

Can Schema Markup Improve My Local Rankings?

There is currently no supported findings that using schema markup, or structured data markup has a direct impact on local search rankings. Despite this, there have been numerous case studies that state that although it may not have a direct impact on your rankings, schema markup can cause your website’s results to receive rich results. These types of rich results (featured snippet, rich snippet, knowledge and graph) can lead to increased CTRs which is a major benefit of marking up your local business website. Getting more click-throughs to your owned organic results is pivotal in generating leads and website conversions.

What is Schema & Structured Data Used for?

The most common types of schema markup are the following:

  • Organizations
  • Local Business
  • Events
  • Products
  • Articles
  • Recipes
  • Reviews
  • Videos

Although these are the most commonly found, there is a number of different ways that you can use structured your pages by leveraging schema.org markup. Check out the full list of supported Schema.org markup on their website.

How Do You Implement Schema Markup?

In order to get started on implementing schema markup for your website, you must decide on the method in which you will add them to your site. There are 3 ways that schema.org markup can be added:

  • JSON-LD (Google Suggested) – JSON-LD annotates elements on a page, structuring the data, which can then be used by search engines to disambiguate elements and establish facts surrounding entities, which is then associated with creating a more organized, better web overall.
  • Microdata – Microdata is a set of tags that aims to make annotating HTML elements with machine-readable tags much easier. Microdata is a great place for beginners to start because it’s so easy to use.
  • RFDa – RDFa is an acronym for Resource Description Framework in Attributes. Essentially, RDFa is an extension to HTML5 and it was designed to aid users in marking up structured data.

The most commonly used method is using JOSN-LD. Additionally, Google has stated numerous times that JSON-LD is their preferred method for structured data. Due to this, we also encourage doing the same. There appears to be more support documentation surrounding JSON-LD as well, making it easier to troubleshoot when you’re having issues getting your markup to validate. For instance, Jus Turf uses JSON-LD to successfully leverage their own local business markup. We’ll use Jus Turf as our prime example.

Implementing Local Business Schema Markup with JSON-LD

In order to implement local business markup, use the template below to help you follow this brief tutorial. Before starting, we recommend you review this list of local business types as your markup will need to be modified accordingly using the template below. Jus Turf, for example, would select “HomeAndConstructionBusiness” as their business type as they are an artificial grass supplier as well as artificial lawn designers.

Local Business Types:

Local Business Type Specific Local Business Type
AnimalShelter  
Apartment  
AutomotiveBusiness Auto Body Shop, Auto Dealer, Auto Parts Store, Auto Rental, Auto Repair, Auto wash, Gas Station, Motorcycle Dealer, Motorcycle Repair
ChildCare  
Dentist  
DryCleaningorLaundry  
EmergencyService Fire Station, Hospital, PoliceStation
EntertainmentBusiness AdultEntertainment, AmusementPark, ArtGallery, Casino, ComedyClub, MovieTheater, NightClub
Financial Service AccountingService, AutomatedTeller, BankOrCreditUnion, InsuranceAgency
FoodEstablishment Bakery, BarOrPub, Brewery, CafeOrCoffeeShop, Distillery, FastFoodRestaurant, IceCreamShop, Restaurant, Winery
GovernmentOffice  
PostOffice  
HealthAndBeautyBusiness BeautySalon, DaySpa, HairSalon, HealthClub, NailSalon, TattooParlor
HomeAndConstructionBusiness Electrician, GeneralContractor, HVACBusiness, HousePainter, Locksmith, MovingCompany, Plumber, RoofingContractor
InternetCafe  
LegalService  
Notary  
Attorney  
Library  
LodgingBusiness BedAndBreakfast, Campground, Hostel, Hotel, Motel, Resort
Medical Business CommunityHealth, Dentist, Dermatology, DietNutrition, Emergency, Geriatric, Gynecologic, MedicalClinic, Midwifery, Nursing, Obstetric, Oncologic, Optician, Optometric, Otalryngologic, Pediatric, Pharmacy, Physician, Physiotherapy, PlasticSurgery, Podiatric, PrimaryCare, Psychiatric, PublicHealth
ProfessionalService  
RadioStation  
RealEstateAgent  
RecyclingCenter  
SelfStorage  
ShoppingCenter  
SportsActivityLocation BowlingAlley, ExerciseGym, GolfCourse, HealthClub, PublicSwimmingPool, SkiResort, SportsClub, StadiumOrArena, TennisComplex
Store AutoPartsStore, BikeStore, BookStore, ClothingStore, ComputerStore, ConvenienceStore, DepartmentStore, ElectronicsStore, Florist, FurnitureStore, GardenStore, GroceryStore, HardwareStore, HobbyShop, HomeGoodsStore, JewelryStore, LiquidStore, MensClothingStore, MobilePhoneStore, MovieRentalStore, MusicStore, OfficeEquipmentStore, OutletStore, PawnShop, PetStore, ShoeStore, SportingGoodsStore, TireShop, ToyStore, WholesaleStore
TelevisionStation  
TouristInformationCenter  
TravelAgency  

 

Using the template below along with the updated local business types from above, you’ll be able to leverage schema.org markup for your own local business.

—–

{

“@context”: “https://schema.org”,

“@type”: “Restaurant”,

“image”: [

“https://example.com/photos/1×1/photo.jpg”,

“https://example.com/photos/4×3/photo.jpg”,

“https://example.com/photos/16×9/photo.jpg”

],

“@id”: “http://davessteakhouse.example.com”,

“name”: “Dave’s Steak House”,

“address”: {

“@type”: “PostalAddress”,

“streetAddress”: “148 W 51st St”,

“addressLocality”: “New York”,

“addressRegion”: “NY”,

“postalCode”: “10019”,

“addressCountry”: “US”

},

“review”: {

“@type”: “Review”,

“reviewRating”: {

“@type”: “Rating”,

“ratingValue”: “4”,

“bestRating”: “5”

},

“author”: {

“@type”: “Person”,

“name”: “Lillian Ruiz”

}

},

“geo”: {

“@type”: “GeoCoordinates”,

“latitude”: 40.761293,

“longitude”: -73.982294

},

“url”: “http://www.example.com/restaurant-locations/manhattan”,

“telephone”: “+12122459600”,

“servesCuisine”: “American”,

“openingHoursSpecification”: [

{

“@type”: “OpeningHoursSpecification”,

“dayOfWeek”: [

“Monday”,

“Tuesday”

],

“opens”: “11:30”,

“closes”: “22:00”

},

{

“@type”: “OpeningHoursSpecification”,

“dayOfWeek”: [

“Wednesday”,

“Thursday”,

“Friday”

],

“opens”: “11:30”,

“closes”: “23:00”

},

{

“@type”: “OpeningHoursSpecification”,

“dayOfWeek”: “Saturday”,

“opens”: “16:00”,

“closes”: “23:00”

},

{

“@type”: “OpeningHoursSpecification”,

“dayOfWeek”: “Sunday”,

“opens”: “16:00”,

“closes”: “22:00”

}

],

“menu”: “http://www.example.com/menu”,

“acceptsReservations”: “True”

}


How To Validate Your Schema Markup

After implementing your structured data or schema markup, you’ll want to check whether it is successfully validating and can be read by search engines. In order to do this, we’ll need to use Google’s structured data markup testing tool.

Once you verified that the results are validating using the structured data testing tool, you can also dive into the errors and warnings to figure out what might need to be fixed. In general, the largest concern we will have when looking at the tester is ERRORS. In most cases, warnings are for “recommended” elements, but not required such as the one shown below from Jus Turf’s own schema markup. As a result, warnings can generally be ignored, but they should be addressed if you have the information needed. In the example above, it is recommending that we set a “priceRange” for our restaurant, which we’ve chosen not to include.

Using Schema for Local SEO

If you’re looking for further assistance on your structured data markup for local businesses, we recommend reading more from Google’s official documentation.


About the Author

Katelyn Herr is an SEO Associate at New Dimension Marketing & Research, a digital marketing agency located in San Diego, CA. She specializes in web content writing and is passionate about social media marketing to help grow small businesses. Her number one goal is maximizing ROI for clients and helping them stand out from competitors.

Using Schema for Local SEO

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