Most people know in theory the benefits of structured data, the difficult part for many is how to actually implement it on your site. In this blog post, we’ve created a step-by-step guide on how to create, test and add this code to your website.
Step 1: Creating your Structured Data
There are lots of great (and free) tools that can help you generate this code, ideal if you have no or limited knowledge of coding. Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper allows you to build a code snippet by highlighting and classifying important parts of the page’s content, like the title, date, price, or location. However, the tool we find the best (and easiest to use is) the Schema Markup Generator from TechnicalSEO.com
To use this tool simply select the type of Structured Data you would like to create and begin to fill in the fields. In the example below we have selected the FAQ schema. As we begin to fill in each of the questions and answer fields our code is being generated on the right-hand side. Once you’ve finished completing all the fields, your code is ready to go…almost. The next step is important. You must never forget to test your code.
Step 2: Testing your Code
Once you’ve created your code snippet, you can test for any errors or omissions in the Rich Results Test, available as part of Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. The testing tool can test a code snippet or a page URL and find additional recommended and required properties to add to it. To use this tool, select “Code”, then copy and paste our code across and hit “Run Test”
This tool will then tell you if you have any errors in your code and what you need to fix:
However, you can also use the built-in testing tool on TecnicalSEO.com, just click the red “G” and you’ll have to option to go to the Rich Results Test or Structured Data test Tool – it will even copy your code for you!
Step 3: Adding Structured Data to Your Website
If you’re in any doubt about how to add the code to your website, we recommended reaching out to your web developer who should be able to quickly add the code to your page.
Top tip: If you’re sending the code through to your developer via email you should save the code in a format-less way, using a programme such as NotePad or TextEdit (if you are using a Mac). Don’t forget to make sure it saves as a plain text file (*.txt) rather than a rich text file (*.rtf), which it may do as default. This can lead to some syntax and formatting issues when you upload the code to your site.
Step 4: Checking for Results
After adding markup to your pages, check your website on Google Search Console to see if Google has crawled it and discovered the structured data markup. It can take weeks for Google to crawl and index your website, so you may need to wait. The Structured Data tab will list the different types of markup on your website, as well as any errors that may be associated with that markup.
In conclusion, while terms like “JSON-LD” and “code markup” definitely don’t sound easy, you don’t need to be intimidated by them. Adding Structured Data (or schema) or your site is a simple and easy process – though it may require a bit of assistance from your web dev team While most people will look at this as too complicated or unnecessary, taking the time to add the code snippets to your website is a small price to pay to help improve your SEO and visibility in search.
One last thing…
Don’t forget you can use Google’s Rich Results Test tool to not only test if your own structured data is working, but you can also use it to monitor your competitors. Simply add a competitor URL to the tool to see if they have added any Structured Data to their site, if so, it’s a good opportunity to match their SEO activities and add the same type to your site.