The moral of this story
When Google wants you to do something, they will request it, blog about it, make video’s about it. But eventually – they will even make a user friendly tool to allow you to do something technical – very simply and hence compel you to do it. Lastly they will change their algorithm to benefit those who do what they say and to punish those who do not adhere.
This is exactly what Google have done with their new structured data markup helper tool. It allows you to use rich text and schema text in the code of your webpage with little or no technical knowledge of coding.
What’s the benefit to you as a webmaster or site owner?
Your website will be ranked higher and get extra traffic with more click throughs. Read on to hear how and why.
What’s the benefit to Google creating this New Structured Data Markup Helper tool?
It helps the search engine results page (SERP) look more attractive and engaging hence giving the Google user a better search experience by providing ‘rich results’. Rich results are displayed in the form of product ratings, author names and pictures, even recipe details displayed right within the SERP before clicking on the actual result. This makes the SERP (in this case Google) more appealing. It directly impacts on more people using Google, possibly clicking on their ads and yes, you guessed it KACHING $$$ – Google wins as always. So sit back as I take you on a journey through this new tool.
What’s so great about this tool for webmasters?
Firstly, note that you do not have to be a schema markup language expert to use the new Google structured data markup helper tool. You simply need to have website access to upload the new HTML code generated by the tool, to your webpage. That’s it, and it’s so simple. Thank you Google!
Secondly this ‘helper’ tool is in addition to Google’s first tool that allows anyone (no need to be a webmaster) to test how the markup language on your page will be displayed in a search result. This tool is called the structured data testing tool. This is not to be confused with the new Google structured data markup helper tool which is the topic and main discussion point of this blog post.
More details of why should you use schema markup language?
Google (and other search engines) have explicitly said that they use the data that you have ‘signaled’ out to the crawlers in order to make your result on the SERP more appealing for a click. Really anything that helps the crawler know and classify a piece of information on a webpage will allow it to display the webpage as a result in a better way and drive more direct traffic to that webpage. To see my previous full post about advantages of using schema markup language you can click here.
So lets take a look under the hood
Go to the new Google structured data markup helper tool and select your data type (being an article, event, movie, restaurant etc). Then you need to place the URL of the live webpage you wish to insert the markup language in the ‘URL text box’ below and then click on start tagging. Note that for more advanced webmasters you can paste the exact part of the HTML code of the page instead of supplying the live URL. Then the user is displayed the page and all you have to do is use your mouse and highlight parts of the text that appear in the left hand pane and then select from one of the options that automatically pops up. Its really that simple.
After you have completed ‘enriching’ TM your page with rich snippets (excuse the pun), the user clicks on the button ‘create HTML’ and the code is generated and ready for use on the page instantly.
My greatest suggestion is not to wait to use this. Jump right in. It’s free, very user friendly and no technical skills are required. Your website traffic will increase due to better rankings and better click through rates from the SERP. No need to deliberate. I wish you lots of extra quality traffic and SEO happiness.