If you’re working on your local business site’s technical SEO, you’re no doubt familiar with the need for structured data, notably Schema.org markup, for sites to compete in the modern SEO landscape. Still, knowing you need to do something and knowing how to do it are two completely separate beasts.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy guide to implementing Schema.org markup for your local business’s website, you’re in the right place.
Full disclosure: Properly setting up comprehensive, fully-customized Schema.org markup takes a lot of time and knowledge of best practices, and it’s often best to hire a professional (ahem). This guide is meant to offer an easy way to implement the bare minimum for local businesses. E-commerce sites, businesses with numerous locations, and others will likely benefit from something a little more in-depth.
Setting Up Schema.org Markup with JSON-LD
By placing the proper JSON-LD code in a page’s code, search engines like Google are better able to ascertain information like services provided, NAP (name, address, phone) information, reviews, and more. This makes your business more visible in many SERPs.
Generating Your Code
The first step toward implementing your JSON-LD markup is generating it. Luckily, there are a number of tools to help. One of our favorites is this one, by J.D. Flynn. Just select your type of business from the drop-down, fill in the variables, and this tools spits out the code your site needs.
A couple of notes: Clicking the “Add sameAs” button will produce a field labelled, “sameAs URL.” This is for the URLs of other sites and listings for your business, like your Facebook page, Twitter page, Yelp page, Google Plus page, etc.
Second, you can find your latitude and longitude coordinates (if you’re the rare kind of person who doesn’t have them memorized) by finding your business’s listing in Google maps and pulling the coordinates from the URL. The coordinates will be after the @ sign following your name (be sure to include any – [negative] signs). Here’s ours:
You can also get the “Include a Map” URL by clicking the “Share” and “Short URL” buttons on your maps listing:
Finally, under “Contact Type,” Google only accepts a certain number of different contact types. We recommend using one of these:
- customer support
- technical support
- billing support
- bill payment
- credit card support
- baggage tracking
- roadside assistance
- package tracking
Implementing Your Code
Ultimately, your completed JSON-LD code should look something like this:
Just copy and paste this code into the <head> portion of your homepage’s HTML code, and you’re good to go! (If you’re using WordPress, you can add the code to your header.php file or use a plugin to access only your site’s homepage head. We recommend Per page add to head.)
Please note, if your business has more than one listing, separate markup code will be needed for each one.
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More Information about Structured Data and Schema Markup for SEO
As 2016 comes to a close, those of us in the SEO industry are looking ahead to what the future of search optimization holds. One thing that just about everyone can agree on: things are about to get a lot trickier.
Traditionally, SEO was about loading a site with high-quality content and pointing as many relevant (white-hat!) links as possible at it. This would improve natural search rankings and maximize the number of links a site could boast on the front page of Google and other search engines.
But increasingly, search engines like Google are less content to simply display a list of ten blue links to answer users’ queries. SERP pages now return knowledge graphs, rich snippets, reviews, maps, and more that mean fewer and fewer users will even need to leave Google to find the information they’re looking for. Add to this the rise of voice search and technologies like Google Home, which delivers only audio soundbites of info without even a SERP page to speak of, and things are starting to look (and sound) very different.
So how must webmasters and SEOs adapt? There are a myriad of ways, many of which no doubt remain to be seen, but one concrete tactic to improve a site’s performance in modern SERPs is the implementation of structured data.
- Google Developers Introduction to Structured Data
- Google Schemas, JSON-LD
- Google Structured Data Testing Tool