Home » Blog » Office Hours » What are the types of schema in a website?
By encoding your website using schema, you are making it easier for Google to understand and, therefore, more likely for Google to send you relevant traffic. But what are the types of schema you can add?
Tim: Well, I kinda just wanted to get some insight on how to best manage schema in WordPress.
David: Oh, good. So…
Tricia: Not in Google Tag Manager…
David: …there’s an article about schema in “Curious Ants.”
David: And, you know, one of the things it talks about is, like, there are three kinds of schema that every website can have, right? Organization schema, breadcrumb schema, and believe it or not, there’s a schema to put on your website declaring that Google is looking at a website. It’s called website schema. I guess that’s as opposed to Google looking at a PDF. This is…hey Google, you’re looking at a website right now. Thanks? But there’s a schema stating that you’re looking at a website.
The best way to install these three forms of schema on a website, if you’re using WordPress, is the Yoast plugin. It adds those schemas plus article schema, which is really nice. So, a brief explanation. So, the website schema, you know, part of you, like, says, “Who cares?” But what I can allow for, you might have seen this if you do a Google search for a big brand. Let’s say you do a search for Ford, I haven’t tested Ford, but a big brand like Ford. If they have website schema set up on their website, you can do a Google search of the website from Google. Kinda meta, where you can…I’m viewing Ford and it says, it has a little search box under the Ford listing in Google search results, and you can enter in a term and search on Ford’s website. That’s what the website schema allows you to do, but not every website has earned that right. I have only a couple of clients who have earned that, and you have to be well established. And Google doesn’t tell you the criteria of what well-established means, but frankly, if you install the Yoast SEO plugin, you have that schema there, so you don’t really have to do anything. It’s just done.
Yoast automatically sets up the organization or person schema, which is really, really nice. If a business, you want the organization schema. If you’re a personal blogger, you want the person schema. What that does is gives Google information to put you in the knowledge graph. So, we’ve talked about…we talked about this yesterday a little bit when we did office hours, but appearing in the knowledge graph, if someone searches for your brand, the organization schema confirms to Google who you are. You can tell Google, “Hey, this is my Twitter profile, this is my Facebook page,” and it can put that in a knowledge graph for you. There’s some fancy stuff you can do. If you happen to be a Google entity, you can put yourself and say, “Hey, Google. That entity that you have identified is actually me,” and you can associate it. That’s kind of advanced SEO stuff, but organizations… Or, you can set the logo Google uses in the knowledge graph based on what you set up for organization schema. So, if you have a client and they have a knowledge graph listing and, for instance, they’re using the old logo, the organization schema will help Google find the right logo for ads, links to social media profiles from the Google search results in the knowledge graph.
The other schema that every website can use is breadcrumb where normally in a Google search result, you have the blue link, the purple URL, or the gray URL, I think it’s gray at this point, and then the meta-description, right, for each of the 10 blue links? If you have breadcrumb markup, Google does not put your URL, but it puts your name of your domain, the category, and the page in which you’re found so it stands out a little bit better. Your listing stands out amongst all the others who don’t have…who just have a URL. So, this does a couple of things. It makes your listing stand out a little bit better, but it also helps people realize that your website has more than just this page. And so, it’s easy to do.
It does take a couple of extra steps if you’re gonna use Yoast to generate the breadcrumb markup, you have to program it into your theme. And you’d have to follow Yoast documentation on that. So, you’d have to not only program it into your theme, but you’d have to enable it on the Yoast plugin. It’s not hard for most developers, but worthwhile. Oh, and the last one that Yoast does auto-magically is article markup, and that means if you’re using the post type, mostly for like a blog, you can…Yoast will automatically encode the article stating, “This is an article. This is the headline. This is the short description, this is the long description. Here’s the featured image associate with that.” Google can use that in mobile search results, where in mobile search results, it’ll pull your featured image and put it in Google search results. That, if you have that, you really stand out mobile.
It can also use it for Google discovery, which is another mobile product. But mobile discovery can get some really good traffic. Now, that’s all about how schema can help improve your search result listings, but one of the unsaid things is that the better Google understands your website, the more relevant traffic it can send to your website. So, by encoding your website using these forms of schema, you are making it easier for Google to understand, and therefore better for Google to send you relevant traffic. So, those are the basic ones. There are lots of other schemas you can potentially add to a website, but those are the ones you can add to almost any website. Does that help?
Tim: It does, yeah. I need to do a little bit more exploring with Yoast on some of the, I guess, general settings for the site.
David: Well, with Yoast, actually, very few settings you set, it automatically does it. In fact, Yoast worked with Google about schema, and basically, Yoast, from what I understand, is the only one that does it right where technically schema should be organized and a blog post should be associated with an organization, which should be associated with the website, blah, blah, blah. So, when Yoast puts your article markup, it organizes it to say, “This organization on this website wrote this article,” rather than, “Here’s one blurb schema organization. Here’s another blurb schema website. Here’s another blurb schema article.” It puts them together and organizes them in a way that Google… Basically, Yoast worked with Google on that product.
If you use validator.schema.org, and you look at any webpage rendered by Yoast, you will see how beautiful the schema is. It is so perfectly organized, and nice, and neat. And what’s great is you don’t have to have another plugin to do it. You don’t have to create it yourself and put it on the page. It’s JSON, so it’s easy to read. You’re not using RDF or microdata to encode stuff, which is perfectly legit, but I mean, there’s just so many… To me, it’s things like this that make Yoast worthwhile, not the green light. That’s the worst part of Yoast.
SEO seems hard- you have to keep up with all the changes and weed through contradictory advice. This is frustrating and overwhelming. Curious Ants will teach you SEO while bringing your website more traffic and customers- because you’ll learn SEO while doing it.