Schema for Content Marketers with Martha van Berkel @marthavanberkel #VCBuzz

Schema for Content Marketers with Martha van Berkel @marthavanberkel #VCBuzz

Content quality is an important element of content marketing success, yet it is not the only one.

One of the most important ways to boost your content exposure is to make it easier to understand for search engines, and there’s no better way to do that than Google.

But isn’t it too technical for content marketers to figure out?

The good news, you can implement Schema.org even without technical skills.

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About @marthavanberkel

Martha van Berkel @marthavanberkel is CEO and Co-founder of @schemaapptool, a software as a service that empowers digital marketers to create, manage, maintain and leverage schema markup with no dependency on IT.

Martha spends her days talking with Digital Marketers from Enterprises and Digital Agencies around the world discussing the value of schema markup and strategizing on how they can bring the most value to their clients and companies through the adoption of this advanced SEO strategy, including adding it to analytics!

Questions we discussed

Q1 How did you become a digital marketer? Please share your career story!

14 years at Cisco, then created a product to help SMBs manage their online presence, we became an agency, then 2015 evolved our platform into @schemaapptool focused only on schema markup. When you are a founder you have to also be an expert!

I sometimes have a laugh that I am an SEO/Digital marketer, when I finished engineering school I didn’t think I’d end up in marketing! At Cisco marketers always “sold” things that our team had a hard time delivering. Now I am one of them and loving it!

Q2 What is Schema Markup and why does it matter?

Schema Markup is the language of search engines. When you translate your content it helps search engines “understand” the content on the web and how they relate to other things. They use it then to help answer searchers questions

Schema Markup aka Structured Data also helps your content stand out in search – with stars, images, extra information – these are called rich results. Google has a long list of results.

I really see structured data as the way that marketers can speak to the “machines” today search engines, tomorrow chat bots, connected cars, virtual reality, etc.

For marketers, schema markup is a powerful tool to stand out in search, inform content strategy and make sure that your content meaning is really understood.

Companies that adopt schema markup see GREAT results in organic search – from increased organic traffic, impressions, and clicks, longer time on pages and higher conversion. Google case studies.

Also our customers have seen impressive results from ecommerce, tech, agencies, marketplaces, more case studies. Good strong business reasons on top of recommended by Google.

It really depends on the goals of the FAQ. For some of our clients they see it helping with brand awareness so the click isn’t their goal. For others we are adding hyperlinks in FAQ to help with conversion.

Q3 When it comes to content creation, what types of schema markup are relevant?

This depends on your website, what content do you have? Think about the content that is important to your business (location, products, services), or information your customers are seeing (content, how-to, faq).

If the content is relevant to your business and your customer then that is what you want to be understood. We also want to look at which content has the opportunity to get a rich result – the combo of these two make up your strategy.

When we talk to marketers, we’ll check out content on their menu, and then they tell us more about what content they want to surface in search to enable their content journey…this is all what we want to be optimized to be understood.

This How-to covers how to create a strategy, if you like listening or seeing an example, we have a recorded webinar on this page too.

If you only have 15 minutes to figure out where to start, go to Google’s feature list and identify what types of these content you have on your website.

Their features are updated regularly, in fact on Thursday, Google added Image License Metadata in Google Images (BETA) – which @schemaapp already supports for image publishers

Q4 How else can schema markup be used in the content creation process?

Google has documented in the features exactly what content they want on the page. Take this as a strong direction from Google on what to include on those pages.

For the features, they detail required properties (think of these as content that needs to be on the page) and recommended properties (content they’d like to see but are not required) and as a result of meeting these requirements, you could get a rich result.

For super keeners, check out http://schema.org for ALL the properties that search engines defined in 2011 (when they created http://schema.org) to define topics. Don’t take it as a challenge to have all fields, interesting reverse engineering exercise.

We mostly see penalties for spammy schema markup. This means that you are adding content that is not on the page in your schema markup. This is against their guidelines. We also see penalties for rating/reviews or not following the specific type guidelines, like optimizing a deal as an event. You can see on that page they have the thumbs up and down to give guidance.

Q5 What other resources should we be aware of to help in the learning process?

I have lots, but here are some favourites.

The Schema App team is passionate about explaining how to do different types of schema markup, so you can find a lot of how-to and explainers in our blog.

Latest news on schema markup for January, the Feb one should be posted this week.

Our previous SEO chats:

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