By Solomon Tshielo, Algorithm
In the world of SEO, structured data plays a crucial role in improving your website’s visibility and performance. However, implementing structured data correctly can be challenging. That’s where structured data testing tools come to the rescue.
Over the years, based on my experience, I have learned the hard way that implementing the wrong structured data is always because the SEO specialist didn’t test the markup code with various tools before implementation. This blog will explore the importance of structured data for SEO and introduce you to a range of effective testing tools. By the end, you’ll have the knowledge and tools necessary to optimise your website’s structured data and boost its SEO performance.
Understanding Structured Data
What is structured data?
Structured data refers to a standardised format used to provide additional information to search engines about the content on your website. It allows search engines to understand and categorise or classify your website’s content more effectively, resulting in improved search engine rankings such as rich results e.g featured snippets, recipe snippets, and many more.
Structured data can also be known as schema markup code that is written in LD+JSON, Microdata, or RDFa.
N.B Below is an example of structured data written in LD+JSON.
Why should I test structured data before implementation?
Testing structured data is vital to ensure its accuracy, validity, and compliance with search engine guidelines. By using structured data testing tools, you can validate your implementation and identify any errors or issues that need to be addressed promptly.
The benefits of using these tools include improved visibility, enhanced user experience, and higher click-through rates.
Top 5 Structured Data Testing Tools (Rich Results)
Google Rich Results:
One of the most popular structured data testing tools is the Google Structured Data Testing Tool, now known as Rich Results. This free-to-use tool allows you to test and validate your structured data implementation to ensure compatibility with Google’s search features. To access Rich Results, simply visit the Google Search Console and navigate to the Rich Results section. From there, you can follow these steps to test your structured data.
Schema.org is an open and collaborative initiative founded by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex. Its primary purpose is to facilitate the creation, maintenance, and promotion of schemas for structured data on the web.
The Schema.org validator is a useful tool that allows you to test your website’s structured data on-demand. It scans your code and identifies any entities that have errors or warnings. The testing results are displayed alongside your code, providing you with a clear understanding of what needs to be addressed and corrected.
Microsoft Bing Markup Validator
As a component of the URL Inspection Tool, the Bing Markup Validator allows you to easily identify any markup errors present in your structured data. Furthermore, it offers helpful suggestions for improvement, enabling you to enhance the quality of your structured data implementation.
This tool will provide valuable insights and guidance to enhance your website’s performance in Bing’s search results.
JSON-LD Playground is a widely used tool for implementing structured data using the JSON-LD format, which offers a simpler syntax compared to Microdata or RDFa. This simplified syntax can help reduce the likelihood of errors in your structured data implementation.
To ensure that your code aligns correctly with JSON standards, you can utilise the JSON-LD Playground for testing purposes and will provide a comprehensive report.
Google Search Console > Structured Data Report
Google Search Console has a structured data report under ‘Enhancements’, aimed at offering SEO specialists and developers more extensive insights into invalid markups on their websites.
This report focuses on delivering more descriptive information that aids in debugging with greater precision.
- Types of schema found on your website
- Types of issues, errors and warnings
- Snapshot of the structured data code
With the improved structured data report, SEOs and developers can pinpoint and address specific issues within their structured data implementation more effectively.
Experimenting with different structured data testing tools can help you find the one that best suits your needs and preferences.
How to Test Structured Data:
- Step 1: Choose a Team:
Open one of the trusted structured data testing tools and enter your webpage URL. Select the crawler bot you want to check the data i.e Google-Bot Smartphone or Bingbot
- Step 2: Interpreting the results:
The tool will display the structured data found on your webpage and highlight any errors or warnings.
- Step 3: Identifying errors and warnings:
Take note of any issues identified by the tool and address them accordingly. Note that search engines like Google and Bing will often disregard or disapprove structured data with any errors and warnings which will result in the code not being eligible for any rich results in SERPs.
- Step 4: Understanding the preview feature:
The tool also provides a preview of how your webpage might appear in Google’s search results, giving you insights into the visual presentation of your structured data. for example recipe
- Step 5: Using Google’s structured data testing tool offers several advantages, including compatibility with Google’s search features, access to real-time validation, and the ability to debug and fix errors promptly.
Best Practices for Using Structured Data Testing Tools
To make the most of structured data testing tools, consider the following best practices:
- Regularly test your website’s structured data to ensure its accuracy and identify any issues promptly.
- Stay updated with the latest schema.org updates and guidelines to maintain compliance with search engine standards.
- Troubleshoot common issues and errors identified by the testing tools by referring to their respective documentation or seeking assistance from SEO experts.
- Always use multiple validation tools, such as Google’s Rich Results Test, JSON-LD Playground and other tools for comprehensive testing and validation.
Structured data testing tools are indispensable for optimising your website’s structured data and improving its SEO performance. By understanding the importance of structured data, exploring tools like Google’s Rich Results and alternative schema markup testing tools, and following best practices, you can ensure that your structured data is accurate, compliant, and delivers maximum impact.
Algorithm Agency is a trusted advisor for SEO and Digital Performance, providing expert search skills and guidance to help you achieve optimal results.