Boost Your Local SEO with Local Business Schema

So you have a local business and you’re looking for ways to improve your online presence, rank higher, and drive more traffic through your door. One amazing, and often overlooked, way to boost your website in the search engine results pages is schema markup. Specifically for local businesses, Local Business Schema.

What is Schema?

Simply put, Schema is code that you place on your website to help search engines return more accurate results. Schema will tell search engines what your site’s data means and how it should be indexed. It’s a collaborative effort between, Google, Bing, Baidu, and Yandex.

To find out more about the inner workings of Schema, and its different types, please visit schema.org. 

 

For the purposes of this guide and boosting Local SEO, we will focus on just using Local Business Schema.

Getting Started With Local Business Schema

To understand Local Business Schema, first, we need to know that there are 3 different types of schema, MicroData, JSON-LD (JavaScript Object Notation-Linked Data), and RDFa. To make this as easy as possible for you, we will focus on the JSON-LD form of schema markup, which is most commonly used for local businesses. Although it’s not necessary for this guide, if you want to learn more about the inner working of JSON-LD, you can check out the documentation on the JSON-LD website.

The first thing you will want to do is become acquainted with Google’s Rich Results Testing Tool. This tool will validate your website’s schema and show if there are any warnings or errors.

 

Rich results testing tool

 

Input the URL for your website and click “Test URL.” This will return a results page for your URL, letting you know if it’s eligible for rich results (generated by structured data) and any detected structured data currently on the site.

 

eligible for rich results

 

Now that you have a baseline for your site, you’re well on your way to giving your local SEO a boost by better optimizing and organizing your business’s data using schema markup. You have the amazing opportunity of being able to tell search engines what data is what.

Creating Local Business Schema Markup

The schema markup that we are focusing on in this quick guide is the JavaScript-based JSON-LD. The best, and easiest, tool that we have found for creating JSON-LD schema is at jsonld.com.

After choosing Local Business as your schema type, you’ll then be presented with a simple form to fill in your business’s data. It will look something like the following image.

Selecting the “Type” field will bring up a dropdown menu with almost every local business that you could think of. Pick the option that is closest to your local business and see as the JSON-LD code appears on the right.

Make sure you fill in every field as completely as possible. There are a couple of fields that may give you trouble but are very important for Local SEO. The Latitude and Longitude fields as well as the Google Map URL field are super important to your site’s Local SEO. To make sure that they are filled out completely, please follow the steps below.

Adding Map with Latitude and Longitude

Head on over to trusty Google Maps for this one.

In the search bar, enter the name of your local business. Your business should show up on the map, marked with a pin.

From here, you can actually just right-click on the pin to display a small box with the latitude and longitude, which can then be added to the appropriate fields on the JSON-LD generator.

The next step would be to find the Google Maps URL to add to the corresponding field in the JSON-LD generator. The find this, just click on the Share option to the left of the page, in the Maps knowledge panel.

You can click to copy this link and paste it in the proper field in the schema generator.

Once you have finished filling out the form, the code on the right should be complete. Now is where you will copy the code and get it added to your site. It’s only necessary to add this code to the homepage of the site.

The JSON-LD code should look something like this:

The very best way to accomplish this is to send the code to the person that handles your website. If that person is you, then you have a few more steps to go before you can rest and watch your Local SEO rankings rise before your eyes. How many more steps depends on the platform that your website is built on. If it’s WordPress, there might be a simple plugin that you can buy that will accomplish everything in a few clicks. If it’s something like straight HTML or a proprietary system, you will have to rely on your webmaster to get the schema added. Once you’ve got it added, check your URL with the Rich Results Testing Tool to make sure everything is set up correctly.

If you are too busy running your business and just can’t find the time to handle your Local SEO tasks, like adding Local Business Schema, then check out the Local SEO experts here at WrightIMC. Our tailor-made Local SEO plans will have your website ranking higher than ever before and your phone ringing off the hook.