By Emilia Gjorgjevska 1 month ago

Master schema markup questions and develop your schema markup understanding further today.

Table of contents:

  1. What is schema markup?
  2. What does JSON-LD mean in SEO and why should I use it instead of microdata?
  3. Who is Tim Berners Lee and why is he important for the SEO world?
  4. What is the intersection between the WWW and schema markup?
  5. What you should consider when implementing schema markup?
  6. How can schema markup help your business?
  7. How can you measure the performance of your schema markup on your website?
  8. Can you name 5 different schema markup implementations that are often used online?
  9. How can you validate the structured data you have produced?
  10. What’s the future of schema markup (structured data)?

Are you a seasoned SEO marketer? Or you are barely starting in the SEO industry? 

If you are looking for a way to sharpen your schema markup knowledge or searching for interesting schema markup questions for interviews, then this is the post for you. We see you and we are here to help you cover the essentials but also a bit more advanced topics when it comes to handling schema markup questions starting from beginner to advanced. 

Here we go! 🙂 

What is schema markup?

Schema markup is a way to organize your unstructured data like text, video, and picture in a more comprehensible form for search engines. Given as it is, unstructured data is hard to decipher, extract meaning and find all the necessary relations between the words. That is why we use schema markup in a form of JSON-LD (JSON Linked Data form) to explain what this unstructured data contains. 

Example: let’s say that you are featuring numbers that represent prices for your products on your website. Without schema markup implemented there, it will be complicated to figure out whether this represents the working hours of your online business, the street number of your business place, or something else. Robots (search engines) are like small kids: you need to explain everything to them in a very straightforward way otherwise, they will mess everything up. You surely do not want to deal with that.

What does JSON-LD mean in SEO and why should I use it instead of microdata?

This is one of the most important schema markup questions out there. 

JSON-LD is the preferred file format for search engines like Google and it represents a way to encode your linked data in a JSON file format. It is relatively easy for both humans and machines to organize this data in a JSON-LD format and that is why it was picked to be the modern default file format by the search engines.

Example:

<script type=”application/ld+json”>

    {

      “@context”: “https://schema.org”,

      “@type”: “Person”,

      “address”: {

        “@type”: “PostalAddress”,

        “addressLocality”: “Colorado Springs”,

        “addressRegion”: “CO”,

        “postalCode”: “80840”,

        “streetAddress”: “100 Main Street”

      },

      “colleague”: [

        “http://www.example.com/JohnColleague.html”,

        “http://www.example.com/JameColleague.html”

      ],

      “email”: “info@example.com”,

      “image”: “janedoe.jpg”,

      “jobTitle”: “Research Assistant”,

      “name”: “Jane Doe”,

      “alumniOf”: “Dartmouth”,

      “birthPlace”: “Philadelphia, PA”,

      “birthDate”: “1979-10-12”,

      “height”: “72 inches”,

      “gender”: “female”,

      “memberOf”: “Republican Party”,

      “nationality”: “Italian”,

      “telephone”: “(123) 456-6789”,

      “url”: “http://www.example.com”,

    “sameAs” : [ “https://www.facebook.com/”,

      “https://www.linkedin.com/”,

      “http://twitter.com/”,

      “http://instagram.com/”,

      “https://plus.google.com/”]

    }

    </script>

In this schema markup, we are describing a person that is a research assistant with the name Jane Doe and added some personal information about her, such as her birth date, social media accounts, and other relevant information about her. Easy, right? 🙂 

Always try to provide an example. You will make sure that the other side who asks, no matter whether it is a trainee or an interviewer who wants to test you, can confirm that you know your drill really well and understand these concepts in depth.

Who is Tim Berners Lee and why is he important for the SEO world?

Tim Berners Lee is a British computer scientist and entrepreneur who invented the World Wide Web or better known as WWW at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in 1989. 

The web itself is an information system that enables accessing documents and other web resources too. Tim wanted to invent a way to easily transport information data over the Internet for scientific purposes but eventually, this project took another direction and expanded over the world. That is why today Tim Berners Lee is known as the father of the WWW.

His work is of great importance for the modern SEO world and generally, the vision of having interconnected worlds of data through linked data principles is the direction in which SEO is evolving. We spent more than 2 decades to get there and most probably we will need to have another 2 to make it to the final stage, but it is more than obvious that this will happen for sure.

[Pro tip]: giving the answer to the schema markup question like the one above shows true depth and expertise – it is not just about knowing certain important people from the web world but also being visionary and predicting the general direction in which SEO is going.

What is the intersection between the WWW and schema markup?

The official web platform for learning about schema markup and its implementations, known as Schema.org was invented as a result of the WWW because people wanted to find a way to easily exchange documents over the internet. There is an established consortium called the W3C consortium which cares about producing standards for the world wide web. Its general mission is to help utilize the whole potential of the web. One of the priorities is making the data more exchangeable and accessible and this is where schema markup comes into play.

What you should consider when implementing schema markup?

In general, it is very important to understand your own industry and the business model in the first place. Schema markup is definitely the way to help search engines like Google understand your content better but you must be aware of the fact that this can affect the speed of the webpage where you are implementing it. This adds to the overall weight of the webpage and if not planned carefully, things can easily go bananas. 

It is also important to understand the effort that your developers need to take in order to implement schema markup on your web pages – you definitely need to know your thing, otherwise, it will be expected that you would not get any resources on this topic from your tech team.

How can schema markup help your business?

This schema markup question is absolutely essential: the main reason for using schema markup is to give information to search robots. In simple words, this is like stating clearly – “Hey, I am this person, I own this online business, we offer these products here and we exist here or there”. It is easy and straightforward because you do not need to analyze anything – the bot just comes to your website, searches for structured data markup, gets that info, and uses it to feed different machine learning algorithms in the ranking phase. 

The other reason to do so is to gain more visibility through rich snippets shown on search engine result pages (SERPs) – Google, Bing, and other popular search engines on the Internet use this information to show the data in a more visually rich manner, like ratings, map packs and other visually rich features on SERPs.

How can you measure the performance of your schema markup on your website?

You can achieve this by using the Google search console. You can go to the Performance tab on the left and analyze concrete pages by entering the URL manually or through a regex to see how they perform (Page or Query). Another way to inspect the result of your schema markup implementation is to use the search visibility feature. Finally, you can measure the value of structured data by performing A/B tests and visualize the search performance in Google Data Studio. WordLift has its own data connector that you can use for this purpose to inform your SEO strategy in a more intelligent way.

Can you name 5 different schema markup implementations that are often used online?

It is hard to determine the most popular schema markup implementations on the Web because every business case is specific and requires proper analysis to utilize the power of schema markup. Therefore, there are many different schema markup types that can be used online, depending on the data that we want to explain. 

For example, you can use the “LocalBusiness” schema type to markup your company online or “Person” to explain different person characteristics on the net.” Product” is definitely more used on eCommerce and classifieds platforms, while “Organization” and “Breadcrumbs” are also useful when “explaining” category pages and individual product detail pages. It always depends on the business case that the webmaster is facing in the first place.

How can you validate the structured data you have produced?

It is always nice to validate your JSON-LD before publishing online otherwise, you will encounter a lot of reported mistakes that need to be fixed in tools like Google search console. There are some Python libraries that help with schema validation but you can also use Google tools like the Schema Markup Testing Tool or JSON-LD playground website. Make sure that you are writing a proper JSON-LD markup implementation before publishing it online.

What’s the future of schema markup (structured data)?

The world is slowly shifting towards more visual search appearances online and metaverse ideas are slowly taking over the Internet. Having in mind how complex it is to process these visual appearances online, it can be expected that schema markup will rise even more in the future because we will always need to find a way to explain our product, offerings, and business information online. Schema markup is here to stay.

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