Onsite SEO for Lawyers: Schema Best Practices
Chris Dreyer | August 12, 2016
What is it?
Schema is HTML markup that can be applied to content so that it can be understood by machines. There is schema specific for law firms1 that lets search engines know the content is related to attorneys. Schema can be applied to all kinds of information like phone numbers, addresses, geo-location, operating hours, people, emails, URLs, articles, logos, and more.
Schema does not help content rank better in search. Instead, it allows search engines to better display information to users. It allows for machines to understand the relationship among pieces of content. For example 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is just a string of letters and numbers. Schema can help search engines understand that this is a very significant address for the President of the United States.
Schema markup should be applied to any applicable content on an attorney website. Doing so increases the chances that it can be rendered accurately in search results pages.
- Phone numbers
- Geo Location
- Opening hours
- Blog posts
- Fax numbers
- Organizations that a lawyer may be a member of
- Services offered2 by an attorney
- Payment types accepted (if applicable)
While some of these may seem irrelevant, they can help enhance a person’s view of the firm in search. Search results snippets can be rendered with more information (and be more unique) if a search engine can find, interpret and understand content on a page.
Here is a prime example of schema markup on a review inside an attorney web page.
In this instance, a normal organic search result stands out more prominently among others despite the fact that it is not paid for.
There are a few options for lawyers implementing schema on their website.
- Plugins for WordPress
- Schema generators
- Manual implementation (not recommended)
These easiest and most accurate way to get schema applied to content is by using a WordPress plugin. Attorneys using the platform have several to choose from.
- All-in-One Schema.org Rich Snippets3
- Schema Creator4
- Schema App Structured Data5
- Rich Reviews6
- Rich Snippets WordPress Plugin (Paid)7
Generators are a little more manual. They can generate schema markup from regular text however lawyers will have to copy and paste the HTML code into their website themselves (or have a developer do it).
Even though schema generators are more complicated they have their benefits. Lawyers can make schema markup for only the content they want to apply it to. It also helps users understand how schema works.
An advanced knowledge of HTML is required to install schema manually. Lawyers up for the challenge can find a great tutorial on how to install it here12.