In this podcast, Guy Alvarez discusses schema markup and how it can be useful for enhancing your law firm’s search engine optimization efforts.
What is Schema?
When schema is added to web pages, it enhances rich snippets. Adding schema markup or microdata enables search engines to have a better understanding of what is being discussed on a page. As a result, the search engine is able to display your content in a more relevant way. You want to add schema tags around certain content on your website in order to directly tell search engines what the content is about. For example, most law firm websites have contact information like names, addresses, and phone numbers. If the information doesn’t have a schema tag, a search engine won’t necessarily know that the series of numbers is actually a phone number or that the address is a place.
Why is Schema Important?
Most of the value in schema tags lies in SEO. When it comes to SEO, law firms want to rank as highly as possible while also enhancing the experience of site visitors. When visitors don’t find what they’re looking for on your law firm’s site, they typically leave the site quickly which results in a bounce. A high bounce rate tells search engines that your web content doesn’t match the visitor’s search term. However, when you add schema tags to your content, you’re able to provide more information for search engines and visitors looking for particular information.
In the past when searching on Google, the search results page would only contain paid ads at the top and then the organic results below. However, now there are more types of results that can come up. These are called featured snippets. Featured snippets are Google’s attempt to better provide information to common searches in a digestible manner directly on the search results page without making searchers click through to the corresponding site. While this does make search easier, it can be troublesome for law firms that want users to click through to their site. Due to the shift towards featured snippets, it’s important for law firms to try and hold this coveted spot. To do this, the key is creating highly structured content for your site.
Using Schema for Law Firm Websites
Schema and structured data can be used to markup all types of web content including events, products, places, or services (you can find a full list of schema markup options here on schema.org). For example, law firms can use schema to markup attorney bios in order to make sure they’re ranking for the right keywords on search engines. If your law firm produces blog posts, schema tags can be used to markup this content in order for it to get picked up more easily on search engines. Of course, you should also ensure that your law firm’s contact information uses schema properly in order to enhance its position.
Another useful type of schema for law firms is the “HowTo” schema. This type can be easily incorporated into informational law firm blog posts. For example, if a firm specializing in patent law writes a blog post titled “How to File a Patent” describing the process in an organized way and then uses schema markup, there’s a high probability that this post will rank fairly high or even as a rich snippet.
Schema and structured data will have a significant positive impact on your law firm’s rankings. Search results with more extensive rich snippets will have a better click through rate which signals to Google that the content is of higher quality. If you want to test and optimize schema for your web pages, there’s a great tool from Google that helps you create structured data for that page. If you’re thinking about creating a blog or page based on schema markup, this tool will help you create and optimize sample pages and eventually launch them.