Introduction to Schema and Open Graph Markup
:: By Travis Bliffen, Stellar SEO ::
In the SEO world it is easy to get caught up in link building tasks or the ongoing effort to create awesome content - making it is easy to overlook more technical issues such as using structured data on your website.
Today we are going to take a brief look at Schema Markup and Open Graph Tags. If you have never heard of either, no need to worry, we will start from the beginning.
What is Schema Markup?
To put it very simply, Schema Markup is a way to label various data on a website using a series of tags that are recognized by major search engines. These tags tell search engines like Google how to interpret and display a variety of information such as reviews.
What about Open Graph?
Open Graph tags are also recognized by Google but more commonly are incorporated to ensure content is properly understood and displayed on Facebook. Open Graph is not meant to compete with Schema Markup, it is something to be used in addition to Schema to increase the availability of information that is easily interpreted by Google and Facebook.
Getting Started with Schema Markup
The best place to start is by gaining a solid understanding of what is already in place on your website. If you had a site built by a third party, they may have added at least some structured data to your website. You can easily check this using the Structured Data Testing Tool. To use the tool, simply enter the URL of the page you are checking and it will crawl the page to check for structured data. If you find that your page is absent of markup, you need to determine what items on your site fit into a qualifying markup category, you can find that information on the Organization of Schemas page on Schema.org. Google in typical fashion also has created a Structured Data Markup Helper.
Getting Started with Open Graph
Like with Schema, you should first check to see if you have any existing Open Graph markup on your site. Thanks to opengraphcheck.com all you have to do is enter your URL and it will crawl the page and let you know if your site is tagged. The Open Graph Protocol site takes you through the basics of adding Open Graph tags to your site and offers some further discussion opportunities via their Facebook page. Neil Patel covered Open Graph Tags on his blog back in 2013, it is still worth reading.
Are you one of the many who has taken the leap over to WordPress? If so, you will be happy to know there are plugins that will assist you in setting up Schema Markup and Open Graph Protocol on your site.
Over to You…
What platform is your website built on? Are you using plugins to markup data?
Travis Bliffen is the founder of Stellar SEO, a digital marketing agency specializing in search engine optimization. If your business is ready for more leads and sales, it’s time to get #stellarized. Connect with him on Twitter @theseoproz or Facebook.