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Schema.org Unveils "Action" Markup | So What's the Value for SEO?

Schema has been a highly useful mechanism for advanced SEO professionals for almost three years now. In case you're fresh to Schema, it's essentially is a unique form of HTML designed by major search engines to create, support, and implement structured data markup on the content of a site.

In short, adding specific "schemas" to your site's content can better communicate what that content is about to search engines. And recently, Schema.org has announced an entirely new form of schema named Actions. Actions are a way to communicate specific executions (or actions) that can be done on a website (e.f. filling out a form) and how these actions can be initiated and implemented from a technical standpoint.

Schema.org's Definition of Action Markup?

An Action from Schema.org represents an activity that can be performed on a piece of structured data. Schema.org explains it as basically an action that is performed either by a direct agent or an indirect participant targeted towards a specific direct object that spontaneously and willingly occurs at a specific location with the help of an inactive instrument.

The implementation of an action may create a specific result, which clearly specifies the exact expectation of each role or case. Yes, Action facilitates the description of the potential of the current and past actions related with various kinds of things.

The Value of Action Schemas

With Action from schema.org you can better communicate the start and the end date of a particular course of action, the desired consequence, the end result, the location and the specific instrument that is used to implement the action.

For example, Action schemas help to communicate the time it takes to complete a particular task or operation, say to cook a meal found at recipe site or how long a user can expect to complete a registration form. This enables websites to clearly describe the actions they enable and how these actions can be implemented and executed successfully. The three action statuses include:

Action-oriented Rich Snippets

Benefits for SEO:

  • Potential action status to describe an action that is being supported
  • Active action status to depict an action that is in progress
  • Competed action status to notify an action that has already been executed

Action-oriented Rich Snippets

The types of rich snippets action schemas show users on a simple Google search vary. There are multiple types of rich snippet actions that are supported and that can be defined with a similar structured data. Go-to actions: It takes the user to the website where the action can be successfully completed. The in-app actions: They are tackled well within the gmail itself without sending the user to any other website. Further reading: For more elaborate details you have to see handling action requests and securing actions.

Benefits for SEO:

Of course, there are a few benefits of using this markup for SEO. Some of SEO advantages include:

1. It is the only format supported by all four major search engines and helps users find what they are looking for.

2. It increases the efficiency of the search engines and makes web more useful to the world.

3. It displays rich snippets on SERPS and enhances your click-through rate.

Schema.org is on of the most indispensable SEO tools available. Action from schema.org represents an expansion of the vocabulary associated with potential actions, which can further help benefit your website.

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How to Leverage Schema Markup for Local SEO

SchemaIt is not in doubt that Schema.org has brought about a revolutionary collaboration between some of the world’s top search engines and relevant sites in creating a method that makes it easier to not only identify important information on websites but also to categorize them accordingly.

However, it is worth mentioning that local businesses are largely lagging behind when it comes to adopting current SEO practices and web design. For this reason, local businesses which want to fully utilize the internet to get more traffic and clients are well advised to implement Schema markup. This is because it does allow search engines to display important and vital information such as menus, reviews, citations, hours and even testimonials in various search results.

The Value in Adopting Schema

There are several types of Schema and markup which one can use so as to ensure that their SEO campaign is not only effective but is also on point and accurate. Geographic markup is a very vital strategy which a company can adopt by ensuring that the business’ contact and geographic information is correctly listed on their site.

There are various categories which can be easily found under the local business section of Schema.org and used as part of the contact page or footer of the website, this includes details such as operating hours, accepted mode of payments, address, fax, address, mailing address and other relevant contents of a citation such as the business name.

Empower Google Local SEO

A search for your local business will be displayed on search results with local busines information; making it easier for a potential client to get in touch with your business. Because, geographic markup is fully supported by Google maps, users can even be provided with highly detailed search results which are usually very helpful for clients who are pressed for time or are just keen on getting it right the first time. Integrated Schema markup for basic business can help better your local SEO efforts.

Event Markup

Another important markup worth taking into consideration is the events markup. Many local businesses tend to struggle a lot when it comes to publicizing and shouting about their events. The Schema.org has dedicated sections dealing with events by other businesses and sporting events. These events are further categorized into different events such as music, comedy, food, festivals etc.

Local SEO Schema

For the best display results, it is important to use the most specific markup possible. It is also advisable to use Schema on all your events, including meetings and workshops so as to make your events easier to find in search results related to local events in that particular area.

Author Markup

Even though Google Authorship is not promoted directly by Schema.org, this is a very important piece of markup which any local business which regularly updates its content or has an active blog should implement with speed. By simply connecting the name of the author on the website to their respective Google+ profiles; the search engine finds it much easier to categorize the author’s written content online this does without doubt lead to greater exposure and hence traffic.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that contrary to popular belief, creating a custom Schema markup for your local business is not a very difficult or technical undertaking; there are currently several form generators in the market which will automatically generate the required code automatically once you choose the appropriate categories and properties.

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Could Structured Data Be a Future Ranking Factor in Google?

Google Strictired Data Ranking FactorCurrently, Google denies any claims that it could be using structured data to rank websites on the World Wide Web. The search giant’s denial contradicts with most an SEO professional’s beliefs that structured markup does affect how well a website ranks.

So, even though Google is currently in denial, will it give in in the future? We cannot be sure but there is enough evidence to support a positive for the hypotheses. Below is information which keeps you in the light of what is going on.

Google Hints

As Google puts it, structured data is all about helping its engines better understand your content, which is imperative to actual ranking. Although using Schema and structured data markup does not have a direct correlative effective on how well your site ranks, you may want to anticipate this to change in the near future.

Although informally, Googler John Mueller said that structured markup is something that might be integrated into Google’s ranking algorithm could be in the near future. He continues in the company’s assertion that it is currently not using it for ranking purposes but there is a high likelihood of that Google has an intention of using it in the future. See more about this at Search Engine Land's post on this topic. Or see the video Google Hangout below on his thoughts about this.

Avoid Google Guessing What Your Site Is About

So how would structured data improve the experience of people who use Google to search for information on the Internet? In Mueller’s view, structured markup is integrated into a website to make it easier for their search engines to understand its content.

If someone is browsing for information about a car on the Internet and Google happens to 'know’ pages which are marked up with data for the same car, it will bring up these pages assuming that they will be useful to the querying user. Unlike what they currently do, structured data markup eliminates chances that the search algorithm will guess that a certain page is about the car for which a user needs information.

Better Answers to Search Queries

Mueller however continued to assert that they will not favor pages with great markup technicality at the expense of pages which carry useful content. You might want to recall that useful content in Google’s perspective points out to that which gives the best answer to a web visitor's queries.

All in all, it does not hurt to be in the light. If they are going to throw in structured data, you would better begin tuning up your pages else you will be caught unawares. Think about your competitors; if they have got wind about this development, they are probably adding structured markup to their pages or planning about doing it soon.

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5 Essential Forms of Schema Markup That Aid SEO

Schema markup and structured data can help you send the right SEO signals about your content and business in general. Perhaps you've heard that leveraging schema or any other kind of structured data is useful when you want to make search engines understand your content.

Surprisingly, only minority of SEO and Internet marketing agencies are leveraging Schema. However, using schema markup also does other things like increasing your search visibility through featured snippets, rich snippets, and knowledge graph results. Therefore, it emerges that structuring data in your site will help you create search engine-friendly signals, ultimately boosting your ranking.

In fact, according to Google's John Mueller, Google could be adding schema markup as a ranking factor. Therefore, it's important that you understand the different elements of schema markup and how they influence SEO.

Here are 5 different forms of schema markup and what they do to help your SEO efforts.

Breadcrumbs Schema Markup

In this markup, you will generate breadcrumbs rich snippets on Google results to increase your site's click-through-rate. For instance, if someone was looking for information about a specific subject and they saw an article with several links highlighted in blue just below the first few sentences, they would definitely click the title. Breadcrumbs markup make it easier for organic visitors to identify what they are looking for even before visiting your site.

Video Schema Markup

These days, videos are important than anything else. You might be having great videos that teach on how to perform certain tasks. But because they are deeply embedded into your site's content, it will be hard for the visitor to locate them straightaway. You'd need to rank well for those videos in order to receive traffic.

However, if Google displayed video rich snippets alongside the title of your post, it would be easier for the visitor to click that title. It also helps to favor your site when it comes to ranking in Google video search.

Webite Schema Markup

Have you ever searched the name of a website on Google only for the SERPs to return a search box and some other links below it? This is what we're talking about here. It's basically a search box feature meant to enhance your site's homepage on Google. However, to use this feature for website optimization, you must have an existing site search in your website to activate this element.

Product & Offer Schema Markup

This feature enables ecommerce SEOs to leverage schema to list information about their products in the SERPs. This may include price as well as status information. As for the product schema, only the name property will be needed. However, for the offer schema, the price and currency properties will be needed.

Rating Schema Markup

This element can be used by e-commerce sites, local businesses, restaurant and other entities to show average star ratings for a particular product or service. If an item has received multiple ratings so the number of stars are averaged, an aggregate value will be calculated, and in this case, the site owner will need to use the AggregateRating element of schema to display the relevant ratings.

Those are the different forms of schema that a site owner must be familiar with. As it had earlier been insinuated, structuring data in the SERPs is going to be a priority in the eyes of Google. You don't want to be left behind.

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