A basic explanation of Schema

shutterstock_255514963What is Schema, and why is it important?

By definition, Schema is a diagram, plan, or scheme — an underlying organizational pattern, structure, or conceptual framework.

In the world of website mechanics, Schema is used to help Google understand what’s on your website — to turn lines of code, numbers, symbols, and letters into crawlable and indexable content. In a nutshell, it’s what we here at MDPM Consulting are doing to help Google understand what’s on your website. Schema has become somewhat of a buzzword in the SEO world these days, so our technical director Chris Pearson put together a basic explanation of Schema.

In short, Schema is a way to semantically organize your website information for search engines. For example, a postal address to a search engine without schema is a line of random characters. Schema is what identifies specific information on your site, essentially tagging it for search engines, and then allowing the search engine to do more with the data.

A search engine crawls your site, compiles the pages and information it gathers, and holds this information ready for user queries. If the information the search engine pulls from your site is relevant to a user’s query, it will show it in the Search Engine Result Pages.

How does it work?

Similar to tagging a photo, Schema identifies what information means to search engines as they crawl it. For example, the following information to a search engine would be random characters organized to the preference of the coder/writer/etc:

1. MDPM Consulting
2. 1725 E Southlake Blvd.,
3-5. Southlake, TX 76092
6. (972) 781-8861

If you were to wrap this in schema, as shown below, the search engine would know a few different tidbits about the postal address:

  1. This is a local business named: MDPM Consulting
  2. This is the street address: 1725 E Southlake Blvd.
  3. This is the town/city: Southlake
  4. This is the State: TX
  5. This is the zip code: 76092
  6. This is the phone #: 9727818861

SCHEMA MARKUP EXAMPLE:

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

   <span itemprop=”name”>MDPM Consulting</span>

   <div itemprop=”address” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/PostalAddress”>

     <span itemprop=”streetAddress”>1725 E Southlake Blvd, Suite 101</span>

     <span itemprop=”addressLocality”>Southlake</span>,

     <span itemprop=”addressRegion”>Texas</span>

     <span itemprop=”postalCode”>76092</span>

   </div>

   Phone: <span itemprop=”telephone”>9727818861</span>

</div>

Fortunately, there are various different types of Schema, so markup can be modified to fit a local business, event, organization, person, etc.

Why Markup?

Now, there isn’t any conclusive evidence that shows Schema being a major factor in increasing rankings, but it does allow search engines to pull your business information in a structured format. It also allows for third party applications to easily pull the data (maps, listings, etc.) since it is structured. What this means is that as more and more data is shared across the internet, applications that require business information will have an easier time with the businesses, practices, persons, organizations, etc. that implement Schema Structured Markup on their website.

Want more information about how Schema is being used on your dental website? Give us a call at (972) 781-8861 or send us an email at [email protected]m. Be on the lookout for more Schema information coming soon!