By Emilia Gjorgjevska 2 months ago

Learn what the 5 most underutilized markup schemes are and why you should use them to get better performance for your website.

Table of contents:

  1. The status of schema markups – is it exploited enough?
  2. Top 5 underutilized schema markups
  3. Conclusion

The Status Of Schema Markups – Is It Exploited Enough?

SEO evolved a lot in the past two decades and if we take a time machine to go back to see how things were in the beginning, you will see that in the past you would not need to do much: grab a link here and there, stuff your website content with keywords (not entities like today) and your job was done.

Nowadays, when the web is increasing, when the algorithms advance and when the crawl and index budgets are becoming really limited, especially for large websites featuring thousands or millions of URLs, you need to be lucrative and structural about how you approach SEO at scale and what you do with your web-shop / classifieds website.

Structured data (or better known as schema markup in the SEO world) is one thing that you can scale through programmatic SEO. We know from practice that it is something that can be pretty complicated to do, especially when trying to do it alone and site-wide. We are very aware of these processes and it is our strength to remove that pain away, so that your devs can focus on their work to accomplish other tasks.

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The process usually goes through the following phases: you define the schema, you populate the fields by taking some info from different APIs or a database, perform filtering, construct the schema and then inject it on the web-pages through JavaScript afterward.

Even though it seems relatively simple and very straightforward, it seems that a lot of websites are not utilizing the power of schema markup to its full extent. Given the fact that schema markup is beneficial for winning rich snippets on SERPs and help being featured in Google Shopping, it is critical to assess the situation in a more structured way.

Therefore, we performed an analysis of the top 100+ e-commerce and classifieds websites in the world (English-search) based on Google searches by using an automated process and some Chrome plugins.

Our analysis showed that when the website managers use schema markup on their website, they usually rely on BreadcrumbList, Website/Webpage, Product, SiteNavigationElement, LocalBusiness and ImageObject schemas (or no schema at all). However, the results were far from satisfactory. Why? There is still a lot of potential when it comes to implementing schema markups and we are here to help you overcome that. Let’s go!

Top 5 Underutilized Schema Markups

Let’s look at what are the most underutilized schema markups for e-commerce and classifieds websites.

Organization Schema

It seems straightforward and almost common sense but a lot of the platforms we analyzed did not make a proper use of the organizational schema or no use at all. The Organization schema is nice when you want to describe that you provide different offerings from different organizations.

Let’s say that you are an e-commerce store which gives offerings from multiple small businesses. One way to help search engines understand the differences in the offerings and the companies offering them is to implement different organization schemas based on different company details. You can accompany this nicely with the property OfferCatalog – another underutilized schema type like the Organization one itself when implementing it on the different business offering pages on your website.

PriceSpecification Schema

PriceSpecification is nice to apply when you can obtain information about the cost of the product and it is definitely helpful when you want to reach specific, targeted audiences that know what they want.

For example, let’s say that a user (a potential customer) is searching for [“cheap Nike trainers”] on Google. Also, let’s assume that you are a Nike trainers provider and sell Nike shoes for 59 dollars. Google is capable of matching certain prices with price ranges for different products or in other words it is able to figure out whether the product, depending on its category, is cheap or not. Now, this could be very tough to determine if you are not using the PriceSpecification schema.

Why? Because if you provide this information as a text, it might get difficult to disambiguate whether the number represents a price, a dimension, or quantity for the given product. It simply requires processing power and time that search engines don’t want to go through, therefore, serving it very clearly to them means winning new audiences.

Car Schema

Remember, you will always need to find the best schema that describes your business case and aligns perfectly with your business plan. I have seen countless examples when platforms have used the Product schema when in fact they could use a more specific schema type to describe their business offering.

One such example is using the Car schema markup.

Let’s say that you are a classifieds business and that you offer cars for renting or buying. It will be far more correct to put the Car schema to your product listing pages or the Car schema together with the Product schema combined by using @type: Product, Car. The idea is to build up your business entities in the best possible, explainable way and as long as you are more specific to the search engines, you can expect to reach and target your perfect audience. Be specific.

Shipping Schema

Are you shipping products to your customers? Then let users and search engines know. How would they know if you do not do that in a structured way? Different sites use different expressions and symbols to help users understand their shipping details. Here are some examples:

  1. Amazon uses the location symbol and writes “Deliver to [country]”;
  2. Anibis.ch uses Google location maps and write the street number to help the user calculate the shipping details;
  3. Ebay uses a mix of the previous two, by showing the location symbol and the street number;
  4. Eat.ch uses the clock symbol and write the minutes for delivery based on location;
  5. Wayfair uses natural language without any symbols:
    Free shipping
    Get it between Tue, Aug 9 – Thu, Aug 11
    Ship To: [location]

This is an example from one case study that we performed for a US retail website where we tested the use of the ShippingDetails Markup. The uptake is SEO benefits after the implementation shows that this schema type implementation brings huge value back. We identified a statistically significant impact of +36.24% on the clicks after applying this change. It’s definitely worth it to put it for testing in your SEO product backlog.

FAQ Schema

Ideal for category pages – this is where you show multiple results for a given category, based on the faceted navigation that the user interacted with in the first phase. If you have a webpage with mixed intents where you show product listing info but also frequently asked questions by the user, it is smart to exploit the power of the FAQ results schema type. Definitely one of the most underutilized schema markups out there.

If you want to learn more about FAQ Schema Markup and its potential, I recommend you take a look at our web story.

Conclusion

To sum up, the way information is shown across different websites and for different offerings varies and it is hard to grasp, especially when it is written in natural language. The way to solve for this and standardize the process is to use the schema markup that most closely “explains” your offering to searchers.

Otherwise, search engines like Google will need to train their systems to recognize certain elements on your page either through regex implementation or computer vision scripts to detect and obtain this relevant information from your pages. This is not a trivial task to do, especially when done at scale.

There is nothing more powerful than utilizing what you have on your side in the first place. Do you want to learn how you can bring your business to the next level? Book a demo.

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