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Hackernoon logo3 Underused Structured Data Schema Markups by@matt-bassos

3 Underused Structured Data Schema Markups

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@matt-bassosMatt Bassos

Matt Bassos is head of SEO for Vuly Play, a leading play equipment company in Australia.

Schema markup using structured data is a wonderful thing. Not only does it help Google Search better understand the content of a page, it can also display relevant snippets of information in search results.

Unfortunately, it’s often overlooked or underused which is a massive shame, because it can make a big difference to the organic visibility of a website.

It’s also a shame, because it’s never been easier to implement markups using JSON. Even if you have zero developer knowledge, implementing JSON is easier than it sounds.

So, with that in mind, today we look at 3 structured data schema markups, and how they can help your website stand out in Google search.

1. AggregateRating Structured Data

Are you an ecommerce website that sells products online? If the answer is yes,  AggregateRating Schema can be an enormously powerful markup to highlight your quality in search results.

Essentially, AggregateRating markup allows search engines like Google to display a star rating in search results – very handy to improve your listing’s click through rate.

It also allows for additional information to be added to the search, such as product price.

So how do you get started? First, you need to check if your site is eligible. 

Google provides specific guidelines. Don’t follow the guidelines, and it’s likely your markups won’t display in Google. Even worse, some websites who have heavily abused schema have been hit with a manual action penalty – so you’ve been warned!

Reviewing the guidelines, you need to follow the below rules:

  1. Markup must be applied for a specific product and not a category or list of products
  2. AggregateRating score must represent actual reviews that are visible on your site
  3. Reviews should be unique and not pulled from a third-party source*
  4. AggregateRating score currently doesn’t support homepages 
  5. Adult-related products are not supported

*Reviews from many third-party review platforms such as Trustpilot and Yotpo seem to work right now.

The biggest issue most business owners face with AggregateRating schema, is that they don’t host unique reviews on their website.

It can be a lot of work for a web developer to implement a review system on your website. However, if you’re wondering what it looks like, we at Vuly will soon be building a review system for our new product ranges. Visit our page https://www.vulyplay.com/en- AU/kids-bikes in the near future to see how we’ve implemented user reviews.

If this isn’t quite feasible for you at this moment, it may be worth investigating a third-party review platform. Many of these provide their own widgets and markup that you can apply with greater ease, streamlining the process.

Also, if your website’s CMS is WordPress, there are also a range of different plugins that can assist with review implementation and management.

With those rules in mind, let’s break down each element of the AggregateRating Schema through JSON.

Use the image below as reference, while copying the below script so you can add your unique product information.

Remember, the JSON script must be placed in the <head> section of the webpage you wish to markup.

<script type="application/ld+json">	
{
  "@context": "http://schema.org/",
  "@type": "Product",
  "name": "Name of your product", 
  "image": "URL for your product’s image",
  "description": "A description for your product",
  "brand": "Brand name of your product",
  "sku": "Product’s Stock Keeping Unit (Not required, line can be deleted)",
  "mpn": "Product’s Manufacturer Part Number (Not required, line can be deleted)",
  "offers": {
    "@type": "AggregateOffer",
    "priceCurrency": "Currency type of your product (In ISO 4217 currency format)",
    "lowPrice": "Lowest price for your product",
    "highPrice": "Highest price for your product",
    "offerCount": "If more than 1 offer, additional AggregateOffer markups required"
  },
  "aggregateRating": {
    "@type": "AggregateRating",
    "ratingValue": "The aggregate review rating of your product",
    "bestRating": "The highest review number your product can score",
    "worstRating": "The lowest review number your product can score ",
    "ratingCount": "The total number of reviews of your product"
  }
 }    
}
</script>

Note – There is another field ‘review’ that can be added. It refers to the actual body of a review. It’s optional but can be added. You can view the schema requirements here.

Once implemented, you can check Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool for any errors.

2. FAQ Structured Data

As a relatively new structured data type (rolling out May of last year), the ability to show various FAQs in Google search can be a useful tool for your brand.

What makes this structured data valuable, is that it can secure a large portion of the search results page for a query:

Source - brodieclark.com

Of course, you do need to be careful in what you answer directly from search results. You don’t want to risk of answering user queries before they enter your website. 

However, with the right questions, your search listing can stand out from the pack. This hopefully entices users to visit your website for more information and become more exposure to your brand.

It’s also worth noting, that FAQ answer markups are often cited by voice assistants. With voice search becoming more prevalent, this can be a great way to further your brand’s reach.

The JSON formatting is straight forward. Simply replace the text in inverted commas with your own questions and answers, before applying it to the webpages hosting the information.

<script type="application/ld+json">
{
  "@context": "https://schema.org",
  "@type": "FAQPage",
  "mainEntity": [{
    "@type": "Question",
    "name": "The title of question 1",
    "acceptedAnswer": {
      "@type": "Answer",
      "text": "The answer text to question 1"
    }
  },{
    "@type": "Question",
    "name": " The title of question 2",
    "acceptedAnswer": {
      "@type": "Answer",
      "text": " The answer text to question 2"
    }
  },{
    "@type": "Question",
    "name": " The title of question 3 ",
    "acceptedAnswer": {
      "@type": "Answer",
      "text": " The answer text to question 3"
    }
  }]
}
</script>

If you wish to add additional questions, copy this segment, and place it paste it directly under the last question text.

  }
},{
    "@type": " The title of question",
    "name": "",
    "acceptedAnswer": {
      "@type": "Answer",
      "text": "The answer text to question"

Remember, the script will always need to close with the following markup before </script>

    }
  }]
}

As with all structured data markups, test your implementation with Google’s tool.

3. Event Structured Data

Have a special event or occasion coming up? The Event schema can be a great way to increase visibility. 

This works especially well if you are marketing the event through another medium. Users who want to find more information are likely to use Google search, and this provides an opportunity for discovery and conversion.

There are multiple variations for this markup, depending on what type of information you want to display in search results. 

Below is a standard JSON markup for an event, its location, and pricing information. As with the above examples, just replace your details in the sections in red.

<script type="application/ld+json">
{
  "@context": "http://schema.org",
  "@type": "Event",
  "location": {
    "@type": "Place",
    "address": {
      "@type": "PostalAddress",
      "addressLocality": "City of event",
      "addressRegion": "Region of event",
      "postalCode": "Postcode of event",
      "streetAddress": "Street address of event"
    },
    "name": "Name of venue where event is held"
  },
  "name": "Name of the event itself",
  "offers": {
    "@type": "Offer",
    "price": "Price of the event",
    "priceCurrency": " Currency type for event price (In ISO 4217 currency format)",
    "url": "URL for more information or ticket purchase for the event"
  },
  "startDate": "Start date of the event"
}
</script>

As mentioned, there are many variations for this markup. You may need to include different information, such as adding a performer and their details.

There are over 20 examples of JSON markup for event structured data, at the bottom off the page - schema.org/Event

And remember like always, test your script using Google’s online tool.

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