To effectively make your website most prominent to users, you need to provide as much information as possible to search engines. You can optimize your site for SEO, which can help to push your site to the top of the rankings. What is even more useful is to implement schema markup into your site, so that search engines can readily understand all the information available, assign it greater value and make your site more prominent in the SERPs.
What is Schema Markup?
Search engines need to be able to decipher the data on your site in a logical flow. Structured data essentially is code that is written to a specific formula that allows search engines to properly identify clues to follow that logical flow of information.
While schema markup doesn’t actually help with your SEO, it does improve your positioning in the SERPs, which opens the door to all sorts of potential business and revenue. Using schema markup allows search engines to more accurately match user intent with search results, which means that it can be a more effective way to drive traffic and qualified leads to your website.
The key is in the level of detail that you provide for the rich snippets, which are the black lines of text underneath the search result. These rich snippets typically display things like price, extra product information or customer reviews, all of which are known to be more enticing to users.
There are different ways to put schema markup on your pages; some are easy and well-suited to beginners, like using Microdata or schema plugins to easily add structured date to your website. Despite its accessibility and simplicity that makes it a good choice for beginners, it does have some inherent limitations — namely the ability to drill down specifically to class types.
Schema.org is the collaboration between search engines like Google, Bing, Yandex and Yahoo that produced an industry standard data vocabulary. This vocabulary lets you tag your site to help search engines understand your site.
Schema.org lets you assign values and classification to provide as much detail as possible, but there are circumstances where the classifications are not as specific as you’d ideally like them to be.
How Product Ontology can Help
Schema.org Has the property type “additionaltype” which lets you add an extra level of detail for classification. No question, the more detail that you can provide about your product and service, the higher value search engines will assign you. Product ontology is a vocabulary that can be used in Schema.org’s additionaltype classification system. It contains more than 300,000 precise definitions for products and services specifically geared for e-commerce markup. It lets you describe your product in greater detail as well as classify your business or service.
Quite simply, if your business or service has an entry in English Wikipedia, you can make good use of product ontology.
How to use it
When would you use it? Let’s say your business classification in schema.org matches your description, but not overly accurately. For example, you are an Investment Advisor, but maybe schema.org offers www.schema.org/FinancialServices as the classification. You can make the classification for your business more accurate by using product ontology.
We’ve established that product ontology makes use of entries in Wikipedia. You go to the Wikipedia URL that you desire, and remove the Wikipedia namespace part of the entry (i.e., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/investmentadvisor. You remove the “investmentadvisor” suffix and append to www.productontology.org/id, which will give you www.productontology.org/id/investmentadvisor. This new URL will display that your desired object is investment advisor and will direct you to www.productontolgoy.org/doc/investmentadvisor.
Being more specific and detailed with your classification system is a crucial part of helping drive qualified traffic to your site, representing more revenue and setting you ahead of competitors.