A Guide to Using Schema for SEO

Schema. What is it, how can you use it for SEO and how can your site benefit from it. We take a look below in our guide to using Schema for SEO.

What is Schema?

Schema is a term developed and maintained by an open community. You can think of it as a series of flags. You can use different colored flags to like certain relationships between entities on the web. The entity could be a phone number, company, recipe, or review.

Schema can be broken down into “categories” and “types”. For instance, an “organization” is a type that holds a lot of different properties such as areaServed (the geographical location where a product or service is provided) or foundingDate (the date the organization was founded), or email (email addresses).

You can use such properties to help search engines understand the information on a website better.

person using macbook pro on black table

How Schema is Used

You need to find the schema you need on the website: https://schema.org/. from there, you have to add it to relevant pages on your site. The easiest way to add is using an encoding called JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data (JSON-LD). It might sound scary, but it’s just a method of formatting the schema you need into a paragraph, which can then be added to the <head> section of the relevant web pages.

Why is Schema Markup Important?

Schema markup essentially powers rich snippets, which often have higher clickthrough rates compared to the regular search results. This means adding a lot more traffic to your website. But the main function of the markup is to help search engines understand your content better.

It’s actually no coincidence that the community behind the markup, schema.org, was developed a year before Google’s Knowledge Graph (knowledge base of entities and the relationships that exist between them) was born. And as you probably guessed, one of the key sources of this data is the schema markup.

Just as with the image above, all the edges that connect the nodes represent real schema markup. That’s where we’ll get to the heart of the matter.

Connecting the dots about you, your products, your company, and your content along with providing easy to read information is beneficial because:

·         Search engines understand it much better than plain text

·         Users get more relevant results

·         Website owners can get much richer snippets and might even become an entity in the Knowledge Graph

·         Being listed in the Knowledge Graph can be an excellent branding opportunity in the SERPs. Your site will get a Knowledge Panel when people look up your brand, and your site will appear as a relevant solution for the non-brand related queries

In the bigger scheme of things, schema markup is a vital part of structured data that makes semantic search on the web possible. In other words, it lets URLs convey the actual meaning of their content to search bots like Googlebot.

How to Add Schema Markup to your Site

When it comes to implementing Schema markup, you mainly have two options:

·         Markup generators

·         Manual markup

Schema markup generators essentially let you add structured data without the need to have any coding skills or experience at all, making them ideal for beginners.

Usually, website owners and SEOs make use of tools like the Google Structured Data Markup Helper, and we are not an exception. It provides you with 12 different Schemas that are more than enough for beginners.

How do markup generators work?

It’s actually a really simple process – you only have to choose the type of Schema and mark all of the needed elements on your webpage. When you choose or specify all of the elements, the tool will automatically generate a piece of code that you can add to your page.

There are also other several markup generators that offer a lot more types of Schema:

·         Schema Builder extension for Chrome

·         Merkle Schema Markup Generator

·         Hall Analysis Schema Markup Generator

If you’re running a WordPress website, there are several plugins that can help you effectively implement Schema Markup, including Yoast SEO, RankMath, etc. Consider browsing through their plugin gallery to find one that will suit you and your business best.

Manual Markup

If you’re unable to find the type of markup you want in markup generators, you can add it manually. At first, the code might look frightening, but it’s actually quite simple in reality, and you will only have to switch up a few values in it. As such, you can actually do markup manually even if you are not really an experienced coder.

The following are two ways in which you can implement manual markup using Microdata or JSON-LD


This is a more popular method of manually adding Schema markup to a site. The method is actually recommended by Google. It’s also a lot easier to understand and deploy compared to Microdata along with other outdated formats like Microformats or RDF>

You have probably come across a piece of simple JSON-LD code at the beginning of the guide. But for those who missed it, here it is:

<script type=”application/ld+json”>


  “@context” : “http://schema.org”,

  “@type” : “Article”,

  “headline” : “The Complete Guide to Schema Markup”,

  “author” : {

    “@type” : “Person”,

    “name” : “John Doe”


  “datePublished” : “2022-02-06”,

  “image” : “https://example.com/upload/image1.png”



This script can be added to the <head> section of this page and it will inform the search engines of the following:

@context. Specifies the vocabulary (schema.org)

@type. Specifies the type of Schema used


Tells Google what’s the title of the



Tells Google who wrote the article


Says the date when the article was



Links to the cover image of the article.

At a closer look, you will notice that JSON-LD code has quite a basic structure. First comes the Schema type used and then the various defined properties like author, headline, and datePublished, along with their values like Article and John Doe.

You can populate the code snippet with more properties if necessary. For instance, say an article was updated. You can add the property dateModified just after the property datePublished. You can also combine multiple types of Schema within a single piece of code. In the above example, the Person and Article markups are combined.

If you decide to use the same Schema type for the next article you publish, you will just copy this code sample and replace the values with the ones relevant to the new article. If you have to use another Schema, you can just update the @type property with the required Schema types and add new properties that are specific to this markup.

Note that the information embedded in this JSON-LD code should ideally be present on your webpage and also be visible to the users. This should help you avoid penalties from Google, which could be detrimental to the future performance of your site.


While less popular compared to its JSON-LD counterpart, Microdata is often used in cases where the webpage is targeting search engines like Yandex, for instance, that usually don’t support JSON-LD. Unlike JSON-LD, Microdata doesn’t allow you to add a single piece of code to the <head> section of your page. Instead, you have to mark each element separately with HTML.

The following is an example of Microdata code:

<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Article”>


itemprop=”headline”> The Complete Guide to Schema Markup </h1>



06, 2022</span>


Under this snippet, there are three new values (itemtype, itemscope, and itemprop) aside from the ones included in the JSON-LD code shared earlier. Here is what each of these values represents:

·         itemtype: this specifies the Schema type (article) and the vocabulary

·         itemscope: This creates a new item and shows the rest of the element describes it

·         itemprop: Specifies the property (datePublished, headline)

white and blue printer paper

Using Schema Markup for SEO

Let’s now look at how you can use Schema markup for SEO. Your goal is to make sure your website ranks better, does better in SERPs, and looks better in front of both users and search engines. Schema markup will be quite effective at this. So, with your website at hand, consider following these steps:

1. Visit Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper

2. Choose the Type of Data

There are a number of listed options. For the example shared below, let’s use “Articles” as it’s among the most common forms of content.

3. Paste the URL of the webpage you’re looking to markup

For those who only have HTM, you can paste that instead and then click on “Start Tagging”. The page should load in the markup tool and give you the workspace for your next phase of markup – items tagging. Your webpage will be on the left pane while the data items will be on the right pane.

 4. Choose the elements to markup

Since the piece of content in question is an article, highlight the name of the article in order to add the “Name” markup. When you finish highlighting, choose “Name” from the tooltip.

5. Add the rest of the markup items

Use the provided list of data items as your guide and highlight other items in your article to add them to the list. You probably won’t be able to include every item on the list, but just add whatever you can.

6. Create the HTML

When you’re done, click on “Create HTML”

7. Add the Schema markup to your website

The next step should be logging into your CMS and adding the highlighted snippets in the appropriate spots. Notice the yellow markers on the scrollbar to find the schema markup code.

An alternative here is to download the auto-generated HTML file and copy/paste it into the source code or CMS. Once you’re done, click on “Finish” and you will be taken to the next steps.

8. Test the Schema

Be sure to use the Structured Data Testing Tool to help you find out what your page will look like with the markup included. Instead of simply analyzing the published web page, let’s analyze the code the tool generated.

Once you paste the code, you can click on “Preview” and the testing tool will show you what the article will look like in the search results. Additionally, you can inspect each of the markup elements you included.

Where necessary, you can edit the HTML in the testing tool directly to update the Schema and preview the resulting page again.

Before going any further, below are some of the things you should bear in mind:

Google only displays and supports rich snippets for a limited variety of Schema types. Check them out here: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/search-gallery.

However, there are new Schema types being supported all the time, meaning you can never mark up too much. At the very worst, you will be improving the search experience for everyone, and you may start to generate new rich results before you know it.

The free tools are generally limited, and they usually only support a few of the more popular types of Schema like a product, local, person, business, etc. if you’re unable to find what you need, simply do an online search for the Schema you’re looking for and try to hack around a bit – switch up the values to suit your purposes and then use the Rich Results Test tool to help weed out errors.

If you get stuck, Google offers a tool known as Data Highlighter which is an old version of the Search Console. You could use it to markup data on your website. But with the old search console being nearly entirely replaced by the new Search Console, you might not want to expect the tool to be supported for long.

 Dos and Don’ts


·         Use JSON-LD and add the code to the <head> part of the webpage

·         Specify the properties required for your rich result type so that you’re eligible for enhanced visibility in the SERPs

·         Include as many recommended properties as you can

·         Include structured data to each duplicate page, not just the canonical one

·         Ensure the marked-up images to what you write they belong to

·         Use the specific applicable property and type names


·         Markup misleading or irrelevant content

·         Markup content that’s still invisible to the readers of a page

·         Mark up content that encourages illegal activities

·         Use structured data to mislead or deceive users