Behind every powerful law firm lies a great legal marketing and effective SEO strategy consisting of several intricate tools and techniques that work in tandem to improve your website’s visibility in search engines. Schema markup is one of those tools.
According to Search Engine Watch, pages with schema markup can rank four positions higher in search engines. Despite this remarkable discovery, less than 1 percent of companies have incorporated schema markup into their website–automatically providing those that do with a serious advantage.
What is schema markup?
Schema markup, or schema tags, is a semantic vocabulary of code (or microdata) added to the HTML within the pages on your site. Once added, it shares important information with search engines like Google, allowing it to match search intent and enhance the appearance of your page on SERPs by making rich snippets more appealing. In fact, Google shows results containing rich snippets for more than 36 percent of keyword queries examined.
Rich Snippets Explored
While there is no evidence to prove that rich snippets or schema markup itself has a direct impact on search engine rankings, there are several obvious indirect benefits, such as:
More Relevant Results
The easier it is for Google to read your website’s content, the more relevant search queries your law firm can show up for.
Placement at the top of Google search results can mean more brand recognition for your law firm.
An Eye-Catching Display
A superior user experience can be beneficial to your lawyer SEO and your bottom line.
What does schema markup do?
The microdata used in schema markup labels large blocks of similar content, allowing search engines to grasp your law firm’s website information faster and easier. As a result of knowing a website’s content better, Google can display it better in SERPs. This makes search engine optimization for lawyers more effective and helps keep law firms competitive online.
Is schema right for my law firm?
You’re probably wondering if schema markup could be a great edition to your local SEO for law firms strategy. If you are interested in possibly implementing schema, before getting started, check and see if your law firm meets the criteria below:
- Your law firm’s website pages are already ranking well
- Your law firm’s content meets the requirements for rich results (view the full list of guidelines here)
- You’ve already developed a strong digital presence for your law firm
What is schema markup used for?
There are hundreds of schema categories and they have several uses. Commonly, schema markup is used for:
- Local Businesses
Typically, search engines struggle to differentiate the price of a product from a 5-star review. Schema markup makes it easier for search engines to differentiate the two and in turn, it can provide users with the information they are looking for in any category.
Schema markup vs. structured data
Schema markup or structured data, which one can boost my lawyer SEO the most? With a simple Google search, you will see how the two are often used interchangeably, however, a little research will reveal that there’s a slight difference between the two terms.
The term structured data applies to code within your site’s HTML that provides information about a webpage and the entity responsible for managing it. Structured data helps interpret this language and depending on how this information is encoded, it can take some effort for search engines to decode this data and relay it to search engines.
Schema markup is the result of Schema.org, a joint effort between Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex, which can be defined as a form of structured data that uses a standardized set of defined values and classes to categorize on-page content. The easier it is for search engines to read and understand your content, the more likely search engines like Google will reward you by ranking your website on the first page for relevant searches.
How can schema improve lawyer SEO?
Get Into Google’s Knowledge Graph
Google is the authority in search engines, which can only mean results that appear in its knowledge graph can receive a great deal of visibility. A knowledge graph may appear as a large listing to the right of your search results, or at the top of the search results page and this placement can help naturally increase traffic to your law firm’s website. While schema markup does not guarantee that your page will appear in the knowledge graph, it is one of few factors that Google looks for to determine its eligibility.
Improve Your Click-Through Rate
With an increase in visibility, an improved click-through rate is sure to follow. High click-through rates are a good indication that users are finding your website and the content is relevant. Since Google considers the click-through rate as a factor in its algorithm, the more clicks your law firm’s website receives, the higher up it can propel in search engines.
Enhance the User Experience
Since schema markup considers intent, the results displayed enable users to make more informed decisions. In fact, 2 in 5 adults use voice search at least once a day and results for search queries conducted by voice are powered by schema markup. In addition to having a seamless law firm website design, little details like these that help shape the user experience is one of several ways your law firm can get the most out of schema markup.
How do I add schema to my law firm website?
Are you completely sold on the idea of using schema markup, but still unsure on how to add it? We’ve got you covered. There are a variety of methods you can use to add schema markup to your law firm’s website:
- Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper – This is a great tool to help guide you on how to create schema markup for your website. Get started by selecting your schema type of choice and proceed by adding your website’s URL.
- WordPress plugins – If you have a WordPress website, there are several plugins available that can help you add schema markup. Some of the most popular options are Schema Pro, WP Review Pro, and Schema App Structured Data.
- Coding manually – Schema markup can be added manually to both, an HTML website and a WordPress website.
Before the page goes live, don’t forget to check your work using a schema markup testing tool.
Common Schema Markup Terms You Should Know
Knowledge graph – It is a knowledge base of entities and the relationships between them. It allows users to get more relevant search results, and enables SEO to generate more traffic to relevant, optimized content. A knowledge graph enables search engines like Google to better understand search intent, accommodate voice searches, generate more brand visibility and authority.
Microdata – Microdata is a set of tags embedded within an HTML code that works to analyze web pages and makes annotating HTML elements with machine-readable tags much easier.
Organic search results – There are listings on search engine results pages that appear because of their relevance to the search terms, as opposed to their being advertisements.
Rich snippets – These are the extra bits of information that appear next to results on a search page. This can include reviews, prices, related links, location information, an embedded Wikipedia article, etc.
SERPs – Search engine results page, also known as (“SERPs” or “SERP”), are Google’s response to a user’s search query. SERPs commonly include organic search results, paid Google Ads results, Featured Snippets, Knowledge Graphs and video results.
Structured data – Schema markup is a form of structured data. It is a standardized way to provide information about a web page and helps search engines like Google to better understand what your content is about. There are three main formats you can use to structure data: JSON-LD, Microdata, or RDFa.
Web crawlers – This is defined as a program designed to crawl and index content on the web. Google and other search engines use Crawlers to create a library of pages on the internet which can then be sorted using search queries.
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