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An HTML Tweak to Boost Your SEO

Jason Dailey December 2, 2015

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Have you ever seen event details and contact information from a website display in your search engine results?

With a little code, you can make your church’s events and contact information easier for online searchers to find!

Even though some people don’t mind doing a quick online search, they may not want to spend time hunting for event and contact information on your website.

The solution is microdata. With microdata, you can insert specific information to display in the search results so people find it faster.

What is microdata?

Microdata is a set of attributes you can embed in your website’s HTML to make your events more visible to search engines. It’s a new standard introduced in HTML 5.

Microdata attributes are semantic – meaning they describe your website’s content instead of define your website’s structure. Search engines read the microdata, and the microdata tells the search engines what’s important to display.

So how is specific information on your website indexed and delivered by search engines? This depends on how well you use microdata to describe your website’s content.

That’s where schemas can help you. Schemas define the microdata.

In the world of web development, a schema is a structure for organizing information. And there’s a schema for organizing microdata. Your main resource for learning all about it is www.schema.org.

Schema.org came about as collaboration among Google™, Bing®, Yahoo!®, and Yandex to define schemas for structured website information. It’s an open-source effort that welcomes a broad range of involvement.

Each company’s search engine can index specific website information according to a collection of pre-determined schemas.

If your microdata conforms to the schema standards, you’re including structured data models in your website. This helps computer programs to extract useful information from your website and display it in online searches.

Using microdata in your website code for events, contact information, and products makes that information much more visible to search engines. And if it’s more visible to search engines, it’s also more visible to people searching online.

What does microdata look like in HTML?

Here’s a quick example for marking up an event:

HTML with no microdata

HTML with no microdata

Search result with no microdata

Search results with no microdata

HTML with microdata

HTML with microdata

Just inserting these few attributes (highlighted in red above) can make the search results for your church provide useful event details…

Search result with microdata

Search results with microdata

The information displayed in the search results may vary depending on the microdata you insert and the search engine.

Learn more about microdata and schemas

I encourage you to look beyond this brief introduction and learn more about how to use microdata and schemas to boost your website’s SEO.

Here’s an excellent place to start:

https://developers.google.com/structured-data/

 

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