What is Schema Markup and Why is it Important for SEO?

What is Schema Markup and Why is it Important for SEO?

In 2011 the search engines Google©, Yahoo©, Bing©, and Yandex© created schema.org. The collaboration was designed to increase the use of schema, to enrich and enhance user search experience. Schema is structured data text that can help search engines parse and define information. That said, let’s dig into schema markup and its importance to SEO.

What Is Schema Markup?

Schema markup helps search engines understand the context behind user inquiries. For instance, a user could type “make chocolate cake” and receive everything from box mixes to local bakers that make chocolate cakes. Unfortunately, the meaning behind the inquiry suggested that they were looking for a recipe or how to make a chocolate cake, making the SERP less accurate. Structured data vocabulary like schema helps interpret information in a way that communicates the end-users intention to the search engine. Better interpretation of inquiries provides more relevant results in SERPs.

Primary Schema Markup Forms

The most commonly used form of schema is microdata. Microdata can be inserted into HTML, XML, and XHTML-based documents and pages. Resource Descriptive Framework in attributes (RDFa) is inserted into the same type of documents as microdata. JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Objects (JSON-LD) is a bit different – it implements schema by pasting it into specific areas of JavaScript coding.

Why Structured Data Matters

Using schema is becoming increasingly important with the rise of voice search and technology like Amazon’s Alexa™. Structured data communicates your site’s or page’s purpose and creates relationships throughout the internet between search engines and applications like websites, emails, and social media. Rich snippets only appear in SERPs after info is gathered from schema or other structured data. Search engines are guided by SEO content and the inclusion of schema in your SEO strategy may eventually make the difference between being found and being forgotten.

Schema Is Important To SEO Strategy

Schema is important to the evolution of SEO strategy. For SEO content, marketers, and advertisers, structured markup like schema means a potential increase in click-through rates and overall site traffic. When companies implement the inclusion of structured data into their SEO strategy, it’s called Semantic SEO. Providing context to web pages using schema makes them more visible to search engines, which can transfer to higher SERP rank. Rich snippets created by structured data boost your page in terms of relevance. In short, schema provides visibility that traditional SEO strategies may not offer.

Defining Items With Schema Markup

Microdata and other forms of schema are enhancements that can drive consumers to your business or service. Using schema markup provides opportunities to rise in rank for SERPs, by giving depth to text strings. Few companies or entities presently use schema markup, so it’s a good time to get in at ground level with Semantic SEO. To find out more about how schema can be integrated into your SEO strategy, and view a full list of items that can be defined by schema online, go to schema.org.   Author: Kristin Ann Hassel Email: kristin.ann.hassel@gmail.com Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristin-hassel-8651a3157
Dwell Time vs. Bounce Rate vs. Time on Page: What’s the Difference?

Dwell Time vs. Bounce Rate vs. Time on Page: What’s the Difference?

The most common misconception about dwell time, bounce rate, and time on page, is that they’re all the same thing. While they’re extremely similar in some ways, each one serves a unique purpose in the grand scheme of search engine metrics. If you’ve ever been confused as to why they matter, and how to accurately use each metric, read on to find out.

It’s A Thin Line Between Metrics

Dwell time, bounce rate, and time on page are all about numbers, namely percentages in some form or another. Dwell time is the length of time a user spends looking at a site after they select the link from an SERP, before going back to the SERP. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who visit one page and then click to any other page on or off your site. Finally, time on page refers to the time a user spends anywhere on your page before leaving. If it all sounds very similar, it is. The key difference between all three is that dwell time is solely SERP-based, links from other areas aren’t included in metric. Both bounce rate and time on page take all visitors into account, not just those flown in from SERPs.

Why Does It Matter If They’re Different?

Each of these metrics offers information about the quantity and quality of visits to your website, but in its own way. Let’s take a look at each one, why it matters, and what you can do to improve them.

What Is Dwell Time?

Dwell time is an important factor in SEO strategy, because it’s solely SERP-based. Knowing if your links in SERPs are leading users to the best area on your site is important. The first thing you should know about dwell time in regard to metrics is that it fluctuates by business or business intent. For example, if you operate a weather site or a retail business, it may take less than five minutes for people to get what they want from a link. In that event, your dwell time would be naturally low. On the other hand, blogs and videos can expect higher dwell times because it takes a while to read articles or watch videos. Start compiling all the metrics related to dwell time to find the ideal average dwell time for your site. Once you have that information, use the following tips to help you reach dwell time goals.

  • Stop spamming users: Don’t use invasive or disruptive ads like pop-ups or auto-scroll videos–users hate that. One of the surest ways to lose a customer is to force them to watch or click through interstitial ads to get to your content. Make the answer to their search engine inquiry non-intrusive and easy to find.
  • Make Quality Content a Priority: Create useful content that’s actionable, accessible, and entertaining. Only use links if they are reputable and helpful. Make other content relevant to search topics accessible on the page so users don’t need to dig.
  • Speed Matters: Load time is just as important as content. Dwell time will suffer from poor load speeds, so use speed optimization tools like Pingdom’s Website Speed Test to see how your site measures up. Speed in terms of use is just as important as load time speeds. While scrolling pages may be a hassle, done correctly they can also help search engines parse data quicker and make content faster to read.

Another important piece of meeting your dwell time ideal is to focus on conversion optimization. If conversions are poor, it could be the quality of your content, speed issues, or broken links causing people to leave or never gain access to your site.

Bounce Rate

A bounce rate that’s too high can clue you into major issues, like a lack of dynamic content or that dwell times have fallen way below average for your business. Neither one is good. In some cases, a high bounce rate is normal, for instance, a weather forecast site won’t have high dwell times because it doesn’t take that long to check a forecast. The need was met and the user moves one, so in that instance, a fairly high bounce rate is a good thing. For sites that are strictly mobile, the bounce rates you can also expect to experience higher bounce rates. If your site offers online training or deals in retail, a lower bounce rate is better because you expect people to stay a bit longer. Again, as with dwell time, there are no specific good or bad average rates, as they vary by niche, but general criteria are available in the table below.

General Bounce Rate Range Indicators
 Good 26-40%
 Average 41-55%
 Fair 56-70%
 Poor ≥ 71%

If you hit over 90%, something is majorly wrong with your website, because people are leaving immediately. A spike this high can indicate one of the following major issues:

  • Poor load speeds
  • Bad content or lack of engaging content
  • Poor overall design

Bounce rate is an important indicator of what areas of your website design need an upgrade and lets businesses know if analytics software tracking is off. There are a few areas to consider when tracking bounce rate:

  • User intent: Did the page meet user intent, did the page accurately cover user search inquiry?
  • Type of page: Is the page relevant to user search engine inquiry?
  • Quality of page: Is the content actionable, useful, engaging, and informative?
  • Quality of traffic: Is the page attracting the right type of traffic
  • Device type: The device users access from can affect bounce rates. Is the average user accessing from desktop, laptop, or mobile?

Another way to find your ideal bounce rate would be viewing top sites that offer similar services or products as your website. Bounce rates have value because they are easy to measure, linked to business goals, and improving them can help reduce latency issues.

Time Spent On Page

This metric is affected by bounce rate, but isn’t the same thing. TSOP is simply a measure of time that anyone who accesses the site spends on a given page. If the exit percentage is high then the time spent on page average is less reliable. Low exit percentages generally indicate an accurate reflection of TSOP. Exit percentages are the percentage of total exits from a page, after time spent on that page. One of the best ways to get accurate TSOP metrics is to use event tracking methods that determine the following:

  • If the user scrolled
  • If the user interacted with the page (videos, sharing buttons, links, etc.)
  • If the user went on to another page of the site

Without event tracking methods, TSOP won’t account for the people who leave their browser open during supper, or left the browser open on their tablet or phone when they went into the store. Tracking specific actions instead of just time periods will give you actionable information.

If you already have a stellar SEO strategy in place, none of this should present an issue. If you don’t, you may want to consider finding a SEO content powerhouse like eZdia to help you develop one. Our professional SEO strategists and content writers can help you make sense of the ins-and-outs of search engine growing pains.

Author: Kristin Ann Hassel
Email: kristin.ann.hassel@gmail.com
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristin-hassel-8651a3157

3 Ways to Make the Best Amazon A+ Pages and 6 Mistakes to Avoid

3 Ways to Make the Best Amazon A+ Pages and 6 Mistakes to Avoid

As you know, the Amazon marketplace is hugely competitive, so anything that gives you an advantage over the competition has to be worth a shot. While every seller has access to the regular Amazon detail pages, only brands who sign up for Amazon’s Brand Registry get to create A+ Detail Pages.

So, what exactly is an Amazon A+ Detail Page?

Well, it’s essentially an enhanced detail or product page with fewer restrictions on formatting, style, and content types than standard pages. If you use an A+ page, you can include images right in the description, comparison tables, line breaks, formatted text, and more. It lets you show the consumer more and helps you to stand out from the crowd.

What Are the Benefits of an Amazon A+ Page?

Well, with over 2 million sellers on Amazon, and more appearing every day, competition is fierce, so you need to give consumers a reason to buy from you. A single paragraph and a few bullets don’t give you much room to be creative or to stand out amongst all of your competitors. With an A+ page, you can really showcase your product and your brand, giving you a significantly higher opportunity to catch a customer’s attention and convert them into buyers. According to Amazon, sellers utilizing A+ pages experience an increase in sales of up to 10%.

A+ Detail Page content can also be made to be easy to skim,so readers can get a sense of all the key product details at a glance. You create this skimmable, user-friendly look by creating bullet lists and breaking up the text into small, manageable chunks interspersed with colorful images. You can also make use of videos and HD photography to show your product at its very best.

How to Create Great Amazon A+ Detail Pages

Once you’re approved on the Brand Registry, you have two options. You can select the self-service module which gives you full creative control, or you can go with the Amazon Builds module. If you go with Amazon Builds, it’ll cost you significantly more and, although Amazon choose the layout and placements, you’re still responsible for providing them with all imagery and content.

1. Combine Text, Color, and Images

Create rich, compelling content that really shows off your product, but don’t confront your readers with huge blocks of text. Instead, make use of the A+ modules and break your copy up into smaller chunks interspersed with color, images, and white space. Add videos, HD photos, and informative text snippets.

2. Highlight Key Features and Benefits

Make sure your product copy expresses all the key features and their associated benefits. Combining benefits with features delivers crucial info about the product and elicits an emotional response from the consumer, encouraging them to buy because they can see how the product fulfils a need or solves a problem for them. Where possible, back up your copy with photos or videos of the features and benefits you’re discussing. Seeing a product used in a real world scenario can clearly illustrate a point for a buyer and can create a stronger level of engagement that’s more likely to lead to a sale.

3. Use Different Elements

Using banners and headers break up content and let customers quickly find the section they’re most interested in. Banners can also help to add a pop of color and provide an extra opportunity to add brand style, font, or logo. Create more interest by including charts and tables and to provide detailed information for your customers.

Mistakes to Avoid When Creating A+ Pages

Whether you go for the self-service or built for you option, Amazon A+ Pages have strict criteria, and a rigorous approval process, so if you don’t meet their quality and requirements guidelines, they won’t approve your page.

  1. Don’t include prohibited elements, including:
    1. Trademark symbols
    2. Links to other websites
    3. Business contact information
    4. Shipping information
    5. Other sellers
  2. Don’t use low-quality images
  3. Don’t use third-party quotes, such as quotes from customer reviews
  4. Don’t use the same image more than once
  5. Don’t use plagiarized content
  6. Don’t submit weak content that contains fluff or errors

Taking full advantage of Amazon A+ Detail Pages lets you showcase your products in a way that many of your competitors can’t. For first-party sellers, A+ pages are powerful selling tools, but you’ve got to optimize them properly for the best results. To find out how we can help you with content creation and creative design for your A+ pages, contact us today for a no-obligation chat or to request a demo.