Implementing schema markup can significantly improve your SEO if done correctly. However, some common schema errors can hurt your search performance. Read on to learn what mistakes to avoid with schema markup and schema.org structured data.
Schema markup allows you to add code to your pages to help search engines better understand the content. Schema can result in rich snippet features in the search results when appropriately implemented. This includes stars ratings, reviews, recipe ingredients, event details, and more.
Structured data markup helps search engines interpret the data on your pages. Users see more informative snippets for your content in the search engine results pages (SERPs). This can lead to higher click-through rates.
However, if you implement schema markup incorrectly, it can confuse search engines. At best, you may not see any benefits from schema. At worst, incorrect schema code may get your site penalized.
To benefit from schema, it’s crucial to avoid common mistakes like:
What Type of Schema Should You Use?
One of the top schema markup mistakes is using the wrong structured data type for your content. The schema.org vocabulary has over 700 terms covering many entities, content, and data types.
Picking the schema type that most closely matches your content is key. For example, don’t use Recipe schema for content that isn’t a recipe. And don’t use Article schema for something that fits under BlogPosting schema.
Always double check that the schema markup terms you implement match the topic and structure of the content on that page.
Are You Using the Correct Schema Format?
Schema should be added in a valid format that search engines can read properly. The main options are JSON-LD, Microdata, and RDFa.
JSON-LD is the preferred and recommended format by Google. Make sure your schema is structured correctly in JSON-LD based on the examples in the schema.org documentation.
Is Your Schema Markup Spammy?
Avoid going overboard and adding schema markup to every single page. Only implement it where it truly fits the content.
Too much-structured data can look like spam to search engines. For example, don’t add Review schema to pages that don’t contain reviews. Don’t use local business schema markup on non-local sites.
Follow Google’s quality guidelines to ensure your schema markup looks natural and matches the on-page content.
Are You Using The Right Data Types?
When adding properties in schema, the data type matters. For example, for a property like datePublished, the value should be entered in ISO 8601 date format, like “2021-01-01”.
Follow each property’s data type definitions and examples in the schema.org documentation. Using the wrong data types can cause validation errors.
Does Your Schema Conflict With Other Markup?
Don’t implement multiple schema types on the same page that conflict. For example, don’t add Review, Product, and Article schema for the same content.
Search engines can get confused when different schema types overlap or contradict each other. Stick to using one primary type per page.
Is Your Schema Implemented Globally?
When adding schema markup to multiple pages, be strategic. For example, don’t implement an Organization schema on every single page of your site.
Implementing the Organization schema on your homepage or Contact page is better. Then, use more specific schema types on other pages as relevant to that content.
Are You Testing Your Structured Data?
Always test your schema markup in Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. This will reveal errors with incorrect data types, formatting issues, or other problems.
The testing tool also shows how your rich results will look in the SERPs. So you can ensure the stars, reviews, images, etc. are displaying properly.
Did You Monitor Your Schema Over Time?
Don’t just add schema and forget it. Monitor your structured data in the future to check for issues.
For example, if you have an e-commerce site, ensure your schema markup stays current with new products you add. If your organization’s address changes, update the schema code.
Are You Using the Latest Schema Version?
When Google releases a new schema.org version, check if anything was deprecated or replaced. You may need to update your schema markup to the latest recommended vocabulary terms.
Keeping your schema markup up-to-date ensures maximum compatibility and performance. Don’t leave old deprecated schema lingering on your site.
Properly implemented schema markup can enhance your SEO and SERP performance. But mistakes like using the wrong schema type, incorrect formatting, spammy usage, and more can undermine any benefit. Avoid these common schema errors to leverage structured data for your search presence fully.
- Pick the schema type that exactly matches your content type and structure.
- Use valid JSON-LD formatting for optimal performance.
- Don’t over-use schema to try and “out-optimize” competitors. Keep it relevant.
- Follow schema.org’s data type definitions closely.
- Only implement one schema type per page to avoid conflicts.
- Add schema markup strategically based on the content, not on every page.
- Test in Google’s structured data tool to validate and spot errors.
- Monitor schema over time and update as needed.
- Transition to new schema.org versions when released.
By avoiding these common mistakes with structured data implementation, you can drive more relevant organic traffic through enhanced, informative, rich snippets. Schema markup is powerful when done right, so keep these best practices in mind.
Q: What is the importance of schema markup for SEO?
A: Schema markup is important for SEO because it helps search engines better understand your website’s content. It provides additional information to search engines, allowing them to display your website more prominently in search results, which can improve your search visibility.
Q: How does schema markup improve search visibility?
A: Schema markup improves search visibility by providing search engines with structured data that they can use to create rich snippets. Rich snippets display additional information about your website directly in the search results, making your website more noticeable and compelling to users.
Q: What are some common mistakes to avoid when implementing schema markup?
A: Some common mistakes to avoid when implementing schema markup include using the wrong type of markup, spammy schema markup, conflicting markup, and not following Google’s guidelines for correct schema markup usage. These mistakes can confuse search engines and negatively impact your SEO performance.
Q: How can I fix schema markup errors?
A: To fix schema markup errors, you should review your website’s structured data markup and identify any issues or incorrect markup types. Once you have identified the errors, you can make the necessary changes to ensure that your schema markup is correct and aligned with the guidelines provided by Google.
Q: Why is it essential to fix schema markup errors?
A: It is important to fix schema markup errors because incorrect schema markup can negatively impact your SEO performance. Search engines may not understand your website’s content correctly, which can result in lower rankings and a decrease in organic traffic.
Q: How can I implement schema markup on my website?
A: To implement schema markup on your website, you can use schema.org markup and incorporate it into your HTML code. There are various structured data types available that you can choose from based on the content and purpose of your website.
Q: What are some common schema markup types?
A: Some common schema markup types include product schema, article schema, local business schema, review schema, and FAQ schema. These markup types provide search engines with specific information about your website’s content and nature.
Q: How can I learn how to avoid markup mistakes?
A: To learn how to avoid markup mistakes, refer to Google’s guidelines for schema markup. These guidelines provide detailed instructions and best practices for correctly implementing structured data markup on your website.
Q: How does schema markup contribute to my SEO strategy?
A: Schema markup is a crucial component of your SEO strategy as it can help improve your website’s visibility in search results. By providing search engines with structured data, you are making it easier for them to understand and index your content, which can positively impact your search rankings.
Q: What are some common issues with spammy schema markup?
A: Some common issues with spammy schema markup include using excessive or irrelevant markup, using a combination of markup types that do not align with your content, and using markup to manipulate search engine rankings. These practices are against Google’s guidelines and may result in penalties or decreased search visibility.