Real Estate is a niche with heavy competition in the digital landscape. Many businesses fight for visibility as the demand for real estate never disappears. Real estate schema could be a great addition to any website’s digital marketing strategy, as implementing real estate schema markup can have a positive impact on SEO and improve rankings, visibility and traffic.
This article will provide an overview of what schema is, as well as the most important schema markups that should be considered as part of a real estate schema markup plan. The article will also provide a guide on how to upload real estate schema to any website.
Schema is a structured data markup language that provides information about the content of a webpage in a way that is easily readable and understandable by search engines. The use of schema markup enables search engines to better understand the context of the content on a webpage and present it in a more useful and informative way to users.
Schema was created as a collaboration between the largest search engines in the world: Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex. Because the code is intended for search engines, it has no direct impact on users. However, the indirect impact can be quite substantial, as search engines are able to use schema code to better understand the content of pages and provide enriched experiences to users.
Schema markups can be efficiently used in the Real Estate Industry to gain a competitive edge, achieve better rankings and increase organic traffic.
The main benefit of adding real estate schema markup to your website is improved organic performance. Schema provides additional information and context about the content of your website, which helps search engines get a deep understanding of the website. A better understanding of the content of a webpage is positively associated with increased rankings, as Google will be more confident displaying your website as the answer to user queries.
There are specific benefits for generating schema for real estate. Within Google Search Result Pages (SERP), the real estate niche is often dominated by the big players such as Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket. These websites invest huge resources in their organic performance, and any SEO strategy that can help remain competitive with these websites should be used.
Specifically, correct real estate schema markup implementation can generate rich results. Withing the niche of real estate, rich results can be used to obtain a visual advantage over the competition and improve the chances of a click through to the website.
Rich Results and rich snippets for real estate are enhancements to the Google Search Results page, which allow users to see more content in an extended format. The paragraphs below show how different websites in the real estate industry leverage rich results and featured snippets.
In the screenshot below, realestate.com.au uses rich results to showcase the price range of their homes available to sell in London.
Other websites are using rich results to showcase their positive reviews. This is a great addition to the search results page, as having positive reviews prominently displayed on the page will increase user’s confidence in the brand and improve chances of clickthrough to the website.
Zoopla uses rich results to serve additional pages to users. In the example below, they offer the most searched for locations in London as part of the search result. This can be very helpful to users who already know where they want to buy in London, as this will further narrow their search and make their journey more targeted to their interests.
Another form of generating rich snippets for real estate SERPs is to find and target featured snippets. Also known as position 0, these are expanded search results that sit above all other results. Because of their position and format, they are usually the most clicked on result on the page.
Featured snippets usually appear for informational queries.
Generating rich results and rich snippets for real estate queries can be achieved by adding schema markups to your website. Which type of markup should be added depends on the content of each individual page. The list below provides the most common schema types that are associated with real estate schema markups.
The RealEstateListing schema type defines a real estate offer. This is applicable to both real estate products for sale and for lease. This schema type defines the listing as a whole, as other schema types can be used to define particulars.
This schema type has two properties:
The RealEstateListing schema type also borrows properties from other schema types, such as:
The listing offer itself will most likely be the main element of any listing page. So, the focus should be on creating a holistic RealEstateListing schema markup when creating the schema markup plan for a page. It will be a crucial element in providing Google with context about the content of the listing page.
This schema type can also be useful for generating rich results. It is used to markup the property for sale/lease as a single-family home, and it has the following properties:
The singleFamilyResidence schema type also borrows properties from the following types, enhancing the real estate schema markup potential:
Organization schema is one of the most commonly used markups, and it should be part of any comprehensive real estate schema markup plan.
Organization schema is usually placed on the homepage, and it provides information about the business that can help it achieve better visibility in search results. Some great rich results & rich snippets for real estate that can be obtained through this schema type include displays reviews under the search result and displaying the logo either next to the search result or as part of the knowledge graph (usually present in branded searches).
Because of the importance and popularity of organization schema, schema.org introduced more specific types to better understand the nature of the businesses being marked up. For the real estate industry, a relevant organizational schema type is RealEstateAgent. This schema type is part of the LocalBusiness subset of organisation types.
The RealEstateAgent schema markup contains properties from the following types:
Videos are a very important asset used in real estate. They are often used to showcase the properties on offer with site and house tours usually being shows, as well as timelapse videos of industrial and commercial properties being built.
A real estate schema markup strategy that encompasses video can push these on to the Google page, allowing users to see and click on the video without having to enter the website first. Videos are usually pushed above organic results, which means using video schema could help bypass organic rankings and show your content at the top of the Google page.
When marking up video there are two possible options:
The VideoObject type includes its own properties (some of which may not be relevant to the usual videos on real estate websites), as well as borrowing properties from the following:
Real estate purchases can be expensive, and real estate can have a crucial impact on the livelihoods of both sellers and buyers. Therefore, the process of buying/letting real estate is filled with questions. As a result, many real estate websites offer FAQs throughout the website to answer as many of these questions as possible.
Google recognises the importance of providing answers to questions, and as a result the FAQ schema markup receives a very prominent rich result.
FAQ is one of the easiest rich results & rich snippets for real estate to gain, as usually the first two questions marked up will appear under the search result as soon as Google crawls the code:
Apart from appearing under the organic result, FAQ schema can have another positive impact. Most Google search result pages will include a “People also ask” section, where adjacent questions to the initial query are displayed. Marking up content using the FAQ schema provides more context to Google, and as a result this can help place your answer (and a link to your page) in the answers section.
The event schema type can be used to mark up and highlight any particular dates and events regarding the real estate offer. In the example below, event schema is used to showcase dates and times for open house events.
A similar approach can be used to highlight site launches, sale days or any community events that could be linked to the real estate sale / letting process.
The product schema type highlights that an element on the webpage is available for sale. Although this schema type has been created within an ecommerce paradigm, it can also be applied as part of a real estate schema markup plan.
The Product schema type includes many properties but one is of particular importance for real estate. The “offers” property is the one which marks up the price of the product, which is then used in rich results to display the price of the product under the organic result.
Whereas the Product schema markup should sit on the property page (in a real estate scenario this will be the property listing page), Offer schema markup can be applied anywhere on the website. In the example below, the Offer schema markup is applied on a collection page, with the price being identified as a range.
Once you have decided which schema types will work best for the page you are trying to mark up, its time to generate the schema code and upload it to the website. Follow the steps below to find out how to add real estate schema code to your website.
Writing your bespoke code is the most difficult and time consuming part of adding real estate schema to your website. Schema can be written using three different encodings:
Although schema code can be written using any of the options above, Google recommends using JSON-LD.
Writing JSON code can be quite challenging for someone without coding experience, as the language relies heavily on the use of brackets, braces and commas. Using a tool such as Microsoft Visual Studio Code can make the process easier, as the software is able to detect and understand the JSON language format and provide visual cues to help identify any errors.
There are many tools available on the internet that generate schema code without the need for coding. Although these tools are great at providing an easy way to generate schema code, they are usually very limited in their output and will struggle to create code that encompasses different schema types and mark up everything needed on the page.
Although lengthier and more complicated, writing bespoke schema for all important pages of your real estate website will be the best way of reaping the benefits that schema can bring to your website’s organic performance.
Once the code is generated it should be tested using specialist validation tools to make sure it is correct and Google can understand it in the intended way. There are two recommended testing tools that should be used:
While the schema.org will be able to assess your entire code, the Google Rich Results Test will focus mainly on the elements that it can display as rich results in SERPs. This will show exactly what elements are eligible for rich results and give you an idea of what you can expect the final result to look like.
Once your real estate schema code passes the tests above, it’s time to upload it to your website. Official documentation from Schema.org and Google specify that your code should be placed in the head of each page.
Schema code will be unique for each page and adding unique code to the head of a page or website can sometimes be a tricky process. Depending on the build and CMS you use, there may be different options available.
Schema code can also be uploaded onto a specific page using Google Tag Manager. Follow these steps to upload the code to your website using Google Tag Manager:
Page URL contains URL of the page you want to mark up.
Using Google Tag Manager for uploading schema is not an optimal route, as the code will usually be placed in the footer, and if the wesbite’s speed is slow, crawlers might not even see the schema code. To ensure your code is visible, after publishing the containers use the two testing tools above by submitting the URL of the page you just marked up to make sure crawlers can read the code correctly.
If you are unsure about which schema upload option will work best for your website, get in touch and our SEO and web development experts will find the best setup for your website.
Once your code has been successfully uploaded to the pages you want to mark up, it’s time to wait for the Google crawlers to read the code and apply changes to the search results. If your website is not being crawled often, it is worth going to Google Search Console to request indexing of the pages that have been marked up, as this can speed up the time it takes for Google to be aware of the changes and action.
Monitoring the impact your schema has on overall organic performance can be tricky, as it will always be hard to attribute ranking changes to a single action. However, the performance of your schema code can also be measured through the presence of rich results, which can be monitored in two ways:
The schema types above are the most important for marking up a real estate website. However, the schema vocabulary has many more schema types that can be used for Real Estate SEO.
Still unsure about how to create bespoke schema for real estate websites? Do you want a full website bespoke schema implementation? Get in touch and find out how Reach can improve your real estate SEO.