Semantic Markup: A Quick Guide to Marking up Your Content

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Your Quick Help Guide for Semantic Markup

If you haven’t embraced the concept of Semantic Markup yet, then you are likely missing out on a lot of internet traffic.  Why?  In order to answer the question, a quick Google search of “Bananas Foster” led to the following top two results:

Which of the two are you more likely to click on?  Why?

It’s a pretty safe bet that you would click on the second link because of the image and the clear five star rating.  This is a very good picture of what semantic markup can do for you, when it is used correctly.  To make the most of it on your website, consider the following tips.

Get Help If you are not familiar with HTML code or you find the whole idea of semantic update overwhelming, then consider using a free service, like Structured Data Markup Helper to get you started.  The major benefit of sites like these is, of course, the help creating the HTML strings that you need to achieve the look of the Google search result discussed above.  The downside is that there are some limits to the types of markup that this service assists with.  Nevertheless, it can be a great place to start.

Express Your Authorship If nothing else, help your branding efforts by tying your work and your name to your photo.  This can be done with authorship markup.  Your photo or logo will appear beside your content in search results if you include the right markup on your website.  In order to do this, you will need:

  • A Google+ Profile
  • An email account hosted by your domain (this can be averted with another method of markup.  Directions can be found on Google’s Authorship page)
  • A ‘by line’ on all articles and blog posts that you author on the domain.

When these things have been accomplished, you can simply submit your email address to Google here and test the results of your markup here.

Make Your Local Business Known There are a number of markups that can be used to improve local business search result snippets.  The best bet for those trying to implement such markups, is to visit Schema.org, which lays out the appropriate Semantic Markup tags.  It is also wise for businesses operating in multiple towns or cities to make use of breadcrumb coding.  Think of this as a picture of the site structure, so users can quickly make sense of the hierarchy and get to the most relevant destination – the appropriate branch’s local site.  Markups here can help Google make sense of the map as well and will result in direct links to the subpages searchers may find more valuable.

 

 

 

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