7 questions and answers about how to use Microdata in Joomla
I believe many Joomla users, especially Joomla newbies or SEO practicer have heard a lot about microdata. We might all know what Microdata is, but actually, we often skip its existence. Where is it on our site, how to use it, or should we do anything to enable it? Too many questions and many of us need an answer!
Honestly, I feel that it’s a bit difficult to start with these questions and now I want to share my experience, to help you understand the microdata in Joomla better.
Let’s start right now.
1. What Is Microdata? Why do I have to use it?
Microdata is a way to define your data, allowing search engines to understand your information better. But better how?
Let’s take the example of “Avenger” - the very famous movie we all may know. Before the implementation of Microdata, search engine hardly can’t tell the difference between which part indicate “Director” or which describe the “release date” of the movie
But with Microdata, all of those were possible for a search engine to tell. It helps search bots crawl your site easier, and it also creates Rich Snippet - which makes your search result look better on SERPs. See the image below, and you will understand.
The image will also the answer to the question “Why”. You don’t have to use the Microdata but with the search engine embedded with details information like that. Your CTR will rocket high. Many case studies are proving with Microdata your CTR can up to 30%.
2. Does Joomla Support All Microdata Types?
Unfortunately, no. We have to clarify this together: Joomla does not support all microdata syntaxes listed in schema.org. To keep the code clean and to priority only necessary things first, Joomla microdata now supports syntaxes related to article and contact person.
For your information, Schema.org is a project made by Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex to help webmaster understand and deploy microdata easier.
3. How Can I Use Other Microdata Types?
If you want to show other microdata types such as product, price, review, rate, offer, event...there are three methods for you:
Add item properties directly in the content
Using structured data markup helper
Structured data markup helper is a handy and easy to use tool for you to generate the code to implement microdata in your site. This method will be ideal if you have fewer pages needed to be inserted with microdata or if you want to add different item properties in different kind of pages.
However, for a CMS like Joomla using the actual generated code like this could be very difficult if you do not know about coding at all. I recommend hiring an experienced developer to do it for you.
First, you should identify the specific item type you want to embed in your site. Schema.org is where you should do research. It lists all kind of microdata that you might need.
After that, you need to add the properties to your template file by overriding the "com_content" in your template.
Use 3rd party plugins
Have a look at extensions.joomla.org. You can find some suitable Joomla extensions for your need, such as Microdata Google Breadcrumbs. Almost all of them are free to download.
Other notable 3rd party plugins for you to implement Microdata:
- Google Structure Data Markup: it has free version allow you can input microdata for the article only. Perfect for a Joomla blog site.
- JCE Editor: It can enable all kind of microdata with easy implementation.
After that, you should use the Structure data testing tool to see if you miss enabling any setting.
4. Do I Have To Do Anything To Show The Microdata in Joomla?
About coding, you don’t have to do anything because the code has already embedded in Joomla 3.3+ core. But you need to turn on the article’s setting or contact’s setting in the Global Configuration. For example, only when you allow to show Voting, Joomla will show this item property. If you choose not to show the date published, you can’t see the microdata related to publishing date on your site.
Here’s where you enable microdata for article and contact on your site:
5. I Enabled All The Article’s Settings, But The Structured Data Testing Tool Still Shows Errors?
Maybe your template has overridden the code so Google can’t detect it. You should contact your template provider to make sure the template supports microdata presentation or not.
However, all JoomlaShine templates are tested to display the microdata successfully, but some other template providers are still working on this issue.
6. The Structured Data Testing Tool Shows The Rich Snippets, but In The Search Result, Google Doesn’t Show Them
There are three main reasons for this problem:
1. Google Structured Data testing tool can recognize all types in schema.org, but Google search engine will only show these content types below:
- Businesses and organizations
So if you are using any other microdata types, you can’t see them in the Google search results.
2. It can take time for Google to crawl your site and display rich snippets in search results. I recommend after input your microdata, and you should get google to index your site once again.
3. The microdata might not meet Google quality guidelines or their relevance standard.
These are the main reasons, but there are more minor reasons that Google does not show your rich snippet.
To get the best answer to this problem, I highly recommend you to contact Google support or get help from an experienced developer.
If you can make your microdata to work, it’s time to get help from the professional
7. Does Microdata Help Me To Get Higher Ranking On Search Engine?
Yes, the most crucial question. How is it going to help you get to the top ranking at SERPs?
There are no proof or no documentation reported about how microdata affects the keyword ranking directly. Implemented it does not mean you will go up 2,3 positions immediately.
However, as I said in the question number 1, you can be sure that microdata can help you get higher CTR because they catch the visitor’s attention effectively.
Higher CTR means more traffic, which is the most important factor for a search engine to determine your keyword ranking.
It’s a little bit tricky when this technique works best when your result is on page 1 of SERPs and more effectively when you are in a higher position.
So, the overall answer is a big YES. It will help you get higher ranking on search engine.
So above are 7 questions I had in the journey of starting using microdata for my Joomla site. Hope that they can help other Joomla newbies to work with microdata in Joomla more easily. If you have any question, feel free to ask me in the comment section.
If you find implement microdata to your site is hard and take so much time, why don’t you try our JSN template. It has perfectly implemented the microdata to into the code, SEO friendly, and design with responsive layout. All you have to do is make fantastic content to your site.