One of the currently under-utilized areas of local website optimization is semantic markup. Semantic markup is code used in your website that contains metadata about specific bits of information.
Semantic markup can increase chances that these bits information from your website will be highlighted in search engine results pages because they are written in a way that search engines (like Google, Bing, and Yahoo) can understand and read quickly.
So what are the most important semantic markups local businesses should be using? Here are our top 5:
1. Meta Descriptions
Meta Descriptions have been one of the earliest and longest surviving semantic markup elements. They’re possibly the most-influential as well, since they often appear as the entire snippet text in search results.
2. Authorship Markup
Authorship allows the blog post author’s Google+ photo to appear alongside search results of your website pages.
Which search result below stands out the most to YOU when you search for award winning web design?
3. Open Graph Protocol
The Open Graph API is a set of programming tools that let’s you get information in and out of social media. With Open Graph, social media sites such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter can identify important elements of a webpage.
Video listings in search results are inherently more attention-grabbing. Consumers like seeing videos of products and services, so this can help with click-through conversions as well.
Which search result are YOU more likely to click on: a video thumbnail or standard text link?
Google allows local businesses to disclose that they have a testimonial by using semantic markup for reviews, and Google sometimes will display that information in conjunction with the business’s listings in SERPs.
**Important Note About Semantic Markups**
Markups DO NOT guarantee your data will show up in Google search results. It is strongly recommended, but because of the unique algorithms of each search engine, search results can actually vary person to person, search by search.