12/03/2017

How to implement structured data ?

How to implement structured data

As a marketer, structured-data competency and implementation probably wasn’t in your job description. But it’s still helpful to know what it is and the tools that can make it easy for you. I’m going to walk you through a simple step-by-step process for implementing structured data, using one of our blog posts (“How to Create Comprehensive Content”) as an example.

Step 1: Use the Structured Data Markup Helper

Schema.org is the most robust structured data map available. Google, Microsoft (Bing), Yahoo and Yandex all teamed up to build this incredibly detailed layout and it informs all the other tools. But it can be complex to read if you’re not a developer.
Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper makes it easier to build and implement structured data. This tool is easy to use and allows you to tag the information that you want to mark up and then shows you where to place that code in your content.
To start, select a data type:
structured data markup helper
Select your data type (since we’re marking up a blog, we chose “Article”) and copy the blog’s URL into the bar below. Then click “Start Tagging.”
Right click or highlight the different elements (image, author, data, etc.) on that page and assign them to the appropriate data item:
structured data markup 1
structured data markup 2
structured data markup 3
Do this until you’ve identified everything you want to markup. The Data Items window should look something like this:
structured data markup 4
Not everything in this area needs to be filled out, but you have to make sure that the current blog post you’re marking up has the same information as every blog post you mark up. This will make sure you have the proper code to add to your blog template.
After you have highlighted all the text you want to code, select the “Create HTML” button in the top-right corner of the window. This will present the HTML tag with the Microdata Markup we will use to add to our blog template.
structured data HTML

Step 2: Add the markup to your WordPress blog template

Now that you’ve marked up your content, you’re ready to add the HTML tag(s) to your WordPress template. This is where it really pays to have a developer by your side.
In a standard WordPress website, there are templates for every type of page design on your site. This is where you’ll place the code. You can find the templates by selecting the “Appearance” bar in the left column. Select “Editor,” and this will bring you to your site’s themes. In the right column is a list of all the templates for your site. Select the template that represents your blog posts; for this example it is called “Single Post.”
Take the code that the Structured Data Markup Helper generated and place it into the template. Now, whenever you create a blog within WordPress or your content marketing platform, the structured data will already be embedded. You can go ahead and do this for all web pages across your entire site.
Pro-Tip: Use WordPress plugins. If you’re short on development resources, there are a host of rich snippet tools and plugins to make it easier to implement structured data.

Step 3: Test the code with Google

After you have added the code, it is time to test the URL and make sure the code is rendering correctly. You can find the Structured Data Testing Tool in Google Webmaster. Add the URL in the box provided and select “preview.” Google will run a short crawl on the structured data and alert you to any errors or issues with the code.

Take a deep breath

This might seem like a lot and, to be honest, it can be pretty cumbersome. But implementing structured data can help you control the information that appears in search and help you generate more rich snippets and increase your click-through rate.
As I mentioned earlier, structured data isn’t going to fix bad content or a poorly optimized site. But it can be the “icing on the cake” if implemented correctly.

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