Add Schema Markup to Your Real Estate Website
With Real Estate Webmasters' February product update, you now have the power to add schema markup to pages on your website from the page editor. This means you can take advantage of the benefits of schema markup without needing special access to your website's code.
But what is schema markup and why is it especially important for the real estate industry?
Schema markup is important because it helps search engines better understand the content on your website, which can increase the amount of information shown in search engine results, potentially leading to more clicks and conversions.
In this post, we'll explain exactly what schema markup is, why it's important for real estate, and provide a step-by-step guide on how to add it to your website.
So why wait? Let's dive in and take your real estate website to the next level with schema markup.
What Is Schema Markup?
Simply put, schema markup is a way of labeling the information on a webpage, making it easier for search engines like Google to understand it.
Below you can see part of a typical schema markup for a FAQ page:
These labels are added to the code of your webpage and aren’t directly visible to users. However, search engines can read them and use them to interpret and understand your webpage.
Schema Markup vs Structured Data
Sometimes you hear the terms "schema markup" and "structured data" used interchangeably. But what's the difference?
Structured data is a broad term that refers to any data that has been organized in a specific format to make it easier for machines to understand. Schema markup is a specific style of structured data developed collaboratively by major search engines, including Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and Yandex.
Schema markup provides a set of standardized tags, known as schema.org vocabulary, to help webmasters and developers add structured data to their webpages.
You can read more about schema markup here, but fair warning, it can get pretty technical.
By implementing schema markup, webmasters can provide more precise information about their content to search engines, which can help improve the visibility, presentation and relevance of their pages in search results.
Benefits of Schema Markup
Structured data is a way of telling Google what your site, and the things on it, are about.
For example, with schema markup you can specifically label a string of numbers as the telephone number for your business. Search engines like Google won't have to make guesses based on the context. Google can then piece together a picture of what your site is about, what the things on it mean, and how they relate to other things.
You can do this for hundreds of different kinds of information, allowing Google to use some of that information to enhance search results.
Does adding schema markup improve search position? There's no clear evidence either way, but it does have some other clear benefits:
- Improved search engine visibility: Schema markup provides search engines with more context about the content on a web page, which can improve its visibility in search results. This can help increase organic traffic to a website.
- Richer search results: When a web page has Schema markup, search engines can display more detailed information about the content in search results. This can include star ratings, images, prices, and other details that can make a search result more attractive to users.
- Enhanced user experience: By providing more detailed information in search results, Schema markup can help users find the information they need more quickly and easily.
- Increased click-through rates: Richer search results with Schema markup can lead to higher click-through rates, as users are more likely to click on results that display more information about the content they are looking for.
Schema for Real Estate
Schema markup is crucial for real estate websites as it allows search engines to create rich results that display information for house showings, property price ranges, and search features, making it easier for potential buyers to find relevant information.
Below you can see some examples of how real estate search entries are enhanced by structured data, including custom breadcrumbs, product prices, and events.
By implementing schema markup, real estate websites can also improve their click-through rates by providing more attractive and informative search results that stand out from the competition.
Additionally, schema markup can be used to establish NAP (Name, Address, Phone) information for real estate agencies, which can improve local search results as well.
Ultimately, Schema markup can help real estate websites achieve better visibility, traffic, and engagement, leading to increased sales and revenue.
Types of Structured Data
There are two main types of schema markup: Microdata and JSON-LD.
Microdata involves adding code directly to parts of the page. This means that the code is added next to or along with the information that it's describing.
JSON-LD, on the other hand, is a piece of code placed in one part of the page (usually somewhere at the top). With JSON-LD you do everything in one place, so it’s easier to edit, scale, copy, and maintain.
Most sites use JSON-LD and it’s also the type of schema markup supported by our new feature (you just paste the entire script into the window). So it’s the one we’ll cover here, and we’ll just call a script that uses schema markup a “schema”.
Generally, a schema contains two parts: the “type” (what is the thing), and “properties” (labels that give information about the thing).
Types also have sub-types. So, for example, you could have a schema type for “Real Estate Agent”, which is a subtype of “Small Business”, which is a sub-type of “Organization”, and so on.
Different types accept different information. For example, the “Small Business” schema can include “OpeningHours”, but also information about the service area, which is part of the more general “Organization” schema type to which it belongs.
Here are some other examples of potentially useful schema types for real estate:
- Get Frequently Asked Questions to show up directly in search results: CreativeWork→WebPage→FAQPage
- For information about an embedded video: CreativeWork→MediaObject→VideoObject
- Provide detailed information about a specific property: Place→Accommodation→House
- Use to give price ranges: Product
- For custom URL information in search results: ItemList→BreadcrumbList
- Used to add your site's search bar to search results: CreativeWork→Website
- Useful for open houses: Event
Schema.org provides a full list of types that you can use to mark up your website's content. Check it out here: https://schema.org/docs/full.html
How To Add Schema Markup
So let's say you're sold on the benefits of schema markup for your website. Now what?
First, check to see what (if any) types of schema markup your site might already be running. Just enter a URL into a validator, like one of these:
Note: A page can take more than one type of schema markup. But some caution is required, so check out our "best practices" below.
Search Console will also give you a hint about what type of schema you have running under "Enhancements".
Adding schema: step-by-step
OK - Let's get onto actually adding some new schema to your site.
For this tutorial we'll start with something simple and useful for real estate websites: A "Frequently Asked Questions" page...
- Step 1: Open the page that you want to add schema to. In this case, a FAQ page or a page with a FAQ section that you want to highlight.
- Step 2: Use a third-party JSON-LD generator. There are a few good examples out there, so try a few and find the one that you like best:
- Step 3: From the generator, select the type of schema you want to generate (FAQ Page) and then enter in the information in the provided spaces (copy and paste questions and answers into the relevant fields).
- Step 4: Once complete, copy and paste the schema markup code into the "Head Section" window on the right side of the REW page editor.
- Step 5: Save the page, then enter its URL into one of the validators mentioned above to see if it works.
And there you go!
Note: Schema generators are designed to be user-friendly, so they won't contain every schema type or property.
Some Tips For Using Schema Markup
Using schema markup can be daunting at first. But remember, it's not a system that requires you to do a lot right away. Choose a few schema types that seem useful, enter in the bare minimum of information, and cut and paste them into the page editor. Easy.
Here are a few extra points to keep in mind:
- You can add multiple schema types to one page, but they shouldn't overlap. For example, a page with a "Recipe" schema shouldn't include a "How-To" schema with the same information. However, if you're highlighting a specific property for sale, you can use the "Product" schema to give the price and "Accommodation" schema to give information about the property itself.
- When using different schema types, simply paste them one after the other. If they're referring to the same entity, use the "@id" property and enter a matching value for both.
- Match the schema to the page. If you're doing a bunch of open houses, put the "Event" schema on the page that has the information on those open houses.
- You don't need to include every piece of available information in your schema, but it is recommended that you provide as much as you can and DON'T include any information that isn't on the page somewhere. For example, if you're making a FAQ schema, the wording of the questions and answers should match the site exactly.
- If in doubt, enlist some help.
Interested in learning more about the power of Real Estate Webmaster's sites for your real estate business? View a Demo of our Next-Generation Real Estate Platform.