In psychology, Schema refers to a pattern of thought or behaviour that organises categories of information and identifies relationships between them. Funnily enough, the meaning is quite similar in search engine terms too.
In SEO, Schema is a series of tags published on Schema.org that may be added to HTML to allow search crawlers to make sense of a website’s content.
This article will cover the different types of Schema that eCommerce sites can use to improve their ranking in search engines. By using Schema correctly, you can help to boost your rankings by providing context to your content. It can also help to improve the customer experience by providing additional information.
There is no guarantee that the information you provide will be shown in search results, but including it is thought to be best practice for eCommerce SEO in 2021.
Examples of eCommerce Schema
Let’s start with an example before we dive into the different types of Scheme markup for eCommerce. When you search for a company like ASOS, the first result is this large snippet with the categories and a search box. Anyone would think that ASOS has paid for this privilege, but this is simply Schema in action.
Now imagine you know exactly what you’re looking for. If I search for “Ikea Billy Bookcase”, I see this result. It provides additional information like the average rating, the price and stock levels. Again, this is really valuable information that Google has kindly plucked from the website Schema markup.
Types of Schema markup for eCommerce
Not all Schema markup will be relevant to your eCommerce website. Consider implementing the following to help users find your website and navigate with ease.
Organisation Schema Markup
This information appears in the right-hand panel in the Google SERP. It includes information about your company, including your official name, logo, contact information, social media profiles and a short introduction.
Local Business Schema Markup
This type of markup is ideal for bricks and mortar locations, particularly if you have a few of them. For example, it could include information about your opening hours, menu, contact information and a CTA that encourages users to get in touch or reserve an item.
Product and Offer Schema Markup
This type of markup allows you to specify the price and stock levels for your items. This type of markup also will enable you to specify things like payment methods accepted and an aggregate review rating.
Breadcrumbs Schema Markup
This type of structured data helps to provide the user with context about where they are landing on your website. It can help improve click-through rates from the SERP and also helps Google and other search engines understand how your site is structured. If you don’t give them the information, Google pulls this information from your website structure, so implementing this can help if you have a bulky URL structure.
Article Schema Markup
The article markup might not seem relevant for eCommerce websites, but it can be helpful for the eCommerce user experience. For example, if I search for “Dell laptops”, Google offers some research suggestions to help me understand my options. So, if you’re sharing articles with affiliate links, this could help get more eyes on your content.
How to add Schema Markup to an eCommerce website
The first step is to decide which markup type you want to use. You can choose between Microdata, RFD and JSON-LD. If you use a plugin to add Schema to your website, you won’t need to worry about choosing your encoding.
Content management systems like WordPress and Magento offer plugins and extensions to make it easier to add Schema to your eCommerce store. This can be as simple as filling in a few bits of information.
However, if you have a very complex eCommerce website and want to include product and offer Schema markup, it would be wise to hire a developer to implement these changes. This will allow you to take a customised approach to your Schema and avoid errors or missed opportunities.
Testing your Schema Markup
Google offers a simple tool to test if your rich snippets can be accessed. It’s called the Rich Results Test. Bear in mind that this only tells you if Google can read the data and not if the data is valid for all search engines.
For a more broad validation, you can use the Schema Markup Validator offered by Schema.org. This will check if your site has structured data and it is working correctly.
Does Schema markup help SEO?
Many have tried, and many have failed to prove or disprove that Schema Markup helps with search engine rankings. However, it is thought that providing more information within the SERP can help to improve CTR. And we know that this does help to boost rankings.
This is all tied in with the idea that improving the user experience helps to lower bounce rates. And when bounce rates fall, this is a signal to search engines that users are finding what they are looking for.
Schema markup can help to guide users more clearly from the moment they complete a search. So instead of waiting for them to land on your website before you start helping them, you’re providing additional information before they even make it to your website.
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