The Local Business Blueprint: How to Rank Higher with Schema Markup and Structured Data

The Local Business Blueprint: How to Rank Higher with Schema Markup and Structured Data

Schema markup is code that is added to your website’s HTML to help search engines better understand the content on a page. Schema provides additional context and meaning through a standardized set of attributes that describe the type of content, relationships, and attributes of the page.

Schema was first introduced by Google in 2011 to enable rich snippets, the summaries of page content that can appear in search results. Since then, schema has expanded in usage and capabilities. Now schema not only powers rich results, but also provides markup for entity relationships, page titles, sitelinks, and more.

There are numerous schema types that can be implemented, with Local Business being one of the most common and impactful for local searches. The Local Business schema specifically marks up business name, address, opening hours, and other relevant information. When added properly, a Local Business schema can help search engines understand the page is about a local business entity.

Benefits of Local Business Schema

Implementing Local Business schema markup on your website provides several benefits for local SEO and visibility in search results. Here are some of the key advantages:

  • Improved local SEO rankings – By optimizing your site with Local Business schema, you provide Google with structured data about your business name, address, opening hours etc. This helps Google understand your business better and can lead to improved local pack rankings for relevant searches.
  • Rich snippets in search results – Local Business schema enables your website to show rich results in Google search, including stars, photos, opening hours, price range and more. This makes your listing more visually appealing and helps it stand out.
  • More clicks/calls from searchers – The rich snippets enabled by schema tend to improve click-through rates from search results. They also display your phone number prominently, which can directly lead to more calls to your business.

Overall, implementing Local Business schema improves your local SEO visibility and helps searchers find the key information they need directly in the search results. This leads to higher click-through rates and more customer actions like calls, store visits and sales. For any local business, it’s a valuable addition to your website SEO.

How to Implement Local Business Schema

Implementing Local Business schema markup on your site is straightforward:

  • Only add the schema to your location or contact page – the page dedicated to your business address, phone number, opening hours etc. Don’t add it to your homepage or across your entire site.
  • Make sure your Google My Business listing and other directory listings link to your location page with the schema markup. This helps search engines understand the connection.
  • Include all relevant attributes in your schema, especially those that would help searchers, like:
    • @type: Local Business
    • name
    • telephone
    • openingHours
    • priceRange
    • address and geo coordinates
    • image
    • url
  • Use a plugin like SEO Framework or a structured data testing tool to generate the schema markup. Insert the JSON-LD script just before the closing </body> tag.
  • Validate your implementation using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. Fix any errors and test again before going live.
  • Double check your location page content supports the details in the schema, e.g. matching business name, address and opening hours.

Proper implementation of Local Business schema can enhance your local SEO. But it needs to be added to the right page, include key attributes, and be free of errors.

Required Fields for Local Business Schema

The following fields are required for Local Business schema:

  • @type – This should be set to “Local Business” to specify the type of schema.
  • name – The official name of your business.
  • image – A URL to an image that represents your business. This will be shown in rich results.
  • telephone – The phone number that customers can call to reach your business. Use international format.
  • address – The full street address for your local business’ location.
  • geo – The geographic coordinates of your business location. Specify as latitude and longitude. For example:

“geo”: {

    “@type”: “GeoCoordinates”,

    “latitude”: “-XX.XXXXX”, 

    “longitude”: “-XX.XXXXX”

}

These required fields ensure search engines can clearly identify the business name, location, contact information, and image. The @type, name, telephone, address, and geo fields are critical for rich results eligibility.

Recommended Fields for Local Business Schema

The required fields provide Google with the basic information needed to understand your business and show rich results. However, there are additional recommended fields that can help optimize your Local Business schema. These include opening hours, price range, review snippets, and menu links.

Opening Hours

The openingHours property allows you to specify the days of the week and times your business location is open. This helps Google accurately display business hours in Knowledge Panels and maps. The value should be formatted using the openingHoursSpecification format. For example:

“openingHours”: {

  “@type”: “OpeningHoursSpecification”,

  “dayOfWeek”: [

    “Monday”,

    “Tuesday”,

    “Wednesday”,

    “Thursday”,

    “Friday”

  ],

  “opens”: “10:00”,

  “closes”: “19:00”

}

Specifying opening hours helps searchers know when they can visit your location. It also enables Google to highlight special holiday hours if provided.

Price Range

The priceRange property indicates the price range of your goods or services using a descriptive term or monetary value. For example:

“priceRange”: “$$”

“priceRange”: “100-500”

This helps set customer expectations around affordability.

Review Snippets

The review property can contain snippets of favorable customer reviews. For example:

“review”: {

  “@type”: “Review”,

  “reviewRating”: {

    “@type”: “Rating”,

    “ratingValue”: “4”,

    “bestRating”: “5”

  },

  “author”: {

    “@type”: “Person”,

    “name”: “John Doe”

  },

  “reviewBody”: “The best pizza in town!”

}

Positive snippets can build trust and social proof for your brand.

Menu Links

The menu property can link to a page containing your menu items. This is recommended for restaurants, cafes, etc. For example:

“menu”: “https://example.com/menu”

Direct menu links allow Google to showcase specific dishes/items to searchers.

Tools for Creating Local Business Schema

There are several tools available to help you easily generate and validate Local Business schema markup:

  • Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool – This allows you to validate your existing schema markup to see if there are any errors. You simply enter the URL of the page containing schema markup and it will analyze the code and show any issues.
  • Schema markup generator tools – Rather than writing JSON-LD schema code manually, you can use tools like Schema.org’s markup generator or RankGear’s schema markup generator. These ask you questions about your business and automatically generate the full schema markup for you.
  • SEO frameworks like Yoast and SEO Framework – Plugins like these for WordPress and other CMS platforms include built-in schema markup generators when you’re editing pages and posts. This allows you to generate schema like Local Business by filling out fields rather than needing to write code.

The schema markup generator tools and SEO framework plugins are very handy for easily adding properly formatted Local Business schema without needing to learn schema syntax. And Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool is invaluable for validating that your markup is error-free and optimized for rich results. Using tools like these can help ensure your Local Business schema is implemented correctly.

Validating Local Business Schema

Once you’ve implemented Local Business schema markup on your website, it’s important to validate that it’s working properly. Here are some tips for testing and validating your schema:

  • Use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to validate your schema markup. This will check for any errors and confirm that your schema is properly formatted.
  • Check for rich snippets in Google’s Rich Results Test Tool. This will show you a preview of how your page may display as a rich result.
  • Review your site’s search engine results pages. It can take some time for rich results to appear, so check periodically after implementing schema. Look for rich snippets, images, star ratings or other enhanced features powered by your schema markup.
  • Test different keyword searches relevant to your business to see rich results in action. The search terms users enter impact which pages show enhanced features.
  • Use Google Search Console to monitor indexed schema markup and identify any errors. This provides insight into how Google is able to process your schema.
  • Check other search engines like Bing and Yahoo for rich snippets as well. Schema can power enhanced display features across multiple search engines.

Properly validating your Local Business schema is key to ensuring your pages can rank well and display rich results. Continuously test and optimize your implementation for the best search visibility.

Optimizing Local Business Schema

Once you have implemented Local Business schema markup on your site, there are a few best practices to follow to keep it optimized:

  • Update with new location attributes – Your business information may change over time. Be sure to keep your schema markup up-to-date with any changes to your hours, phone number, address, etc. This ensures search engines have your latest info.
  • Fix any errors reported by testing tools – Use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool and other validators to check your markup implementation for errors. Fix any issues reported to ensure your schema is functioning properly.
  • Add more recommended fields over time – While required fields are needed for basic functionality, recommended fields can help search engines understand your business better. Try adding fields like priceRange, images, menus, etc to provide additional context.

Properly optimizing your Local Business schema improves its chances of being displayed in rich results and helps search engines maintain an accurate understanding of your local business. Keeping the markup updated and error-free provides the best opportunity for enhanced local SEO.

Common Local Business Schema Mistakes

One of the most common mistakes with Local Business schema markup is using it on multiple pages instead of just the location page. The schema should only be implemented on the main page where all the business information like address, hours, and contact info are displayed. Having it on multiple pages can dilute the effectiveness and cause search engines to ignore it.

Another mistake is not linking digital assets like a Google My Business profile back to the page with the Local Business schema. The schema works best when it is the central hub that other listings point back to as the official source. So make sure to link GMB and any other online profiles back to the Local Business schema page.

Missing key details like the business address, open hours, phone number, etc. can also lead to issues. The schema relies on having complete and accurate info to understand the business details. Leaving out core attributes means search engines may not recognize the legitimacy of the markup. Double check that all the expected fields like street address, zip code, hours of operation are filled out. The more comprehensive the data, the better the schema will perform.

Boost SEO With Local Schema to Your Business Page

When implemented properly, Local Business schema can provide significant SEO benefits for local businesses. By clearly marking up business name, address, opening hours and other details in schema, you make it easy for search engines to understand the nature of your business. This can lead to rich search results, improved local pack rankings, and more clicks and conversions.

Key takeaways:

  • Use the Local Business schema type only on your location page where business information is displayed. Don’t use it sitewide.
  • Link your Google Business Profile back to the location page marked up with Local Business schema. This connects your GMB presence with your website schema.
  • Include all required fields like business name, address, telephone, opening hours, etc. Recommended fields like price range and images also help.
  • Validate your implementation with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool before launching live. Check for errors and warnings.
  • Optimize over time by refining the data provided, adding more recommended fields, and fixing any new issues flagged.
  • Use advanced CTR Manipulation softwares like Agency Assassin to get that boost.

By properly implementing Local Business schema markup, local businesses can stand out in search results and drive more calls, clicks, and conversions from searchers. The benefits are clear and substantial. Take the time to add quality schema to your site today.