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The Importance Of Adding Local Markup To Your Site

 

By now, you have probably already heard about rich snippets.  If you have, then you know how important they are as well as the role they play in your site’s seo and marketing efforts and ultimately, its overall success.  If you haven’t heard about rich snippets, then you’d better get with it!

Rich snippets are awarded by Google as a result of properly-implemented structured markup to your site like Schema.org.  If awarded, rich snippets appear in search engine results pages (SERPs) in the form of extra information are displayed including prices, ratings, reviews, hours of operation, availability of products, and much more.  Rich snippets add credibility to a site and search engines seem to be favoring them heavily over sites that don’t have them.

For any website or storefront, especially smaller/local ones, it’s very important to stay competitive.  The best way to do this is by adding Schema.org markup to your site and its products.  There are quite a few “properties” to choose from, but there are definitely a few that are more important than others.  For your local business, try adding Schema.org markup for hours of operation (“openingHours”), payments acccepted (“paymentAccepted”), price ranges (“priceRange”), and reviews (“itemReviewed”) if applicable.

In a recent article by Search Engine Land, they referenced a 2013 study completed by Digital Marketing Works (DMW) that showed that the quantity and quality of Google reviews is the “single most important variable determining inclusion and ranking” within Google’s image carousel.  Their findings held true in local markets as well as larger, metropolitan areas and markets.  What this means is that if your site has implemented local markup and has been been awarded rich snippets, it not only urges people to rate and review your business, but Google ranks your website accordingly, which generally means a higher ranking.  And, the more ratings and reviews you have, the better chance you have of being placed higher in the image carousel.  But, for now, let’s focus solely on the local markup itself.

Here is an example of a rich snippet; what the result of proper Schema.org markup looks like.  This particular example shows the restaurant’s rating and review count, address, and includes links to the menu as well as contact information:

Adding Local Markup To Your site

Glancing at this example, you can see just how detailed Schema.org markup can be.  And that’s a good thing.  Having markup that looks like that can work wonders in the SERPs while drawing the attention of internet users to your website.

It’s been proven time and time again that internet users are more likely to click on links that have rich snippets.  Getting users to click on your site is the key and ultimately, having rich snippets results in higher click-through rates which more than likely increase sales.  For local businesses, it’s wise to start positioning your site now to be able to compete with bigger name stores in the online world.

 

Google

Rich Snippets and Ecommerce Sites

 

In this age of semantic search where everything is about quality, relevance, and user experience, rich snippets are like gold to an Ecommerce site.

Rich snippets benefit websites by standing out in search results and by appealing to the human eye, which usually drives more traffic.  Although using semantic markup (think Schema.org or Good Relations) doesn’t necessarily give your site’s ranking a boost directly, click through rates generally improve (typical of sites with rich snippets) and rankings may also improve.  Search engines reward sites that attract clicks as well.

Rich snippets are the result of properly-implemented semantic markup on a site and its products.  When markup like Schema.org is added, it tells search engines exactly what’s on that particular page.  It verifies information making it faster and easier for search engines to crawl your site.  At the same time, trust is also increased in your website as search engines feel that they can authenticate your website, its pages and its products.

With semantic search becoming the norm now in all major search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing), semantic markup is increasing in importance as well as popularity among online businesses.  Schema.org markup is being implemented by hundreds of big-name stores and Good Relations has been used by online retailers like Overstock.com, Sears, and Best Buy.  Because of this, they are reaping the many benefits of having rich snippets.

The bottom line and most important thing to remember is that implementing semantic markup on your website looks great to not only search engines but to Internet users as well.  It’s also good to remind yourself that in order to receive rich snippets, semantic markup must be implemented.  In the very near future, it’s assumed that adding markup to your website and its products will be expected and those sites that refuse to do so, may be penalized in the form of losing search engine favor.

 

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