The best just got a little better as Yoast SEO version 11.1 added support for Schema.org markups for videos and images. With this enhancement, you no longer have to manually code structured data to your media assets in order to help search engines better understand what they’re all about.
The latest version of the plugin can be downloaded and installed on any WordPress site now. If you already have it, you can just update it to its latest incarnation.
Automate Schema Markups for Videos
Data such as video durations, thumbnails, URLs and descriptions will now be clearly marked up by the VideoObject schema for easy recognition by search engines. In theory, this should help videos on your website gain better visibility on Google video searches while increasing the likelihood of the aforementioned details to be added to the video’s search listings.
Yoast promises total ease of use as authors will only need to identify a thumbnail for the video, write compelling titles, then follow up with accurate descriptions. The tedious task of coding the Schema markups will be automated by the plugin.
Image Structured Data Made Easy
Images will also get a nice lift from Yoast SEO 11.1 as the plugin automates the application of the imageObject Schema type. All you need to do is to apply proper captions and alt text to your image files and the plugin does the rest.
Before the introduction of structured data, search engines mainly relied on alt text and captions to get clues on what’s depicted in images. With structured data, identifying these elements becomes easier for bots. Ultimately, this is believed by many SEOs to be a helpful on-page SEO practice as well as a boon for Google image search.
Why is Schema a Big Deal?
Schema.org is basically a type of structured data convention that seeks to “create, maintain, and promote schemas for structured data on the Internet, on web pages, in email messages, and beyond.” In practical terms, it’s a unified way of marking up “entities,” which are basically the nouns found in web content. This allows search engines to distinguish alphanumeric strings of gibberish from actual names of people, places, things, events and more.
More importantly, Schema allows search engines to more easily decipher relationships between entities. For example, the entity “Labor Day” will likely be mentioned a ton along with the entity “May 1st.” When properly marked up in content all over the web, these entities will show a clear pattern of relevance which will then allow search engines to recognize that the two are actually one and the same. This helps search engines like Google take a major step towards better understanding the nuances of human language and intent.
For SEOs, the ability to apply Schema markups is a major facet of the optimization process. While most Schema types will not directly boost your rankings on the SERPs, they can increase the chances of your search results displaying rich snippets such as review scores, dates, pricing, facility hours and whatnot. These details enhance the amount of space your search result takes up on a SERP, enhancing the probability of it being clicked by a searcher.
In other cases, Schema application appears to directly influence organic traffic. Case in point would be the application of Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) Schema markups. When used correctly, this set of Schemas can benefit a local SEO campaign.
Why is Yoast SEO So Popular?
Yoast has been the most widely used SEO plugin in the world for several years now. Its comprehensive suite of tools allow for a high degree of technical and on-page optimizations to be applied even when a user doesn’t have any coding knowledge.
From the generation of XML sitemap, the application of meta robots tags, the editing of title tags and now, the application of Schema markups, Yoast SEO makes things fast and easy for its users. Best of all, it has a free version that has almost everything you’ll need in an all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress. It has a premium version which you can choose to pay for, though most users will be just fine using the free one.