12 Latest Semantic Markup Tips: An SEO Checklist
April 25, 2019
What is Semantic SEO?
Semantic SEO is search that produces intelligent results – using artificial intelligence to determine the searcher’s intent. The search results will not contain the exact terms being searched for. Semantic SEO is optimising for intent, keywords. It improves the relevance between the searcher and the result and improves the quality of traffic sent to a web site.
Additional Read: What is SEO
Understanding Semantic SEO Terminologies
Knowledge Graph significantly enhances the value of information returned by google searches – it is a knowledge base used to enhance the value of search results using semantics. It explores the relationships and links between objects and domains in the real world, and adds a layer of of data on top of websites.
Rich snippets is structured data markup that sites can add to their existing HTML – which allows search engines to crawl through and better understand what information is stored on each page. With rich snippets, Google displays some extra information about the result – including reviews, images, timings, descriptions.
Structured data is data in a specific format, written in a way that search engines can consume it – for eg, on a recipe page, what are the ingredients, the cooking time, the calories, and so on. Search engines can read this and return richer, better, and more relevant search results. They also use structured date to enable search results enhancements and features.
Schema.org is a taxonomy of code formats – it details all the structured data markup supported by search engines. It is one possible vocabulary that can be used to implement the same. Using this, you can transform your web page into an entity – used to raise ranking and better your seo strategy.
Semantic SEO Helps You Earn Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are position zero “answer boxes” that summarise answers to a user’s query. This means valuable exposure for your web pages and a rise in organic traffic. Semantic SEO helps plan for searcher’s intent and create content in line with directly answering their queries. Studying featured snippets for your competitors as well as user query behavior can give lots of potential content ideas. Knowledge graph leverages semantic search to find meaningful answers – and surfaces them quickly using featured snippets.
Entity-based Search results
Entities are are web pages that describe the concept of the website. Google defines as entity as “singular, unique, distinguishable, and well-defined”. Put simply, search engines understand entities and are able to produce search results based on multiple factors such as:
- Relatedness and connection
Using machine learning and entities, Google is beginning to understand user intent with more accuracy. This vastly improves search result quality and will impact traditional ways of doing SEO.
When it comes to local SEO, one of the most underrated but potentially beneficial strategies that need to be tapped into is semantic markup.
What Exactly is Semantic Markup?
On the face of it semantic markup might not seem like something relevant or fruitful to invest time into, but those in the know are aware that semantic markup does help in increasing the overall visibility of ones site and helps in improving the CTR considerably. One of the reasons for this is the fact that with semantic markup the chances of your website getting highlighted via rich snippets are much higher and that brings it greater attention.
Keeping that in mind, as part of your SEO checklist, here are 13 latest tips on how to get going with your semantic markup SEO and exploit it’s full potential:
- Use Authorship: Authorship, as most people are aware of, when used facilitates that your personal photo appear with all the posts that you write as well as for your website. It is always better to attach a face to a name and it helps to create an instant connect while making your post more appealing to the user at the same time. [Know more here: Google Plus and Its SEO Benefits]
- Use Local Business Schema and Geotags: Make the use of both of these to describe your small business online. With the local business schema, markup your contact and other details on the website and use Geotag to include your Geo-coordinates. [Read more – Post Penguin 2.1 Local SEO strategies for small business]
- Explore the Testimonial Option: Testimonials work really well for your credibility as a business; there is the option of using semantic markup for reviews which increases the chances of that testimonial being displayed on your search engine result by Google which makes tagging your testimonials a no-brainer.
- Use Breadcrumb Navigation: When you’re putting your website together, don’t forget about the breadcrumb trail you need to leave behind for your visitors. Regardless of the size of your website, your breadcrumb navigation will allow users to familiarize themselves with your sites hierarchy. While they increase the chances of click-throughs, their code is not always executed in the right manner, so be sure to use the breadcrumb markup when you’re working on your site. Cross check the code in Google’s Structured Data Testing tool to see whether you need to tweak things further.
- Event Markup: Since the idea is to promote your business in every which way, it is extremely worthwhile to use the Events Schema markup if your company takes parts in any events or provides special services for any occasion throughout the year. An event rich snippet contains important date such as location, date, name, and description – a useful tool to promote the event and drive an audience.
- Offer Schema: Any kind of offers or coupons that you are giving out are sure to attract attention and in order to make these visible in the snippet, make the use of offer schema.
- Video Markup: If you have visual or video content and want that detected and used by Google, you will need to make the use of VideoObject Schema. This will give search engines more information about your webpages that have video embedded in them. A video rich snippet will have the following data – name, description, thumbnail, duration and transcript. [ Read more – 15 Tips for Using Youtube to Promote Your Business]
- Highlight Individuals: In addition to using authorship, also use the schema for a person to markup the information about other employees and executives on your website. This can help with local search rankings to a large extent.
[ Get more info here: Local SEO checklist for promotion]
- Promote Tables and Bulleted Lists: Generally speaking, this does not require a markup but having data displayed in tables provides a better layout to display information and that can grab more attention for sure.
- Product Schema: For any products that you sell as part of your business, it is absolutely imperative that you use the product schema to mark them up. This allows the functionality of displaying details like rating, availability price and release date, which is very useful.
- Exploring Meta Descriptions: The most influential element of semantic markup, use Meta descriptions abundantly and incorporate good keywords.
- Incorporate Facebook Open Graph: The most influential element of semantic markup, use Meta descriptions abundantly and incorporate good keywords. The paradox is that while they’re the longest surviving semantic markup elements, they’re not always given their due attention. When you put together your Meta descriptions, remember to take a few minutes to customize each description for each page.
See also: Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior
While this is a lot of information to ingest, we assure you that taking care of the health of your website as a whole will ensure higher footfalls in the end. Don’t forget that each change you make goes a long way in ensuring that your visitors have a positive experience when they visit your site. Putting your audience first will keep them on your page longer and garner you higher leads, online or offline. Use the tips shared above to work on your semantic markup and we’re convinced you’re going to see positive returns on your time and energy with your optimization efforts.
Read also: Local SEO Checklist with Infographic