How to Add Structured Data to Your Website

Adding Structured Data to Websites

You want your website and business to become even more profitable moving forward, that is why, adding Structured Data to your website should be on your to-do list for search engine optimization. So let’s find out the best options for using Structured Data and try to simplify how you too can take advantage of these latest Google changes.

Let’s First Clarify This About Structured Data

Technical History of the Term: there are many databases which store huge amounts of data, most databases will perform specific tasks, so they have to have procedures in place so that the data they store, is either structured data, or unstructured data. Basically, its the way, you organize pieces of information (data) for better retrieval.

Think of it like this: imagine one large block of text document that contains 100000 words. You could structure the same document by grouping related information, so instead of having just one large document, you could perhaps have 10 different, and yet, related documents. Once again, Structured Data means “grouping related content”. And here’s what Google says:

Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content.

Why Does Google Search Recommends Structured Data Using JSON-LD Format

structured data formats Google Search Supports
Shows structured data formats Google Search Supports, JSON-LD, Microdata and RDFa

The simplest reason Google recommends using JSON-LD (Javascript Object Notation Linked Data) is because it is easy for inserting certain information for websites. For example:

<script type="application/ld+json">
{
"@context": "http://schema.org",
"@type": "Organization",
"url": "https://www.yourdomainwouldgohere.com",
"name": "Structured Data Tutorials by RankYa.",
"contactPoint": {
"@type": "ContactPoint",
"telephone": "+1-401-555-1212",
"contactType": "Customer service"
}
}
</script>

That’s what Google Search recommends using on a web site, inserting that just on your home page will do the trick for letting Google understand that you are a Type of Organization with URL, Name, and Customer Service Contact Phone Number. However adding that manually on a website can be tricky for most website owners. If you are using WordPress, then this sample code below will do the same thing (but do so Dynamically, meaning you insert it once and that’s it)

<?php if (is_front_page()) : ?><script type="application/ld+json"> {<script type="application/ld+json"> {  "@context": "https://schema.org",  "@type": "Organization",  "url": "<?php bloginfo('url'); ?>",   "name": "<?php bloginfo('name'); ?>",   "contactPoint": {"@type": "ContactPoint","telephone": "+1-401-555-1212","contactType": "Customer service"}}</script><?php endif; ?>

But JSON-LD is Not the Best Way to Add Structured Data to Web Sites

In fact, it is the most retarded way to think about adding Structured Data using JSON-LD option, as it will definitely limit your website to take advantage of what Structured Data really offers websites today. Because your website is not Static (unless somehow you are still using static HTML) and most of your content is generated automatically, so how can you add Schema Markup manually using JSON-LD ?

What is Schema Markup

is a vocabulary, and allows you to use format for adding (and nesting (branching out)) Machine readable syntax.

  • itemscope: scope of the container (whatever the container is, whether its a HTML div, section, article, or even a span element)
  • itemtype: type of item the container will contain
  • itemprop: properties that are distinct for each item
Illustration for Using Itemscope Itemtype and Itemprop
Shows simplified version of using Itemscope Itemtype and Itemprop Schema.org Microdata Vocabulary

What is JSON-LD

is short for Linked Data that you can use to Link Related Data

What is RDFa

RDFa is Resource Description Framework in Attributes (HTML Attributes)

You can use each of these above techniques for grouping content, or use all of them together when marking up your web site and web pages according to your website setup.

If you are serious about learning how to add Structured Data to take advantage of the latest Google Search Results Advanced Features. Then, you have few different options:

Use Google Structured Data Markup Helper

Google offers websites that are verified in Search Console the option to highlight parts of the website that can be grouped. Visit this URL to use

Use Google Data Highlighter

Similar to Structured Data Markup Helper, is another option for telling Google about your website’s structure.

Visit Google Structured Data help section

You can browse through and read through guidelines for using them according to your website requirements.

Hire a Professional Search Engine Optimizer

Unfortunately, most SEO’s are rather limited in their technical abilities to offer you this rather complex service. However, you can for WordPress built sites to add more complex Schema Markup and JSON-LD coupled with (because that’s the best way to insert Structured Data to websites, through coding it manually, just once so that you can focus on growing your website and business).

Add it Yourself by Coding Your Own Website

Keep in mind that if you are using WordPress, then you are in luck because there are many as well as I’ve created. Note: I do not recommend using Schema Plugins as they will only give you a headache in  and also, since each website is different, the markup most plugins add do not validate in .

Adding structured data to any given website is complex to say the least. For example, imagine coding this to HTML

<html <?php language_attributes(); ?> class="no-js"<?php if (is_front_page()) {echo ' itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/WebSite"'; }
elseif (is_home()) {echo ' itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/CollectionPage"'; }
elseif (is_search()) { echo ' itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/SearchResultsPage"'; }
elseif (is_author()) { echo ' itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/CollectionPage"'; } //if author is personal page then use ProfilePage
elseif (is_date()) { echo ' itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/CollectionPage"'; }
elseif (is_tag()) { echo ' itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/CollectionPage"'; }
elseif (is_archive()) { echo ' itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/CollectionPage"'; }
elseif (is_category()) { echo ' itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/CollectionPage"'; }
elseif (is_page('sitemap')) { echo ' itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/CollectionPage"'; }
elseif (is_page('contact')) { echo ' itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/ContactPage"'; }
elseif (is_page('about')) { echo ' itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/AboutPage"'; }
elseif (is_page('wordpress-schema-markup-plugins')) { echo ' itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/CreativeWork"'; }
elseif (is_page() && !is_paged()) { echo ' itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/WebPage"'; }
elseif (is_page() && is_paged()) { echo ' itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/CollectionPage"'; }
elseif (is_single() && !is_paged()) { echo ' itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/Blog"'; }
elseif (is_single() && is_paged()) { echo ' itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/CollectionPage"';}?>>

The above example taken from my own WordPress Theme, and that’s just the beginning of < html > as you can see, adding Structured Data Markup can be quite complex even for me, and I am also a fully qualified Web Developer who is skilled in PHP, Javascript, WordPress and Google Structured Data Guidelines.

Video Showing Advanced Techniques for Adding Structured Data to Web Sites Built on WordPress CMS

Whatever you do, do not ignore the importance of adding Structured Data to your website, as Google and other are extending their support for newer markup types which  visibility in Search Results of the future. These include and new types (still in Beta Testing Stage) like:

Another critical point to keep in mind is that, when Google displays Structured Data results (Rich Features) in its search results, then, this improves website traffic as these new features are displayed prominently especially in mobile search (which Google is moving towards dominating).

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Author: RankYa

RankYa: Online Entrepreneur, Web Developer, Google AdWords and Google Analytics Certified Professional. Specialist in: SEO, Website Optimization, WordPress, Structured Data, JSON-LD, Microdata, Microformats, RDF, Schema.org Vocabulary, HTML5, Advanced Image Optimization, Google Webmaster Tools, Google Webmaster Guidelines, Social Media Marketing, Facebook marketing and YouTube video ranking mastery.

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