In an article I wrote, titled “Before you Buy a WordPress Theme: Check its Structure”, I shared a tool that helps people find out whether the theme they are about to purchase is well structured.
The tool is very important in that it helps you find out whether the theme contains all the necessary schema markup which help search engines understand the different parts of your website.
Schema markup, in simple words, is like microdata that helps search engines identify the important pieces of information such as the headlines, the content, the author, the date in which a post or a page was published, etc.
Because search engines do not have our ability of object identification, missing schema markups may leave search engines struggling to identify the different pieces of information.
Luckily, fixing this problem can be achieved without any coding knowledge easily via the Structured Data Markup Helper tool provided by Google Webmaster Tools.
In the following lines, I will show you how to use this tool to train Google search algorithms to understand your website structure.
Step 1: Join Google Webmaster Tools
If you have not set your Google Webmaster Tools account yet, then it’s important to join the service in order to be able to use the tool.
All you have to do here is to join the service, add the different versions of your website (with www, without www and https:// if it exists) then following the instructions given by the search console.
When you try to add your website for the first time, the search console will ask you to verify your website to check whether it is your own property or not.
You can select any method you want, but for quick verification, you can go for the HTML tag method.
If you’re using WordPress and you decided to go for this method then:
1. Download and install a plugin that helps you verify your website, such as Verify Ownership.
2. On the verification screen, click on Alternate Methods, then select HTML tag and copy the meta tag that starts with: < meta name=“google-site-verification”… etc.
3. On the WordPress Dashboard, hover your cursor over Settings and click on Verify Ownership. Under Google Verification ID, paste the code and click Save Changes.
If you have completed this step, you can now access the tool and start highlighting your website’s data.
Step 2: Highlight Data with the Structured Data Markup Helper
To better understand how the data highlighter works, the following is a video made and published by Google.
It explains what a data highlighter is and shows a quick example of how to highlight a website.
To start highlighting your website, you’d better start with a single post or a single item, depending on what you are using, a blog, or an e-commerce website.
The following is an example of how to highlight a blog:
1. In the search console homepage, click on Search Appearance then Data Highlighter, and then click on Start Highlighting.
2. Because it is a blog, Articles is the most appropriate choice, select it then paste any URL of any post on your website and click OK.
3. Start highlighting the post by selecting the data and choosing its type.
4. Finally, click on Done and then follow the instructions.
That’s all for this.
If you have any questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to use the comment section below.