If you feel like you have invested a lot of time and energy into SEO and are still not able to outcompete your competitors, the answer could lie in Schema Markup.
Schema will take your webpages to new heights in search rankings.
According to Google, Schema Markup is the standardised format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content. Essentially, it is a type of tag in your website’s code used to better inform search engines about its content.
Schema needs to be applied strategically, identifying the purpose behind it. For example, if you want to gain customers within a certain local area, Local Schema would be important to add. Similarly, FAQ Schema needs to include questions which are linked to queries with commercial intent, rather than purely informational.
It also needs to be accurate. We have seen many WordPress websites using the Yoast plugin to automatically generate Schema. However, in a lot of cases, this was not using correct data, and there have been cases of it using the incorrect field to populate structured data.
Why should you add Schema to your webpages?
There are many benefits to adding Schema to your content. Ultimately, it helps search engines have a better semantic understanding of your webpage, which will bring SEO improvements. It can also help your content appear as rich snippets, which gives you more visibility on the results page. This will all help lead to more traffic to your website, more conversions and increased business generation. Some of the main advantages include:
1. Google will understand your content better
Google uses machine learning to interpret what your content is about. When someone puts a query into Google Search, the algorithm will try and match those words to relevant pages which best relate to it. Structured data is a standardised vocabulary that helps this process, and as such it makes search engines more efficient through presenting your webpages to the most relevant users. This means that traffic directed to your website is more likely to have commercial intent.
This was reinforced in Google’s podcast, Structured Data, What’s it all about? which emphasised how machine learning and structured data complement each other. Given that machine learning is the basis for AI, anything that you can do to prepare for more AI integrated into Google’s systems gives you a better chance of the search engine understanding your brand.
2. You can change how your brand appears
Schema Markup gives you control around how you want to present your brand, meaning you can shape its image. You can choose which Schema you apply to each webpage, and in doing so, you inform Google of essential information about your business.
If you don’t have structured data, you are relying on algorithms to interpret your firm’s details, which could lead to inaccuracies, and takes the power out of your hands. By implementing Schema, you reduce the chance of AI hallucinations, occurring when information is wrongly interpreted leading to a misrepresentation of your brand.
For example, if you have different pricing brackets for different versions of the same service, the algorithm may not be able to differentiate the two, leading to your brand being presented inaccurately. Schema will prevent these discrepancies.
3. Rich snippets help you to dominate SERPs more
If your tested Schema Markup is valid (you can check this at validator.schema.org), Google may present your web page as a rich snippet. Normally, results on a search engine results page (SERP) will have the URL, meta title, and meta description. With Schema added, Google can add short paragraphs, images, or FAQ dropdowns to your result making them stand out to the user.
There are more than 32 different types of rich results, including local business content, FAQs, and details of a person. This could help lawyers build a personal brand, which will also help with E-E-A-T for law firms.
One of the most important snippets is reviews, showing the average number of stars and number of reviews received by a business. They can help users trust you as a reliable and efficient firm, leading to more visitors to your page.
4. It increases your ROI
Schema markup will improve your business results. Using Google Search Console, you will be able to track the performance of the page before and after adding Schema. Some of the possible increased ROI from pages include:
- Your content being presented to users who are actively looking for your service: This will improve non-brand organic traffic as users are more likely to be interested in your services.
- Your results will be more appealing to users: You will build trust with prospective clients through having reviews shown in snippets and can showcase your USPs more clearly.
- Local businesses can really benefit: Through adding local business Schema to your pages, you can improve your visibility to clients in the area.
5. It helps with recruitment
You can incorporate Schema into your job listings, which will allow them to feature under Google jobs. It can help you attract the best candidates. The best of these snippets will appear at the top of SERPs, which means that people searching for your job listing will see your opportunity first.
6. It can help create a better content strategy
You may already have an extensive SEO strategy for content, making sure it is keyword rich and covering the topic thoroughly to align with on-page SEO tactics. Structured data can help create new ideas for content to stand out from the competitors. It adds another angle to your law firm’s content marketing strategy, and you can view your content from the perspective of rich snippets. For example, if you want to add review snippets, you could add previous client feedback onto your webpage.
Looking at Google’s Structured Data Guidelines, you can see what is required to ensure that your Schema functions, from the formats accepted, to the completeness and location. You can then incorporate the results you want in the SERP into your content plan.
7. It helps facilitate the future of search
Recent technological advancements have allowed people to use their voice to search for queries, using devices such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. 72% of people have used this method of search through a personal digital assistant, meaning they are often using more conversational tones to ask search engines for results. Whilst someone may type ‘Conveyancing Lawyer Stockport’ into Search, they may ask Siri ‘Show me a good Conveyancing Lawyer which is nearby’.
Through applying Speakable Schema to your webpages, you are opening yourself up to this new channel and as such a wider audience. You should aim for position zero, or the featured snippet, to maximise your results. This will show above other results.
At Cure Digital, we are constantly innovating in the Schema landscape, seeking new ways for your webpage to become visible to more people.
Schema and position zero: how will this help with new business generation?
When Schema is added strategically, you could appear at position zero, which is the snippet that appears before the first result on the results page – including paid results. It has been noted that 12% of search results feature a position zero, so it could have a profound impact on your business. It has also been proven to increase Click-Through Rate (CTR). HubSpot found that when one of their webpages moved to position zero, their CTR increased by over 114%. Position zero is especially important for voice search, as this is what the digital assistant will read out to the user after they have asked a query.
To reach position zero, you should couple bespoke Schema with on-page SEO techniques. This should include long form content, which contains over 1000 words, but ensure that this is keyword rich and relevant to the service that you are offering. Natural Language Optimisation should also be used which will help the search engine algorithm to carry out semantic analysis. The aim of this is to better understand what your content is about, which will ultimately help your content be seen by more relevant customers. Ultimately, more targeted traffic landing on your website increases the likelihood of them converting, resulting in more clients for your business.
What to address in a featured snippet
There is a variety of different featured snippets, from bulleted lists and tables to videos. The most common, however, is paragraph snippets with the primary source of these being blogs or articles. Generally, you need to answer the Where, Who, Why, When and What. This is because questions covering these points in your law niche are the most frequently searched queries. Whereas, if the question is too complex, Google will skip straight to the results and won’t show a snippet. So, your snippet should be simple enough that it can be noted in a short paragraph but complex enough that it needs an entire page to write about fully. The way to find out new topics in your speciality is to enter your keywords into a rank tracking software and put in each of the 5 W’s. Then, put terms related to your area into the tool and a lot of suggestions should come up. Alternatively, the ‘people also ask’ section on Google can give you some good suggestions.
The short piece of text, usually 40-60 characters, should be concise and easy to understand. Information should also be factually correct, with the rest of the webpage being of a high quality. Google will assess this according to its Search Quality Rater Guidelines to decide who gets the top spot, and integrating different types of specific Schema can help Google to understand your page better.
We are innovators in the Schema landscape
Our team is always innovating and looking for new ways to enhance your digital presence. We are currently applying advanced Schema to client websites which will ultimately increase their visibility on search engines.
With over 15 years of experience, we are best placed to develop and carry out your digital marketing strategy. We will take time to research your brand, business goals and values, and will adapt our approach accordingly.
We are reliable, responsive, and professional, and will give you regular updates on the progress. Being results-driven, we know what works and what doesn’t, and you can count on us to take your business to new heights.
No law firm is the same, which is why we will tailor the techniques that we use to your specific needs. Whether you are a small or large company, get in touch today for your free consultation.