Schema markup, or vocabulary, is a type of markup that's added to web pages. The code is a unique semantic vocabulary that applies itemscope and itemtype tags to page content.

Schema markup helps improve SEO. It contextualises content so that it is indexed differently and easily understood. It informs search engines what your data means and what your website is about, and presents this information as rich results, or rich snippets.

Schema markup is applied in one of three formats:

  • RDFa: Resource Description Framework attributes
  • Microdata: Informs search engines what the page elements are. It contextualises pieces of content so that search engines can surface them in search results
  • JSON-LD: JavaScript Object Notation. Encodes linked data

JSON-LD is the simplest to implement. The markup can be easily added to the HTML document, instead of having to wrap the markup around HTML elements (like Microdata). It converts unstructured data into readable structured data.

Unstructured and structured data
Example of unstructured and structured data
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Getting started with schema markup

Determine which schemas you'd like for your website. The most commonly used can be viewed at Schema.org. The schemas could be Organisation, Person, Place, Product etc.

Schema markup, an example of a how schema markup snippet is displayed in Google  
An example of a Codehouse schema snippet

When the schema types have been selected they need to be added to the web page. As mentioned, JSON-LD is the easiest to implement.

Implementing schema markup

Below are some application options for schema markup:

  • Use Google Tag Manager to insert JSON-LD. This process adds schema markup to the website without having to touch the code. Some JavaScript adjustments may be required for desired results. For example inserting a JS tag that in turn inserts a JSON-LD tag
  • Assign your development team or technology partner to add JSON-LD directly to the page source
  • If you have a Sitecore website, ask your development team or Sitecore partner to create Schema/JSON-LD items/fields. These items/fields will inject the vocabulary directly into the page. These items will also be accessible to content editors with Administrator access should they need to be updated. The implementation options are:
  • Add a field called, for instance, ‘Schema’ to the Home node. This field will include the JSON-LD code that is injected into the page
  • Create a ‘Schema’ item in a Global or Settings folder. The item is configured to inject the code into the page

At Codehouse our development team has applied schema markup to a number of Sitecore websites. If you want to find out more about how schema markup can help with your SEO, get in touch.

Test whether your website contains structured data.