When it comes to the SEO of the website most webmaster focuses on having targeted keywords in the title, description and the content of the page, which is a must need thing to do. Also some spend a lot of time and money on building backlink for their website, which is a complete waste of time and money. But one thing most webmasters and SEO analysts often miss is the importance of Microdata instead spend more time on other things.

Structured Data or Microdata is actually a way to represent what kind of data is present on a particular page of a website. You can see the list of different kind of structured data or microdata list at the official site Schema.org. Now, let’s say you have a blog where you post your articles. After adding structured data to your individual article page you are actually saying the search engines which exact part of that page represents the post title, which part represent the whole article, who is the author of the post, which part of your page represents the breadcrumbs etc.

Now if you have an eCommerce website, you might wanna structure your product page with the details like which section of text represent the product name, product brand, SKU ID, average review, number of people reviewed the item and many other thing.

Why should you care about microdata?

Most people often ask that as their site is running smoothly for years without microdata why they should bother to add these microdata on their site. It’s not something that users can see on that page. But the question they forget to ask is how they can improve the search engine experience for their website.

As we all know that Google (the search engine that almost everyone use) has more than 200 factors in their search algorithm which decides the position of your website on the search page. Now obviously proper page title and description is the most important thing, but one of those ranking factor also includes how well the content of the page has been structured. If you do not use microdata on your website when Googlebot will crawl, it has to decide everything by itself and many times it can lead to wrong information on the search result (like wrong title, description etc.).

But if you use structured data Googlebotr will have the exact idea what part of your website represent what thing and in return googlebot will give higher SEO score to your website and in the end you site will be listed within the first few pages of Google search.

Does it really improve SEO?

Yes, of course it does. Don’t believe me? Well here is a real life example. If you ever visited the Genesis Framework website, you would have seen that they claims to improve your website SEO tremendously if you use genesis framework for your website design. Also you will find a lot of reviews on the web saying that how easily Genesis Framework themes for WordPress helped them to improve their search presence and SEO.

But a very few people ask that how do they do it? Besides giving the place to customize your page title and descript what more does it have? Well, the answer is structured data or microdata. You can use plugins like Yoast SEO to add the page title, description customizability but it doesn’t add any microdata to your site.

This is where Genesis themes gets the boost. If you create a website using Genesis Framework every single page you will create will have the structured data added to it by default. Though it is not perfect every time, but in most time it does this and this is where Genesis based websites gets their SEO boost.

I’ve been using structured data on my website for years now and I’ve seen tremendous improvement in terms of search presence and click through rate. It has almost increased about 400% compared to my earlier site that doesn’t had microdata in it.

How to add these Microdata/Structured Data?

Well, this is the hard part, there is no such plugin exist to add microdata in your website just by one click and the reason bind that is every site is different and has different kind of data in it. So, one set of microdata which might be perfect for my website is not necessarily mean that it will be perfect for  your website too.

Though there are certain themes for CMS like WordPress which comes with preloaded microdata, but still it is not always perfect for all website. The reason behind that is these themes often use some generalized microdata, but if you add your microdata manually within your theme’s code, you have the chance to use much more exact microdata that is perfect for your business or site niche.

2015-10-26_18-03-09

I know, it’s really hard to do this if you are not well familiar with programming and that is why Google has made a Structured Data Markup Helper website which will give you a very basic idea how to add microdata in your website and what things you should add in your existing code. The website is very simple, you just provide the URL of your existing page and then mark what section represent what and it will show you the section where you need to add your code. Here is a brief video showing what is microdata and how you can add it in your site. I hope it will give you the basic idea about using microdata in your site.

Structured data can be added in two ways in any website:

  1. Adding Markup to the HTML
  2. Adding Markup as JSON format

But you must keep in mind that Google always prefer the HTML based microdata and for a hand-few number of cases it actually supports the JSON based microdata. Google is expanding their structured data support and in very near future it will support both of them for all scenarios.

But if you are still confused and don’t wanna get into all this trouble, here are two best option I can give you:

  1. Get themes which already preloaded with Structured Data Markup properly, like Genesis Frameork, Divi Themes Microdata.
  2. Hire a developer to edit your existing theme to add appropriate structured data in it.

I’m really sorry that I do not have any better option to add microdata in your website at the easy way, because it isn’t easy at all.

What extra benefit will I have with microdata?

If you have a blog kind of website then the only visual change you might see is showing your website breadcrumb in the search result instead of the whole link and may be showing the date on which it has been posted and if it is a review post, Google will show up your review stars along with the reviewer name (these are called Rich Snippets). That’s it, for general blog and article based website you will not see any more visual changes to your search result besides the fact your site SEO is now boosted a lot and it shows up at the beginning pages of Google search.

But if you have an eCommece based website, you can show up a lot of things in the search result itself besides the product name, description and breadcrumb if you add all microdata properly at the proper place. An eCommerce site with properly added microdata can show up the product review, number of reviews, in stock details and even brand names (these are called Rich Snippets). It’s pretty cool and trust me all this changes to your search result increases a lot click-through rate to your website.

If you don’t trust me, ask yourself if you search for anything on Google at it returns 10 search result, and 3 of it has some review star rich snippet showing on it, which one will you click? The answer is the one which is showing the cool rich snippet. And this is the same for other too because this is how human psychology works.

How to test if Structured Data is working properly?

After you implement structured data in your website you must test every single of your site to make sure your microdata markup does not have any errors in it. Those microdata doesn’t look like any programming language but it has a proper order of category and subcategory which you must maintain always.

You cannot add anything you want under any markup category, every mother category support a list of child category, so you must have to choose from them. You will get more details about microdata and it’s listing at the official website Schema.org.

2015-10-26_17-59-51

Now it’s time to test your microdata. Visit Google Structured Data Testing Tool and fetch the URL that you wanna test. On the right hand site the tool will show you the list of structured data that Googlebot has identified and if any of them contain any error. This is really useful to check if everything is working fine and to debug microdata issues.

Conclusion

If you have spent tons of money to various SEO agencies scaring you with you have wrong title, description or maybe you need more back links – these kind of stuffs, take a step back and spend that money on adding structured data support to your website. In near future this is going to be a very important thing in terms of SEO. As in this current time only Google takes advantage of structured data, but in very near future search engines like Bing, Yahoo will also implement it. And trust me when I say it, structured data can boost your website SEO and search presence hugely.

Feedback

So, have you ever thought have microdata or structured data are so important thing in terms of SEO and improving search presence? Do you use microdata in your website right now? Does it helped you to boost your site SEO? Have you added the microdata manually in the theme or purchased some theme that comes preloaded with it? I’m so excited to hear your thoughts about this in the comment section below.

You can also connect with me via twitter @iSaumya. If you like this post, please don’t forget to share it with others who might enjoy reading it. Also if you have any other ideas or request about future posts, you can let me know in the comment section below or via twitter.

Published by Saumya Majumder

Passionate, Hard Worker. Love to develop new things, Singing Songs, playing computer Action Games, tweaking with computer languages, Riding Bikes, Love long driving, love books, web & Photography. You can follow me on twitter @iSaumya

22 Comments

  1. Hi there. This is very interesting. I never even heard of “microdata” – thank you for helping to spread word of this.

    My question to you would be – why do you say building backlinks is pointless as it relates to SEO? Google themselves had mentioned the importance to a person’s authority which is proven through the many backlinks one can get. I’m not talking about spam, junk backlinks either.

    The sites I build have never included microdata, only a big focus on optimization on-page and through Yoast SEO and then working on getting a handful of strategic backlinks pointing to the website. These sites are climbing the results for prime keywords. I assume they would do even better with the microdata coded in as well.

    Now as it relates to WordPress and Microdata, if Google wants to see each page on it’s own as opposed to coding a blanket category over the entire site, how is one able to do this? Is the microdata one generic line of code that you add to your header.php file, or whatever file serves the header? Or is microdata mainly the need for well coded breadcrumbs?

    Thank you again for writing!

    Reply
    • Hi Lily,
      Thank you for raising these good questions. First of all Google used to say backlink is important, but not anymore, for more about this read this article of mine: 5 reason to avoid creating backlink for good SEO. Now coming back to your next questions, microdata or structured data is not something that you can only add to wordpress sites, its a set of extra html markup that you can add on any sites that generated HTML, whether you have coded it in wordpress or simple php or node.js or whatever. Doesn’t matter. You just have to add a set of extra html attribute to the proper divs mentioning which section of your site represent which part. You can see the list of different categories here at schema.org.
      Also I think you are a little confused, you see breadcrumbs falls into a category of microdata, at the same way there are category for articles, products and many more thing. Hope this make things clear, if you still have doubt, let me know.

      Reply
      • Hi Saumya

        That’s very helpful info. So basically, as it relates to WordPress, as long as a theme has a good set of informative breadcrumbs and your typical blog feed, with subsequent categories that are utilized properly (e.g. one category per article to identify that article more properly), then the microdata is then correctly in place?

        I’ll also read through the schema info as well. Thank you very much again. 🙂

        Reply
        • Technically yes. You have to add those extra schema tags within your post to mention which kind of post it is under which exact category does it falls it and things like that. You will see it in the schema.org link I have given you earlier. It’s not like selecting the category from the wp admin. It needs to be fitted into the rendered HTML as proper itemprop data.
          Also if you just have a breadcrumb in your site but the proper microdata tag for breadcrumb isn’t been added into it then again it wont work. Luckily the breadcrumb that is provided by Yoast SEO plugin already has the microdata added for breadcrumb only nor for the rest of your site.

          Reply
          • That’s very helpful. 🙂 Thank you so much for being such a great resource. I can only wish I knew where to learn all that you have.

            Great new article on hosting as well. I’ll be looking into them soon. I do like my current host, but at the same time, I could see room for improvement.

            Thank you again!

          • If you just visit the links I’ve given to you i.e. Schema.og Get Started Guide and after reading it look in to Google Structured Data Helper Tool I’m pretty sure you will understand what are the things you might need to add in your sit’s HTML markup.

            About the hosting, no matter with whom you host, I’ve tried almost all major one out there by myself and I can tell you this Bigscoots is the best. Don’t believe me, go and try them for a month. You will know yourself. Besides when you get the hosting with them let them know that I referred you and they might give you a free cdn account with CDN77 out of generosity.

            Also I’m planning to add a video tutorial about how to add microdata in your website, so subscribe to my YouTube channel for that video very soon.

          • Sounds great. I’ll definitely check them out. It’ll take me some time with my current work load, but I’m very much interested. I’ll also jump on your YouTube channel as well!

            Thank you! 🙂

          • Also I will suggest you to subscribe for my newsletter so that you don’t miss the future awesome articles. 🙂

          • Hey Lily, I’ve added the video explaining everything about microdata within the post now. So you can refresh the post and watch the video 🙂

          • Excellent! 🙂 Thank you so much. I subscribed to your YouTube channel and your blog news as well. I really like how helpful you are and truly a great resource.

            Thank you again!

          • Really glad to see that. I’m looking forward to hearing back from you after you use Bigscoots Hosting. It’s truly the last host you will ever need. Looking forward your feedback about them 🙂

  2. You always reply to comments in such helpful ways and blog about things that really matter for the upkeep of peoples online businesses and blogs! Keep it up Saumya!

    My question would be about using Genesis framework, so you said it is a superior framwork for SEO and this microdata you speak of. So if I was using SEO by Yoast, would that be defeating the purpose of the Genesis framework’s SEO?

    Reply
    • I’m really glad that you like my work Nelius. Thank you very much for all the good words. Please do share my site and my works with others and spread the word (if you can) 🙂
      Now coming back to your question, you see Yoast SEO is a great plugin and every wordpress user should use it. But you have to understand that it doesn’t add microdata to your site. What it does are adding meta description, custom page/post title and if you want some meta keywords. The only thing within which Yoast adds microdata is the breadcrumb that is included within Yoast SEO plugin and comes with it. Thats it. Another part of very small microdata that yoast adds is the knowledge graph microdata, I guess you have already noticed that asking your name, facebook url inside yoast.
      But it is not enough to add microdata in your whole site and structure your site content. This is where Genesis framework comes which adds structured data to every page and every single content of it. Thought it might not 100% perfect for your exact needs but in most cases its ok. If you want a 100% perfect structured data for your site, then you must have add them via custom coding your theme by yourself or by hiring some dev.
      Hope this makes things clear. 🙂

      Reply
    • Hey Nelius, I’ve added the video explaining everything about microdata within the post now. So you can refresh the post and watch the video. It will have the answers of all the question you have in mind about microdata. 🙂

      Reply
      • Wow! Even go the extra mile with such help! I definitely recommend your site to my friends and other blogs about your personal blog and services! I’ll definitely keep it going as much as possible!

        Hope to always see more brilliant blog posts in the future.

        Even though I wish it was updated everyday with posts, I know you are doing superior research to get facts for every post you create!

        Thank you again!

        Reply
        • Thank you for the good words. I would be more happy if I could release one post everyday. But it merely impossible for me as I’m a single person has to do coding, design, provide support to my clients, then research and then write. So many things to do in so much small time 🙂 But I’m planning to post one topic each day. May be on each Tuesday. 🙂

          Reply
  3. hi can you provide seo service for me…..

    Reply
  4. Is it helping to improve my website serp ?

    Reply
  5. I read a huge case study posted on backlinko, showing that microdata is not related to the higher ranking of the pages.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe To My Newsletter

Subscribe To My Newsletter

Join my mailing list to get meaningful content, useful information, how-tos, tricks, tips for webmaster, bloggers and entrepreneurs to rise and profit in your online business.

You are almost there! Just check your Inbox to confirm the Subscription & you are all set.

Shares

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close