Rich Snippets vs. Schema Markup: What’s the Difference?

Many marketers and business owners have heard how using Schema markup and earning rich snippets on search engines can boost their click-through rates. With the right use of Schema markup, you could earn more-prominent search engine placements and improved data fetching from your website. In turn, your website gets more clicks and a higher likelihood of earning new customers.

But what, exactly, is the difference between rich snippets and Schema markup? And how does each benefit you in its own way?

Well, as an expert SEO agency, we’re here to clear the air. Put simply: Schema markup is a coding practice that enables many embedded features within Google Search. Rich Snippets are one of the most prominent examples of these embedded features.

Still confused? Read on for more details on the difference between rich snippets and Schema markups as well as how to optimize both to benefit your business.

What Is Schema Markup?

Schema markup is a type of data inserted into your website code. Since these items apply a type of structure easily recognized by platforms like Google, many people refer to using markup as “creating structured data.” Schema data can be divided into two main categories: Microdata and JSON-LD. While there are other types of Schema markup out there, they are outdated and not used much anymore.

You can think of Schema markup as similar to those sticky neon-colored page markers people use to take notes and highlight certain pages or passages. Google crawls your website and notices these markers, ensuring that certain information is highlighted when fetching results for your page online.

For example, NAP (name, address and phone number) markup allows Google to fetch accurate information for your business listing for store hours, currencies accepted, and other information. Without Schema markup, this information would be far more difficult to display and far less accurate.

In broad terms, JSON-LD can more easily implement sitewide changes through the header code, while microdata is more often used to point out specific elements on an individual page. While actual implementation and how Schema markup can be used is much more detailed and technical than that, that simple explanation can help you figure out what type of markup to use for your specific purposes.

Essentially, Schema markup doesn’t just tell Google what your website says, but what it means.

You can get tips for using Schema to improve your Google search appearances here.

What Are Rich Snippets?

Rich snippets are, in essence, the result of using Schema markup. If the algorithm feels that a certain search engine query would benefit from having a rich snippet box, then Google will highlight that search engine results with extra information.

For example, you can add a Schema markup to display the rating (up to 5 stars) of a certain product or service you offer. That way, when a user searches for that kind of product or service and your offering is displayed in the results, potential customers can automatically see what other customers think of your offering, and how many customers have bought from you.

Other examples of rich snippets include:

  • Google My Business ratings
  • Thumbnail photos
  • Recipe ratings, prep times and calorie counts
  • Event dates and ticket prices
  • Breadcrumb snippets

So, by using proper formatting, such as Schema markup, you can increase the likelihood that a search result will display your website with rich snippets like those described above. And remember, with just about anything you your website to tell Google, #TheresASchemaForThat!

And if you want any help improving your structured data and, conversely, your Google Search appearances, just ask us! We’re experts on SEO and website development at EverSpark Interactive, which has helped us become one of the most trusted law firm digital marketing companies.

Contact us today to learn more about how to improve your site and generate bigger returns from your marketing efforts.

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