Use Rich Snippets to Increase Click-through Rates with the Schema.org Module for Drupal
Ever thought about how much content is uploaded to the Internet? The number is something close to a dizzying 2 million blog posts per day. How can you help your content be more relevant to the 5 Billion searches on Google each day?
One often overlooked answer is to implement Schema.org markup tags on your content. For those who don’t know about Schema.org, it is a shared markup vocabulary (think tags) to communicate information about your content to search engines. By using schema.org, you can tag all pertinent information in a way that is consistent and readable to multiple search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing.
This helps the search engines understand your website better. For example, on your product website, is “4” the price? The weight? The star rating of the product? Hmm...it’s better if you don’t assume that Google can figure this stuff out - best to just tell them.
And, if done properly, when your results show up in the search engines, they’ll be nicely formatted with extras to make it stand out from the other results. Things like pictures, price, and star ratings make your content even more clickable. Take a look:
These “rich” (no pun intended) search results are clicked as much as 50% more often.
Ready for the best part of all? With a Drupal website and the handy Schema.org module, getting your content to stand out is easier than you might think. Here’s how:
Tagging Drupal Content with Schema.org Tags
In Drupal, you will set up Schema.org tags on your Content Types. This is brilliant because it means that after you set them up, all future content that you create will already be tagged. Just set it and forget it.
(One more quick note for the technical marketing nerds among my readership. The examples on Schema.org don’t match exactly with Drupal’s HTML output. That’s because the Schema.org module relies on Drupal core’s implementation of RDFa 1.0 - a slightly older but still very much supported type of microdata. Don’t worry, though, it will still work just fine. Don’t believe me? Check for yourself: https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool)
OK, here we go:
1. Install and enable the Schema.org module on your Drupal 7 site. (How to install a Drupal module)
2. Now login to your Drupal site and from the admin menu, select Structure > Content types > Blog entry. This is how you will edit your Blog content type.
3. Select the Schema.org settings tab, usually near the bottom of the page.
4. In the “Type” field, enter the appropriate schema tag - in this case “BlogPosting”. The field will start to autofill with provided schema options but to make sure you’re picking the right one see http://schema.org/docs/schemas.html.
5. Click “Save content type”. You’ll end up at a list of all of your content types. Next to your Blog content type, click “manage fields”.
6. Next to each editable field will be an “edit” link. Click it. You’ll find a field called “[field name] SCHEMA.ORG MAPPING”. Enter the proper Schema.org tag that matches the content that will be entered in that field and click “Save settings”.
7. Work your way through each field in the blog content type, saving as you go.
Here’s how we have ours set on Volacci’s blog:
Tags use the “keywords” schema. (“Tags” is our taxonomy for tagging our blog posts. Yours will vary.)
Body uses articleBody
8. Use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to see if it’s working: https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool. You’ll need to paste in the url of a recent blog post. You should see something like this:
Blogs are simply one of the content types that you can use schema markup on. You can also optimize content types for events, people (like bio pages), products, offers, even recipes and ingredients! Check out the list, it’s pretty comprehensive and the Schema.org module has them all.
After you have optimized your content types, the module does all the work and now anything you post under those types will have the appropriate markup to communicate to the search engines what your content is all about.
To take things to the next level, you’ll need to add your bloggers’ Google+ profiles to your site. More on that soon.