In this tutorial, we are going to cover how to use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. We’ll also explain the benefits of using this tool in order to develop rich snippets. It’s okay if this all of this sounds a little over your head right now because we are going to break it down step by step.
What is Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool?
Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool is a great resource for checking the structured data on your site. Google will scan your site at that very moment and display any structured data that it finds on your site.
By checking this information in Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool, you are essentially checking to make sure that there is indeed structured data.
What is Structured Data?
If you don’t know what structured data is, make sure to read our guide, “What is Structured Data: A Complete SEO Guide for Beginners.” This article serves as a primer for understanding the importance of how structured data can help you show up in search results across all search engines.
[caption id="attachment_6584" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Image credit: Google[/caption]
In a nutshell, structured data allows Google to understand what your site is all about. In addition, it enables Google to create “special search result features.” Lastly, it helps to naturally increase your presence on search results so that your customers can find and click on you.
Testing Your Site
Step #1: Getting Started
Now it’s time to get started on checking your own site to see if it has the proper structured data created for it.
If you don’t already have a structured data tool installed on your Shopify store, we recommend Get Clicked! SEO. It will instantly generate the structured data specifically for your store in matter of seconds.
Luckily for you, Get Clicked! SEO has Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool built into our dashboard. Simply click on the “Check” button next to any product item and it will take you directly to Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.
If you don’t have this app installed on your Shopify store, you can get it here.
Step #2: Making Sure Structured Data Exists
In this example I’m checking a black dress that I’m selling in my Shopify store. Immediately I will see there are three different pieces of structured data: Organization, Website, and Product.
Each one of these is a schema type. So far, we see an organization schema, website schema, and product schema. This is a good sign! It’s clear that the structured data exists for our product.
Step #3: Making Sense of your Data
So now that you see that there’s structured data for your website, what do you do next? You can open up that structured data to view it more closely to see what Google is seeing about your page.
In this example, we are examining a product (of a black dress). We are trying to see what information Google sees about this black dress.
If you click on the drop down arrow on Product, it will pull down more information related to the structured data. Here we’ll see many different pieces of metadata such as: id, description, url, name, image, itemCondition, brand type, brand name, price, currency etc.
All of this information has been neatly organized and labeled using structured data. Google favors sites that have structured data because it allows them to easily comprehend what you’re selling on your site. By classifying your content, Google can then help surface your content in search results.
For an extensive overview, read our guide “How Can I View My Structured Data?”
Step #4: Keep an Eye on It!
Having structured data is a bit of a waiting game. Once you’ve seen that your structured data indeed exists using the Structured Data Testing Tool, there’s not much else you can really do.
You’ll need to wait for Google to crawl and index your site in order to see any results. Typically, it takes a minimum of at least 3-12 weeks for rich snippets to appear.
We suggest getting your site registered with Google’s search console so that you can monitor when they end up indexing your site. By becoming a Verified Site Owner, you’ll be alerted if Google finds any problems with your structured data.
It will also give you access to something called Rich Cards Report as well as a Structured Data Report.
What should you do if you see duplication?
Don’t worry if you see duplication because Google is smart enough to understand this and only pick up the most accurate structured data.
You can just ignore duplication if you see it or you can have a professional programmer remove it from your site. Duplication often occurs because of a theme you’re using.
For more information about duplication, click here.
What should you do if you see errors?
Don't worry if you see errors. Errors usually come from your theme and this isn’t something you need to worry about. This just means that the theme or template is interacting in a funky way with your structured data.
How can you make sure the error is coming from your theme? If you click on the error, you’ll see that it is HTML and this means it’s coming from your theme.
You can simply ignore this type of error because it’s not a major road blocker for Google. However, if you’d like to fix it you can hire a programmer to fix your theme so that it won’t interfere with your structured data.
After this is done, you’ll notice that the errors (arising from you theme) are no longer an issue. For more information about general errors caused by your theme, click here.
Furthermore, specific errors can be narrowed down more specifically using the Rich Cards Report (on your Google Search Console account). However, if Google sends you a “manual action” email this is a serious error. This means that Google is now ignoring your structured data. Keep in mind that Google will still display your page in search results, but the structured data is no longer effective if you have a manual action that you need to fix.
Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool is a very valuable resource for testing your site’s structured data markup. It also enables you to see all of the markup in one quick glance. Lastly, Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool helps you to monitor your structured data and check for any problems that need to be resolved.
If you’d like to get structured data embedded on your site, Get Clicked! SEO is one of the most effective Shopify apps on the market. It automatically inserts structured data into your entire site according to the most up-to-date rules set fourth by schema.org.
Thanks so much for reading this article! We hope you’ll come away understanding how to use the Structured data testing tool to check the markup on your store.