Industry Specific Schema Implementation Made Easy
Industry specific schema offers more visibility than you may think. Structure your pages with markup so that eyeballs will see it and users will click on your snippet results. This is good for SEO for multiple reasons.
It is critical for search marketing professionals and business owners to review plans for enticing prospective users to visit their websites directly from Google. Implementing schema on your site can make your products and services stand out – even if your site has a backlink profile of lower strength.
Once you are familiar with the logic of schema, it is less confusing and easier to select which schemas you should use on your website that fit your type of business. There is a growing list of opportunities, many which offer a broad umbrella so that anyone can find choice industry syntax. Before we look at a breakdown of which schemas might be used by specific business types, let’s cover what size of business needs this improvement.
Don’t think you need to be a business of considerable size to benefit. You can benefit from the mistakes larger companies make and probably move faster at updating corrections and updates.
The key to making it easy for GoogleBot to reward your site in SERPs is to create thought-leading, conversational content rich with semantically themed and related search terms that users identify with. Exceptional user experience starts with finding your related web pages, and schema markup that identifies your business niche and specific content can make that magic happen.
How to use Industry Specific Schema to your Best Online Advantage
Google has supported rich snippets and schema structured data for years now. However, today, major search giants are exponentially expanding its use as machine learning does a better task of understanding the complex web of information that site’s present from each web page in their index. To match search query intent better, Google is encouraging webmasters to markup their content. Many have tipped their toes into adding their addresses, reviews, products and more, but are missing industry-specific schema. Plenty of ways exist that structured data can be leverage to boost your SEO campaign.
If schema is implemented incorrectly, it won’t offer the benefits you are hoping for, and may even draw a manual Google penalty. When the search engines can instantly recognize your industry niche, and interpret each unique page’s content quickly, it helps with click-through-rates.
Which Schema Type Identifies Your Overarching Business Niche?
It is preferable to leverage Schema markup to better market your business niche by locating further markups that support your company as a whole. Indeed, some have still to be officially supported by Google, yet adopting the vocabulary is beneficial to help different web indices better understand how your brand name can fit into the overall scheme of their index.
Many early adopters of schema used or still use “Thing”. While it works and currently passes the Google Structured Data Testing Tool (SDTT), it is limited by offering vague information unless you dive deeper into more granular types of markups.
We already have a vast selection of schemas that are supported and specific to many different individual industries. For example, property managers can use the schema for Apartment Communities. By pulling from existing and established schema vocabularies such as Place, your company can supply additional rich snippets that highlight and add context to extra content items on their site, including videos, offers, and various locations. More data is drawn from these site enhancements continually and is being pulled into featured snippets and the Google Knowledge Graph.
Consider the business types that fit under
Defined in the health-lifesci.schema.org extension, it aligns in a bucket tier like this: Thing > Property > medicalSpecialty
The medical specialty of that provider may be a
MedicalOrganization, or a
You will find it under the health-lifesci.schema.org extension at http://schema.org/MedicalSpecialty
Thing > Intangible > Enumeration > MedicalEnumeration > MedicalSpecialty
Thing > Intangible > Enumeration > Specialty > MedicalSpecialty > Oncologic
NOTE: the AAMC alone states 120 specialties and subspecialties.
If your business centers on a
SportSpecialty event or team, here are examples of what it may look like:
You will find it under the event schema.org extension at https://schema.org/SportsEvent, or https://schema.org/SportsTeam correspondingly.
Thing > Intangible > Enumeration > BroadcastEvent > SportsEvent
Thing > Organization > SportsOrganization > SportsTeam
INDVIDUAL INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC SCHEMA MARKUP
Below is the current industry schema list that falls under Local Business Schema. Note how many come withing the sphere of medical search:
* Resource Page: LocalBusiness (on Schema.org)
When searching for the best schema to use, while schema is extensible, choose a standard one in your niche if it exists. Typically, using what is already acknowledged and accepted in schematic search versus creating a new one is best.
Considering the following benefits of relying foremost on accepted schema formats:
• Less investment time that the modeling and development work entails.
• Much simpler to exchange data and converse with business partners.
• Available built-in support for software tools.
• Easier to test and affirm what works.
• Easier to ensure avoiding a problematic schema implementation errors.
• Better flow with schema updates and evolutions.
Using Standard Industry Schema Vs Customizing
If you find an article online and someone claims that their schema practices are an industry standard, take the time to investigate how much traction the standard has and who is already using it. Validate that there is a vibrant online community that is answering questions and resolving issues. Before you start down the path of broad adoption, first determine if experienced and proven schema specialists will be there to help if needed.
If a particular schema standard has come to your attention, some aspect of it is most likely relevant to your industry or business needs. Even when that schema is relevant to your content, what you have written about may still merit more structured data integration. You may have exceeding previous coverage of the topic and have key components to offer that may well rank your pages over the completion.
According to Bob DuCharme at snee.com, sometimes it “would best be stored as extra elements or attributes in the content, and the standard schema doesn’t have those elements and attributes. Perhaps your documents include simple workflow and versioning data that track when you received the documents and which of your processes have been run on them. Perhaps the extra data that you want to store is not something that you designed in-house but is instead another standard such as the periodical publishing industry’s PRISM (Publishing Requirements for Industry Standard Metadata), which is designed to be plugged into other schemas and DTDs.”
These are standard schemas for technical communication, but you may find that a business wanting you to advance their visibility uses a proprietary schema or an industry-specific schema.
In truth, while schema offers remarkable customizability, we find that it typically takes someone very familiar with it to produce lasting and worthy results. Consider that it is rather “cemented” in unless on-going edits are accounted for. If using schema.org, for example, when the standard updated to a later version, there will be fewer difficulties to adapt or upgrade your code.
Well-designed schema is intended for distribution among multiple organizations when initially published and makes hooks available for storing customizations in a separate file so that those same customizations can be used with the upgraded version of the standard with nominal effort. Just how this is done is different across varying schema languages.
The Specialization of Industry Schema is Brilliant
Creating a relation value through structure data coding, establishes how each page relates to the rest of your web pages. When the quality of these pages is sufficiently high, they all should support your industry niche and business goals. The way you interlink your pages also tells both users and search engines how they fit in your niche.
There is still a lot of value to implementing structured data even if you are a small business. Markup the strong topics you need to be talking about with sufficient detail to be recognized as an industry expert. Everything you publish on the web has value for structuring your data, even if you don’t add markup. The rich snippets gained if you use markup are an added bonus. It takes some budget to get this done, but Google makes it less challenging by offering developers many examples of industry schema. Begin by simply cutting and pasting them into a working environment to modify.
Initially analyze the type of pages you have in order to determine what areas of your site relate to one topic and can be published in a structured manner on your website. Cost value matters more the bigger you grow your business and pay offs go long into the future. Schema implementation broadens your site’s search range. Including industry schema helps your site show up better in the searches that are more relevant. This effort can offer the benefit of improvements in multiple areas all at once; it is used in both earned and paid search.
If you aren’t selling your business at a sufficient level online, creating this relational value between your brand and your niche will add clarity. If using Microdata syntax, some of this information results in content that is visible to the end user. RDF schema is a server side language which moved to RDFA, but is often easier for academic developers. JSON-LD industry structured data is actually what Google currently recommends and is not visible on the page. Remember, the HTML has to be presented in the right order for this SEO method to be effective.
Ultimately, it helps to be familiar with the code you are applying and to understand the depth of your task. Much depends on how much data you have instead of only assumptions. Industry schema helps give the content you create, and the structure you use, to tie each piece of content into your overall business more clearly. For those who are not really familiar with HTML5 and markups, and only rely on a CMS or WordPress plugins, you will quickly run into limitations. Everything should link up and offer clarity to the site visitor.
How to Choose the Best Industry Syntax?
The (industry) syntax which is available is quite broad. I think it would be highly unlikely that you won’t find anything to suit you there. Essentially, use what you can until it is developed. A recent example is the W3C approved markup for auto manufacturers. That was quite sparse, and it was developed recently in a more detailed way. Before that, they were using what they had,” according to David Amerland in his SEO Help #13 session. This event was streamed live on Feb 2, 2017, with guest Jarno van Driel and hosted by Oleg Moskalensky, owner of Productive Computer Systems (www.pcs-works.com).
When you are unsure of the best industry syntax, try implementation first on one or two pages, and test. A close eye will help you know if your new code is adding clarity to users and search engines. Then add your industry schema site wide.
The technical process of schema implementation is all about creating a structure for humans that are looking for a specific piece of information. Schema is built on strong entities and topics that service your clients and search engines at the same time. A lot of web designers that create beautiful looking sites still that don’t have a good semantic base. Search will surface the most relevant information within your industry that answers the query. You have to have content that clearly supports your choice of industry syntax and makes sense to humans first. Then, the application of schema can be applied.
Help Users Searching for your Type of Business
Avoid falling into manipulative markup. If it is not used for the benefit of the users searching for your type of businesses, and is meant to manipulate a form of schema purely to try gain rich snippets, you could be penalized quite harshly. Choose the industry that most closely fits who you are.
According to an aspect of the present invention, a single system is provided which can store and manipulate data and manage rule-driven communications for a larger grouping of business types. This data architecture was designed to provide a common core objects data structure and offers a copy of a vertical industry-specific objects data structure for each tenant in a specific predefined industry. Additionally, each one may contain tenant-specific objects defining a tenant-specific objects data structure.
The Google computer management of data storage patent 0219046 says, “the term ‘tenant’ refers to a distinct entity for whom communications are managed. For example, a tenant could be a commercial enterprise, a non-profit organization, or a government agency. As such, a tenant may be an individual, a corporation, a partnership or other type of formal or informal group, or a sovereign such as a regional or national government or a subdivision thereof.” (https://www.google.com/patents/US20110219046)
Expect Industry Expansions for More Business Types
A central goal of schema.org is to create, uphold, and encourage structured data implementation on the Internet in a manner that’s accessible to the typical webmaster.
As the amount of industry-specific examples provided at Schema.org grows, it will help webmasters more quickly identify how services, business types, and professions should be marked up. Efforts behind these expansions are meant to be well coordinated, though that is challenging.
When starting out establishing schema for a new domain, begin with the type hierarchy. If perusing the list doesn’t produce exactly what you are looking for, look for synonyms and see what relates. Lastly, rely on a less granular type (such as Thing) and specify a secondary type discovered in Wikipedia or a similar source. Make a switch in the address to a productontology type, and use the
sameAs property by incorporating a URL to sources like Wikipedia, Wikidata or DBpedia. Web developers are currently relying on standardized building blocks for more specific types using methods such as productontology and
additionalTypes to represent industry-specific niches.
Look at Industries Listed in the GSI
The GSI core sectors are retail, healthcare, transport and logistics and foodservice. This resource site is particularly helpful to determine categorization for eCommerce sites. Next, become familiar with the domain and industry specific vocabulary that is commonly used in core communications. The average webmaster may be safest when their approach is structured in a manner that stay as close as possible to implementation patterns found at Schema.org.
Many sites we review, and theme developers we currently work with, have yet to really comprehend how markup works and have heavy task loads already so that they aren’t comprehending that structured data is part of its core. This makes it more challenging to establish graphs that best represent their industry services and products.
While the benefits of adding industry–specific schema are many, it is imperative to always keep a close check on how this, or any site changes, affects the end user experience. For example, if the searcher is intent to find a dental surgeon in Plymouth MN, they will likely hit the back button if your site takes over 3 seconds to load or they end at nearby Dermatologist Medical Clinic. Strive for granular, accurate, and fast loading methods when implementing schema.
Since we know that machine learning is going to greatly change the landscape of SEO, testing different environments to implement industry-specific schema and finding a sustainable strategy means your business can reduce the wasted energy of someone without experience struggling and having a hard time. The ability to be detail oriented and quickly recognize the best technologies for correct implementation while maintaining a fast-loading website will make or break the success rate of many business sites going forward.
“Mark up your site as much as possible and keep your eye on developments, including new definitions. You can technically describe a lot of varied attributes to Google — no matter what your sector. Rich Snippets are here to stay.” – Sam Hurley on Digital Current
In the end, what counts most in search marketing is to focus on providing value to your site visitors. Implementing industry schema code should generate attention, but once they are on your site, it is up to you to develop trust and a great user experience.
Most likely your business has already done a lot of work to determine the target market you serve. In the same manner that potential customers are easy to see and are a hallmark of a great business market, likewise, search bots should be able to quickly identify your business niche.
If you are in the real estate, dentistry, plastic surgery, travel, lodging, home construction, radio station industry, or have a store, why wait?
We are assured that this functionality will be rolled out across all industries, and already the increased rate of support for and use of structured data and rich snippets is staggering. Starting now versus later can only help your establish your business are a frontrunner in search and improve how your site’s content is indexed and made more visible. Our digital marketing services can your business get found online by identifying the possibilities of profitable niche schema implementation.
For more help on how to implement industry-specific Schema Structured Data, call us at 651-206-2410. To move forward implementing structured data to expand your business footprint and get your brand noticed, schedule your Structured Data Markup Audit.