In 2019, you may recall several Top Of The List blog posts about schema markup (aka structured data):
- Focus Areas for Google in 2019, where schema markup was listed among one of the top four focus areas for 2019 according to John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google®
- Schema: Your Website’s Secret Weapon, which explained in non-tech language what schema is and how it is making its way into our world.
- 7 Things to Know About Google’s Question & Answer Snippets, which identified some big-time results that schema markup can have on your Google listings
But will 2020 be the year for schema markup?
The buzz is certainly out there:
- Google made more announcements on the topic of schema markup over the past several months than ever before. To spare you the technical details, they are continually adding new ways for webmasters to mark up web pages using structured data.
- Schema markup was the top trend at the November 2019 Google Webmaster Conference. Barry Schwartz, the news editor at Search Engine Land and head of the Search Engine Roundtable blog, noted this in a post.
- Schema was listed as trend #6 in Search Engine Journal trends for 2020. This post was written by Search Engine Journal’s Executive Director, Danny Goodwin,
- Schema is becoming common knowledge at web conferences and was listed as the top priority for 2020 at Boston’s TechSEO Boost conference in December 2019
Our 2019 Schema Experience
Throughout 2019, Top Of The List consistently worked on schema markup for our clients:
- Some of the results were astounding — doubling traffic to websites in under a month, reaching new markets, and increasing revenue.
- On the flip side, some clients showed little change in their results thus far. We believe it is just a matter of time as we continue working on schema and adding the right content to generate answers.
- Still, other clients gained rich snippet visibility as a result of schema, lost it, then gained it back again.
Some of the most popular types of content that we selected for client schema applications included: job postings, FAQ and Q&A pages, how-to pages, eCommerce product listings, podcasts, local listings, data for knowledge graph inclusions, blog posts, and products and services.
Latest Schema Updates
While we continue to add schema to the appropriate areas of our clients’ websites, there seems to be no end to schema updates. Some of the most recent schema updates include:
- Health and medical
- Real estate listings
- Job postings
- Educational programs
- How to’s
- Ecommerce product listings
- Service listings
How We Keep Up With Your Schema-sphere
If your digital marketing firm tells you that their automated software takes care of schema, that’s only partly true. From what we’ve seen in the WordPress and eCommerce platforms our clients use, their “automated” solutions have done a very poor job of implementing automated schema at all, much less keeping up with any changes. Their code is filled with errors and warnings on almost every page. Whenever possible, we try to turn off the automated software since it conflicts with the higher quality schema that we produce. This ensures the most up-to-date structured data is what the search engines see on your website.
Awareness – For Us and For You
Another way we keep up is by bringing awareness of schema’s importance to our customers. We know it’s something that will be of major benefit to our clients and that they will be left behind if they don’t have great schema code. And as you’ve read so far, this trend is not going away anytime soon. So in addition to being aware of schema’s importance internally and implementing and updating the schema code, we also do our best to educate clients on how schema works and why it’s important.
The other piece is ensuring we have a good software tool that not only keeps up with schema changes but also lets us know when we need to update our client’s existing code — you know, the code that was error-free when originally written but no longer is because of Schema updates. But we do have an awesome tool that automates part of the schema, yet allows us to override the most important code with our manual code. And even our manual code is automated to an extent.
As the Internet continues at its record fast pace, we are pacing things right along with it. It is without a doubt that investment into schema is a wise direction for 2020. But just so you’re aware, we’ll touch back on this subject next year and let you know how things went!
About the Author
Beverly MapesFounder & President, Top Of The List
Bev founded Top Of The List in 2006 and has over 25 years of experience working with technology. In her free time, she competes in dog agility competitions with her Golden Retrievers, Cosmo, and Finn.
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