The topic of microdata has been brewing since last year and local search experts were debating whether or not including this on a website helped with local search. The fact is Google has spent time creating local search guidelines on how to use microdata to clarify company name and location information so this is a clear indicator that it’s important to them.
In the recently released 2012 Local Search Ranking Factors, including name, address, and phone number (NAP) in a microdata (hCard/Schema.org) format increased in importance by 22 places which is fairly significant relative to other factors. We already know the importance of having a consistent NAP on your website, Google Places profile, and other local directory listings. Microdata is another way to present Google with local business data clearly and accurately.
So What is Microdata?
Microdata is basically some additional markup that gets wrapped around NAP data to indicate to Google that the enclosed information is the actual name, address, and phone number for the business.
Here’s an example of NAP without microdata:
<div> L'Amourita Pizza 123 Main St, Albuquerque, NM 11111 Phone: 206-555-1234 <a href="http://pizza.example.com">http://pizza.example.com</a> </div>
And here’s an example of NAP with microdata:
<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/LocalBusiness"> <span itemprop="name">L’Amourita Pizza</span> <span itemprop="address" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/PostalAddress"> <span itemprop="streetAddress">123 Main St</span>, <span itemprop="Locality">Albuquerque</span>, <span itemprop="Region">NM</span> <span itemprop="postalCode">11111</span> </span> Phone: <span itemprop="telephone">206-555-1234</span>. <a href="http://www.example.com" itemprop="url">http://pizza.example.com</a>. </div>
The main difference are the itemscope, itemtype, and itemprop tags. These additional tags help Google identify the basic NAP details much easier. And, when Google can figure something out more easily, they often give a reward by making that particular listing or website appear more prominently in search.
You can easily create your own microdata using the microDATA Generator. Just enter the local business address and select the “Local Business Schema”, enter the required information, and you’ll be good to go.
Where to Put Microdata on Your Site?
Since your company information prominently on your website and on every page, put the microdata in your header, sidebar, or footer. That’s all you need to do.
Have you had success using microdata to improve local SEO? Let me know in the comments below.
Free Local Marketing Plan Template
Online presence optimization is a key ingredient in your local marketing plan. You want to clearly identify your target customers and how they are searching for your services online.
If you don’t have one already, here is a free template that will help you make sure you have clearly identified and aligned your business objectives and marketing activity.