Invite Google to your Party: The Benefits and Uses of Event Schema
Google wants to be invited to your party in 2020, and you can welcome them by using the event schema markup. Enhance how your event appears on the search engine results pages (SERPs) and fully integrate your event with Google using features such as maps to increase your chances at conversion.
What is Schema.org Markup?
Schema.org, also known as schema markup, is a range of semantic vocabulary tags which you can integrate to your HTML. It improves how search engines crawl and display your page on SERPs. The correct implementation of schema markup to your HTML would enhance how your page displays on SERPs by adding detail to the rich snippet that appears beneath the title tag for your page.
There exists a wide variety of schema markups specific to a particular set of properties such as recipes, organisations, product and events.
Benefits of Event Schema
Event Schema presents users with the opportunity to discover your event when they search for terms such as ‘conferences near me’ or ‘concerts near me’. Moreover, as the location of a given event is an integral part of the schema markup, integrating schema markup to your event could allow your event to be discovered when users search for particular venues as well, which can significantly boost your chances at conversion. For example, companies like EventBrite found that citing using structured data significantly improved their conversion rate.
Using Event Schema Markup
To integrate Schema markup successfully, it is crucial to have access to edit the HTML of your event page. In the case where this access is restricted, you would need to see if your CMS supports a plugin to add structured data to your page.
In the case your CMS does not support adding structured data, Google highlighter allows you to tag data about events to display your information in a more attractive format.
Event Schema Structured Data: Technical Guidelines
The table below illustrates mandatory event markup properties, in line with Google Technical guidelines that would need to be included in every page aiming to implement event schema markup. At the present moment, Google only supports pages that focus on a single event; thus, when using schema markup it should be applied to individual event pages rather than category pages.
|Name||Title of the event|
|Start and End Date||Start date/time and end date/time of your event. The user must specify whether the event is occurring over multiple days or the course of a single day.|
|Description||An explanation of the purpose of the event|
|Image||Image relating to the event such as a poster, signboards, banners etc.|
|Location||Where the event will take place|
Additionally, Google recommends including the following two fields, even though they’re not mandatory, they would further enhance the rich snippet.
|Performers||Any performers, speakers, guests that would be making an appearance in the event|
|Offers||Information regarding ticket sales or any offers and promotions with reference to the event|
Schema Markup: Content Guidelines
In terms of content, it is crucial to fill the properties above with accurate information. Here are some pointers on successfully abiding by Google’s content guidelines when implementing Schema Markup:
- Ensure your event is recognisable as an event by Google. Implementing Event Schema markup to non-events can be damaging to your page
- Accurately describe the location of your event in as much detail as possible including venue, street name, postal address
- Avoid using business hours for events such as using 9 am – 5 pm
- Avoid click-bait offers and promotions such as “50% of your second ticket” in your code
- Ensure the start time and date are as accurate as possible, especially when your event occurs over multiple days
Event Schema Markup: Example
Below we have included an event schema markup sample for a fictional Bruce Clay event to illustrate the correct use of structured data. We have used our own schema generator to generate the code, and this can be customised to your event.
Event Schema: Checklist
- Ensure your event page is crawlable: In order to successfully benefit from the schema markup, it is crucial your event page is crawlable by Google and isn’t protected by any meta robots.
- Follow Google Content and Technical Guidelines: Google has a set of guidelines which include ensuring all structured data is accurate.
- Ensure correct use of canonical tags: If your event has several pages on your site under unique URLs, then it is crucial to use canonical URLs on each copy of the page.
- Implement the structured data: Add your structured data to your schema code snippet and implement this in your HTML.
- Test structured data: Google provides a comprehensive testing tool to test your code snippet, highlighting any errors and warnings.
- Index your URL: Following implementation, check the index status of your event page URL and ensure it is crawlable with the URL inspection tool in Google Search Console.
- Keep the event data accurate: It is crucial to notify Google through your structured data of any changes to your event with regards to date, time and location.