If you’ve ever asked, “What am I looking at?” when wandering through an art museum, you know that sometimes it helps to have additional context. Humans aren’t the only ones who need a little extra help. Search engines do too, which is why you should use schema for WordPress.
Schema is a form of microdata that helps search engines understand information about your business, products, or content. Keep reading to learn what schema is, how it helps your site, and the options for using schema for WordPress.
Schema is like a label that tells search engines what type of information is on a webpage. For example, if you run an eCommerce website, you’d use product schema on your website to identify the product name, price, brand, and other details.
Schema data follows a standard structure set by Schema.org, an online standards community formed by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex.
The Schema.org website lists the multitudes of schemas and their options. These are the most common types of schema used on WordPress websites:
- CreativeWork. Use this schema to help define the type of work and other details like author, date created, and copyright information. This category of schema also includes specific options for defining info about specific types of content like TV shows, books, articles, and games.
- Event. From festivals to sports or even a sale, this category of schema lets search engines better index events you list on your website.
- Organization. Use this schema to tell search engines about what type of business or organization your site is for.
- Place. This schema is for physical locations such as brick-and-mortar stores. The place schema also helps restaurants, hotels, and local businesses ensure search engines have the right information about their location.
- Product. This schema class is the most critical for eCommerce success. You can define basic details as well as info about price and availability.
- Intangible. This catch-all category includes additional details or information about website elements. For example, you could use a breadcrumb schema as a part of your navigation.
Correctly adding schema to your WordPress website is essential for search engine optimization. Building a website without a schema is like giving someone a map without a legend. They can probably figure out what all the symbols mean to get from Point A to Point B, but it’s going to take more effort than it would have if you’d given them a key. Your website already includes all the information about your business or products. The schema is the legend that lets search engines know where and what each data point is.
Adding schema to a site should boost its search engine rankings by making the info easier for the search engines to digest, but the real way in which schema supercharges your SEO is with rich results.
Rich results on Google include additional features beyond the standard link and description. Examples include product listings, event info, and book details.
In this rich results example of a search for a toy truck, the grid of products with prices, ratings, and photos is an example of rich results. Google aggregates those listings based on product schema. If you’re not using schema, Google won’t know to include the listing from your store as an option.
One of the biggest benefits of being included in rich results is that these types of listings frequently appear at the top of the page, as seen in this example of events listings.
Examples and Formats for Schema
When adding schema to a website, you can pick from three data formats: microdata, RFDa, and JSON-LD.
In this example from Schema.org, we’ll examine how to add schema for an event listing. Here’s what our website markup looks like without any schema:
Microdata embeds the schema inline in your site’s HTML. You can see in the example where it says itemprop=”, which defines the type of schema data that span contains.
RDFa stands for Resource Description Framework in Attributes and is another option for adding schema inline. It uses “property=” to denote the type of data.
Using Schema for WordPress
To add schema to a WordPress site, you will need to do it manually, with your theme, or using a plugin.
Adding Schema to WordPress Sites Manually
You could manually add schema to pages with a custom script block or by editing your theme’s template files. This option is pretty cumbersome and is probably best for more advanced users.
Adding Schema with Your Theme
Your WordPress theme dictates much of the final markup of your web pages. Some themes might include defining some data inline, like product attributes on a product page. Check your theme’s documentation to see if it includes schema options.
Adding Schema with a Plugin
The most popular method for adding schema to a WordPress website is to use a plugin. You can find dedicated plugins for schema, but odds are it’s probably already a part of your SEO plugin, such as Yoast. Begin by looking at the documentation for your SEO plugin to determine the best course for implementing schema for your site.
Another way plugins help with schema could be with specialized plugins like event calendars. If you’re using a calendar plugin, it might automatically add event schema to your listings.
How to Tell If Your WordPress Site Uses Schema
If you’re unsure if your site has schema or if you configured it correctly, you can use these two tools for testing:
- Google’s Rich Results Test. Want to make sure your products, events, and other details show up in rich results? Use the Rich Results Test tool from Google to get a preview of how your site looks in rich results. The tool also tells you if you’re missing any vital details that would exclude you from achieving this coveted result.
- Schema.org Markup Validator. Use the Schema Markup Validator tool for a quick check to see what schema is included in your site and view any errors.
Optimize Your Site for Success
Using schema is just one way to improve your site’s search engine results and performance. Another way is to ensure your site is fast and secure. That starts with finding the right managed WordPress host.
Schedule a demo today to learn more about how Pressable makes running your site easier and delivers the best and fastest experience.
Jessica serves as the Director of Operations for Pressable and spends her days focused on creating the best managed WordPress hosting experience possible. She's been using WordPress since 2008 and has been serving in WordPress-focused roles since 2010. When she's not working, you can find her spending time with her family, serving in her community, watching hilarious dog videos online, or brewing a pitcher of iced tea.