If you are a web content writer, there is no need to remind you all the struggle you have to face to distribute your content. Maybe you spend hours – or even days! – of hard work writing awesome content, but once your article is done, you know that your job has just begun. Now it’s time to fine-tune your content for SEO purposes, share it on several channels, monitor search keywords for your next article… Wouldn’t be wonderful to just focus on writing and nothing more?
Semantic markup is the key to success. Schema markup can really help your pages get the traffic they deserve. How? To explain it, we need to do a few steps back: first of all, you need to know what schema.org is.
What is schema.org markup
Schema.org is an initiative launched in 2011 by the world’s largest search engines (Bing, Google, and Yahoo!) to implement a shared vocabulary and adopt standard formats to structure data on web pages.
Schema.org markup helps machines understand your content, without fail or ambiguity.
Let’s explore how to use the Schema markup, the benefits of using it and how it can be implemented on your WordPress website.
How to add Schema.org markup to WordPress
To use schema markup on your pages, you can either use a tool like WordLift or do it manually.
WordLift plugin enables you to add Schema markup on WordPress without writing a single line of code. Once you configured the plugin, a new menu will appear on the right side of your article in the WordPress editor: it will allow you to annotate your content and, by doing so, to create an internal vocabulary to your website or blog.
Imagine you have published an event on your website: once you completed creating your specific content, the final step will be to add a normal meta description, which will appear on the search page as plain text. But, by adding Schema markup to the page, you can really help your content stand out by transforming it into a rich snippet and therefore getting a lot more clicks 😉
There are several types of schema you can use to mark your content, and by using the event schema markup is possible to show dates, locations and any other detail related to a specific event to help people easily get access to all the information they might need:
Once the purpose of adding structured data is clear – that is to provide accurate information about what your content’s website is about, you could also see that adding Schema markup to your site really is a highly-customizable process.
How to increase your traffic with semantic markup
While crawling the web looking for some specific content to be served to users, search engines will unquestionably identify the context your articles belong to. Nowadays this is the most effective and affordable way to distribute your content and made it “findable” to those who are looking for it through Search Engines.
The example above shows the results of a long-tail search about the upcoming Salzburgerland Party Meeting event. As you can see, the first result is a rich snippet with 2 links and allows you to skip directly to the next events. All that is made possible by the markup, which helps search engines detect the structured data matching the user’s answer inside the whole website. It’s been proven that rich snippets increase the Click Trough Rate: so, more qualified traffic for you, here!
Moreover, you can explore new ways to disseminate your content based on chatbots, which can serve your just-baked articles to your readers depending on their interests.
In the image on the right side, you can see how Intelligent Agents such as Google Allo can answer your voice search questions with appropriate content if they are correctly structured.
To learn more, read this useful article about how to set-up your first chatbot.
Assess markup quality with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool
Once you added your schema markup to WordPress, it’s easy to determine that everything was done right, simply by using the Structured Data Testing Tool made available by Google. Just enter the URL you need to analyze and let the tool verify your content.
Let’s see, as an example, the markup of the SEMANTiCS 2018 Conference on our blog:
As we can see, everything worked just fine, there’s only 1 warning about the field Offer that in this case has no value added.
The first rule while adding schema markup is to be clear. Google will know! Also, remember that adding schema markup to your page might as well not guarantee any result at first. But it’s always recommended to do it because it can definitely give you the best chance for success in SERPs, and help increase your CTR.
Automating structured data markup with WordLift
While developing WordLift plugin, we focused on making more accurate than ever our schema.org markup.
Now we can say – without fear of contradiction – that our Plugin offers you one of the most extended sets of markup to structure data on a WordPress website… without writing a single line of code!
Since our 3.10 release, WordLift made a lot of improvements and, as the SEO specialist Jarno Van Driel also said (by the way, thanks a lot for your support, Jarno!) our blue plugin generates beautiful 5-star – schema.org powered – linked data graphs.
Here is a list of improvements on the markup that SEO specialists are going to appreciate:
- ARTICLE: we’ve added the markup schema.org:Article for each article/blog post, publishing it with the property Main Entity of Page. Simply put: we say to Google and to the other search engines that this web page is an article. To know more about this property, read this how-to by Jarno Van Driel.
- PUBLISHER: we also communicate the publisher’s information related to each article as structured data. The publisher can be an individual with his/her proper name or an organization with a brand name and a logo.
- ID: with WordLift we also made available the Publisher ID. What is an ID, and why it is so important? For each entity, article, and publisher, we generate a permanent ID: a unique identifier which is fundamental in the context of 5 stars Linked Data because it allows the connections between data on the web. Each entity, article, and publisher can be connected to other data, hosted – for example – in WikiData, with the “same as” property and each of them can also be decoded with a JSON-LD data representation.
- RELATED ENTITIES: we used the meta tag “mentions” to say which entities are mentioned. In this way, you’ll have a hierarchy or entities where the main one defines the article itself and the other ones are recognized as mentioned on it.
To play around with JSON-LD markup that WordLift created for this article head straight to the JSON-LD Playground.