The goal of any search engine is to return results to users that are relevant. Is this what you were looking for? Yes? Wonderful: the searcher is happy; the search engine is happy. And, if search engines unite searchers with your site, you are happy as well. Semantic markup is simply choosing which text is highlighted so you can “prove” your relevancy and interest to the user. It may not have a tremendous effect on visibility, but it does have a powerful impact on your click-through-rate. Here are a few markups that will help with CTR and earning conversions.
The authorship tag may be crucial for your site, or your personal brand. By including a link from your Google+ profile (which you should have if you don’t already), you enable a photo and name, as well as other articles you’ve authored, to be displayed in the SERPs. That tag is simply:
This works well for well-known authors or brands, but it can also do wonders for local businesses and anyone trying to build up authority or expertise in a niche area. It might also be a great idea to highlight individuals within your company or group: for instance, a star employee who specialises in developing content strategies may be highlighted for an SEO or content development business. You could list his contact information, awards, and other pertinent information for display in these rich snippets as well.
Semantic markup works beautifully for small businesses and mobile users. Say you are driving through an unfamiliar city and want to find a good restaurant. You search and the results include hours of operation, addresses, phone numbers, sample menus, payment options, ratings, and reviews. It’s tremendously useful and can help differentiate your business – and lead hungry patrons to your door, no matter what type of business you are in.
Recipes, products, sales, coupons, events…all of these things can be marked up to allow more relevant search results for users. You can see an example of how a recipe is marked up here at Google Support. For events, such as concerts, you can use Google’s Data Highlighter tool – and wait anxiously for this option to be expanded beyond events!