Schema Markup for SEO – Building Structured Signals To Rank Your Entity

With proper Schema tags and setup you can rank your site a lot higher – because it builds immediate trust signals with Google.
Building out proper schema structures for different pages on your website is the only way to send solid and accurate signals to Google letting them know exactly what each page or sections on your site are about.
Schema signals are important to establish your “entity” profile for Google to digest and position you among the right clusters of websites in your niche.
Think of optimizing your schema tags as a way to present your information to Google unambiguously – so it knows exactly what outcome you are aiming to achieve (via data inside schema code) with high certainty.
Google purchased Freebase to understand relationships between entities. They needed seed data to train their AI so they could expand and build on the seed list of data. Google took seed data 570 million entities from Freebase. This eventually evolved into what we know today as the Knowledge Graph.
You can now start thinking of entities as a solid ranking factor! In fact, even as much as link building. You need to start thinking in terms of “entities” and establish a strong presence online by creating and passing down the right signals.
We don’t just want to pass down basic signals. We want to pass down as many components inside the code as we can with proper entity relationships for each code snippet.
We can use Schema optimization to establish our entity signals and be known, be found and be trusted.
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Schema Works on a Page Level

Its important that your understand that schema code when inserted works on a page level and not sitewide. So, if you have a location page for the service you provide – then you need to put the Schema code you make that is specific to your service described on that page – in the header script area of that page – and not anywhere else.

Building Your Schema Markup

There’s a couple of ways you can go about building your schema. If you want just the basics done (and your site is built on WordPress) then you can use one of several WordPress plugins that are available online.
However, I would not really advise that you use a plugin because they are very restricted in what they can do, as compared to what is available for you to do using schema markup tags from
If you’re using a plugin for wordpress – this is not relevant (and you may actually skip reading this entire tutorial). For the rest of you – this is an advanced topic in using schema markup to rank higher.
Each Schema Signal is Like an Additional Backlink
Google is looking at Schema signals in addition to other factors such as on-page and off-page.
While working with the raw schema code, you need to understand that every additional signal you insert into the code is like gaining an additional backlink.
This is because you are passing down markup signals to Google through the Schema document – giving it more and more information on what your webpage or website is about.

Get familiar with

As your very first step you need to get familiar with and how the site is structured to help you find the right schema markup tags based on what you are trying to define in the code manually.

Parent Entities

There are 3 core parent entities, on which you need to base your core entity. They are…
  • place
  • person
  • thing (product or service)
Your entity will fall into one of these above categories.

Subset Entities

Subset entities are things like…
  • Pictures
  • Music
  • Text
  • Videos
They go on to provide more information on your parent entity. For example a product on Amazon would have some of these schema tags defined on the product page for that item on

Defining Your Entity and Getting Started with Schema Code

Your foundation steps are to use Schema code to clearly define and tell Google exactly what your website and entity is about.
Your entity needs to.. be known, be found and be trusted.
You can start this process by moving towards establishing your brand – be it an individual or company brand.

Claim and Setup your Google My Business Listing

The first and most important step you can take towards this is by claiming (if you haven’t already) and setting up your GMB listing and then building it out in an optimal manner. Here’s a Google My Business ranking factors checklist.
Make sure you setup all the fields and elements that go into proper setup of a GMB listing, including –
  • description
  • primary category
  • secondary categories (pick 5 at least)
  • photos
  • services / products
  • posts
  • google site setup and updating it regularly


Setup Social Profiles

Make sure that all your social profiles are setup and optimized properly. You will need some of their profile links to be inserted into your schema code later.

Start Contributing on Forums

You need to get involved in the right groups and communities online by using your brand profile that you setup properly in each of them – so Google can associate who you are on these forums with your main entity profile that it starts creating from schema on your website at some point of time
Visit niche forums in your niche and industry or go to the niche categories and posts within top social sites like Quora and Reddit and start helping others by contributing on threads with your feedback.
TIP – the forums or communities that are tougher to get into have more value! (and this is just like building links… harder to get links push more juice!)
The goal here is to be active on places that are already trusted by Google in your niche, so Google associates your entity with trusted entities and content in the niche – so it can build the right entity signals for your brand. When other people engage with your entity on these trusted sites and/or your get traffic to your site from them – this enhances your entity profile in the eyes of Google.

Building Trust

The way you can build Google trust through schema, is by associating yourself with other entities that Google already trusts. The trust signal for schema, kind of works  just like link building – where you get more link juice flow to your site from a domain that is more trusted than another one.
The signals from these sites could be traffic from them, engagement on them (participation) or when you get endorsements on these sites.

Don’t go Spamming Your Schema Tags

Optimizing your schema is not about stuffing in for example 50 social properties into schema markup. This would be unnecessary. Just build in the popular social sites and trusted sources that are recognized.
For example these are trusted social signals that you could use in your schema…
Supported Social Profiles
Use structured data markup embedded in your public website to specify your preferred social profiles. You can specify these types of social profiles:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Myspace
  • Pinterest
  • SoundCloud
  • Tumblr
You can specify other social profiles as well, but they aren’t currently included in Google Search results.
Our goal here is to tie in our website with as many different trusted sources that Google is already rewarding in search results.

Schema for Organization – Basics

When setting up the schema for an organization most WordPress plugins simply use the “founder” tag and link it up with the founders Google+ Profile or another single source.
However, this leaves the job undone as Schema can be made to be a LOT more powerful and relevant to your entity.
Here’s how…
You will find other tags and properties you can use while setting up Schema tags for an Organization, like…
  • knowsabout
  • memberof
  • additionaltype
  • if you do a press release, you can add schema tag “samesas” or “news”
In addition you could create nested layers of schema tags within your main template.

Creating Local Business Schema

There are a ton of plugins that do a proper job in marking up your local business – but they don’t quite get it complete.
If you want just basic stuff and are happy with it – then they may work for you.
However, if you want to get the maximum benefit from schema, and build the relevancy of your core entity – then you really need to be building custom schema tags manually. This will get you a ton of Google trust and consequent boost in rankings / traffic.

Getting Started with Schema Code

I’ve included a couple of templates that you can use as a baseline to get started with your schema code. However, make sure that you customize the field values as they are randomly inserted.
While building out these Schema tags manually make sure that you do your edits within the Google Schema code editor – and validate each new tag and value as you add it. This is important, because it will help you catch any error as you work on it – instead of getting a whole bunch of errors at the very end which will make it overwhelming for you to fix.

Defining Your @id

This is the very first tag and value you need to setup.
Google defines @id as…
Globally unique ID of the specific business location in the form of a URL. The ID should be stable and unchanging over time. Google Search treats the URL as an opaque string and it does not have to be a working link. If the business has multiple locations, make sure the @id is unique for each location.
Its important to note that @id supersedes all other markup, so its very important that you get this right and put in a value that will not change over time or become inactive if the site goes down, for example a url.
Pick something that is authoritative like a GMB URL of a map-share of your listing.
You can get this by visiting your Google Maps listing and clicking on and getting the share button URL.

Upcoming Video Advanced Training Series

This is the very first technical step in setting up your Schema. I will not be covering the rest of the steps in the post, but will release a video that walks you through the process as it’s way easier to explain this over video than it is through text.
I will embed the tutorial here in this post or create an advanced schema setup post – so please sign up if you want to be notified when this is released.
Also, consider subscribing to my Youtube channel as I will be uploading this and more tutorials on there.
On a closing note, here’s a few useful links.

Useful Links

Here’s a list to the full hierarchy page where you can see all the schema tags –
If you have a product that you are tryingto markup this is a useful link with product schema details –
If you have Yoast plugin installed and you want to disable its structured data so you cna use your own schema markup then you need this plugin to disable yoast’s structured data. This plugin will allow you to keep all the other features of Yoast and add in your own custom schema tags –
Another good place with a ton of local seo tools is –

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