Search engine optimization is important for every business, but there are different methods necessary for local businesses than those with no brick-and-mortar location. Local businesses need to attract local customers, and they can do so by employing best local SEO tactics. This helps get potential customers who are actively looking for certain products and services in front of your door.
Let’s say you own an interior decorating service in Dallas. When someone searches for local interior design services, you want your business to appear high in search engine results, alongside a map with your location and contact information for your business. To truly get the most out of SEO, local SEO is a must for your overall marketing strategy.
Schema markup is one of the most powerful languages for SEO, and yet is one of the least utilized. This is because many local businesses aren’t aware of how it works or how to implement it. When properly coded, it can help get more visitors to your website and into your store, and enhances the SEO plan.
Understanding How Schema Markup Works
Appealing to search engines is imperative in today’s digital age. One study found that 93% of search engine experiences begin with an online search. And search engines are still the number one driver of traffic to websites. Schema markups are the rich snippets of contextual information that appear below the page title in SERPs. They make it easier to identify and categorize important information on your website to streamline the search process.
Schema.org was created to bridge the gap between businesses and various search engines because, at the end of the day, the user experience is what’s most important to all parties. Search engines want to provide the most accurate details, while businesses want to appeal to potential customers. Schema was created as an answer to that.
Still, while major businesses have been quick to adapt to various SEO tactics, local businesses aren’t always on par with the most recent and effective trends. Local businesses working hard to get more customers into their stores should utilize schema markups for SEO to make it easy for search engines to display important information.
While there’s no conclusive evidence to support whether the markup language can help improve rankings, as previously mentioned, it does directly affect the user experience and can lead to higher retention and conversions. We’ll discuss more about how the schema markup influences local SEO in the next passage.
How Schema Markup Helps Local SEO
Studies have shown that when a consumer searches for a product or service locally, they are much more likely to make a purchase within just a few hours. Unlike advertising and PPC, local SEO appeals to individuals who are actively seeking the type of offerings you have. They come to you, rather than you coming to them. Schema.org can pull different types of information, such as business hours, location, reviews, testimonials, and even menus.
It can siphon this information directly from Contact and footer pages of your site. Keep in mind that the markup isn’t displayed on the live version of the website, so it essentially pulls back-end information for users. This means that not all information you make available to search engines is displayed on your website. You have complete control over what’s shown to engines, and to website visitors.
Show Off Your Testimonials
Customer reviews are important for any business. In fact, a BrightLocal study found that 88% of consumers use reviews to determine the quality of local businesses. Furthermore, 85% of consumers read up to ten reviews before making a final decision. This demonstrates exactly how important reviews and testimonials are to your potential customers. When you properly use the schema markup, you can put your best foot forward and display them to consumers searching for businesses like yours. It locates reviews across different platforms, and shows them on SERPs.
Publicize Your Events
For businesses hosting events, it can also be helpful. It’s not unusual for small businesses to have difficult publicizing their events. Event scan help build customer loyalty, but finding the right ideas can be troublesome (check out this guide for small business event ideas). Fortunately, having a schema markup properly coded into your site can help push your event to the public. It helps search engines display event info in search results, and the more specific the markup, the more tailored results will be. You can use a schema code for all types of business events, from charities to product demonstrations to workshops and meetings.