One of the key tasks to complete in order to improve your local SEO is marking up important information on your website, including the name, address and phone number (NAP). Schema Markup can be implemented using either Microdata or JSON-LD, which are added to the code of a website.
Don’t worry if you don’t have development resource, or experiencing making technical or code changes on your website, you can add any schema markup using Google Tag Manager.
For this guide I will assume that you already have Google Tag Manger installed, however, we will follow up with a guide on how to set an account up and implement the code on your site, which will require a developer or some technical knowledge.
Creating Local Schema Markup Code (JSON-LD)
Creating the code is very straightforward, there are a number of free to use websites, for this example, I am going to use the Schema Markup Generator from Markle.
From the drop down under ‘Which Schema.org markup would you like to create?’ choose ‘Local Business’. The relevant fields will load below. Complete as many of the fields as possible, but ensure that the name, address and phone number are added at the very least. Add in any of your social media profile under the ‘sameAs Links’ section.
Tip: Make sure that your Name, Address and Phone number are consistent across all of your social media profiles.
To the right of the fields, the code will be created as the information is added. You can validate the code that appears in the grey box by clicking on the blue validate button in the top right. This will open Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. As I have completely made up a business, The Roast Coffee Shop for this example the code has not been validated. If your code doesn’t flag up any errors (make sure you review the warnings), copy the code and save it to a Notepad or TextEdit file.
Adding the JSON-LD Code to Google Tag Manager
This part is pretty straightforward even if you don’t have much experience of using Google Tag Manager.
1. Log into your Tag Manager account and Click ‘ADD A NEW TAG’.
2. Name the new tag, choose something that makes it obvious what it is (We chose ‘Local Schema Markup’).
3. From the tag type menu choose ‘Custom HTML’ and paste the schema snippet into the text editor.
Now you will need to create a trigger for this new tag, to do this click on pencil icon in the ‘Triggering’ section, this will open up a list of existing triggers. If there isn’t already an ‘all page views’ trigger you will need to create one.
5. To create a new trigger, click on the blue icon, add a name for this trigger, some along the lines of ‘All Pages’ should suffice.
6. Click the pencil icon in the top right of the Trigger Configuration box and select ‘Page View’ from the trigger type list, ensure that the ‘All Page Views’ option is selected.
7. Save the trigger and tag.
8. Now you should test that the tag fires on your website, to do this click on the Preview button. An orange box will appear within the Tag Manager user interface which indicates that you are in preview mode.
9. Open another tab (within the current browser window) and navigate to your website. At the bottom of the screen you will see the Google Tag Manager ‘quick_preview’ window, if the Local Schema tag has been installed correctly you will see a box with the name you gave the tag (the Local Schema Markup).
Test the Schema using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool
To ensure that the schema data renders correctly, and therefore readable by the search engines, use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. As the code created earlier is sat within a container tag it won’t be possible to view the tag in the website’s page source. The testing tool will detect each schema markup tag on your website. Clicking on the relevant tag type will reveal the information in the tag and any errors. If there are any relevant errors make the changes in the tag and update Google Tag Manager and re-test.
Please note: the tool may flag up some warnings, see the image above, in this case, the tool has flagged up that the ‘priceRange‘ information is missing, this field is not relevant to our website.
Now that tag has been implemented the search engines can easily find data related your name, address and telephone number, which will have a positive effect on your local SEO.
This is a straight forward and relatively easy way to get your business ahead of the competition, so it’s well worth implementing. Please feel free to get in touch if you would like more advice on SEO in general.