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Types of Semantic Markup

 

Semantic markup uses HTML to reinforce the meaning of information on webpages rather than simply defining the presentation or look.  There are quite a few actual semantic markups that you can implement on your site and its products. Here are a list of some of the most popular and important to implement if you are thinking about taking your website to the next level:

 

  1. 1Authorship Markup.  This Google specialty allows a personal photo to appear with pages that an author wrote along with the website as listed in the search engine results.  For individual users, it’s recommended that they utilize the “rel=author” markup, while it’s recommended that businesses utilize the “rel=publisher” markup.  You’ll want to set up reciprocating links between your site and your Google+ business page if you haven’t already done so.
  2. 2Schema.org as markup for local business.  Schema.org provides semantic markup that is great for listing local businesses.  With it, you can markup addresses, contact information, hours of operation, etc.  These are all displayed in the search results under your site’s actual result.
  3. 3Testimonials/Reviews.  By providing testimonials and/or reviews, you will often persuade visitors into becoming customers.  This kind-of “humanizes” your site within search results and gets people interested in your site and they are likely to click through.  This can be a great tool to help qualify buyers as well.
  4. 4Events.  Consider adding markup like updated and recurring events.  Again, this will prompt users to notice your site in the search results and even take action when they see an upcoming date.  Google uses their Data Highlighter for Events tool to help less-than-savvy webmasters implement this HTML markup.
  5. 5Coupons/Discounts/Offers.  Internet users are always looking for a deal.  If you are looking to add this markup, consider using the “Offer” markup on Schema.org.  If you consistently offer discounts to your customers, people will gradually notice and will most likely return to your site knowing that you offer “fresh” discounts.
  6. 6Recipes.  Thanks to social media sites like Pinterest, recipes are more popular than ever it seems.  Internet searches for recipes number in the millions and it seems like everyone is looking for fast and easy ways to make delicious dishes.  An interesting note: just because your site isn’t about food doesn’t mean you can’t post a recipe.  Get creative and suggest a recipe depending on the time of year including seasons and holidays.  This will undoubtedly turn into “likes,” shares,” “re-tweets,” and additional links, all boosting your site’s visibility.
  7. 7Products.  Marking up your site’s products allows your listings to show prices, ratings, reviews, availability, and more.  And, using this type of markup has also been known to increase click through rate, which in turn, generally means higher conversion rates.
  8. 8Meta Descriptions.  This is an oldie but goodie.  Search engines always love it when they can read clear, concise meta descriptions that utilize proper keywords found in content as well as title tags.  Quality meta descriptions offer proof to search engines that they can trust the content of a webpage.
  9. 9Facebook’s “Open Graph.  Facebook uses the “Open Graph” protocol which helps to ensure that webpages are presented well within Facebook search.  It is recommended that you incorporate the Open Graph for local businesses as well.  Obviously, you need to set up a Facebook account/page for your business to do complete this step.
  10. 10Twitter’s “Bootstrap.”  Although semantic markup is technically not achievable by using “Bootstrap” alone, the framework is built in the “LESS” (similar to CSS) format which, when the proper files are downloaded, adds HTML code to your Twitter’s stylesheet, allowing semantic markup on your Twitter pages to be viewed and indexed by search engines.

In order for your site to keep up with current search trends and compete in the growing world of semantic search, it’s very important that you implement semantic markup on your site and its products. Having semantic markup makes it easier for Google and other search engines to organize as well as verify your webpages, while providing a search listing that is visually appealing to internet users.  For a refresher course and a detailed explanation of what is semantic markup, feel free to browse through our site and find the webpage of the same name.

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