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Schema Secrets Revealed with Shay Ohayon (NEWBIE)

Schema Secrets Revealed with Shay Ohayon (NEWBIE)

Building schema markups: Avoiding the stumbling blocks and taking your websites to new heights

 

It’s that time again.
SCHEMA TIME.

Yes, we’re here for another soiree with Schema.

You’re a little familiar with it at this point.
You’ve eyed each-other across the room.
You’ve heard your peers mention “markup’’ in
hushed, worried tones.

It’s time to get reacquainted with, or meet for the very first time, this dead-handy structured data tool.

I know many of us put Schema in the too hard basket, but no more, I have a very special guest who’s here to make schema as easy as falling off a greasy log.

Even for the technically challenged.

Ready? Let’s get stuck in.

 

Tune in to learn:

  • What is Schema, and why is it important?
  • How to check for pre-existing schema on your website
  • How schema factors into Google rankings
  • How to effectively use Schema.org
  • Why you should be linking schemas, and how to do it
  • Do it yourself – how to build schema, and how to fix common problems as they arise

 

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If you like what you’re hearing on The Recipe for SEO Success Show, support the show by taking a few seconds to leave a rating and/or comment on iTunes, SoundCloud, Spotify, or Stitcher. Thanks!

And big thanks Shannon_M for their lovely review.

 

About Shay

 

Shay Ohayon is an SEO marketer who has burst onto the indie web developer scene with his new WordPress plug-in, the Schema Mark App.

Shay also currently works as a digital marketer for his own company, Back and Front Marketing, as well as for 18Brandz.

Shay is a 33-year-old father of 2 wonderful boys, fluent in Hebrew and English.

Shay finds Mourning dove cooing the most relaxing sound.

 

Connect with Shay

 

Useful resources

 

Transcript

Kate Toon:

It’s that time again, Schema time. Yes, we’re here for another soirée with Schema. Perhaps you’re a little familiar with it, at this point? You’ve eyed each other across the room. You’ve heard your peers mention markup in hushed, worried tones.

Kate Toon:

It’s time to get reacquainted with, or meet for the very first time, this dead handy, structured data tool. I know many of us put Schema in the “too hard basket”, but no more. I have a very special guest today who’s here to make Schema as easy as falling off a greasy log, even for the technically challenged. Ready? Let’s get stuck in.

Kate Toon:

Hello, my name is Kate Toon. I’m the Head Chef of the recipe for SEO Success, an online teaching hub for all things related to search engine optimization and digital marketing, and today I’m talking with Shay Ohayon. Have I said your second name right, Shay?

Shay Ohayon:

Yes.

Kate Toon:

So, how are you Shay?

Shay Ohayon:

Good. How are you?

Kate Toon:

Good, good. Now, Shay sounds a little bit muffled. We’ve had a whole world of Zoom pain trying to get this call to work. I think Zoom is just exhausted. I think everyone’s been using it for the last few months, but we are going to persevere, and I’m going to start by awkwardly reading your bio out, Shay, while you sit there and listen to me do it. Okay?

Kate Toon:

So, Shay Ohayon is an SEO marketer who has burst into the indie web developer scene with his new WordPress plugin, the Schema MarkApp. Shay also currently works as a digital marketer for his own company, Back and Front Marketing, as well as for 18Brandz. Shay is a 33 year old father of two wonderful boys fluent in Hebrew and English, and Shay finds morning dove cooing the most relaxing sound. Now, I make everyone give me a silly fact these days. Can I hear your morning dove coo? Is it like ooh ooh?

Shay Ohayon:

Yeah, it’s about that. That’s right.

Kate Toon:

Okay. He’s not going to do it. He’s not going to coo like a dove.

Shay Ohayon:

Coo.

Kate Toon:

That was pretty good, Shay. You never thought you’d have to do that on a podcast about Schema.

Shay Ohayon:

Yeah.

Kate Toon:

So, let’s start talking about Schema. We have done an episode on this in the past, a long time ago, but I would say, if I’m honest, Schema is the stumbling block for most people. When it comes to technical SEO, they can wrap their brains around speed, and crawlability, responsiveness, even amp, and some of the more complex elements, but Schema just seems to stump everybody, and I’m not sure if it’s that Google hasn’t been particularly good at explaining it to people, or if just the platforms don’t make it particularly easy for people to implement it.

Kate Toon:

I know they’re trying to, and obviously you are trying to do something very special with that, but we’ll come back to that in a minute, but let’s start with the very basics. How would you describe Schema to an absolute newb?

Shay Ohayon:

The way I would describe Schema is, it would be to put on a silver plate the information that’s on a page and on a website through the search engine. It’s a way to give them the idea of what the page is about and what the website, in general, is about.

Kate Toon:

Yeah. So, we know that Google is pretty good now at interpreting the information on our page. We’ve had language algorithm updates like BERT and Hummingbird looking at context and searcher intent, but to do that, Google still needs to wade through your content. To crawl through and try and find a dollar symbol to identify the price, or find a name and say, “Oh, maybe that’s the product name.”

Kate Toon:

So, Schema is a great way of almost labelling elements within your page and going, “Hey, Google. This is the price. Hey, Google. This is the availability. Hey, Google. This is the date of the event.” Or whatever. I think the way I’ve heard it described is Schema separates things from strings, which I think is quite a nice way to describe it.

Kate Toon:

Now, there are lots of different types of Schema. So, ways to mark up, and I think markup is a great term, because you can imagine it’s almost like going through your webpage with a yellow highlighter pen and highlighting, for Google, the most important data. Talk to us about the different types of Schema markup that there are.

Shay Ohayon:

Yeah. So, there’s all sorts of Schemas, and saying that basically melting up the information on the page is a great way to describe that, but it’s a bit more than that. It’s also a way to give a context of the whole page and connect it to other pages, and give a whole context of the whole website to Google and, of course, give it in context to the actual page, and when it comes to the types, there’s types for an about page, a contact page, a product pages, the webpage itself, and all sorts of Schemas that are very important to implement in every website.

Kate Toon:

Yeah. So, the ones that, I guess, I talked about most in my world are Product Schema, so marking up your products in your store, and if you’re a service based business, the local business Schema. So, your name, address, your phone number. All that good stuff, but yes, new Schema seems to be coming out all the time. FAQ Schema is one that people are very excited. Can you explain a little bit more about FAQ Schema and what that’s intended for?

Shay Ohayon:

Yeah. So, FAQ Schema is basically a frequently asked questions, and it’s a way to mark a certain section of the page. You tell Google, this is a certain question that’s being asked by the customers, or whoever is visiting the page, and give the answers immediately in a format, in a structured way, which also meets the structured data.

Shay Ohayon:

So, and then, Google takes that and presents that on the search engine page, and it’s something that’s being used now, and I’ve seen all kinds of new ways even to use that, so that’s something that Google been pushing, and you can tell that they’re letting a lot of users, a lot of websites, big and small, to basically make use of that.

Kate Toon:

Yeah. So, we talk about this Schema markup, and people will be like, “Well, look. Gosh, I’ve got so many things to do on my website. What is Schema going to do for me? Is it going to help me rank higher, or is it more about clarity in the search engine results pages?” Do you think that it’s a ranking factor or do you think it’s more of a usability factor?

Shay Ohayon:

I think that there’s more research to be done, but when it comes to Breadcrumbs Schema, I can verify a hundred percent that there is a ranking factor, and when it comes to other Schemas, it is a way to just let Google know about the page, and so on. As far as my testing, it’s not yet I’m known for a way to rank up, but it could be, because there’s more testing to be done.

Kate Toon:

Yes. Well, everything with Google is a bit… It depends, isn’t it? We’ll have to wait and see, but I think one of the most powerful things is that it really improves click through, because for example, if you’ve got Product Schema and I can see the price, the availability, all that good stuff, and then the next product, I can’t see any of that. Well, which one am I going to click?

Kate Toon:

It’s a big incentive to click through to the actual page, so that’s helpful. So, for those who’ve been a bit standoffish about how to navigate Schema, and most of the listeners to the show won’t be hand coding websites. They’ll be using platforms like Shopify, Squarespace, WordPress. Where do they start with Schema? How do they know if they already have it, for example?

Shay Ohayon:

So, a way to know if they already have it is to use either Google’s tool, or there are other tools that validate the Schema, so if you go on Google and search for a “Schema Testing Tool”, you would get that. Even Bing has their own Schema validation tool, and once you put a URL on your page, you can see if there is Schema or not. It will depend on the sidebar. You would see if you have.

Shay Ohayon:

When it comes to implementing, you could start with generators. There are plenty of generators. You could Google “Schema Markup Generators.” You can generate basically the code by the Schema that you wish, and then you take that code and you implement that inside your website. Now, that could be-

Kate Toon:

I’m going to come back to that. I’m going to come back to that. I think let’s start with the finding if it’s there first. So, you pop your URL into the structured data tool, which I’ll put a link to in the show notes, and it will come back and show you a whole load of code on one side, and on the other side, it comes back and says what it’s detected.

Kate Toon:

For example, the page that I’ve just come back with says it’s got H-entry and web page. So, what does that mean for the newb? Remember, we’re talking to newbs on this episode.

Shay Ohayon:

Yeah. So, basically, the webpage is a Schema that describes the webpage, so it includes the title, it includes the description, it includes images that’s on the page. If there is a search bar on the page, it will include the search bar of the page. It will include all the information. It should include all information about the actual page and tell Google it’s a web page.

Kate Toon:

Okay, great. So, when I pop in my site in there, or one of my student’s sites here, I’m not seeing product Schema, or local Schema, or any other type of Schema, so it seems to me, at the base level, WordPress gives you webpage Schema and that’s about it. So, if other people are searching and they’re finding that, and they’re on WordPress, what would be the next thing that they do?

Kate Toon:

So, you talked about the fact that you can go off and use Google’s Schema markup app, and write code. That will scare the poop out of most people, “I’ve got to write code, and then I take that code and I put it in my site? Where the hell do I put it? Am I going into the actual header and footer PHP files?” Where do I put that code?

Shay Ohayon:

So, It is some something that is not very easy to do, but there is plenty guides to follow. You can implement that inside the page. If you have, for example, Elementor, the page builder for WordPress, there are HTML blocks they can put it in. If you got a text editor, you can also put that. If you just use the WordPress without the Elementor, or any page builder, you can even implement the script code there. You just copy and paste, and it should work.

Kate Toon:

Yes. Great. So, I know that a lot of my listeners are big fans of Divvy, and I’m going to include a link to a great little article by Elegant Themes on how to add that in. So, you don’t need to be going into the root files of your site. You can just add it within blocks, and if you add it within blocks, is it then only going to appear on that particular page? Are you suggesting that you add it in a global element, so that it’s site-wide?

Shay Ohayon:

Yes. So, that’s a problem when using a script code and a generator, it will only apply for that page, and that’s where comes plugins, for example for WordPress, where it would do the implementation for all the pages automatically. So, that’s a really good way to do that, and that’s also a way to do that if you have a website with hundreds or thousands of products, or pages, or articles. You would probably better use the plugin instead of implementing that for every single page.

Kate Toon:

Yeah, great advice there. So, there’s two options there. Just to clarify and reframe, you can go in and add specific Schema for a particular page, create the code, add it into HTML block, but, as you mentioned, the best option is to use a site-wide plugin.

Kate Toon:

Before we move on to talking about that, obviously, if you’re on a platform like Squarespace or Shopify, you really can’t get it and start fiddling with the code in that way, and most… Like Shopify, for example, comes with basic Schema for products, anyway. I mean, I know you’re a WordPress guy, but for those other platforms, is there much you can do by way of Schema, or do you really just have to rely on the platform itself?

Shay Ohayon:

Actually, maybe we can add that to the show notes, but I have already made a Shopify Schema code that you can add to your Shopify, and it will add your product schema. But yes, I know that with Shopify, there are add-ons, not quite sure how they call it in there, the equivalent for plugins, and it will add the Schemas that you want, but it’s not as easy as it is with WordPress.

Kate Toon:

Yeah. They call them apps in Shopify world, rather than plugins, just to be different. There’s lots of different Schema apps that you can use. Schema App Total Markup. There’s several. I’ll include a few in the show notes, and Squarespace assure that there’s apps for that, as well.

Kate Toon:

So, let’s go back to talking about WordPress, because there are, obviously, some existing apps that offer Schema integration. So, the first one that we can talk about is Yoast. So, Yoast, I think even now, maybe even the free version. I’m not sure. I’ll have to [inaudible 00:15:42]. You might know better than me. What basic out-of-the-box Schema does the free version of Yoast give you?

Shay Ohayon:

The web page. They give you a webpage Schema. It will include the Breadcrumbs, which is good. So, the webpage, and I know that the premium out-of-the-box will give you more options, but the basic offer gives you the webpage Schema.

Kate Toon:

Yeah. Obviously, Yoast want to make some money, which is totally fair enough, so one of the reasons you upgrade is that you do get other types of Schema, most importantly, local business Schema. So, that local business markup that’s really good.

Kate Toon:

Again, another plug in that includes Schema with it, it’s a paid plugin… Well, the basic version is free, but blah, blah, blah. WooCommerce will, of course, give you product Schema, as well, so you don’t need to implement that, but if you want to do more than that there are plugins for recipe Schema, whatever,

Kate Toon:

And there’s also a plugin just called… They’re always called really exciting things, aren’t they? WordPress plugins. I think it’s called Schema or something like that. WPSchema, and that’s more where you can take code and embed it across the site, but you, this is very exciting, you are developing your own Schema plugin, and so, tell us a little bit about that and tell us what it’s going to do.

Shay Ohayon:

So, I developed my plugin on purpose to make it easier for users to implement Schema. It will add all the schemas that the basic other plugins will add, and some more, but it will also make it easier to edit the Schema. So, for example, local business Schema, usually you would have to go to the backend of WordPress to add the information.

Shay Ohayon:

With my plugin, you can add all that information from the actual page that the Schema is implementing it to, and it will add all the schemas, and my plugin also gives all the products Schema, but it also adds fields that will not be available through other plugins. Also, bulk editing for product pages, which is amazing.

Kate Toon:

Fantastic. It is a big thing, and I mean, obviously then there is event Schema and recipe Schema. I mean, there’s so many different… Books Schema. There’s oodles of type. Do you intend, ultimately, that your plugin will cover all of those or are you going to have a limited schema set, as it were?

Shay Ohayon:

It will not include all the Schemas, but it will hold out close to 60 Schemas, so it will cover, let’s say, 99% of the cases.

Kate Toon:

Fantastic. FAQ schema, because that’s the one that people are very excited about?

Shay Ohayon:

Yeah. It’s already included. Yes.

Kate Toon:

Wow. Okay. So, where are you up to with that plugin? Where can I get my sticky hands on it? When will it be released?

Shay Ohayon:

It’s available right now. If you go to schemamarkapp.com, you can register there, and you will be able to download it. The plugin works with a licencing system, so I would have to create the licence manually, but as soon as you register, I would see and I’ll be able to credit the licence for you, but it’s available right now.

Shay Ohayon:

It will include FAQ Schema, recipe Schema, local business, webpage. About 15 different Schemas, including the systems, the sidebar that allows you to add it and see schemas live, so it’s available there.

Kate Toon:

How exciting. So, I’m going to include the link to that in the show notes, and I’m actually… Literally opened up a little inbox there, a little email there, for my developer, to say, “Off you go.” Because I used to build all my own sites, but these days, the thought of fiddling around with Schema does not excite me, Shay. Don’t don’t judge me.

Kate Toon:

I know it makes you excited, but it doesn’t make me excited. So, I’m going to get them to implement that across my sites, because I’ve done an appalling job of schema, I must admit. Now, you are running a Kickstarter campaign. What was the Kickstarter campaign to fund? Was that to just help you work more on this plugin and make it even better?

Shay Ohayon:

Yes, it is to basically develop the plugin. To make it better, add more types, and make the UI better, and support all the schemas that use this one.

Kate Toon:

Yeah, and I know that Kickstarter campaigns are the pits, because you work so hard on them and then if you don’t reach your total, then you don’t get dosh, and I suggested that you maybe went with Indiegogo or one of the platforms that allows you to take whatever you make, which I think is a much better option. So, will you be launching a new campaign to get that cracking?

Shay Ohayon:

Yes, I will be launching a new campaign. Probably Indiegogo, that will be a good idea.

Kate Toon:

Well, you need to get that up and running by Wednesday, the 3rd of June, because that’s when this episode is going out, and if you do, I can include a link in the show notes and people can go and support you.

Kate Toon:

If you’ve enjoyed this episode and even learned one thing about Schema. Every dollar counts. Maybe go and give Shay $5, and you can be a part of creating something, which I think is so needed. I mean, the reason I heard about you was, I think, Jonno from Yoast retweeted, or maybe it was Cyrus, retweeted your post, and I was like, “Oh my God. Finally, somebody is making this.”

Kate Toon:

Because it is so needed, and I love the idea that it’s a bit more front end, because most people, even if they feel fairly confident with WordPress, as soon as you get into that backend code, it just feels a little bit overwhelming. You get code blindness, so I’m very excited.

Kate Toon:

So, listen, just a few questions to finish up. I think a couple of things that often happen or that I see when I’m auditing websites is that people have multiple plugins doing the same thing. So, they have a schema, they put their own product schema in, via an app, and they’re also using WooCommerce, and they’ve got Yoast’s local business, but they’ve also hand coded it. Can Schema wipe each other out? Can you have too much Schema? Conflicting Schema?

Shay Ohayon:

Yes. So, duplicate schema is a problem and it could cause issues and ranking issues with Google, and so, what my plugin does is there is an option to disable Yoast’s Schema and the WooCommerce Schema.

Shay Ohayon:

On the options, you go down, and you click “off” and you save, and it will basically disable the duplicate schemas, and will use the schema from my plugin to basically add that in. So, when you use a plugin or code it’s very important you avoid having duplicates.

Kate Toon:

Yeah. I think that’s such a good point. I mean, I see sites where they have three different SEO plugins all trying to render sitemaps and title tags. It’s like, “Oh my goodness.” So, look, I think if you’re listening to this and you are…

Kate Toon:

I’ve called this episode a techie episode just because most people, they don’t even get to the schema part of the things. Their site speed is 35 seconds, and they’re trying to work on that. So, I’ve called it a techie episode, but I think, what I’m delighted to hear from Shay is that this plugin is actually going to make things easier, and going to make what was a very techie issue, more of a newb issue.

Kate Toon:

So, I think that’s amazing, and I know this episode seems like a bit of a plug, and it is. Shay’s not sponsored this episode. I’m not affiliated in any way, but I do think it’s important to support people who are trying to make the world a better place. You probably think that sounds a bit over the top, but it’s not, because I know so many WordPress developers who struggle with schema, and so many real people. Real people, because WordPress developers aren’t real people. You know what I mean?

Kate Toon:

So, I think that’s super exciting. I will include links to all your bits and bobs in the show notes, and I’m going to wrap up the episode there, because we can talk about schema all day. We can talk about JSON and blah, blah, blah, but what I want is the simplicity. That you need to audit your site and see what’s there.

Kate Toon:

Then you need to have a look at the plugins and what they’re already doing, possibly grab Shay’s app and instal it. Make sure there’s no conflicts, and then run your site through the schema testing tool and hopefully work with a developer that can help you with that.

Kate Toon:

Now, in terms of your plugin, do you also offer support? One of the problems with a lot of WordPress plugins is you get them and then you never hear from the people again, and you never get any upgrades or whatever, but I guess that’s what this Kickstarter campaign is all about? So, that you can offer that some ongoing support, as well?

Shay Ohayon:

Yes, exactly. So, that’s what the Kickstarter is for. To be able to give support, but as of right now, I’m the one who’s giving support and I’m answering requests, so if anyone emails me and needs support and have any questions, he’s more than welcome to email me and ask questions, and I’ll be happy to help.

Kate Toon:

Well, you’ve set yourself up for failure there. You’re going to get a thousand emails tomorrow, but that will be a good thing, because that means people will be using your plugin. Shay, thank you so much for coming on the show today and talking to me about this.

Shay Ohayon:

Thank you.

Kate Toon:

Just again, to remind you that the website is schemamarkapp, A-P-P,.com, but I will include a link to the show notes. So, thank you very much, Shay.

Shay Ohayon:

Thank you.

Kate Toon:

So, thanks Shay, and thanks to you for listening. If you liked the show, don’t… Oh, I’ve done it wrong.

Kate Toon:

So, that’s the end of this weeks show. If you have a question about how to make blog… So, that’s the end of the show. If you have a question about Schema, head to my I Love SEO group on Facebook, or head to the show notes for this episode.

Kate Toon:

I’d like to end the show with a shout out to one of my lovely listeners, and today it’s [Shannon M 00:26:17], and he/she says, “Kate provides one of the best podcasts on SEO and digital marketing that I’ve ever come across. She asks questions of her guests that cut through industry jargon to help you truly get better results with your SEO. Her passion for her listeners is evident in every episode, and I eagerly wait for each episode to be released so I can tune in. Thanks for what you produce, Kate.”

Kate Toon:

Thank you, and thank you Shay, and thank you for listening. If you’d like to leave the show a review, I will be very, very grateful. A five star rating and review. I’m running out reviews. You can review us on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you heard the podcast, and you’ll get a shout out on the show.

Kate Toon:

So, leave your name and website address and I’ll read it out, and don’t forget to check out the show notes for this episode at therecipeforseosuccess.com, where you can learn more about Shay Ohayon, find links to all the bits and bobs we talked about, and also, support his campaign, which will be lovely.

Kate Toon:

Finally, I have a new podcast. Well, not new, but revamped. The Kate Toon show. It’s my personal podcast about living life as a misfit entrepreneur. My tips, advice, on how to be a happier and more successful business owner, so tune in on your favourite podcast app.

Kate Toon:

Until next time. Happy SEOing.