More and more businesses are creating websites each day, but you might be surprised to hear that only 25% of US local businesses have websites and just 10% show their prices.
Thousands of businesses are missing out on potential extra customers and the revenue that they would bring. Utilizing schema markup is just one more way that you can increase your visibility in the search engines.
What is Schema Markup?
Schema markup is essentially code that you can put on your website to tell search engines more about your business and your website. Unlike including it on your site as a piece of text, schema markup is designed to be read by robots rather than humans.
Search engines like Google will then use those details to influence their search results. For example; if somebody is searching for a bakery they want to find one that is open right now. So, if a business includes their opening hours in their schema markup, Google can use that to give searchers what they are looking for.
Why Bother Using Schema Markup?
The main reason why local businesses should be using schema markup is to stand out in the search results pages and increase their click-through rate (CTR).
Google uses schema to create rich results that will show your location, phone number, email, prices, etc. This result is far more compelling and useful for the person searching rather than a plain text link as has been shown in the past.
Google will work with hundreds of different schema fields. These options allow you to feature almost any piece of information you could imagine in the search results.
For local businesses, the most powerful tool that schema brings is order and reserve actions.
This action button allows people to contact you, book an appointment or complete another action directly from the search results. In general, this will have a significant impact on your conversion rate because it decreases the effort that a potential customer has to expend to buy your product or service.
How to use Schema Markup on your Website
At this point, you should be excited to get started on creating your local schema markup, fantastic!
The first thing to consider is what information you want to show. Most businesses will focus on a few key pieces of information:
- Business name
- Opening hours
These five fields are almost mandatory. There’s no reason for a business not to show these fields in their schema (unless you have terrible reviews, in which case you need to improve your business!)
But there are also other fields that you might like to consider e.g., delivery charges, images of your business, a link to a menu or product list, email details, and an action button.
Before you start creating your schema, it’s best if you list out exactly which fields you want to show and then prepare all of the correct information.
Fortunately, creating the markup itself is very simple. Although you can manually code your schema, it’s best to use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper. This nifty tool allows you to select elements on your web page to use as part of your schema.
To start using this tool you can go here.
The first thing you’ll be asked is the data type that you want to markup. Don’t worry too much, just pick the one which is closest to your business.
Most local businesses will want to create their schema from their homepage because it’s where the majority of visitors will end up.
As you work your way through the tool, you’ll be able to fill in the fields that you want by highlighting different elements on your page. Eventually, you can click “Create HTML, ” and you’ll be presented with a huge piece of code. Don’t worry!
You don’t need to understand the code; you just need to download the code as an HTML file and copy/paste the code into your HTML source file for the page.
If you want to find out more about schema markup, check out these resources: