Have you heard about structured data for local businesses? Structured data can be used to boost your page rankings, but only if you do it right. So let’s define structured data, what it is, how it’s used, how it can help boost your local online visibility, and how to add it to your website. Then we’ll give you an invaluable resource you can use to make all your digital marketing tasks much quicker and easier.
Let’s get started.
What Is Structured Data?
Structured data for local businesses is a schema markup language that can be added to your website. This structured data makes it easier for search engines to find the information it needs to determine what your business is all about.
What Is Schema Markup Language?
Schema markup language takes the information and content on your website and tags it so the search engine crawlers can read it more easily. For example, the schema for a local business would use tags to mark your business’s name, address, phone number, hours of operation, and other important information about your business.
What Is the Difference Between Schema Markup and Structured Data?
The schema markup language is a semantic vocabulary of tags (microdata) where you can add your HTML to help search engines read and understand your page. The search engines will then use that data to rank your content accordingly. So the schema markup is the input you give to the search engines so they can more easily understand what your page is about. And the structured data describes the actual data you provide.
All that might still be a bit confusing, so let’s break it down.
- Schema Markup Language: Schema markup language is made up of semantic vocabulary tags. It’s a shared language developed by the major search engines that contain a markup for structured data that the search engines can use and understand to help rank webpages more effectively.
- Structured Data: Structured data is the actual data input (not tags) you provide to the search engines, so they can have a better understanding of what your pages are all about.
- Schema Markup to Unstructured Data to Structured Data: Schema markup converts your unstructured data into structured data.
What Does Structured Data for Local Businesses Do?
Structured data for local businesses serves several purposes. It helps search engines find information about your business. It tells search engines exactly what your website and content are about. It also increases the chances of your business appearing in the SERPs’ rich snippets.
What Are Rich Snippets?
Rich snippets are now called rich results, but most people are still calling them rich snippets. This is the extra information you see on the search engine results pages (SERPs). So basically, rich snippets are the normal Google search results with extra data displayed. This extra data is compiled from the structured data found in your page’s HTML.
Rich results are visually more appealing in the search results because they provide more information than the standard results. These could be described as visual hooks that grab the user’s attention.
Examples of Rich Snippets (rich results)
- Star ratings
- Product prices (description, price, availability, ratings, etc.)
- Price ranges
- Recipes (a photo of the dish, prep time, ratings, calories, etc.)
- Movies and music (runtime, ratings, genre, release date, box office, etc.)
Now let’s talk a little more about structured data for local businesses, since that is our focus today. Let’s look at how to add structured data to your website, and why it helps boost your local online visibility.
How to Add Structured Data to Your Website
Here are the steps for adding structured data to your website.
- Identify the niche category for your company.
- Create your About Us page or update it if you already have one.
- Test your schema code using the Schema Markup Validator or Google’s Rich Results Test (see below for more tools and resources).
- Add your local business schema to your website, then publish it. You can do this by adding the HTML code. Alternatively, you can use a plugin, schema app, or managed user interface to do this. See below for links under the Helpful Tools and Resources section.
- Use Google’s Search Console to crawl and test your schema markup.
We understand that this is brand new for any business owners. If you’d like assistance with optimizing your website, we’re here to help. Feel free to schedule a software demo and find out how our platform can help you easily manage your website.
How Does Structured Data Help Boost Your Local Online Visibility?
Structured data for local businesses will significantly boost your local online visibility. Here are some of the benefits of adding structured data to your website.
- Helps search engines understand the content on your website, improving relevancy.
- Structured data enables you to display rich snippets on the SERPs which will increase your click-through rates.
- Faster indexing.
- Be presented in more voice search results.
- Greater search visibility.
Why Your Structured Data Might Not Show on the SERPs
Adding structured data does not guarantee that your local business will be displayed as a rich result. Even though your schema markup might reflect that your content is relevant and helpful to users, the search engines are the ones that decide whether or not to show it as an enhanced snippet in the SERPs.
Helpful Tools and Resources
Google Search Console – Connecting your website to the Google Search Console will alert you if any errors in your schema markup occur. It will also provide you with other notifications about things that are affecting your SEO.
Schema.org – This website enables local businesses to find the proper schema markup for your particular situation. So you don’t have to know how to code. You just enter your details into a template.
Structured Data Markup Helper – This free tool makes it easy to output the schema code. You simply click on any area of your website to populate your schema tags.
Schema App – Generating your schema markup is easy with the above tools. However, for some people, installing it can be a little more difficult. If that’s the case, you can use the Schema App tool. This tool is a WordPress plugin that will do it for you. Alternatively, you can hire a web developer to add it to your page for you.
Schema Markup Validator – This tool enables you to test your structured data before you enable it on your pages. It will show you both warnings and errors. It’s extremely important to fix structured data errors before publishing. If you don’t, Google states that rich snippets containing errors can’t appear in any Google search.
Structured Data Testing Tool – Once you’ve added the markup data to your website, you will need to test it to make sure it’s working properly. You can do that with the Structured Data Testing Tool.
Rich Snippets Checker – You can use Google’s Rich Snippets Checker to see what kind of results your local business schema is getting. All you have to do is enter your URL to test it.
Now, as promised—here is an invaluable resource you can use to make all your digital marketing tasks much quicker and easier…
The Surefire Local Marketing Platform.
What Is Surefire Local and How It Will Make Your Online Marketing Much Quicker and Easier?
Surefire Local provides business intelligence marketing software at a fraction of the cost of other local marketing tools and resources. It’s also significantly less than paying a digital marketing agency for simple tasks you can easily do yourself. With Surefire Local, you no longer have to log into multiple tools to perform singular tasks.
If you depend on online visibility and local reach to grow your business, this platform is made for you. Surefire Local will help you perform nine of the most important online marketing activities all from a single platform.
Surefire Local makes it quick and easy to do the following:
- Manage your reputation.
- Manage and update 70+ business directory listings.
- Request, manage, and respond to ratings and reviews.
- Generate, schedule, and distribute online content across all your digital assets.
- Track and manage your lead pipeline.
- Local paid ads using our pre-built, location-based ad campaigns.
- Track calls and monitor web traffic with our analytics and reporting features.
- Competitor analysis by discovering their keywords and local search terms so you can benchmark your campaign performance.
- Real-time geolocation check-ins will let your customers know where you are and any information you want to give them.
- Answer questions, encourage engagement, and convert more leads in real-time using our text message marketing feature.
Surefire Local clients experience a 34% average increase in SEO traffic, 82% more online reviews, and a 385% return on investment!
Because Surefire Local makes it so quick and easy to perform multiple important online marketing tasks all from a single dashboard. That means those tasks are more likely to get done versus being put off or not done at all.
If you want more information about structured data for local businesses or to learn more about the Surefire Local platform and all it has to offer, please request a demo today! We provide a single platform with a full suite of marketing tools designed to help businesses attract lifetime customers, grow revenue, and broaden their reach. And we’d love to show you just how easy and cost-effective using the Surefire Local marketing platform can be!