Schema for Architects & Home Improvement Businesses in SEO
If you own an architecture or home improvement firm and are interested in improving the SEO on your website, understanding how factors such as schema/structured data play a part in your marketing strategy is a great way to get ahead of competitors.
This article explains a bit about what structured data is, how it can help your SEO and what types of schema you should use for your architecture or home improvement business.
What is Schema / Structured Data?
Structured data is essentially information you can add to your website code that helps search engines, like Google, understand the content on your website better. The data is literally structured in a standardised way, meaning you can provide extra information to search engines about your business and website offering.
Schema is used by almost every type of business on the internet, and if you’re already running a CMS like WordPress or HubSpot, you may already have some default schema set up on your site.
Can adding structured data improve my SEO?
Schema is not a ranking factor in itself. However, some types of structured data are supported by Google and can display what’s known as “rich results” on the results pages. Rich results are small features that can enhance the appearance of your result, potentially increasing the number of people clicking through to your website over competitors.
A popular example is the “Reviews” schema, which shows a star rating underneath your result when implemented correctly. You can see an example from Applet3D below:
Google’s Search Gallery illustrates all the rich results that they support.
Structured Data for Architecture Websites
Organization schema is an essential type of schema that allows you to provide essential information about your website and business to Google, such as your business address, logo, location and opening hours.
Within Schema.org’s library, you can use various different types of Organisation schema that suit your specific firm. If you are operating in a local area, you can use “LocalBusiness” or even “HomeAndConstructionBusiness”. But, if you are a large national or international company, “Organization” will be the most suitable option.
In your schema, Organization is declared like so:
Using Review schema or AggregateRating schema is a popular and stand-out way to make your results more enhanced on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). By using it correctly, a star rating combining scores from your reviewers can appear in your search result.
If you have real user or customer reviews on your website for a product or service you are offering through your home improvement or architecture company, Review is a great opportunity to stand out amongst competitors.
Make sure to follow Google’s Review Snippet Guidelines when implementing Review schema on your website.
Having positive reviews against your services is also generally a great signal to search engines as it shows that your site is trustworthy and of high quality. This can not only help improve your rankings, but also instill trust in your potential customers.
Do you have videos on your architecture or home improvement website showcasing your services or recent projects? Using VideoObject schema, you can enhance the appearance of your videos in search results and potentially get more viewers and clicks to your website.
Google does try to automatically understand details about your video, but using VideoObject schema means you can provide information, such as the description, thumbnail URL and duration. This can increase the chances of appearing in video search results, as well as Google Image search and Google Discover.
There are several enhancements that Google can offer, including “LIVE” if you frequently do live online events (e.g. giving a talk at a trade show) and Key Moments which allows you to add chapters to videos you have created and uploaded, and segment them out.
Remember to always read Google’s Video Schema Guidelines.
How do I add structured data to my architecture or home improvement website?
There tends to be two main ways that schema can be added to your website.
Via a plugin in your CMS, or
By editing the website code manually
In most cases, particularly if you are operating a small firm without a technical or marketing person, doing this via your CMS (e.g. WordPress, Drupal) using a plugin is the most efficient way to implement it.
What plugin you use can really depend on the CMS you are using. For example, WordPress plugins such as RankMath or Yoast have some schema capabilities. However, if you type “Schema” into the plugin library there are a tonne of different options that come up to experiment with.
If you are lucky enough to have a developer or technical person on your team, editing the website code manually can offer a lot more flexibility and customisation. It’s best to speak to your developer on implementing this, as this can vary massively depending on their web stack.
If you are curious about building some structured data of your own, Merkle’s Schema Markup Generator is a good way to dip your toes into writing your own code.
How can I test my structured data is working?
Google’s Rich Results testing tool will allow you to test your schema and validate it for errors. You can do this either by copying in the code snippet itself, or by testing a live URL on your website.
It will also tell you whether or not your page is eligible for rich results.
Sometimes, it can take a few days or weeks for Google to pull through the rich results, so the key here is to be patient and check the search results every few days to see if they’re being pulled through. If not, it might be worth checking that the schema you’ve added is definitely eligible for rich results, and that it’s been implemented correctly.