Our new savvy Senior PM Chrystal brought up local schema markup and its impact on SEO. It’s been awhile since I considered this optimization element so I felt it was time to do a bit of a refresh. There is no doubt that it is critical, especially with the emphasis that Google is placing on schema in 2014. Furthermore, we speculate that the connection between schema and knowledge graph data mapping will be a heavy influence on data surfacing this next year. All in all, local schema is something all businesses need to evaluate on their own individual level. So let’s just into it.
What is Local Schema.org Markup?
This markup goes only in the code on a page of your website. It allows you to specify certain pieces of information around the business, so that the search engines can better understand the page.
Who Should use Local Schema Markup?
According to Schema.org, the local schema markup is meant for “A particular physical business or branch of an organization. Examples of LocalBusiness include a restaurant, a particular branch of a restaurant chain, a branch of a bank, a medical practice, a club, a bowling alley, etc.”
How does it Help SEO?
Local schema markup allows you to specify elements in the code such as an alternate name, description, image, name, what this page is the same as, the URL, address, your ratings, etc. By doing this, the search engines get clear understanding of the page. This can then in turn positively impact your rankings. In some cases, it will also alter the search results and allow you to rank in local search. Yelp has done an excellent job with their local schema implementation. You can see an example ranking here.
How do you Implement the Local Schema?
Luckily, some smart online companies have made implementation for local schema just a little bit easier.
Option 1: Microdatagenerator.com
If you go to this page you will find a local business schema generator. This will allow you to create the code you need for the business name, address, city, state, zip code and phone number.
Option 2: Yoast Local SEO Plugin
Yoast has stepped up again. So if you are on WordPress, you are in luck. According to Yoast, “The Local SEO plugin, which is, just like our Video SEO plugin, an extension to the WordPress SEO plugin. The Local SEO makes creating geo sitemaps and KML files a breeze, while also allowing easy embedding of schema.org annotated info into your pages.” So this is a great option for those on the WordPress CMS. It does cost a few bucks though.
Option 3: Configure it Yourself
While it may not be the idea option for many, you can always add the markup yourself. It should be a breeze if you are a developer or know a good one.
What does Local Schema Look Like?
Here are a couple examples of location schema in action.
You can view a full list of local business examples here.
Also, here is an image that shows all the fields.
Is there anything we missed on local schema? Comment below! Good luck with your schema projects.