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With so much content to process, search engines prefer data on a website to be structured in a way that helps easily identify and understand your content.

With schema markup, marketers have hundreds of item properties to base their optimizations on.

So which ones are used the most?

Enterprise SEO platform BrightEdge did some research by looking at the highest ranking pages in these industries:

  • Education
  • Travel
  • Finance
  • Home Improvement
  • Healthcare

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As it turns out, the most popular schema type varies by platform. Yet another case of “it depends” in SEO.

For example, BrightEdge found that, in education, FAQPage was most prevalent.

But in Travel and Finance, BreadcrumbList was the most prevalent schema type.

Meanwhile, Article was the most used schema type in Home Improvement.

And in Healthcare,  Organization schema was the most prevalent.

Prevalent Schema Types by IndustryImage via BrightEdge SearchIQ Smart Schema, August 2021

Schema, Google & Rankings

Google has said that structured data has no impact on ranking. Repeatedly.

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However, Google’s John Mueller has also said that schema helps Google better understand entities on a page, as a way to understand whether a page is relevant result for a search query.

So, in that way, schema usage may not directly help you rank higher, but it has indirect benefits.

Many of the highest ranking pages in these sectors use schema. But that doesn’t mean schema is the reason they are ranking on Page 1.

Mistaking correlation for causation in SEO happens – a lot. So always be wary of falling into that trap whenever you read about correlation.

Regardless, it is always interesting to analyze what top ranking pages are doing – as the information may lead you to discover big opportunities for greater visibility and success.

Schema Pointers

Following on their research, BrightEdge provided Search Engine Journal with three tips for how to use schema properly if you want to get the most benefit for your brand:

  • Be deliberate. Sometimes it’s important not to mark every single thing up. Success lies in identifying what schema types really matters for your market and emphasize those, so you don’t confuse crawlers on the intentionality of the site
  • While more and more schema types get released, there are a handful of must-haves such as breadcrumb lists, organization, and article mark-ups that are actually widely used.
  • Always be on the look for new types as Google will make changes and continually look at new ways to get context and entities on a page.

Note: The data for this research was provided exclusively to Search Engine Journal by BrightEdge, which also looked at some ranking correlations. You can read more about those here

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Featured Image Credit: shutter_o/Shutterstock



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