Published On: Fri, Mar 15th, 2013

Appear on search results as rich snippets by taking advantage of semantic markup & microdata

Does your website take advantage of semantic markup? If not, you may be committing one of the most under looked SEO failures. Semantic markup is the code that’s written to define the context of the content enclosed within it.

Using semantic markup does not guarantee your website will improve its search result position, but it will increase the chance of the information on your website appear on search results as rich snippets, now that’s big.

These listings are more noticeable to users; hence they may receive more clicks, and have the potential of a higher click-through rate (CTR), which many suspect is now a heavily weighted factor in ranking. reports that just 2.5 percent of the top 10,000 websites were using Microdata and just 1.2 of the top 1 million sites as of mid-Feb. 2013.

Adding Microdata and semantic markup on your website can be overwhelming and getting started is always the hardest part. There is obviously and opportunity here especially for the benefit of organic/natural search marketing.

Implementing semantic markup requires some moderate-to-advanced coding skills.

Below are uses of semantic markup that your website should seriously consider including be it products, events, reviews, testimonials, video etc.

Meta Descriptions?
Meta descriptions were actually one of the initial uses of semantic markup in digital history. With meta description playing a dominant role in the efforts of SEOs for many, many years, many websites still fail to take advantage of the opportunity.

Search engines now rely less and less on meta descriptions, but including them is still important as some sort of backup search engine result page (SERP) insurance.

Product Sales
If your website sell’s products especially tangible, then you should add Product Schema that can be used to display elements including price, ratings and even availability.

Authorship markup enables authors, writers, bloggers, etc. to feature richer profile information including personal photos, the pages they’ve authored, and more including a link to their Google+ profile page. Authorship markup has exploded in use over the past few months, and provides a fast and relatively easy way to furnish those often conventionally dull listings on the search results.

Testimonials & Reviews
These are one of the least used types of semantic markup testimonials and reviews. User reviews, are a powerful means by which websites can influence the purchasing behavior of prospective customers.

Google gave the Web marketing community an awesome tool in December 2012 with the release of its Data Highlighter (Available within Google Webmaster Tools accounts). The tool enables users to tag data (name, location, date, etc.) for events that are listed on a website to create structured markup and rich snippets using a simple point-and-click method.

Websites that engage on marketing tactic by use of schema markup for events have an additional exposure opportunity on the search result pages.

Videos too can have the semantic markup treatment, by including information that can help the search engines understand what the video is about.

Search engines are actively beginning to include more of this information within the search results.

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