Did you know that it was possible to influence the way your site appears on Google, thanks to the use of structured data (and in particular from Schema.org)? To display, for example, reviews in the form of stars, frequently asked questions from Internet users, a formatted recipe.
These visual improvements grab people’s attention on the results page and improve your site’s click-through rates. But how do you set up structured data in WordPress without getting your hands on the code?
Let’s discuss what structured data is and how to add it with WordPress plugins like Schema.org.
Google’s results pages are increasingly visual and rich in information, representing an exciting opportunity for a blogger to exploit.
Structured data is metadata, in other words, “data that describes data.” It’s a way to bring out certain essential information on your page to help search engines like Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo better understand your content and showcase it to Internet users.
Structured data for what type of content?
Schema.org structured data can be used on different types of content. Among the most common are:
Works – Books, films, TV series, pieces of music, sculptures, paintings.
Questions / Answers: either written by the site itself or presented as an interactive FAQ where Internet users can respond to questions asked by others, as seen on some Amazon products.
Media (audio, image, video).
People or organizations.
Places (local business, restaurant).
Products and special offers.
Reviews or opinions, whether they come from one person or a set of people (with an aggregate rating)
Therefore, many bloggers can find an interest in it, and in certain areas, they give real added value to the content. Take the chocolate cake recipe, for example. Sites using structured data are highlighted in a very greedy carousel above other search results! This formatting is referred to as a “rich card.”
As you will have understood, the first advantage of structured data is to enhance your content, with the key to increasing the click-through rate compared to your competitors who do not use this opportunity.
The second advantage of microdata: they sometimes help to clarify semantic ambiguities. The Schema.org site takes the example of a page whose title would be “Avatar.” It isn’t easy to know if it is a question of the film or an incarnation of Vishnu of a virtual character representing an Internet use. The structured data adds a “layer of clarification” to the content, which helps to make it more intelligible.
This clarification offers a third advantage: it “sorts” between Internet users concerned by your content and others, which allows you to have more qualified traffic.
One last advantage for the road? Schema.org microdata can act as social proof, mainly when you use it to promote reviews. If the Internet user is looking for a specific product or service, he will likely turn to the site that displays positive reviews rather than the site that does not. Not just because it catches their eye, but because the human being trusts the opinion of the most significant number.
To date, it is estimated that there is no significant impact of structured data on natural referencing. However, the use of Schema.org could give a slight boost in SEO, which could be indirect.
In other words, Schema.org markup gets more people to click and attracts better-targeted people. Positive signals could be detected by search engines and help give a favorable view of your site.
The WordPress Schema plugin is probably one of the best plugins for integrating Schema markup into WordPress.
It uses the Google-recommended JSON-LD format and offers support for different types of markup, depending on the version you are using.
The plugin thus offers to support “Article” and “blog posting” type markings in the free version. In the paid version, you will also have markings such as “Product,” “LocalBusiness” (local business), “Event” (events), “FAQ,” “How-To” (tutorials), “Recipe” ( recipes), or even “Review.”
The free version allows you to identify yourself as a person or organization via structured data (with a logo, social profiles link, etc.). The paid version also allows you to use other formats, such as breadcrumbs or “author.”
Note that there are also other free or freemium plugins worthy of interest:
WP SEO Structured Data Schema – The free version supports several Schema Markup (like events, reviews, videos, restaurants, aggregate reviews based on multiple ratings, local businesses, etc.). You will also find books, job offers, films, cooking recipes, and even music in the paid version—all in JSON-LD format.
WPSSO and its extensions – WPSSO is a “multifunction” WordPress plugin that allows you to add many markups to your site: Open Graph markup. So articles appear well on social networks such as pins enriched Pinterest, Twitter Cards, and structured data. Once the main plugin (WPSSO Core) has been added, you can add extensions to it according to your needs, mainly the very powerful Schema JSON-LD Markup for Google Rich Results.
FAQ Schema for Pages and Posts – A specialized plugin for adding FAQs to its pages and making them stand out in search results.
The Yoast SEO plugin offers, including in its free version, a very basic Schema markup for WordPress.
Note that you can enter your identity in the form of structured data (Organization or Person) via the SEO settings menu> General settings tab, “Knowledge Graph & Schema.org” part.
You can also enter your social profiles via the Yoast Social Networks menu.
The plugin sets up “Article” type markup on your WordPress articles and other suitable markups on WordPress-specific content types (such as SearchResultsPage on the search page or CollectionPage on archive pages).
If you are using the Gutenberg editor, you also have the option of adding “Yoast Structured Data Blocks,” namely the “FAQ” block and the “How-To” block, which directly integrate the correct Schema markup for WordPress.
It is nevertheless very basic and insufficient if you have more advanced needs.
Some WordPress themes natively support Schema.org markup. In other words, certain types of content are already “planned” by your theme, with the correct structured data, so you don’t need to install any additional plugins or get your hands on the code.
All you have to do is look for elements such as “Schema.org,” “structured data,” or even “microdata” in the theme description. For example, if you type “Schema.org” into the search bar of the WordPress theme directory, you will be taken to a selection of themes that already have markup included.
If you are searching on an English-speaking site, use terms like “structured data,” “schema markup,” or even “JSON-LD” to identify compatible themes quickly.
These themes often incorporate certain types of content by default, such as recipes, to optimize from the outset for rich results.
Manually implement structured data: Finally, you can embed markup within the HTML code of your website pages. Unless you have development skills, we don’t recommend this option because the slightest mistake can cause significant damage to your site.
Does this sound complicate to you? New to coding? Don’t panic; tools are available to help you write and implement structured data. Here are three that you can use every time:
The structured data test tool: developed by Google allows you to test whether the search engine understands your markup well.
Help with the use of structured data from Google: the tool guides you through creating tags for the most common services.
A structured data generator: It can be challenging to write structured data from scratch, which is why we recommend that you use a structured data generator.
Finally, be aware that you can test the structured data on your site using the Google Structured Data Testing Tool.
The search engine also offers to test whether your page can give rise to the display of enriched results. The tool is called the test results enriched (Rich Test Results).
If you need to test a group of pages or a site and not an individual page, you can use a crawler like Screaming Frog (free up to 500 URLs).
Finally, if you use Google Search Console on your site, the “Improvements” part of the tool (in the left menu) allows you to view any errors in your site’s structured data. For example, Search Console reports that more than 400 “review snippets” are detected, with no particular error.
Incorporating Schema markup to your WordPress site will boost CTR and SEO rankings. It gives search engines clearer pictures of what information exists on the web page and helps display rich snippets for your website in search results.
It makes a massive difference in the sales or site ranking because Schema markup highlights the relevant information for the site searchers/crawlers.
Do you know, most of your competitors might not be using the Schema markup, and you’ll be ahead of them if you take some time out adding it to your WordPress site either by doing manually or by installing an SEO plugin like Yoast.
Are you taking benefit of Schema markup on your site? Let us know in the comments! Or, if you want to take advantage of adding schema markup on your WordPress site, head to Seahawk Media. Our skilled and dedicated team can help!
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