Using Microformats to Indicate Address

If you run one of the online website analysis websites on your website it may indicate the use of microformats.

So what are they?

Microformats can be used to indicate the address. For example, of the contact us page of a website the address details can be enclosed.

Rather than simply putting the address in place, perhaps wrapped in paragraph tags, something like.

<p>
My Company Ltd.<br />
Apple Tree Road<br />
Reading<br />
Berkshire<br />
England<br />
RG1 1AA<br />
Tel. 0118 496 0000
</p>

The idea is to indicate to search engines the nature of the elements highlighting how the address is composed, region, city, etc.

This is all about adding clarity to the search engines and ensuring that your intent is understood clearly and correctly.

With microformats the ambiguity with regards to addresses and whether a word is a part of the address an be resolved.

For example my local town of Reading. So difficult when searching for related topics as the word doubles as in “reading a book”. There’s also a village in Somerset called Street. Putting the town name, for example Reading, on the page wrapped with microformats ensures clarity.

Here’s a typical address, with company name, address, postcode, country and telephone details.

My Company Ltd.
Apple Tree Road
Reading
Berkshire
England
RG1 1AA
Tel: 0118 496 0000
Fax: 0118 496 0001
Email: info@example.com
Open: 9am to 5pm

And here’s the micro formatting of the address.

<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Organization">
  <span itemprop="name">My company Ltd.</span>
  Contact Details:
  <div itemprop="address" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/PostalAddress">
    Main address:
    <span itemprop="streetAddress">Apple Tree Road</span>
    <span itemprop="postalCode">RG1 1AA</span>
    <span itemprop="addressLocality">Reading</span>,
  </div>
  Tel:<span itemprop="telephone">0118 496 0000</span>,
  Fax:<span itemprop="faxNumber">0118 496 0001</span>,
  Email: <span itemprop="email">info@example.com</span>

The Schema website provides the following list of PostalAddress properties:

Property Description
addressCountry This may be either the country name of the two letter code
addressLocality The local region – often a district of a city
addressRegion The wider region – county administration, for example
postOfficeBoxNumber A PO Box number
Postalcode The Associated postcode
streetAddress The street address may be a simple building number and road, but can include building name and more than one row

Also to be considered are the ContactPoint properties which cover the telephone and email address

Property Description
areaServed Useful if you have offices providing different geographic coverage
availableLanguage  Languages supported, the two letter codes are used in this instance.
contactOption  Used to indicate further contact options: a free telephone number or support for hearing-impaired.
contactType  Used to specify the business contact area: sales, support.
email  Email address
faxNumber  Fax number
hoursAvailable  The opening hours whilst the contact is available.
productSupported  If the organisation wishes to highlight that these support details are for a particular product line or area.
telephone  A Telephone number

Looking at the table above it can be seen that the opening hours for the organisation can be wrapped to highlight the timing.

There’s a lot of different properties on the Schema website. Spend some time looking around to find the best match between the type of businesses and the information which you wish to convey.

References

I wanted to use contact details, telephone and email which weren’t genuine or likely to be. In the references I’ve included a link to Ofcom’s numbers for drama. A list of numbers which won’t be assigned, much like the use of example.com for domains and email addresses in documentation.

Schema address

Microformats.org

Ofcom: Numbers for drama