Local schema is a term that refers to a way of marking up data, with the purpose of telling Google that your website represents a local, physical entity. By adding certain snippets of code, called schema, to your site; it allows search engines to integrate their knowledge about local businesses, including nearby services and information like opening hours into the SERPs.

Since it appeared, many different types of content creators have been trying to adopt this schema across their sites. This included not just restaurants and shops, but also car dealerships, plumbers, florists or any other type of business you can think of!

As we’ve seen from our own experiments with schema , it has multiple uses for SEO:

  • Ranking on 3-packs in VERY competitive niches (e.g. dentists) – by giving a lot more information on the one page than other websites have
  • Dominating SERPs for long tail keywords (e.g. best house painters in San Francisco) by including schema on many pages of your site covering different aspects and services related to the niche
  • The main rankings signal for local businesses, by ranking organically in searches with “near me” or “local” / “locality” modifiers. This is essentially the holy grail of local SEO as you can rank without having thousands of links like a traditional business directory listing would have

Despite its potential, schema adoption from smaller sites hasn’t been easy – it was quite confusing and time consuming to implement! Luckily, nowadays many out-of-the-box plugins guide you through the implementation process – so there’s no more messing with code and potentially botching your site’s front-end.

Even larger websites are getting in on the action. We’ve recently seen schema adoption by media companies (e.g. The Washington Post ) and brands with multiple locations ( Target , HEB ). Schema adoption was important enough to them that they dedicated resources towards it – whether by hiring a webmaster or writing an internal guide on how to do it themselves!

Schema adoption is only going to increase in the future, as voice search becomes increasingly mainstream. More people expect to be able to turn to their watch or smartphone and ask “where can I find ____ near me?” Schema assists search engines in providing rich local information for users.

So if your website caters towards a local audience, be sure to implement schema correctly! These best practices below can help you get started:

  • Make use of schema’s “address” property on your homepage or footer. This includes all components of an address such as street number and name, city etc – from wherever this info is available
  • Use schema for additional information on your business page(s) covering things like opening hours, phone numbers or other contact details. You CAN have multiple instances of schema on one page as well – schema is a page-by-page implementation and will not conflict with each other.

Local schema can be a powerful ranking signal, particularly combined with a robust Google MyBusiness page (another local ranking tool). If you aren’t seeing enough focused traffic coming from your place of business, consider a quick on-site scan to see if your website is marked up correctly for optimal results.

We’re here if you need us – contact Pulley Media with any questions you may have!