Purpose: To demonstrate how to use the Schema App Highlighter from “Create New Template” through to “Publish”.
Select the templated page type that you want to mark up
A page template utilizes the same layout for a specific type of content (e.g. products, services, blogs, job postings, FAQs).
Choose a web page to highlight. An ideal page will be a page that has many (possibly thousands) of similar pages. Throughout this training, we will work through an example of a Schema App blog post: https://www.schemaapp.com/news/schema-markup-news-feb-13th-2018/.
Create a Table to Maximize Your Productivity
Your table should capture the following headings:
Primary URL / Class / Properties / Similar URLs (3) / Pre-requisite / Tagging Method
Decide which Schema Class to use
Use the Schema.org class type that is the most specific while still being accurate. In our case we are creating markup for a blog post, so we will use the schema class, “BlogPosting”. A quick way to search for the best schema class is to use the class tree in the Schema App Editor (aka Structured Data Editor). Simply start with the most generic class, which is a “Thing”, and drill down until you reach the most specific and accurate class description. Alternatively, you can type in a class name if you have a pretty good ideal about what it might be called.
Decide & document which Schema Properties to use
Properties are used to further describe the thing that we are creating markup for. The best way to determine which properties to use is to create a data item in the Schema App Editor tool and look through the properties listed in the Form Builder. The tool categorizes the properties into, “Required”, “Recommended” and “Other” Properties. You DO NOT have to use EVERY property, however, you should use all of the “Required” properties. This is because the required properties are necessary for Rich Result eligibility. The recommended approach is to think about what you believe is important to call out about the thing you’re creating the markup for and use the available properties to do so.
Create a list of these properties.
Determine the order to markup the content
If you want to link content from one page to content on another page, be sure to create the data item in the order that makes sense. For example, you may want to link a templated “services” page to your homepage, in which case, you would first mark up your homepage (using the Schema App Editor) before starting to build the “services” page in the Schema App Highlighter.
2. Load Page
Open Schema Highlighter and Click New Template
Paste in the URL for the first page
Site URL: https://www.schemaapp.com/news/schema-markup-news-feb-13th-2018/
Select the Schema Class
3. Tag First Page
There is a good chance that you won’t be able to use the same method to tag all of the content on your page, so depending on the type of content and its structure, the Highlighter contains different options. We recommend that you consider each option in the following order:
- Tag content on a page
- Add a “Sub-template”
- Link an existing data item
- Apply a fixed property
After you’ve identified how you’ll tag the content, go back to your spreadsheet to identify the “Tagging Method”.
Option 1: Tag content on a page
- Hover your cursor over the content on the page. An orange box will surround the content is eligible for markup.
- Click to select the content. Clicking will open a highlight on the right side of the page.
- Select the property that best describes the highlighted content. In the example below, we’ve selected “Headline” property.
4. Sometimes schema.org requires further clarification. In these cases, you may be required to select an additional class for your property. For example, highlighting a picture for the “Image” property will require a class of “ImageObject” and sub-property of “URL”. The Highlighter will narrow down the options for you. If you aren’t sure what to choose, we recommend that you go to ‘schema.org” to read the short definitions of the options.
Option 2: Add a Sub-Template
There are two situations for which this option makes sense:
- There is a section within your page that contains content that repeats. e.g. a list of job postings that display the title, a short description and the author. In this case, you could mark up the first job posting and apply the same markup to all of the other job postings.
- There may be more than one section on a page (with a different class type then the page itself) that shares the same sub-class. If you don’t differentiate the two sections, you’ll confuse the search engine. For example. There are two articles on the same page. One showcases the name of the author and their picture. The other displays the name of the author and the title of the article.
Click the “Add a Template” button
Click on part of one of the entities that you wish to create a template for. In this case, we are marking up a blog in our “Recent Post” section.
Once you’ve selected the entity the “Highlight Content” box appears on the right-hand side of the page. Now you can increase the scope (or widen) your selection to capture all of the information you wish to mark up.
Choose the Property and Class – in this example, we leveraged the “mentions” Property option and “BlogPosting” Class to weed out anything else that might appear on our Recent Posts listing.
Option 3: Link Existing Data Items
When you link, via schema.org, the content on a page to another page, you improve the crawlability of your website while building a knowledge graph. In this example, the reader may want to learn more about an author who has written an article. Using the “Link Existing Data Items” functionality we can mark up the link that brings the reader to another part of the website that provides details about the author.
Pre-requisite: Markup the page you will be linking to first.
Click the “Link Existing Data Item” button.
Select the property that is to be defined. We have chosen, “Publisher”. You may be requested to fill in the Class. Leave this as, “No Class Selected” because the schema class will already be defined within the data item we are linking to.
Search for the data item by name.
Option 4: Add Fixed Property
You can use the “Add Fixed Property” option when you need to further define something that:
- Resides in the same place on every page
- Is consistent
- Needs further definition
- A currency symbol that always represents USD
- Inventory that is always “in stock”
- Inventory that is always in “new condition”
- Blogs that are always written in “English”
Click on the “Add Fixed Property” button
This will launch a highlight that will capture static content. By nature, all manual highlights will be the same across all pages.
Enter the relevant TEXT in the “Value” field that applies. For example, we used the Value of “en-US” and the property inLanguage:
Validate for Completeness
Scroll through the saved highlights on the right side of the page. Ensure that you have a highlight for each property in your list.
Delete a highlight (if necessary) by clicking the “x” on the top right-hand side of a specific highlight.
4. Create Page Set
Now that you’ve highlighted your content, you want to tell the Schema App Highlighter which pages you want to apply the highlights to.
There are 3 options to choose from:
- List URLs
- Define Pattern
- Define XPath
Each option is a different method of defining the Page Set for your Template
Option 1: List URLs
This option allows you to use a list of specific URLs to define the page set.
Simply enter all the URLs you wish to apply the template to.
Option 2: Define Pattern
This option allows you to define a URL segment pattern to define the page set. For example: /news/**
The first “/” tells the Schema App Highlighter to ignore everything that comes before the “/”. The asterisks tell the Highlighter to apply the rules to everything that follows “news/”.
- Define URL segment pattern
- Click “Add URL Examples”
3. Add URL examples
Enter the 3 URL examples from the table you prepared. Include the full URL and separate URLs by a line.
4. Click “Validate URLs”
5. Check that the URLs are Valid:
A red “x” indicates that pages are not valid
whereas a checkmark indicates that pages are valid
If a URL does not validate it means that it does not match the indicated URL pattern. You’ll have to correct this before moving on.
6. Click Next
Option 3: Use Defined XPath
1. Decide which element in the page to use
Choose an element on the page that is common to all pages that share the same template. Using the blog page as an example, I would choose to use the blog authors name. That element only exists on the Schema App blog pages and is, therefore, a perfect choice.
2. Once you know which element you’d like to use, you can right-click on it and choose “Inspect”.
3. Ensure you’ve found the correct element and then right-click, choose “Copy”, then “Copy XPath”.
4. Paste the XPath underneath where it says “Xpath”
5. Test with at least 3 URLs by clicking “Review URLs”
6. If all looks good, then click NEXT
5. Review Highlights
Objective: Validate that each property is being successfully mapped to the correct content on the page. The Highlighter validates using the example URLs previously captured.
- The “Highlight content” is referring to the page you are validating
- There is a highlight for each property from our list.
- The “Highlight Content” is correct
“No matching X-path” errors
Not every page set will be perfectly templated. Sometimes, the content on the page that we’ve highlighted to define a property won’t be in the exact same place page-to-page. When this you’ll get an error message, “No matching xpath”.
DO NOT DELETE THE HIGHLIGHT. Instead, create a new highlight for the missing content. Moving forward the Schema App Highlighter will look at both spots for content to define a property. By creating another highlight, we’re building a cascading template that will be able to recognize when the information you want highlighted is contained in different places!
Revalidate the highlights for accuracy.
Proceed to Page 3
Reviewing the page should be much faster, as there should be fewer highlights (if any) with a missing xpath.
Perform the same review on page 4
This is the last page to be reviewed!
Once ready click next
6. Review & Publish
Objective: Final review, save and publish.
Given that you may be marking up 1,000s of pages, it is important to do one final review of the highlights before you publish.
Go through and check that for each page URL set, the properties are listed with the correct information!
Save & Finish
Once you’ve confirmed all is well and good, click Save & Finish!
7. Deployment Method
Objective: Choose a Deployment Method
There are two deployment options:
- Periodic Web Crawler
Convert the “Publish Status” from “Draft” to “Publish
8. Test your pages using the Structured Data Testing Tool!