Take Advantage Of Structured Data To Improve Your SEO By Using Schema Markup On Your Website
In part two of our two-part interview with schema expert Terry Samuels, Jesse, Bob, and Terry continue to discuss the importance of utilizing schema markup to develop a high-ranking webpage. They examine the importance of using website schema to help Google algorithms understand who you are and what your business is all about, and how schema is an extremely efficient way of creating structured data because updates to it rarely break anything. We also remind our listeners to chime in on helping us develop our SEO courses! Check our website for more information. Listen today to give yourself a leg up on your competition!
What you’ll learn
- The importance of doing research of your own business in developing effective schema.
- How schema helps Google understand how to categorize your business and where to rank you.
- How to identify your services to create page-specific schema that is efficient and useful.
Transcript of Part 2 Pod Cast
Caleb Baumgartner: Welcome to Local SEO Tactics. I am your producer, Caleb Baumgartner, here to bring you part two of our two-part interview with schema expert, Terry Samuels. If you haven’t listened to part one yet, jump into our last episode for a lot of excellent information. If you’re looking to understand schema, but find it complicated, we’re here to explain it so that you can dominate your local rankings. Also, before we hop into this episode, we’d like to take a moment to remind folks that we’re collecting feedback on our upcoming digital courses. If you’d like to shape our course program and decide which courses we offer first, go to localseotactics.com/courses to take our quick survey. We would love to hear from you. With that, let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming. Enjoy the show.
Now, on with the show.
Jesse Dolan: Well, I think something Bob and I talk about, you mentioned Google My Business, GMBs earlier, and to draw an analogy, we always tell people, “If you’re a local SEO, you’ve got to be doing that, and it’s completely free,” and this is a spot where Google says, “Here’s a thing. Fill it out and communicate to us who you are, what you do, and fill the database.” They have the doors wide open. I think schema’s very similar in that. They’ve designed this language, if you will, this schema to say, “Hey, communicate to us better who you are, what you do, and all these things.” They take advantage of that because that’s why they developed it, is so they can understand you better.
Terry Samuels: Yep.
Jesse Dolan: But then B, we kind of touched on it earlier, I think everybody needs to know, just like your on-page SEO, the schema, this is a page-by-page thing. You mentioned you can do organization schema, that all your pages on your website have this, but you still have to make sure it’s on every page that you want it on, and then you mentioned about the Dr. Brown. He has a page about himself. He has pages about individual services. These all are going to have their own schemas based on the type of page it was. Right?
Terry Samuels: Yes.
Jesse Dolan: It’s not a blanket thing here. This is a page-by-page, just like your keyword optimization is page-by-page.
Terry Samuels: Exactly. The only thing that is a blanket, and sometimes it doesn’t work, I don’t run across it very often, but the one consistency is the site-wide schema. The site-wide schema is overall, top of umbrella, who are you, what do you do, and how can you help me, and that’s relevant on every page. It doesn’t matter if it’s a doctor page or a page about X-rays. It still has to do with the underside of the umbrella, and then, like you said, it goes from page to page. So, I’d say that people start with location pages because location… Geo right now is more important than service. A year ago or two years ago, the service might’ve been more important than geo. So, now I think that’s swapped because of just basically how robust maps have gotten.
So, I’m going to build a location page, the location schema first, and most times, most sites don’t have a location page. Well, guess what? I’m going to be building a location page to build my location schema on, and it’s going to be everything about that location and very little to do about my service for that location because I’ve got service pages that can do that, and then you get into the services. So, there’s a definite hierarchy as far as what schema is important to build, and the site-wide obviously is the most important. Get that done, get it loaded, and let Google do its thing while you build out the rest of it, and just take it… Like I said, I’d probably spend… Well, on the one I’m getting ready to do for you guys, it’s probably a day’s worth of research.
Before I even write schema, I’m searching for stuff. What is out there about this client? What is out there about this person? What is good out there about this person? What is bad? Where are reviews at? Everybody says, “Oh, I’ve got reviews at Google.” Well, most people have reviews in a lot more places than Google, and so you want to pull those links in if they’re good, and obviously, don’t list them if they’re bad. But anything that’s good out there you want to bring in, because I guarantee Google hasn’t put the two together. They have maybe from a broad search term, but they haven’t put it together as far as this review links to your homepage, that link, because a lot of those are no-follow links. Well, if you have a no-follow link, and all of a sudden you put that URL in your schema, you’re going to get a lot more credit for it, even though it’s a no-follow.
Jesse Dolan: Sure.
Terry Samuels: So, again, that’s the biggest reason why I think a lot of people don’t do advanced schemas, because of the time it takes to research. It’s not just a plumber. Well, plumber Bob might not have nothing about him, but wait until you get to tankless hot water heaters. Okay? Each service is going to have a different research section. You can’t just put in there, “Oh, here’s my service in tankless hot water heaters.” Well, you probably should put in there what brand you carry, what… All of this stuff is going to help you be better than Bob down the street. You want to make sure that it’s in your schema because, again, you’re not going to put that in the front. You’re going to put to the front side that we do these 40 different types of water heaters. Some people will put the top two or three or whatever, but in schema you can do a lot more.
You can really even dive down into one. I’ve got people that do tankless hot water heaters, and I’ll do a brand schema if they want to specialize in GE. So, we’ll do a brand GE schema page, and all to pump up this tankless hot water heater. So, you think of it as… It goes right along with our silo system. I silo everything before I do anything because that’s typically… I think on the on-page side, I think that’s the most important thing people can do, is make sure your site is siloed right, and like we talked about, there’s a crawl budget. You know?
Jesse Dolan: Right.
Terry Samuels: If you can get rid of 100 pages and convert them into 10, you just doubled your crawl budget, and now you include schema on top of that, and the schema might satisfy the box. One thing that we haven’t been able to test because it’s almost an impossible test is maybe Google goes through your schema and they are satisfied with what they see, and they leave. They’re like, “Hey, I’m good. I understand this page. I understand this brand. I understand this person. I understand this search. I don’t need to go down and see other stuff.” We don’t know that that’s happening, but if it does, hopefully they’re going down below there and seeing the same stuff, but different. So, I’m a big believer, if you can, to have different text in both areas. Have different text and schema than you do on the page. Sometimes it’s not feasible because it just sounds stupid, but you try.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah. It’s just another spot to input all this information. I think people may not realize it too, but… Well, I’ll ask you this. With regards to schema, you mentioned earlier you can kind of put your reviews in there and things like that. It’s kind of gone away over the last year or so, but if everybody remembers, if you would go do a Google search a year ago, you’d have a bunch of listings in the naturals that would show stars, their actual review ratings.
Even if you were fifth down the page, if you were the only one that had stars showing up, you were probably getting some clicks because it was just sexy and it stood out. I think that’s a tangible way… I don’t know if you have any other examples, Terry, but just… I had this as a thing to tell everybody. A tangible way to see how schema actually comes back around to Google, you had to put on your website, “Here’s how many stars,” or, I’m sorry, “Here’s what our rating was. Here’s how many reviews,” and you had to do it the right way, kind of like you were saying. They had to test it. They had to see that the reviews were on the page and whatnot, but if you did that properly, then they would show your review rating within the Google search.
That’s how they got that information. They didn’t look at your page or your Yelp listing or something and say, “Here’s how many reviews they got and what their rating is.” They pulled that from the schema that you would input onto your page, and then pass their tests to do that. Like I said, it’s kind of gone away a little bit because everybody totally abused that, and they scaled back, but I’m hoping you’re going to tell everybody how to fix that and get that done from here today on the podcast. You got any-
Terry Samuels: Yeah. The aggregate ratings got hammered, and Google just pretty much did away with them.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah.
Terry Samuels: You can still see some of them out there, but they’re lingering out there, typically on sites that haven’t been tested in a long time, and as soon as somebody tests their site, those are going to disappear. But schema is the only way that you can get what we call zero ranked. Some people call it rich snippets. I called it zero ranked. Schema is a big part of that. Schema will also bring in your menu system of your search result, so it’ll bring in a link to your homepage and a link to your about or your web design or your internet marketing page or whatever. I’m kind of just looking at all the different stuff I have. It’ll bring the knowledge graph in.
Knowledge graph is tough to do, but a lot of that is through the schema because it’s stuff that, a good picture of you, different awards or accolades, or different things you belong to, but all that stuff’s done through schema, and it’s… Like I said, I still get stuff even on my own site that… I’ll have reviews on the page, and so I’ll put the reviews in schema, and I’ll get one review to show up in the search results. I won’t get the stars, but I’ll get one review, a snippet of that review.
So, again, schema is just one of those things that gives Google more options to show about you on your page, on the search, because you can’t see it anywhere else. You go to the front side of the pages that we do the schema on, they don’t look any different than any other time, but what shows up in search and what gives Google an idea, that’s how you get videos to show up on a search page, is through the schema. Again, if you don’t include some of this stuff, Google doesn’t know to include it. So, Google used to do a lot of guessing. I’d say over the last 18 months, again, that Google’s gotten really good at what they’re doing with showing more information about the people that are searching for certain people, services, or products or whatever.
Again, I do believe that the people that are really using schema the right way and testing it even further are just going to keep going hands-over-fist over everybody else. Product schema when you’re doing e-commerce with a product and brand review, you can get into some serious stuff because it’s… One of the things about products is WooCommerce, or depending on what you use, you don’t really want to have a huge description. You’ve got a short description and you’ve got a regular description.
Well, schema, you can have a 1,000-word description, again, because it’s not going to effect how your product page looks. A lot of problems with product pages… I’m an old HTML guy, so product pages for me were easy, but on the WordPress side or whatever side, product pages shift just by one sentence being longer than the other. All of a sudden, the image has shifted 20 pixels. So, again, we figured out that, okay, we don’t need to fight with clients anymore. We can just put what we need to do with the schema, and they’ll never know. So, again, it’s all stuff that’s just made our job be easier, especially in client reviews, because trying to explain to a client why they need 2,500 words of text and that we’re going to hide some stuff in accordions, and it’s going to still look good, it just gets to be monotonous, especially when they’re more visual person than they are text person.
But again, schema just gives us an opportunity to do that, which I’m super thankful for. I’ve been doing SEO for 10 years. This is actually the one thing I’m most excited about. I’m more excited about this than I was when I started doing mass page builds, and I was pretty excited back then when I was doing those, but I think schema, just because it can be so exciting to freaking see, and it’s almost instant results, that’s the cool thing about it too. We see results right away, unless you’re changing the silo structure. That always takes a little bit.
Jesse Dolan: Sure.
Terry Samuels: But if you don’t have schema at all, and you’re a chiropractor, and you put a medical clinic schema on yours or a medical business schema site-wide on yours, just that alone is going to help drive the authority and the trust to your keyword structure.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah. Like I said, you just communicated to Google more about what you did. Right?
Terry Samuels: Right.
Jesse Dolan: So, as long as you’re not doing it in a completely un-tangential way or a different direction-
Terry Samuels: Yeah. Don’t be stupid with it.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah.
Terry Samuels: Don’t put in there that we’re a chiropractor 15 different ways. I mean, you still want your text to be grammatically correct. You still want it to be readable. I mean, I guess if you’re going to… You can put maybe some fun content up there better than you could on your public page, but it still needs to make sense. It still needs to flow. Google’s smarter than that. I don’t care what anybody says. I mean, we still do a lot of spinning on different objects, but we don’t do it as far as client sites. So, we do it through syndication and stuff like that where it really doesn’t matter out there.
Jesse Dolan: Oh, you said Google. Google’s smart, man. I think we take it for granted sometimes, especially if we’re in the SEO industry. We almost work against Google or we’re trying to game it, but we take for granted how amazingly powerful it is as a service, as a consumer. Like you said, man, they did a lot of guessing before. They still do guessing now. They’re just damn good at it compared-
Terry Samuels: Yeah.
Jesse Dolan: You can just type in a couple words, and if you think about it, they just instantly know what you’re talking about, usually. Right?
Terry Samuels: Yep.
Jesse Dolan: The schema is kind of a big part of them to start to kind of parse all this out, to connect all these billions and trillions of bits of information out there on the web. You’re able to kind of use schema as glue for your pages, for your entity, for your brand, say, “Hey, all these things,” like you said earlier, “This LinkedIn, this Yelp, this is on me, so anything you’re finding on those pages is also me,” and now you’re getting this relationship between all that data, boom, onto your web page, and users aren’t perturbed by it because they don’t see it. It’s not distracting from a user experience standpoint, so-
Terry Samuels: Totally.
Jesse Dolan: … super powerful.
Terry Samuels: Yeah.
Jesse Dolan: A couple more quick questions for you. So, schema is changing and evolving and getting more sophisticated. Like you said, you go through, let’s just say you do all your pages, you hit your local page, I’m sorry, your location page, your local business schema, some service pages. How often should somebody… In future episodes we’re going to help people, how to do it, and get deeper into some of these, so this doesn’t have to be crazy in-depth, but how often should they revisit it to update it, so see if there is some new element they can call out maybe within their location, local business schema? Quarterly, once a year? How often should they revisit it once it’s set?
Terry Samuels: It really depends on… First of all, you need to find a way to know that there’s a change that happens, negative or positively, and a lot of times you don’t find out about that unless you’re following or you’re in a group like… I’m thinking about actually starting a group of just schema only because I don’t have any way to tell all the different people that I’ve talked to about schema if I find something new that works.
Jesse Dolan: Sure.
Terry Samuels: For them to find it, it’s probably not going to happen because they either don’t have the right testing environment… I mean, I’m fortunate. I’ve got hundreds of websites that I test with, and they’re all within my niches that I’m in. So, when I say something works for a roofing company, it works for a roofing company. But on the geo side is the one that’s changing the most. So, on the geo side, I’ll notice something here in Phoenix area that would typically work in other areas, but I don’t test that much in the geo side because it’s really too small of a test, to be honest with you. The geo side is changing so fast, so rapidly that to do a test geo-related only, you probably wouldn’t get a good variable result anyways.
So, the best thing to do is to, like I said, follow somebody thinking about… The only thing that I don’t like about the Facebook group is just Facebook itself, so it’s just with that, but the idea of having a place that you can go and tell people… We’ve had a new site… Everybody’s familiar with Wikipedia. Wikipedia links are everywhere. Everybody’s Wikipedia, and then you get the Productology. Those are the two most powerful, call them, authoritative links in almost every niche in the world. Well, we found another one about three weeks ago, and it’s an old HTML site, 30 years old, but for some reason it has some superpower.
So, now we’re including that third link into that, into the Wikipedia, Productology, and then this new one. But this new one, we haven’t tested it enough as far as… We tested it on the roofing side and the lawyer side, so we’re still kind of testing some different variables on it, but it’s something that we’re confident enough to say, “Hey, guys, you can add this in to where Google will now crawl this freaking ugly-as-sin damn website, but it has every freaking city that we can find in the world. It has a little page for them.” So, instead of getting, or included in getting the Phoenix Wikipedia page and the Phoenix Productology page, we’re also grabbing this Phoenix page.
Forgive me. I’m not saying because I don’t want to say it. I ain’t saying it because I don’t remember the… DB something. Anyways, but that’s an example of something that would work for everybody, but then going out and implementing it on a 300-page website, is it worth it? I don’t have a freaking clue. So, a lot of this stuff, when my templates change, I’ve got a template, I have about 10 people that have bought my template package from me, and anybody that buys the template package I give updates to if they want to add to their templates. But once you have a template, that’s what I tell people. Once you hire me to do schema, you don’t have to rehire me next year to do another service because you have all the templates. You just change the variables yourself.
Jesse Dolan: Yep.
Terry Samuels: But yeah, that’s the only… You’re right. It changes a lot, and I say that… It probably hasn’t changed in the past two months very much at all, so we’re hoping it’s gotten pretty good as far as… It’s very stable. Google came back and said they’re keeping the testing tool because we’re all out there trying to find a different thing to use instead of a testing tool, because you have to test this stuff before you load it, and then you also have to make sure you have Google Search Console installed in case there is errors, because even though the testing tool will tell you it’s good, Search Console might still give you an error or a warning.
Jesse Dolan: Well, like you said, it’s one open or close bracket or one comma or one semicolon in the wrong spot or omitted can just screw the whole damn thing up. So, testing it to know if you missed that with your eyes is definitely recommended.
Terry Samuels: Well, yeah. That’s important, for sure, and it can be… The only penalty that we’ve ever seen with scheme is review penalty. I tell people, “Unless you want to play in the review world, just don’t even use them,” because we haven’t found a significant greater advantage to doing anything review-related except for products. Services, like I said, we really haven’t found a good thing, products, yes, but ever since they took away the aggregate rating, it seems like they just kind of, at least the connection between outside GMB, we really think Google’s kind of broke that authority, trust, whatever, because it is abused so much.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah.
Terry Samuels: It was heavily abused. I mean, I got on one site, this guy had 1,500 freaking reviews, and he had four. I’m like, “Dude, what the frick?”
Jesse Dolan: Because you could you input whatever you wanted.
Terry Samuels: You could input whatever you want, and it’ll show up on the stars. If you click on it, the guy’s got four freaking reviews. You know?
Jesse Dolan: Right.
Terry Samuels: So, it was making Google look bad too, which is never a good thing. So, that’s why reviews is something that we’re constantly keeping an eye out. Dude, just like you said, I got so many leads being at the bottom of page one, but I was the only one on the page with stars.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah, it just stands out. It stands out like a sore thumb.
Terry Samuels: But again, we hope something of the sort comes back, but you watch websites like Neil Patel, that’s where the stars are going to start showing up first, and we’re still not seeing them. We probably click through there every month or so to see if anything’s come up, and then we can reverse-engineer it, but right now it’s not. Neil Patel’s freaking schema is such a joke. I keep wanting to freaking reach out to him and say, “Hey, dude let me…” Because he’s got the most popular blog post about schema, and his schema is a freaking joke.
Jesse Dolan: Go figure, plumber with the leaky pipes. Right?
Terry Samuels: Yeah, exactly.
Jesse Dolan: I think moral of to the story for what you’re saying is, yeah, schema will update, but if I’m putting words off a little bit and paraphrasing, if it updates, it’s more like there’s a new thing you can use. It’s not going to update and break your site somehow. It’s just more of are there new things you could take advantage of, pay attention to that, or if you’re hooked into somebody like yourself, make sure you’re getting alerted from them, but it can be somewhat set it and forget it. Now, there’s always a danger there because of your competition. If you outrank your competition, they’re going to come back and say, “What do we got to do?” They may outplay you with some updated schema, and you got to come back then, but nobody’s really in any danger then of having their schema get broken because some schema thing updated. It’s just whether you’re using that feature or not.
Terry Samuels: Yeah. It’s once you’re using the feature, how it’s built. Like I said, when we switched from going to the website as the power to the GMB as the power, it kind of changed everything for us because nobody ever thought of that before. I mean, the GMB’s always just been something to be the map, make sure it’s embedded, blah, blah, blah, but now that we’re doing a lot of the machine ID-type stuff, that’s all through Google My Business, all that. All that machine ID stuff is through Google My Business, and almost every single search term has a machine ID. So, now we’re capturing all those and putting them into the schema. So, if one of the terms for a plumber is water heater, well, we’re grabbing that water heater machine ID link and putting it right into the schema because it’s relevant, it’s topical, it’s everything that has to do with that page.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah.
Terry Samuels: But that’s typically… The biggest thing that we’ve seen change, like I said, is on the connection between the schema and the GMB. So, we’re doing a big test right now of, okay, I’ve got two GMBs, and I actually want 10, playing the game that we all play. Well, I’m seeing if I can take these two locations and build 10 with just schema through the machine ID. So, the machine ID isn’t going to be exactly attached to me or one of the maps, but it’ll be attached to me and the location. So, I don’t know. I’m going to see if it works. I don’t know. It depends. We’re all trying to find ways to not have so many maps because so many get canceled, depleted, and if we can do that through a semi-siloed system in schema, I don’t know.
It makes sense to me. It might work, but we’ll see. For Google to sit there and say, “Mr. Plumber in Plano, Texas, you can’t go anywhere outside Plano,” that’s stupid to me. That’s the one dumb thing Google does, because even though their office might be five miles into the next town, they’re still the best plumber within 10 miles. Anyway, so that’s the big test I’m doing right now, and it’ll probably go until the summer, but I’m really trying to see how much I can exploit through schema the one-page website, and then these two locations. So, it’s going to be an interesting test, but again, that’s the type of test that we do. That’s the type of test that if it works, everybody needs to know about it, because it’s something now you can… Quit spending money on maps. It only lasts a month or two. You know?
Jesse Dolan: Right.
Terry Samuels: Now there’s a new way to… It might not be perfect, but it might get us into five of the locations instead of 10.
Jesse Dolan: Well, I think this topic there highlights two things, themes from earlier in the conversation, I think very, very well. One is that you got to be testing. Right?
Terry Samuels: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jesse Dolan: You got to keep testing to find out what works, to leverage it, and-
Terry Samuels: And you can’t be scared to test. I get so many people, “I’m scared to test.” Well, get properties that you’re not scared to lose.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah.
Terry Samuels: Go out and buy a domain, preferably an auction domain. I’m not a big expired domain guy, but go buy a cheap auction domain as a test site. Get some cheap hosting on it. Put a one-page website on it. Connect it to all the Google properties, and test it. Just start doing stuff to it. It’s the only way you learn, because if you learn, if you test on a client site and it gets bad, I’m going to end up getting it, and now I’m going to charge this client a lot of money just to get it back to zero. Our game’s all about zero and up. If we get websites that are less than zero, we’ve got to charge to get it to zero, and that’s not a very pleasant phone call, especially after somebody just had a bad experience, but-
Jesse Dolan: It probably wasn’t a free experience either.
Terry Samuels: Exactly.
Jesse Dolan: I think the other part that that underscores is if you’re using Yoast or something like that, a canned software or plug-in solution, these things you’re talking about, the testing, maybe the manipulation and getting really in-depth, you don’t have that ability. You’re beholden to kind of the fields they have or what they’ve decided that you can implement for your schema, and to really take advantage of this and get ahead of your competition in Google, learn it, immerse it, or hire a professional who’s doing that if you’re not, but I think that really underscores that part of it too. You can’t just throw Yoast on there. It has schema, so you’re good to go. There’s so many parts of it that that’s not even going to touch or even keep up with, because they’re doing their testing, like you just mentioned. So, this is January. We’re recording this. You’re talking about a test you’re doing going through summer.
Terry Samuels: Yeah.
Jesse Dolan: I mean, if Yoast was going through a similar process, let’s say, it’s going to be awhile before they release that to you, and you’re so far downstream it’s old news by then. So, I think that’s probably a good point to kind of pause this, cut off this episode, unless you want to share some more, Bob, you have more questions, because I think everything going forward here is really going to get into those details for the future episodes of how do you do it, where do you do it, why do you do it, how do you construct it, and some of that. I think this was pretty good for everybody for what the heck is schema, and kind of parsing that out a little bit. I think this is a good time to mention to everybody on the front side, if you’ve got a question for Terry, he’s going to come on again. We’re going to dive deeper into this.
If you’ve got a question that’s in that deeper dive, or if there’s something that we mentioned here that was just kind of quickly glazed over, you want to revisit, even if it’s on a basic level, go localseotactics.com down at the bottom. Submit a question. Again, mention schema. Mention Terry. Those are going to be synonymous in the same topic here going forward, and we’ll get that stuff answered and highlighted for everybody. So, I’m sure there are some things, like this mysterious third website Terry’s not mentioning to go with Wikipedia, that we’re going to hold back or not going to learn all the secrets in testing, but I think Terry’s really going to dump a ton of knowledge on everybody. You were talking about the machine learning ID and the GMB ID within schema. I remember that’s one thing literally for me, a light bulb went off when you taught that I think this last year as SEO Spring Training, which I attended.
It was like, “Holy crap, I’ve never even thought of that.” So, this is a website. This is who we are. This is the entity, if you will, but bringing the GMB in, that’s a Google property. They know that. They trust that. It’s like the VIP entrance for communication on that. So, little tidbits like that is where I’m excited for you to come on again and really help people, because most… You threw out a number before, but most competitors aren’t doing this kind of stuff, or aren’t doing it at the level you can in schema, and if you’re trying to break through in your area, your market, your niche, your geographic location, schema’s going to be a secret weapon, I think, for a lot of people.
Terry Samuels: I agree.
Jesse Dolan: Did you have anything else, Terry, you wanted to add? Anything we might’ve missed?
Terry Samuels: No. I’m excited, thankful you guys asked me to do this. Like I said, it is a big passion of mine between siloing and schema, mainly just because I’ve always said that if we don’t take advantage of the time Google gives us or any bot gives us, then we’re just out there fluttering in the wind, and I do believe it’s something that most SEOs don’t really pay attention to or don’t think about, of why is it taking my website eight months to rank? Well, maybe we’ve got some crawl problems. You know?
Jesse Dolan: Right.
Terry Samuels: That’s stuff that it’s… Google’s not making it easy for us to find out about this type of stuff, so it makes more sense to me than to fight Google on that side. Fine, you give me an opportunity to put all this stuff in the head before you even get to the potential problems. I’m going to take advantage of it. So, we’ve just taking the time to see what components work, what components work better than others, what are some of the most common out there that we’ve seen, which kind of sets everything apart, and then really tying in and Google properties. GMB’s one of them. Google gives us a business site. Google gives us a Google site. They give us all these Google properties that obviously are going to index. They’re obviously very powerful if you want to start talking different UR, UL, blah, blah, blah. So, why not start tying those to our websites? It just makes more sense to me, to introduce Google that way to my property than it would be hoping Google finds me, and hopefully Google will put two and two together. Well, let’s kind of force the issue.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah, yeah. Take advantage of it. You had said a few times, exploit it, not in a negative way, but in a leverage it way, a utilize it way.
Terry Samuels: I mean, they’re exploiting us every freaking day. We’re giving them all the content they ever need.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah.
Terry Samuels: So, we might as well try to get something back.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah. Newsflash, if nobody’s paid attention, Google has a little bit of cash laying around from all of us giving them content and using their devices, so-
Terry Samuels: Totally.
Jesse Dolan: Bob, did you have any more questions to follow up with Terry?
Bob Brennan: Well, hopefully this might be one that you have to cut if it’s too goofy, but Terry, are you looking at… Do you have a way to look at competitors’ schema, or is that something you have to get in their code?
Terry Samuels: Yeah, we can look at their schema. I’ve got a tool that’ll scrape any website and tell me all the schema that’s on it.
Bob Brennan: Okay.
Terry Samuels: Then I can go in, and I can take that schema, and I can see what I don’t like about it. I can see what they’re doing differently. That’s pretty much how I built my first library, was the problem was finding anybody that did good schema, so I had a bunch of little schemas. I call them better-than-Yoast schemas. So, they were Yoast-plus. You know?
Bob Brennan: Right.
Terry Samuels: They weren’t anything yet, because like I said, when I started doing this, I was basically still the way I am today text-wise. So, I have a library full of probably 600 different text files of 600 different schemas that I’ve done, and it all started with going out and trying to find how everybody else placed it together because there wasn’t anything out there to show you, and it matters within the schema where you place the image compared to where you place the about, because the way… This stuff Google doesn’t tell you. It’s like an algorithm update. “Oh, sorry. You got hit with an algorithm update, but we’re not going to tell you why.”
Well, the same thing in schema. They just tell you it doesn’t work. So, now you’re looking at all this schema, and you’re going, “Wait a minute. It’s only showing half of the schema.” Well, because you put an image schema in the wrong place, and that’s the part that’s so frustrating about one of the biggest reasons why they’ll never be a good schema tool. There are some good ones out there now that are getting better, but they just… Again, they give you a better-than-Yoast platform, and now you need to go out and make it better than them. Again, the way that templates are important is because it took so much time to find out what segments of properties went where, and make sure that… Professional services is one of the biggest schemas out there. Well, they’re doing away with it.
Well, it’s causing a mass panic everywhere because professional services is what a web design company would use, or an internet marketing company, or a copier company. We all started out as professional services because that was the broad schema that matched us all. We weren’t medical. We weren’t construction, that type of stuff. So, now everybody’s panicking, so we’ve gone back to local business site-wide, and the reason we did that is because it tested better than everything else. So, until Google gives us a different option, which we think they’re going to start adding to the business-type levels, so once they give us a different option, then on the site-wide anyways, we’re just sticking with local business on my site. But it tested the best.
Before, I was just putting local business on my Phoenix page or my Tempe page or whatever. So, now I’ve got a local business site-wide, and I’ve done more service-type stuff on the local pages, organization-type stuff. But that type of thing, when we hear something is being depleted, again, we don’t know when because Google never tells us. That is the other thing. It’s being depleted. So, we’re trying to be ahead of the game because that will flag it in Google. Let’s say they do cut that out tonight at midnight. Everybody that has professional service scheme will get an error message in Google Search Console the next day.
So, now you’ve got a bunch of schemas out there that just aren’t working, but that’s the type of stuff that it’d be nice to have an outlet for to let everybody know, “Hey, guys, this is a change coming. Here are some different options that we’ve found have worked. Here are some different options that we found that would probably work if you want to test, that type of thing.” I’m trying to get Clint to go on the Facebook group with me just because I don’t want to do it all by myself, but I think it is important.
Like you said, some of their updates isn’t something that you’re going to run to and make changes on every site, but it’d be nice to implement it on the site or the next page or the next blog, and if it is, if you see a big boost on that one, then you can justify taking the time to go back, because it is a time thing. I get people all the time. We do a lot of white-label SEO, and so I get people all the time that say, “Well, I only get 600 bucks a month from this guy.” Well, you’re not going to do much schema with 600 bucks. It’s just the money and the time is not there, especially if you’re going to… With all the other stuff, you have to do it. You know?
Jesse Dolan: Sure.
Terry Samuels: Don’t do on-page to just do schema.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah. You mentioned text files. This is another thing that stuck with me that you taught me, or at least turned me on to it in SEO Spring Training. If anybody out there is messing with this or you use text files, I’m a Windows guy, not a Mac guy, so I’d use the Notepad, built-in Notepad++. It was like a game changer for doing this kind of stuff, with that search and replace function and some other stuff. It’s like a supercharged version of Notepad, so anybody out there listening, if you use just text editors and stuff or text files, check out that Notepad++. That was a super cool little pro tip too Terry shared before.
Terry Samuels: Yeah, and I keep text files on everything. They’re like my… Because they’re so easy to save.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah.
Terry Samuels: Word documents get to be a little monotonous, and you always have to have Word, but I’ve got text files for all different stuff, not just schemas, projects infos and tips and tricks that I read on keeping text file, and put stuff in there, and-
Jesse Dolan: I just like not having to worry about… It’s kind of like whatever it be, Steve Jobs or Barack Obama, these guys are somewhat famous for wearing the same things all the time just so they didn’t have to have the decision on what to choose. I like these text files. I don’t care what font it is or the size or the headings. I just type it up, and it may not look super cool for somebody, but the information was there in a super fast, super efficient way.
Terry Samuels: Totally.
Jesse Dolan: Not schema-related. Well, in a roundabout way it is, because that’s where you can save… Like you said, once you figure out what works and it passes the structured data testing tool, copy that son of a bitch, paste it into a text file, and save it so you don’t screw it up, because one little comma somewhere is going to ruin your day.
Terry Samuels: Exactly.
Jesse Dolan: All right, Bob. Any other questions or tidbits-
Bob Brennan: Nope. Nope. I look forward to the testing, and obviously getting more… This is great information from Terry down the road, so-
Jesse Dolan: Yeah, 100%. All right. I’m going to read… Terry, I’m sure you’re an avid listener to our podcast, catch every episode, so you know right now I’m going to be reading a five-star review we got submitted from a listener. We do that on every episode. So, this episode we got a good five-star review from Michael Hanson that says, “I’ve just discovered the podcast and can’t soak up the knowledge fast enough. The content is so straightforward, easy to understand, and to put it into practice.
I hope to team up with them and return the favor for all the great wisdom they provide.” Thanks, Michael. Really appreciate the review. As everybody knows, you keep leaving them, we’re going to keep reading them every episode. Go to localseotactics.com, again, down at the bottom, click on the button for reviews. We make it easy. Jump over to Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Google My Business, wherever you want to leave a review, Facebook. We’ve love to have them, so that lets us know we’re doing a good job and on the right track. All right. Well, that pretty much does it for that episode. Terry, thanks for jumping on, sharing all this wisdom, I look forward-
Terry Samuels: No problem.
Jesse Dolan: … to future episodes. Again, everybody out there. If you’ve got a question on this, drop us a line on that, and we’ll put you in the queue, and next time we’ll be asking Terry a bunch of questions from everybody out there. So, thanks for tuning in, and catch you guys later.
About Salterra Digital Services
Salterra was started in 2011 by Terry and Elisabeth Samuels; nothing fancy and nothing pretentious. Quality work at a fair price. Starting with a web design focus, they both quickly learned that while having an amazing website to highlight your business is a great start, marketing is intrinsically foundational for our clients. When several clients were not seeing results through the search efforts of other companies, Terry took it to the next level. While digging into SEO and marketing, he found something he was very passionate about. His inner geek pushed him to focus solely on the data and analytics side of the business while Elisabeth built on her creative and visual strength and expanded the design side. In the industry, it is not always common to have both designers and digital marketing so closely connected, but to them, it made perfect sense. Salterra’s World Headquarters is in Tempe Arizona