Make your SEO content shine in search with Schema
As an SEO content writer, you’re constantly looking for ways to expand your offerings and set yourself apart from others in your niche.
While skill and great training can set you apart from a good many, being able to offer marked up content that is search-engine friendly is going to set you apart from 99% of the others.
It is an advanced SEO skill set worth its weight in gold!
Adding Schema.org protocols to the content you write – and that of your clients – can improve ranking results and add some much needed click-through support to search engine listings.
Advising clients to mark up their existing content with address, product, and review or event markup can expand the reach of the SEO content you write and, in turn, increase your freelance copywriting rates accordingly!
A few weeks ago, I gave a presentation to Heather Lloyd-Martin’s SEO Copywriting Certification students and grads about how to use Schema mark-up and its value as a prized SEO copywriting skill set. Here are some of the highlights:
What are the best Schema protocols to learn as an SEO content writer?
First, I recommend you start small. Learn how to do one type of markup and do it well.
You can write the code for Schema.org and place the code in the Rich Snippets Testing Tool to see if it validates correctly.
Always check your validation before publishing and right after publishing. (See the tools I like in the “Tools” section below.)
1. Location & Mobile
If your client has a location-based brick-and-mortar business, marking their address up with Schema.org/LocalBusiness markup makes a lot of sense. It’s one of the easiest schemas to implement and it can affect not only search engine traffic, but I speculate this could help immensely with Mobile search in the future.
If you use Google Now, and are familiar with their “card’ system – you can see how data that is structured could be very useful to search engines and other local search websites.
Use this code by copying and pasting into a text editor like Notepad and replacing the generic text with your clients’ data:
<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/LocalBusiness”>
<a itemprop=”url” href=”http://www.ClientWebsite.com”><div itemprop=”name”><strong>Client’s Company Name Here</strong></div>
<div itemprop=”description”>A short description here – maybe 1-2 sentences. You CAN leave this out, but it helps if you can use keywords and the city state in the description</div>
<div itemprop=”address” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/PostalAddress”>
<span itemprop=”streetAddress”>1234 Oak Street, Suite 444</span><br>
<span itemprop=”addressLocality”>Anytown, </span><span itemprop=”addressRegion”>CO </span><span itemprop=”postalCode”>55555 </span><span itemprop=”addressCountry”>USA</span><br>
2. E-Commerce Product Descriptions
Many writers are contracted to write new products descriptions for their clients. Adding the markup to outline a product with Schema.org/Product or Schema.org/Offer code can help your client’s product stand out from the pack.
To go along with product and offer schema, review schema will add the rating stars to the search engine result listing, which can have a big impact on click through rates:
Event markup is a fairly easy process, but is done rarely, and surprisingly – not very well.
There are a handful of event companies and directories that do it right (check out Eventful.com for a good example) and that lack of accuracy is an opportunity for you.
Are you writing content about an event your client is putting together? Creating a listing that has an enhanced look in the search engine results is a great side –benefit.
You can see from the example below how useful that would be to the viewer:
Essential Tools to Use
- Schema Creator for WordPress
- Schema Creator from RavenTools
- Rich Snippet Testing Tool
- Blind Five Year Old Rich Snippet Testing Bookmarklet
This is an opportunity for you as an SEO copywriter to set yourself apart from your competition!
Some of the implementation of the Schema.org markup may take collaboration with the clients’ website teams, but the results could definitely be worth the effort.
You may consider offering the first bit of markup as a “freebie” to show the benefits with regards to ranking and click-through, proving to the client the value behind your expertise.
However you approach it, knowing more about how to make content rank well, and achieve a larger number of clicks, can only enhance your reputation as an SEO content writer.
About the Author ~ Carrie Hill
Carrie Hill is the Director of Online Marketing for KeyRelevance, LLC. She specializes in technical SEO and social media – and absolutely loves email marketing. She is also a regular author for SEMClubhouse.com. When not immersed in all things search, she’s a big fan of hanging with her kiddos, reading, cooking, gardening. Find Carrie on Twitter @CarrieHill or on Google+.
image thanks to crazyseo20 (Crazy Seo)
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Hi Carrie, great post. Some really useful tips here for any SEO Copywriter and Content Marketer. The most highly recommended markup I tell my clients is rel author and rel me, obviously for blog content. But when it comes to optimising web pages, I think the markups you’ve mentioned are spot on. Thanks for the tips.
Good post! Search engines are putting a lot of effort into making Schema’s vocabulary accessible; as SEOs we gotta put the effort in to implement it.
A couple additional tips:
1) There are lots of business types listed under http://schema.org/LocalBusiness – everything from from /AnimalShelter to /SkiResort – with more being added all the time. Be sure to use the type that matches your business.
2) Some CMSs strip out schema attributes leaving you with a bunch of empty div and span tags. Try disabling your WYSIWYG or switching your input format to PHP to make it work.
Good tips, Carrie. Schema markup should really be a part of every website and should be considered a fundamental part of SEO now. SEO is about helping search engines understand your webpage more, and that’s exactly what schema does. The business markup is a good one to begin with, and there are many others, such as schemas for hours of business, person/author, products, and so on. Using schemas on your page could make the difference between getting noticed (and clicked) and being overlooked in search engine results, so it’s best to just get into the habit of using them now.
Thanks Carrie – ans thanks to Michael Griffin for adding his tip about local business categories :-)
Admiring the dedication you put into your site and in depth
information you present. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed material.
Fantastic read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your
RSS feeds to my Google account.
Hello Carrie. Great post and still very relevant. Really useful tips on rich snippets and Schema and how they affect search rankings.