Structured data or Schema markup is a technical thing which can give your search engine rankings boost and improve them. Using Structured data requires a little learning curve but anyone can do it, It does not necessarily requires any coding knowledge. But if you do know how to code it will be fairly easy and simple for you. You definitely should learn about structured data and its importance.
Schema Markup and Structured data is technical stuff but it is not complicated at all, anyone can learn it and you’ll gain a skill set that will help your website’s search engine rankings.
What is structured data ?
Structured data also known as Schema Markup is a little snippet of code which helps search engine bots read your website content. This content is later organized and displayed in your website’s search engine rankings.
[Image example here]
The search engine cannot understand the importance of elements you add to your page. It will treat your contact information as text and to make it understand that this information is important you need structured data which specify important content and tells search engine to display this information when a person search for it.
Let’s say you want to add your phone number to your website’s search engine rankings, You will just place your Phone number somewhere on your website’s homepage right? and it will work well for human but a bot wouldn’t be able to understand it and will treat it like text, And people who will search for your business phone number will have to visit your website to get it.
If the search engine could display the phone number it would’ve been easier to find for visitors and require one less action.
If you use structured data you can guide search engines to read your contact information and display it instead of reading it like random text.
You can find the detailed documentation on structured data at : schema.org
I know after visiting the schema.org website you are freaking about it, Its impossible to remember those thousands of schema keywords. Don’t worry you don’t have to memorize these terms and I will teach you how to use it without any effort.
Types of structured data.
According to google there are three types of structured data.
- JSON-LD (Recommended)
- HTML Microdata
JSON-LD is recommended format because Microdata and RDFa is static but JSON-LD can be inserted in the page of your website dynamically. In simple terms the structured data in JSON-LD is easy for search engine bots to read and is more flexible for developers to use, that’s why I’ll be using this format.
Important Schema Markup Terms
Itemscope attribute is used to define a section of your data under a single topic. Let’s say you have web page about movies, Your default HTML might look like this without any schema markup.
You can add itemscope in opening tag of your div, and when search engine reads this section they will know that this information is about one specific topic.
The itemtype will tell search engines about the type of your content so search engines can categorize and rank that content properly.
Example markup of Itemtype.
Considering the movie example it will guide the search engines to use & rank this data in if someone search for a “movie”.
The item property let you define every property of your data to be used in search engine rankings.
This will allow search engines to display the data about Avatar Movie in structured form.
Add Structured Data To Your Website
If you are like me and millions of other people who use WordPress for their websites continue reading if not then you can skip to the next step. Now let’s add structured data to your website.
It is extremely easy to add schema markup for your WordPress website using plugins. The Schema App Structured Data Plugin is the one I like most.
It is easy to setup and do not require any setup at all.
Download the plugin go to your WordPress Dashboard > Plugins > Add New upload the downloaded zip file or search this plugin on plugin directory.
Once installed and activated you can access the structured data for your pages or posts when you edit them. You’ll see a metabox saying “Schema App Structured Data” below the wordpress editor panel.
The plugin will automatically generate structured data for your pages and posts but if you want more control you can modify/write your own data for pages and posts. (Feature for pros).
You should learn basics of structured data so you can make any changes to your pages and posts to get most out of it.
Click on the blue pencil button to edit the schema markup.
This is the method for WordPress users which is super simple, There is no need to put extra effort on other stuff if you are a WordPress user this is you tool for structured data.
2. Any Website using Google Structured Data Markup Tool.
This method will work for all the websites out there it requires a bit technical knowledge, If you know HTML it will be piece of cake otherwise it can be a bit confusing & lengthy to setup.
Google has a great tool Structured Data Markup Helper for you to add structured data for your website.
It is very simple to use just visit the Google Structured Data Markup homepage.
Select the website tab.
Select a data type, These are very limited categories but covers all the content.
Next enter the URL of the page or post you want structured data for.
The right panel is the schema markup tool.
And to tag structured data to your elements select the text or image and drop down menu will appear with options. Select the appropriate option, in above image I am tagging the heading as title.
You need to tag and fill the fields on right panel, you don’t have to tag all the fields but it is better to tag all of them.
Once you have tagged everything on your page click on create HTML button on upper right corner of the page.
Select the JSON-LD by clicking on microdata tab.
Copy the generated code snippet and paste it in your page.
If you choose microdata select the generated HTML code and paste in your page HTML file.
Note : If you are using a CMS or some template engine then using the Google helper method is very tricky to use. You’ll have to identify the specific HTML sections to replace and it depends on the platform or page structure.
Adding Schema Markup yourself
If you have knowledge about the schema markup and can spend time then do it. It is learning experience and if you practice more you will become better.
Note: If you don’t have knowledge about it then please don’t play with your files it could mess up you website completely because doing it manually requires extensive coding knowledge.