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Google's Structured Data Testing Tool is an excellent tool for checking the structured data on your site. Google will analyse your site at that moment and will display all the structured data it finds on your site, pointing out possible errors and/or warnings.

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What is structured data?

To better understand the benefits of using the structured data testing tool, first, we must understand the concept of structured data. Structured data is a piece of HTML code formatted in such a way that search engines can understand it. Google uses this code to enrich its search results. Structured data can be found everywhere, but some types of sites are more concerned than others, such as cooking recipe sites. The structured data associated with a page containing a recipe makes it much richer in information in the SERPs (preparation time, rating of the recipe, number of calories etc. ...). This is why this data is also called "rich snippets".

recipes-search-example

There is a multitude of structured data to meet the needs of different sites. To find the ones that match your business, go to the Google search gallery.

Google's structured data testing tool: how does it work?

To test your site's markup pattern, you have two options: enter the URL or the piece of code you plan to embed.

Test a URL

Enter your URL and click on the TEST button. Google checks Structured Data on your site and lists the number of elements, errors and warnings.

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On the left screen you have the page source code and on the right screen, the test results.

structured-data-testing-tool
You can click on any element to see the tagging scheme. You can also click on a specific result field to see the corresponding code on the left screen.

Testing a piece of code

You can test a specific piece of your markup schema code by clicking on "CODE EXTRACT". The structured data code is added to the part of your website. You can recognize it with the "ld+json" script. The presentation of the results is similar to the URL test.

Testing structured data directly from Google Search Console

The Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tool) is a tool developed by Google that can help you manage your site and improve its organic ranking. To test your structured data directly from the Search Console, you must first add your site and then verify it.
Once everything is set up, you can work with many tools including the structured data testing tool.

data-structured-GSC

In the past this functionality was found in the "Structured Data" tab. But as of March 28, 2019, the new version of Search Console no longer displays it. It has been replaced in a way by "Products", which lists spotted missing fields...

data-structured-product

How can the structured data testing tool help SEO?

Structured data and especially search functions allow you to better communicate with Google, which can have a positive influence on your positions because you will capture qualified traffic and thus lower your bounce rate.

Search features are a big part of the semantic web and are based on structured data that Google can understand and interpret. Google can therefore activate certain features for your page in its search results only if it understands the content and if you explicitly provide additional information in the page code using structured data.

This is because results with certain structured data such as Rich Snippets or search functions have a significantly higher click-through rate. According to some studies, the difference is about +30% CTR compared to other pages without structured data. If your website does not use search functions, you risk losing both additional impressions and clicks.

In addition, structured data has allowed users to discover new features. They can now use it to transfer data between applications and websites. Browsers are then able to offer an improved user experience.

Conclusion

Google's structured data testing tool can therefore help you optimize your presence on search results by working on your semantic field and improving the user experience, which are now two pillars of organic ranking. If their implementation can sometimes be time-consuming depending on the CMS used, the return on investment is really interesting. It would therefore be a shame to settle for pages with poorly optimized (or absent) structured data.

   Article written by Louis Chevant

Further reading

The complete guide to using the Google Search Console

Google Search Console: free tool provided by Google to analyze the SEO performance of your website.

Download for free