How to Tell Google What Your Content Means

Search engines love content. That’s what they eat all day long, and they use HTML code to figure out what all those web pages say. The problem is that sometimes they don’t know what you mean by what you say.

Have you ever done a search for a product or service and find the occasional odd result mixed in with what you thought you were looking for?

braces search

mixed search results

The image above is an obvious case where Google might get confused but fear not – a new form of mark-up call rich text snippets has grown over the years to the point where content producers and SEO folks now have the toolset to tell Google what their content is and what it means.

Injecting rich text snippets in your HTML using the standards developed by Google, Bing and Yahoo a content producer can do things like tell the search engines that a couple of random words are the title of a book written by (the author) two other words found on the page.

event schemaAs you can see this site above is displaying details about upcoming events.

You can use schema to tell search engines that another group of words is a review from a happy fan and that those words in the footer make up your address and phone number.

Schema uses a growing number of itemtypes to help identify things like articles, local business, reviews, events, and products.

Now, before your eyes glaze over, you won’t have to learn a bunch of code to take advantage of Schema. You can use any number of Schema code generators to create the HTML code you might need for something like your address.

You can also test your structured data using Google’s testing tool

wp seo schema

And if you’re a WordPress user I’ve got even better news. Simply download and activate the WP SEO schema plugin and you can unlock a host of schema options for your entire site and every page and post on your site individually.

Once you install this plugin, you’ll have the tools to add all manner of code to give your content even greater meaning.

wp seo schema tool

Now, I’m not ready, nor is Google, to suggest that simply adding Schema to your web pages is going to help your content rank, but it stands to reason that if you send clearer signals about your content, you are going to benefit from this practice. Also, the ability to display enhanced information in search engine results snippets is bound to increase clicks when your content is ranking.

ad extensionsGoogle makes extensive use of structured data already in AdWords through what they call ad extensions, so it’s not much of a leap to imagine this becoming a ranking factor to force content producers to enhance their content.

In my opinion, it’s time for every WordPress site owner to add Schema to their posting routine much like most of the world does today with metadata using the WP SEO plugin from Yoast.

Read more about Schema and all things SEO in my latest book – SEO for Growth – The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Web Designers, and Entrepreneurs. (My co-author on this book, Phil Singleton, is also the creator of the WP SEO Schema plugin.)

My Latest Book – SEO for Growth

Today I am thrilled to announce the release of my fifth book! Yep, kind of stealthy with this one, but I believe it’s an extremely important and timely topic.

SEO for Growth bookThe title of the book is SEO for Growth – The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Web Designers, and Entrepreneurs. I had the pleasure of collaborating with SEO pro Phil Singleton on this one and my good friend Brian Clark of Copyblogger contributed the foreword.

SEO is no longer a disconnected, highly technical practice relegated to hacks and tricks aimed at fooling Google. No, SEO today is a foundational element of all online strategy and must be made a part of even the most basic marketing decisions.

There are a lot of technical SEO books out there, but this one was written to help elevate the role of search engine optimization to the strategic level of marketing. This book is a must read for anyone that needs to better understand or buy marketing services today.

Understanding even basic SEO practices will help you:

  • Attract the right clients
  • Generate leads and sales from your website
  • Determine the best and most profitable kinds of content

In addition to teaching people SEO, our hope is that this book will also equip marketers to spot the scam artists trying to sell SEO related services.

The book is available in paperback and Kindle versions today!

And, of course, I have a limited, but awesome bonus offer for those who grab a copy of the book right away!

SEO for Growth bonus
When you buy a copy of SEO for Growth and let me know you’ll receive:

  • 50% off the SEO for Growth bootcamp – 4 hour live SEO training – $49 value
  • The Yoast Small SEO Guide to Optimize Your Website
  • WordStream’s 25 Ways To Increase Traffic To Your Website
  • Local SEO: Proven Strategies & Tips For Better Local Google Rankings

Simply go here and click on the buy now button and let us know you bought the book and we’ll get you the pack of bonuses – pretty simple.

What a few people are saying about SEO for Growth

“John and Phil hit the nail on the head. The way people shop and buy has fundamentally changed, an inbound strategy is now a necessity for getting found online and growing your business.”

Brian Halligan
CEO & Co-Founder, HubSpot

“If you lack a geek gene but need to figure out how to make SEO work for you and your business, this is the book you need. It’s practical, actionable, clear, and flat-out useful.”

Ann Handley
Chief Content Officer, Marketing Profs

“SEO for Growth is stunning in its practicality and relevance. Every reader will make money, save money, or both thanks to this guide.

Jay Baer
President, Convince & Convert

“There are many pieces to solving the SEO puzzle.  From search engine friendly web design and content marketing, to social media and reputation management, SEO for Growth will help you put it all together.”

Joost de Valk
CEO & Founder, Yoast

“If you simply apply what you learn from this book and commit to SEO for the long haul, you will generate more business and more leads, period.”

Brian Clark
CEO, Rainmaker Digital