Why Your Site Needs Schema Markup Before the Holidays and How to Add it.

Drive More Online Sales and More Customers Through Your Doors This Holiday Season by Using Structured Data Markup on Your Website.

Structured data markup gives search engines the power to comprehend what your site is about. Think about it, the more you help the search engines understand your site, the more they can help direct people to your site. 

The holidays are quickly approaching. If you're not already knee deep in your fourth quarter marketing plan or, if like many small businesses, you don't really have a quarterly marketing plan, you can benefit from good data markup. 

First, it's probably important to know just what structured data is before moving onto why your site needs it before the holidays. 

You can think of structured data markup as the extra things that appear when someone performs a search. If you search for a local service provider, you may see their location, phone number, hours, reviews, services and more. These are considered Rich Snippets.

Examples of rich snippet data

As you can plainly see, search results with structured data markup in the form of rich snippets provides more information. Wouldn't you select that result over the others shown? The exception may be the YouTube video if you were interested in watching someone review the product. 

The idea is to serve a much richer, more informative result to the searcher. Schema markup is the way to ensure your site is providing this extra information in the SERPS. Schema is the code or "vocabulary" that tells the search engines what your information is about.

It's not hard to see how, if you're not currently using structured data markup, you could be missing out on better rankings and more business this holiday season.

How can I put schema markup on my site?


The good news is that there are many tools now that help you "write" the code needed to put on your site. For now, the industry standard is to use
Schema.org. Schema.org will put your information into JSON-LD which is a nice, compact piece of JavaScript code. 

You don't need to be a developer to use Schema.org or insert the code but, some familiarity with HTML would serve you well.

From the main Schema.org screen, you'll want to select the 'Schemas' menu in the right hand corner. 

Once inside the schemas menu, you'll see many options based on common markup data organized by types of businesses and services. Choose the one that makes the most sense for your business. 

After clicking the type of schema that makes sense for your business, you'll be taken to a page listing the markup data options like 'hours of operation', 'price range', 'logo', 'telephone', 'payment accepted' and more. 

If you get overwhelmed with your options, try thinking like a potential customer performing a search. What would you like to see about a business or service when you perform a search? What information will provide the searcher with the most valuable search result?

If you were searching for a service would you want to know what hours the service is provided? What's the service area? Would you want to know what reviews others gave the service? What is the average price range of the service?

After you've decided what markup you would like to add, click on the appropriate link. The page that loads will have even more options. 


Don't go down the rabbit hole. If you keep clicking on more links you'll open more and more pages with more options. Eventually you'll come to a dead end however, you'll probably be confused about how this site is supposed to be helping you.

If you're finding Schema.org a little difficult to understand, you can try Google's Structured Data Markup Helper. I'll go over how to use Google's tool after I finish the Schema.org walk-through. If you've already decided you're going to use Google's Structured Data Markup Helper, just scroll down to that section to get started.  

Once you've clicked on the appropriate link, scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will see boxes of code under 'Examples'. 

You'll see these different options. 

Choose the JSON-LD tab to see your code. At this point, the code is not complete. It's in the right order but it's missing your actual data. This is where knowing a little about HTML is helpful. 

It's pretty self-explanatory if you look at the titles for each line and the examples given. Try your best to fill in your information deleting the example information as you go. 

When you're done, copy the JSON-LD code (script) so you can add it to your site. I'll walk you through adding it to your Wordpress site in just a bit. 

Google's Structured Data Markup Helper

Google's markup helper is easier to use but, it's not as detailed as Schema.org. In this case, data markup is better than no data markup. 

Like with Schema.org, you start by selecting the best fit for your business or service. Make sure you add the URL of your website in the box provided at the bottom of the page. 

Click the blue 'Start Tagging' button.

You'll see your site on the left side and your data items on the right side. From there it's as simple as highlighting items on your site and telling the markup tool what is highlighted. 

I have highlighted the name of my business and will select 'name' in the drop down box.

Just continue highlighting and tagging what you can and what is allowed within the markup helper. 

When you're done tagging all of your data, click on the red 'Create HTML' button in the upper right corner. 

Now you should see your site on the left side and your code on the right. 

That's a lot of code!!

We want to switch that to JSON-LD.

By clicking on the 'Microdata' drop-down box, I can see the JSON-LD option. Select it. 

Find the 'Microdata' drop-down and select JSON-LD. 

You should see a much nicer, smaller block of code on the right side. Select (Ctrl +A) and Copy (Ctrl+C) all of the code. 

Testing Your Code

Once you've used Schema.org or Google's Structured Data Markup Helper to determine your JSON-LD code and you add it to your site, you'll want to validate the code to make sure it's working the way you want it to.

Just head over to Google's Structured Data Testing Tool. First, you'll need to be signed into your business's Google account. Once you've done that, you should see a screen similar to this:

There are a couple of ways you can test the code. You can ask the testing tool to fetch your website. Just type in your URL and press the 'Run Test' button. You'll see the tool is set up into two halves. The left half will show the code of your website and the right side will show the markup it detected as well as let you know if there are any warnings or errors associated with the code. 

The other way to test your code is to select 'Code Snippet' and copy and paste the code into the box and press the 'Run Test' button.

Again, Google has split the screen into two halves. The left side shows your code and the right side shows your data markup as well as any errors or warnings. Some errors and warnings you'll want to pay attention to. Others may be out of your control or easy fixes. For example, on my site I received a warning about adding reviews bit not having an aggregate rating. My site doesn't use the Google ratings for reviews. This is something I could fix but for now, I'm not too concerned about the error. 

My site also received a warning to add a price range. Again, this is not something I want listed on my site for now so I will ignore the warning. 

If you're ok with the code with limited errors and warnings, it's time to put it into your site. 

Adding Schema Markup to Your WordPress Site

After you've logged into your WP admin account, you'll need your dashboard. On the dashboard, select 'Appearance' and then 'Editor'. 

You want to choose the proper theme to install your code into. If you have a child theme, you want to make sure you're not in the child theme but the actual theme. If you install the code into the child theme, when the theme updates the code may get stripped out and you'll need to repeat the process all over again. 

When you're in the right theme, find the Theme Header (header.php) and select. 

You'll see a pretty scary warning about changing the code of your site. I assure you, adding this script will not damage your site. It can always be removed however, it's never a bad idea to do a backup of your site before messing with the code.

Click on the blue 'Proceed' button. You should see a page with HTML code like this.'

In the code you want to find the opening <head> tag. Place your cursor behind the tag and press enter to give yourself a blank line. Now you can paste your code here

After pasting your code, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the blue 'Update File' button. 

That's it! 

You're done. 

You have added Structured Data Markup to your site. 

If you got stuck or intimidated somewhere along the way or you have a HTML site or a site on a different platform like Wix, we'd be happy to help you add the markup to your site. 

Remember, if you're not giving searchers the most informative, relevant results for your business or service type, you're missing opportunities. 

Adding structured data markup to your site can help you rank higher in results. 

Give us a call today and we' ll get you all set up!

IM Einstein
1 (815) 981-8255


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