What is Structured Data?
Structured data is also known as schema markup, it’s the extra information to let search engines understand your website. Unlike the human, when we see an image we know that’s an image, we need to give a code to tell search engines “Hey, here’s the image.”, “Hey, here’s my title.”.
Let search engines understand your website is good for your SEO. Not only for search engines, sometimes structured data is also benefiting for your readers, like rich snippets and rich card, they will all help you stand out in the search results.
How to Add Structured Data to Website?
Google Structured Data Testing Tool
First, we need a tool to test whether our structured data is working or not. We will be using Structured Data Testing Tool, you can access this tool in “Google Search Console” >>”Web Tools” >> “Testing Tools” >> “Structured Data Testing Tool”.
If you run your URL with this tool, you will probably see nothing or lots of errors and warning, that’s simply because we haven’t added structured data to your website.
I’m going to walk you through different ways to add structured data.
If you are using WordPress, the easiest way to add structured data is using a plugin.
1. Go to “Dashboard” >> “Plugins” >> “Add New” search for Schema App Structured Data, install and activate it.
2. Go to “Settings” >> “Schema App”. Here you can see all of my settings. If you want to know what each setting means, you can check their official page. (Note the “Publisher Type” should be Organization because Google only recognize Organization instead of Person)
3. One thing needs to notice is the size of “Publisher Logo”, if you don’t scale your image, you will see an error in your test. I use this free online tool LunaPic to scale my image. Set your height to 60 and the width will automatically be changed.
4. In every post and page you can custom set your structured data or even disable it.
Google Structured Data Markup Helper
If you are not a WordPress user or you don’t want to use the plugin, Google also provides a free tool to help you add structured data.
2. Choose your post type, for a normal blog post or an article like this one you can choose “Article”. Paste the URL of your page and click “Start Tagging”.
3. Highlight the data you want to tag, for example, I highlight the title and a box will pop up, then I choose “Name”. Don’t need to tag everything but the more the better.
4. Some data you can’t highlight, like URL. To tag those data, click “Add missing tags”.
5. Select tag type and add your tag, for this example is URL. Press “Add another” to add another tag, after that click “Save”.
6. Once you have done, click “CREATE HTML”.
7. Remember to choose “JSON-LD” as your output format.
8. Copy the entire code and paste it to the head of your page. Here I’m using WordPress, so I go to “Edit Post”, switch to “Text” mode and paste the code before my original HTML code.
9. Remember to change your “name” to “headline”. If you don’t do this, you will see a “Missing Headline” error in the testing tool. After that update the post.
10. Test your URL with Structured Data Testing Tool. If you see any errors or warnings, come back and markup the tag you are missing.
Google Data Highlighter
If you will have a headache every time you see codes, Google has a quick tool that can also do the job. This is the quick and dirty method, it’s not actually adding structured data to your website, it only helps Google to understand your website, it won’t work on other search engines.
1. Go to “Google Search Console” >> choose your property >> “Search Appearance” >> “Data Highlighter” and click “Start Highlighting”.
2. Paste the URL of the page you want to add structured data and choose the post type, normally “Article” will work just fine. You can tag multiple similar pages at once or only tag the current page. Once you’ve done, click “OK”.
3. Just like Structured Data Markup Helper, you highlight the data you want to tag.
4. Click “DONE” when you’ve finished highlighting the data.
5. If you are tagging multiple pages at once, it will automatically create a page set or you can create a custom page set. Name your page set and hit “Create page set”. The downside of this feature is the page set is created based on the similarity of URLs.
6. It will load more pages from your page set. Double check if anything is wrong. After you go through the example pages, click “DONE”.
7. You can review and edit each page. If everything is good, click “PUBLISH” and you’re done.
Adding Rich Snippets
If your post type is review or recipe, you may want to have rating stars or ingredients on your snippets. The easiest way to do this also requires a plugin. It’s called All in One Schema Rich Snippets.
This tutorial is mainly focusing on adding structured data to your website and I’ve already covered those topics, so if you want to add those fancy rich snippets to your website, check this video below.
How to Add Rich Snippets to WordPress
At the end of the day, you may find errors and warnings that can’t be solved when testing with Structured Data Testing Tool. You can go to YouTube to find how to fix it, but it’s too hard to understand for most people because it requires some coding.
Not adding structured data or have errors isn’t the end of the world. Having them on your website is good for the SEO but not having them won’t harm your SEO. Plus there are other more effective ways to optimize the SEO.
If you like this tutorial please share it with your friends and also leave a comment below. 🙂