I haven’t done a lot of SEO-type stuff for web development, as a lot of my work has been for intranet applications with no outside face, but today at work I was tasked with fixing some errors that had come up on my client’s Google Search Console. They didn’t know what the errors were, exactly, just that there are errors and that errors are bad.
Enter Schema.org – an open source initiative by Google, Microsoft, and others to create standard sets of metadata to help crawlers index your site for searching.
I was pretty blown away by the breadth of categories available. Providing the metadata for the appropriate categories could potentially boost your site’s visibility.
There’s a handy getting-started guide which explains the basics of adding the meta data. Most of it revolves around HTML5 microdata tags, and is pretty straightforward (assuming you’re already using HTML5).
Google provides a nice tool for testing your schema, offering suggestions on recommended tags as well as helping you find any errors. After all, a schema error may not affect your web page to a regular user, but a web crawler is completely different.
You can provide the tool with either a URL to hit automatically or just paste a snippet of HTML to have it parse. Either way, it helped me solve my problem today and found a few other optimizations that were missing from the site.