Schema markup plays a pivotal role in how your content is understood and displayed by search engines.

As such, understanding the ins and outs of schema markup is crucial for elevating your site's visibility and user experience.

In this blog, we'll dive into the basics of what schema is, why it's important for SEO, how to implement it, and common issues to be aware of.

Table of Contents:


What is Schema in SEO?

Schema markup is a set of tags (called microdata or structured data) that you can include within your web page's code to provide search engines with more information about its content, context, and significance.

This additional layer of information helps search engines understand the nuances of your content, such as the relationships between different parts of data and their relevance to search queries.

As a result, schema can enhance how your pages are indexed and displayed in search results, making them more likely to stand out and attract relevant traffic.

Let's talk a little more about the benefits of schema.


New call-to-action

Why is Schema Important for SEO?

Incorporating the schema markup for SEO offers value to search engines and users alike.

Here are some of the most notable benefits of incorporating schema markup from an SEO perspective.


1. Schema Gives Google a Greater Semantic Meaning Regarding the Site's Content

In other words, schema helps Google and other search engines better understand your page’s content and identify different types of information on the page.

Your rankings depend on the search engine’s ability to interpret the search query and match it with pages it deems relevant. So, the better Google understands your content, the greater the chance it will rank your domain higher on the results pages for applicable queries.

This becomes even more important with the prevalence of voice search and the different types of queries we use when searching with voice. 


2. Structured Markup Makes SERPs Listings More Visible

The information that schema tags provide allows search engines to enhance your search listings and display them as rich snippets. 

Many schema types like ratings, reviews, breadcrumbs, FAQ and other markups help visitors notice a listing, even if it ranks further down on a page. They also often provide social proof that helps convince searchers to choose a particular search result over others.

This listing, for example, uses schema to display star ratings and a number of reviews.

This works to increase SERP real estate, and also increase organic click-through rate.


A Quick Client Success Story

One of our clients used our platform to find opportunities to add the FAQ schema to their pages. Since the implementation of this first wave of schema, they have seen a 50% increase in click-through rate. 

This view in Rank Intelligence shows you where an FAQ schema is appearing in the SERP for your tracked keywords. If you toggle the "Has" to "Does Not Have" in the Ranking URL features, you can discover pages where an FAQ schema is triggered, but you don't have it set up (or aren't appearing).

This is a great way to find opportunities to both prove authority and capture more space on the SERP.


(A view of Rank Intelligence on the seoClarity platform.)

Tip: If you keep the toggle as "Has" you can find keywords that have the FAQ markup that you can use to show off to your executives to prove the value of your work. For example, tell them to Google X keyword, and you know they will see the company ranking high, and with a lot of real estate space because of the fancy FAQ drop-downs.


3. Adding Schema Markup Helps Increase Rankings

As previously stated, helping google better understand the content on your pages increases your chances of ranking for more relevant phrases

When search engines can clearly grasp what your content is about, they are more likely to deem it a relevant result for specific searches, thus improving your visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs).

Our clients that have implemented schema on their sites have boosted their rankings – a lot. On average, we've seen a gain of about two to three positions in the Google search results.


4. Schema Can Improve ROI

Schema markup can significantly boost your return on investment (ROI) by making your search results more attractive and informative, thereby drawing in consumers who are closer to making a purchase decision.

For example, implementing structured markup like star ratings not only showcases product quality at a glance but also builds consumer trust and confidence. This enhanced display in search results can increase click-through rates, leading potential customers directly to your offerings.

Other detailed schema types such as price, availability, and reviewer information also provide critical decision-making details that can persuade a shopper to choose your result over competitors.

 By effectively using schema to highlight key selling points and unique attributes of your products or services, you can attract higher-quality leads and increase conversion rates, ultimately improving your overall ROI.


Where Can the Structured Data Appear in SERPs?

There are many types of schema that a company can implement on their site. As a result, the data itself can also appear in many different formats within the SERPs. 

Here are some of the most common ones:

1. Contact information in the Knowledge Panel:


(Image Source)

2. Links to a company's social profiles within the Knowledge Graph:


(Image Source)

3. Local business information, crucial for local SEO strategies:

LocalBusinessListing(Image Source)

4. Product and review information:


(Image Source)

Want to learn more about schema and structured data? Watch our schema webinar to hear two digital marketing experts break down the topic.  


How to Implement Schema Markup in SEO

There are a number of ways to implement schema such as:

  • Using the semantic markup, you can include it in the main HTML page.
  • Use RDFa or Microdata
  • Or you could use JavaScript, and incorporate it with the Angular-JS framework called JSON-LD (JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data).

Below, we'll explain JSON-LD, RDFa, and Microdata.



JSON-LD is the best (and preferred!) method for structured data because it can be quickly edited and, as code gets deprecated, it’s easy to adapt.

The code is a snippet that gets added within the <script> tag in the page head or body on the backend code of a website.

In order to implement, developers need to either:

  1.  Copy and paste the code snippet onto the backend code of the page (not ideal, especially on enterprise sites).
  2. Have their development team create a JavaScript code that they will execute across entire page types, and output the code into the same format.

The code can also be added utilizing Google Tag Manager as a work-around for internal teams who do not have dedicated development resources at their disposal.

Keep in mind that Google does not recommend the utilization of Google Tag Manager, mostly due to the fact that it utilizes JavaScript to render as opposed to appearing within the static HTML code. But for some companies it’s the only manageable option and there are workarounds designed to force the JavaScript onto the page in the required HTML format.


#2. RDFa

RDFa is an HTML5 extension that allows webmasters to mark up content elements like People, Places, Events, Recipes or Reviews with HTML tag attributes.

Each of those elements corresponds to the user-visible content that a webmaster wants to describe for search engines.

RDFa is most commonly used when marking up content that resides within the <head> and <body> elements of a webpage.

This method is not recommended because RDFa is difficult to test and, since it is wrapped around your site’s HTML, it is difficult to update and change rapidly.

The markup needs to be reconfigured each time you make any content or development changes on your site.


Method #3. Microdata

Microdata is an open-community HTML specification used to nest structured data within the HTML content. Like RDFa, it uses HTML tag attributes to name the properties you want to expose as structured data.

However, unlike RDFa, webmasters often use it to describe elements within the page’s content.

Microdata has the same limitations as does RDFa. The biggest issue with the markup is that it can easily induce errors when items are moved or rearranged on a site.


Again, JSON is the preferred method.

JSON-LD content will not be affected by layout changes (unless you modify the content, of course). You can move items around and any changes to the page structure won’t affect the schema markup.

This one benefit alone helped our clients retain their rankings despite errors in site layout and content.

Recommended Reading: Schema Markup Generator: Build Structured Data Without Developers

For example, one of our client’s development teams accidentally removed content from their core landing pages. Luckily, the JSON-LD markup kept their site from losing rankings until the team realized and resolved this mistake.

But what makes JSON schema so powerful?

For one, your schema information is independent of your page content. This makes schema inclusion on your page extremely easy and effortless.

JSON-LD includes all the rich snippet information in a small piece of JavaScript code and includes it anywhere on the site. This means that it doesn’t interfere with any existing code on the site. It's also why you can freely amend your layout, without compromising the markup.

As John Lincoln from Ignite Visibility puts it:

JSON-LD offers syntactic simplicity found with the traditional JSON, but offers more inherit meaning. As a result, Google, Bing, and Yandex are all embracing JSON-LD because the structured data allows developers to easily organize and connect data. This creates a better website in the eyes’ of humans and Google."

Adding JSON-LD to your site

JSON schema uses a standardized markup.

Your code must reside between those lines:

<script type="application/ld+json">


"@context": "",





Your schema information goes between them. For example, here’s a JSON-LD script that we could use to provide Google more information about our platform:

<script type="application/ld+json">
 "@context": "",
 "@type": "Product",
 "name": "seoClarity",
 "image": "URL to the image",
 "description": "seoClarity’s enterprise SEO platform isn’t just innovative; from top to bottom, we’re disrupting the way large-scale organizations think about their SEO strategies",
  "offers": {
   "@type": "Offer",
   "priceCurrency": "USD",
   "price": "1669.00"

Of course, this is just one example. The type of information you include in your schema markup depends on your product, service, and the content of the page.

In general, however, you can include any of the types:

  • Event
  • Organization
  • Person
  • Place, LocalBusiness, Restaurant
  • Product, Offer, AggregateOffer
  • Review, AggregateRating
  • Action

And much more.

There are also schema types suitable for specific verticals like schema for real estate or product schema for ecommerce. There is even a recipe schema type for cooking sites, so the possibilities are pretty endless. 


Building Schema With Schema Builder

Another way to build structured data is with's Schema Builder.

The free Chrome extension allows you to create structured data in minutes, and acts as its own structured data testing tool (there is a Google structured data testing tool online as well).

It's literally point-and-click easy.

Ecommerce SEO Schema -- Draft-1

Schema Builder supports over 20 schema types with about two new types being added each week. It's a hidden treasure for simplifying the process of schema implementation for SEO and digital marketing purposes.


Implementing Schema Markup at Scale

Once you've built your schema snippet with Schema Builder, it's time to deploy it across your site. Normally SEOs are limited to deploying schema on a page-by-page basis. 

But not any more. 

With Schema Optimizer, you can build, test, and implement your schema across thousands of pages with just a few clicks. You set custom variables and parameters and the schema is set live to those applicable pages. 


Testing Schema: What to Watch Out For

There are a couple of things you and your development team need to keep in mind when you implement schema on your site.

  1. Correct Usage of Schema Types: One of the most common structured data errors we see is the web team adding markup that highlights content that does not match what’s on the page. In the same vein, make sure that you don't add the wrong type of schema to the wrong template. The result of both of these mistakes is the same: a decrease in rankings.
  2. Monitoring and Re-Crawling of Schema: After implementing schema markup, it typically takes about 2-3 weeks for search engines to re-crawl and index the new code. If, after this period, you still don't see the schema on your search listings, immediately investigate the code for potential errors. You can do this at scale with a schema audit

By adhering to these guidelines and regularly reviewing your schema implementation, you can ensure that your structured data effectively boosts your site's SEO performance. Below, we will explore other common issues associated with structured markup in SEO.


Common Issues with Implementing Schema for SEO

Schema, just like any other code, must be implemented correctly to work. Unfortunately, it's easy to make mistakes when adding the structured markup that can either prevent it from working or limit its abilities to boost your SEO.

Here are the most common issues with implementing schema:

  • Schema information is in the structured data but not in the user-visible text. For example, star ratings are implemented to show only in the SERPs but not for a user on the page. 
  • Applying item properties to an entire list of items. When implemented correctly, each attribute should be applied individually to every list item. 
  • Applying schema to misleading content. One example of this is using the wrong item for the product name. Commonly, companies use the product name schema tag for the manufacturer's name or the selling company. 
  • Review ratings showing an average rating of all items on a page. Each item should show their own unique rating. 
  • Applying the same markup site-wide, whereas it should appear on specific pages only.

Final Thoughts on Moving to JSON-LD

It’s worth mentioning some of the challenges you might face when implementing JSON-LD.

For example, when you remove the current markup on any site, you might experience a temporary decrease in rankings. This is a result of Google and other search engines re-indexing your new content.

To avoid this, you could theoretically use both JSON and existing markups during the switch.

I wouldn’t recommend this as a long-term solution, but it will help retain rankings over 2-3 weeks while you implement the change fully.


When you should NOT move to JSON-LD

If you’ve already implemented the markup, it works without any major errors, and you do not change the site’s content too often, then we’d recommend you stick with this solution.

The temporary loss of rankings and traffic might not warrant the change.

Finally, if you need guidance with implementing schema, reach out to our Client Success team, who are available to discuss best practices with you and your team.

Note: We also offer Professional Services to companies who need help with implementation of the markup on their sites.


Editor's Note: This post was originally published in December 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.