Once a buzzword comes to the ears of individuals and organizations, everyone wants to join those first to use it. Most may not totally understand what the word means, or even the technical aspects of the unfamiliar words they use. They are just emotional about it and would want to jump on the train to either be the pioneers or follow other pioneers. One of such buzzwords is ‘schema SEO’.
Although it is an important part of business, many people only know it on the surface without really knowing what it does or how it works. Once every while, such buzzwords hit the markets, and businesses and content managers think they need to spend a lot of money on new software or technology. But they mostly do this because although they have heard about it and know it could be useful, they don’t understand and can hardly express what exactly it does.
What is Schema?
A schema is an organized layer of data that defines the relationship between various pieces of information. If this seems like too much to take in, a schema, in layperson’s terms, is structured data that helps Google understand what the information is on a page and who it is for.
A schema markup is a universally shared vocabulary of structured data (we can see it as a simple markup language close to HTML).
Organizations use schema because structured data adds high levels of clarity while reducing the amount of confusion and guesswork about the content of a web page. Schema can boost SERP (search engine results page) listings; which may transcend into grabbing a rich snippet, receiving higher click-through rates, and a greater edge in a competitive landscape.
All sounds great, right? While it’s no doubt that a schema is important to businesses, the fact is, most businesses don’t need a schema. Although there is always such a frenzy about new things in SEO, this article will give you 7 reasons why you should not invest in schema.
But first, let briefly discuss some of the schema markup types.
Types of Schema
Which schema type to be used depends on the context and narrows down to specific people, places, and things. There are several types that are easy to implement, can scale, and we can use across many platforms. Then there is schema markup that requires custom development.
Here is a look at the different structured markup types.
Organization and Local Business Schema markup
Small and medium-sized businesses that cater to a specific or regional market commonly employ this type of schema markup. They use Local Business structured data markup to support more specific and targeted business types, such as real estate agent, dentist, and so on. Schema can help improve local SEO by making it clear about where you are, what you do, and who you serve.
SearchAction Schema markup
Search Action is a schema worth leveraging for sites with search functionality. Although there are no guarantees that Google will use it, Search Action enables Google to add a search field in the SERP listing.
Breadcrumb Schema markup
Breadcrumb is useful for showing content relationships in the SERPs for large websites with substantial navigation, categorization, and subsequent paths.
Breadcrumb markups show the position of a page in the hierarchy of a site, thus promoting seamless connection between user and content.
FAQ Schema markup
By including FAQ Schema markup, you have a better chance of earning a rich snippet in the knowledge graph. This type of rich result can encourage trust in your content and while it may not “need” a click, often it gets one.
Here is a look at a FAQ article we created that uses FAQ marketup.
Product Schema markup
If you sell a product, then you want to be sure Google knows it is not an informational piece. Product schema is a type of data markup that can lead to rich snippets in the product carousel. You definitely want your product front and center in product related rich results.
Other Types of Structured Data Markup
The list is growing every day. Other types include Article markup, Collection markup , offer markup, and Video Object schema markup. The newer forms of schema markup can lead to rich results and a featured snippet. But they are the ones that come at a heavy cost.
Which is why we need to get back to the principal topic. Before investing heavily into adding schema markup are the seven reasons why you should not invest in schema markup.
1. Schema is not top priority
This makes the top of the list because it is of the utmost importance to set the priorities of the business right. Once you don’t set the priorities right, the business will crumble. Certainly, a business will have other issues that are more pressing than using a schema. This is especially true for small- and medium-sized businesses. Using a schema while raising a business may seem cool and even call for a little feeling of pride, but defeats the primary aim of the business- which is raising funds.
This does not mean you shouldn’t include structure for your business. You can simply use plugins that will make it easier to automate the stuff you would need a schema for. This makes not only it easier, but it also saves you the hassle of dealing with the more technical side of things.
2. Schema is Complex And Difficult To Understand
Many consider Warren Buffett to be the greatest investor of all times. Warren advises you should never invest in something you do not understand. This is a good philosophy in every aspect of life.
When dealing with SEO and content management, it’s best practice to break down complex concepts to the smallest levels. We do our best to help our clients understand and know exactly what our SEO service is and how it can help them in their businesses.
But it is very difficult, and often impossible, for schema to translate from code to a simple language that the intended users can understand. You may indeed invest in schema using emotion, but this will soon backfire except if you are enthusiastic about the topic, and if you can keep up that enthusiasm for a long time.
3. Creating and Maintaining Schema is Time Consuming
As it is with almost any other algorithm, schema changes. High costs often accompany these changes. A certain platform charges $500 simply to maintain schema in its basic form. In the long run, this could prove to be more expensive, and keeping up with search engines may not be workable.
This is just another of the reasons you shouldn’t invest in a schema. The primary aim of starting a business is to make a profit. Using a schema that is expensive to maintain will do just the opposite of that: it will drain more resources than the business would gain.
4. Schema Can Be Unnecessary
For industries with little competition, using a schema may be overkill and totally uncalled for. This also depends on the location of your business. If your business is in a location with relatively low competition, then you would consider not investing in a custom schema.
You should only invest the time and money required to put the business on auto-pilot so you can focus on the things that really matter. (Setting priorities in the first point). Investing in schema would cost a lot of money that you may not realize once you consider how much you spend versus how much you make in return. This will not only be counter-intuitive, but it also may not even be necessary at all.
5. Growing Your Business Isn’t Google’s Concern
It is a fact that 50% of searches on Google do not receive clicks, and we focus schema on these non-clickable searches. This is especially true for voice searches that may bring totally unrelated results or results that are not worth the effort. Schema does not focus on your business; They focused it more on Google’s benefit.
That’s fine because Google only makes money when people click on links. They do this not for immediate gains, but for the long-term benefits. This may not seem immediately obvious, but that is simply the fact. This is good because it helps make the internet a better place, and as noble as this seems, it does not bring any money to your business.
6. Search Engines Are Trying To Reduce The Work They Put In
Search engines function well because they have crawlers that find the best content on the internet. The amount of crawling being done is continually being reduced to help reduce time wastage in finding the best search results. This translates to a lot of changes over time as they look to push the best pages first, using a process called indexing.
Not much you can do, but sit back and watch what happens with the index and see if it changes the way we set up, operate, and maintain schema in the long run. This takes the initiative out of your hand, and that is not what you would want for your business.
7. Updating and Changing Custom Schema Is Expensive
Once you have created a custom schema, there is no flexibility to change or update it without more cost. The changes simply happen as the search engines themselves change. Unless you have someone in the organization who is well-versed in the operations of schema, it could cost you tons of money to hire someone for maintenance, and although it is tough to chew, this may have been a wasted investment.
Wasting money with no return in the long run is an experience too many people have. There is a simple solution, and it has been earlier stated- and that is to make use of plugins to do the basic structuring so that you can quickly provide an FAQ section with no code.
Let’s Sum This All Up
This article has covered seven reasons you shouldn’t invest in schema, or at least why you should reconsider investing in schema. There may be a buzzword that sparks interest, and everyone would like to be part of it but these seven reasons should show you that although buzzwords may drag you emotionally, think before jumping on the train because SEO, just like building a link, is far more complex than just following step A to B and then to C to achieve the desired results in search engine rankings.
SEO Content Marketing Agency
Want to see an increase in traffic, leads, and sales in your business? We can help. Our SEO services start with building a strategy that positions you at the top of search as efficiently as possible. This means we do not charge you for services you do not need in order to beat out the competition.
Our agency understands where implementing schema makes sense, and where you can better spend your money. Fill out the form below for a free website audit, technical SEO review, and strategy call.