Structured data is primarily a coding format that helps Google annotate and understand your data in a better way so that it returns more useful results for your website.It is also known as schema markup. In human context, we often need the most familiar language that we are more comfortable with to work and perform to the best of our abilities. Similarly, Google and other search engines need its most familiar language in the form of structured data coding format to interpret your website content better and accordingly show the best search results for your site. Structured data markup may not be an essential Google ranking factor, but it surely helps you increase your website traffic. Implementing structured data on your site will help your site with rich snippets in search results which can increase your CTR and ultimately your search rankings. After crawling your structured data, it may prominently present your web content in other Google platforms like Google maps, knowledge graph in addition to the rich snippets shown in search results. Using Google's Structured Data Markup Helper, you can easily implement structured data on your website.
Below is an example of rich snippets for an Indian dish shown in Google search results:
How will Structured Data Markup Benefit your website
- After Implementing structured data on your site, Google will start showing rich snippets for your site in search results
- Rich Snippets in search results will help you increase your website traffic
- Rich snippet will contribute in increasing CTR (Click through Rate) for your website
- Google will also present your content in knowledge graphs, Google maps, answer box, etc
- Knowledge graphs and Google map services will increase your overall online presence
- With good traffic, CTR and significant online presence, your website can expect good search rankings
Steps to Add Structured Data using Structured Data Markup Helper
Login to Google Search Console
- First Step is to log into Google Search Console using your Gmail account.If your Gmail account doesn't exist then, create one and log in to your account.
- Go to Other Resources tab at the bottom of your Google Search Console account and Select Structured Data Markup Helper.
Enter the Webpage to add Structured Data Markup
- In this step, you need to choose whether to use markup for your website or your email.You will be given different data types for each category. Say, if you are marking for your site, you will be provided the below data types to choose from:
- After determining a data type, next step is to paste the URL of the web page you have selected to add structured data. For Emails, you have the option to paste the HTML of the email by copying through its source code.
Tagging Structured data Markup to your Webpage
- This is the critical step in adding markup to your website. Here you need to select the data items in your selected web page and tag the item with appropriate data. Let’s assume, you have selected local business as your data type, you will be given the following data items to tag with structured data on the right-hand side of the screen as shown below:
- For example, if you want to tag the name of your Local Business, you need to select the text content specifying the name and tag it as shown below
- The corresponding text content will be tagged accordingly which will be reflected in the data item section as shown below:
- If some text content is not present in your selected page, then you have the option to add the missing tags manually and save it as shown below. A key point to remember here is not to add false information manually which may cause disapproval of your structured data by Google. Disapproval means Google will not display your content with rich snippets and even if it shows rich snippet, your website may receive penalty for giving false information such as false rating information to Google:
Generating Structured Markup HTML
- After clicking Create Html button, you can now view the created structured data HTML on the right-hand side of the screen.You can now download the HTML in either microdata or JSON – LD format and add it to your web page source code.
Testing using Structured Data Testing Tool
- It is recommended that before placing the HTML in your website source, you should test and validate the downloaded HTML using structured data testing tool in your search console.This is to make sure that the downloaded HTML is error free and safe before implementing live in your source code.
As explained in the above steps, you can quickly implement structured data on your website by using the freely available Google Search Console feature of structured data markup helper. Structured data may not be a critical ranking factor at present, but Google will soon be including it shortly, considering the results it brings to the table. So get started with your structured data implementation and improve your online presence.If you want to know more about Structured data or SEO, then please visit Search Engine Optimization or get a free review for your websiteif the above steps proved useful in implementing structured data on your site, then feel free to share your comments and opinions in our comment section below.
This resource was published by Ranjit Venugopal26 February 2016
Ranjit is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Webdura Technologies . He is Google Analytics, Google Adwords, and Hubspot Certified . He loves digital space and helps businesses increase their returns through digital strategies.