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What is Schema & Why Your Website Needs It


In this week's episode, we discuss one of the most vital parts of your website - JSON schema!

Schema is the best way of telling Google exactly what your business does, who it serves and who should see your site.


Remember, if you confuse Google, you lose!

Adam: Hello!Jamie.

Jamie: Welcome to another episode of local SEO intent.

Adam: Whoo. Touch down.

Jamie: Yeah. What are we talking about today?

Adam: Well today I want to talk about something that probably is a little, a little technical, but it's something that is so important that I really, really wanted to let our listeners know about it and what that is. It's called Jason schema and that, so it's J S O N schema. Oh, thank you very much. We're done. No, we're not done. Don't go. Schema is actually a really, really important, it's really important because it is made, it's a language and that language is a language that Google understands. So now how this works, I'll try and explain it in as easy a terms as I can figure out. Okay. So imagine you're a computer program. Okay. You're a simple program. Like Google is a program and what you're trying to do is categorize everything. So you're scanning documents, you're scanning webpages of all different kinds of things on the internet.

Adam: So imagine there's a, maybe a local business website, and then there's an eCommerce website. And then there's, you know, your grandma's blog. And then there's other things. There's gotta be a, you know, 100,000 different kinds of web pages. And each one of those web pages might have kind of a different layout, kind of diff way, different information. But you're asking that computer program to learn and to decide what category to put your website in. And so what happened is that obviously is just nuts. So a schema came along basically, and this is the language that Google speaks and it should be at the, basically at the bedrock of every website. So that way Google is able to put your business, or especially for a local business, it's supposed to be able to help Google understand you are a local business and you're not. And with your location, all kinds of information. So that way Google can serve your website to people who need it. Hmm. Okay, that makes sense.

Jamie: Yeah. So you're saying it's your, you want to make your website schema friendly so it makes it easier on Google.

Adam: Right. And so if you confuse Google, so there's a, there's a, a great saying in marketing. It basically says, if you confuse, you lose. And with Google, my, my, my interpretation of that is if you confuse Google, you can say goodbye to getting business through the internet,

Jamie: Essentially confusing the customer too. Because you know, if you're a carpet cleaner and you're put under home furnishings, when someone looks for carpet cleaning, they're not going to find you. Yup.

Adam: Exactly. Or if your website actually, your homepage for your business doesn't have any text and or schema, you are forcing Google to try and decide what you are and good luck getting any kind of search results with that. That is that should be a big red flag. I know. Beautiful websites. But if you don't have text on the pages, Google's not gonna be able to understand what your website and what your business does and not just text. Schema is a different language. So we use some great tools, especially for local businesses. Once from a company called web 20 ranker, I'll put the the link to it in our show notes. But if you go to that link, you can input your information. It will automatically generate things like your hours. It'll take your w this is crazy longitude and latitude of your business.

Adam: It'll say who you serve, what areas you serve, all of that stuff. All of that information is already in Google if you have a Google my business listing. So it pulls that information. Once you fill that out you can test it, make sure it there's no problems with it and it's totally free. And then you just copy and paste that information into the, your website, into the header of your website. And I'll show you, I'll put up a also on our show notes, an easy way to do it. If you have a if you use WordPress for your website, there's a free plugin that takes two minutes to install and then it takes 30 seconds to put that that schema onto your site. Once you do that, if you're a local business you'll see Google will now be able to serve your business to local people. Exactly what category you are. It's great. It's just, it's, it's a, it's a no brainer. And one of the things we look for when we are doing an audit for any kind of a client is do you have schema on your site?

Jamie: So if for those of us in business who don't do our own websites, what should we be letting our web designers know that needs to be there or at least check for?

Adam: You should ask them, Hey, what kind of schema is on our site? We've seen anything from schema instead of for a local let me see a local general contractor. So that's one of the categories in, in local schema, but we've seen them categorized as organization, [inaudible] and organizations. So that's as vague

Adam: Big as can be. So it doesn't help or we've seen, of course, their business categorized as a website. Thank you.

Jamie: What should we directly, a web person back to a local SEO and 10 if we just a blank stare and they don't know what scheme, they've never heard a schema either.

Adam: Yeah. Unfortunately. You, anyone can pretty much call themselves a website designer. That's what we notice. I'm a web designer. That's great. And I, I respect the, the ability and the talent that is definitely necessary for that. But one of the things we're trying to do in this podcast is help people with their visibility. And so you're, if you don't have visibility, if you have confused Google, then all of that beautiful website that you spent one, two, three, four, $5,000 for isn't going to bring you business. And so that's super scary. For me as a, as an in this arena, I want to make sure that I'm serving my clients the best. That means serving, getting that site visible, having a beautiful site to show and then that will help convert clients. But that visibility part is super important.

Jamie: And if there's a category, say your businesses you know, flying trapeze monkeys or something like that. Something that, you know, Google doesn't really have a classification for. Are you able to make your own classification or,

Adam: Yes. So it with local schema, it is old, so it's out of date and crazily there's no like marketing agency category. So for us we are categorized in schema as a professional organization. But then on top of that, there is a way you can enter in, it's called eight same as function. And what that is is we go to Wikipedia and there is a Wikipedia entry for our, my category for our category. So we can take that Wikipedia URL and put it into a, that same as a box and that will let Google know this is what we do. So if the category is not on Google, definitely great question. By the way, if the category is not there, then you can use that same as function through Wikipedia to let Google know, Hey, your category is, we're one part of that category and we're a subset of that main category that that Google gives us.

Jamie: Could someone also check the the schema for a different website? They don't own.

Adam: Oh, of course. So when you go to that link, the when you test your schema, you have to put in a website. And so once you do a, you can test any website so that, that test your schema, it's from Google. They will be able to show you what your own website is. If you have schema there already, you can just type in your your URL, test it. If it's there and it says organization, maybe that's a big red flag that you can go to your webmaster and say, Hey, can you put in local schema? Cause I'm not an organization. Well I am, but I'm also, you know, a hairstylist. So, and that's kind of who I want people, you know, or I'm a restaurant owner and I want the restaurant people who want to go to restaurant to come to my business. So a yes, very great question and use that Google schema tester. And you can also just Google that and that'll pop right up. Cool type. And it's, it's very explanatory. It basically, I think for our company and all of our clients, we have at least a hundred, maybe to 120 different fields of information filled out for every local business. So it is essential. If you're a local business and you don't have schema, you are losing customers.

Jamie: It seems that this would just be like standard operating procedure on every website. But I doubt it is,

Adam: Well, you have people who are designers who don't know this stuff, right? And that's, that's, you know, and you, they've sold you cause they're really great at selling. And you know, unfortunately it does, you know, there, there's levels to this, there's levels to everything. And then definitely there's levels to this. So well a great way. Go to that Google schema tester, type in your website and then see what comes up. If you see if you see organization or website or breadcrumbs, then maybe that, that's a big red flag. And if you're talking about, sorry, last thing I want to mention about this is accessibility. That's a probably in 2020, you're going to see more and more businesses are getting sued for accessibility, for disabled access to your site. Web schema is, are this schema is a great tool to help your site's accessibility as well. So this is basic SEO. And so if you have a designer who did your site, then maybe you should do this.

Jamie: And I've noticed sites that have a lot of video in them if they do not have the closed captioning those could be ones that are subject to the, the, the disability requirement.

Adam: Oh yeah. Right now people are there are organizations getting sued for this. It's a great topic for an upcoming episode because this is very much in the gray area. Basically. Welcome to America. You can Sue anybody for anything, but if your site is not accessible, then yeah, yeah. It's, it's easier to make your site accessible than not nowadays. So upcoming episode idea, Jamie.

Jamie: Yeah, yeah. We've got plenty more. All right, well that's a great topic and that's a probably the most useful thing you've said and the, no, just kidding.

Jamie: Okay.

Jamie: And a no, this is great. So we're looking forward to the show notes and definitely check us out on our Facebook page, a local SEO and 10 make sure to review and rank or review and leave a rating for the podcast. And any final questions or final thoughts, Adam?

Adam: Yeah, if you, if you find this a useful, share it with if you're in a local business, you know, a BNI or chamber or lion's club or any of those and you find something useful about it, please share us out. And this is a, an easy tip. You know, you can, Hey, have you used this local schema thing on your website? Yeah, that's a great way. Cool. All right, well we'll talk to you next week. Thanks everybody. All right. Thank you.