Having your site enriched with microdata or structured data markup is a very good way of enhancing your content and SEO. Also, you can provide additional information for search engines like Google and Bing so that they can more easily understand your website. In some cases, they will even add additional information to the results of your site in the search engine result pages (SERP). I have earlier already discussed how you can add stars for ratings or video-thumbnails.
The Google Structured Data Markup plugin by Tassos Extensions provides structured data support for a number of site-specific characteristics. The extension was built by Tassos Marinos, while the actual idea came from Joomla inspirator Joe Campbell. Tassos is also known for some other nice extensions. especially the Responsive Scroll Triggered Box is a very nice one for sign-up forms and messages with high conversion.
The structured data markup provides support for better display in the Google search results, like these examples for Amazon:
And also for breadcrumbs display in the SERP:
Free versus Pro-features
Some of the plugin's features are included in the free version of the plugin, but to have them all you need a subscription. The following features are included when you have the Pro-version:
- Site name: Indicate the preferred name you want Google to display in Search results. This ensures that instead of the domain name, the site name will be specified. So instead of Google.com, it will just display Google. Note that the site name will have to be logical, otherwise Google will not use it.
- Site Logo: Specify which image Google should use as your sites' logo in search results and the Knowledge Graph (PRO)
- Social Profile Links: Add your social profile information to Google Knowledge Graph and search results (PRO)
- Breadcrumbs: Indicate each inner page position in the site hierarchy automatically. Instead of a long URL, Google will display the breadcrumb path in the search results
- Local Business listing
- Support to set up your articles for various structured data markup like star-ratings, product-markup or events-markup
- Sitelinks searchbox
- Custom code for advanced markup using code like the one created using Google's Structured Data Markup Helper.
Installation and configuration
You can download the plugin from www.tassos.gr. Install it from the Extension Manager in Joomla. Two plugins are installed, the Novarain Framework plugin and the actual one for the Structured data. The Novarain plugin can be used to configure your download ID for automatic updates within the Joomla updater, which is recommended.
The actual details for the site attributes and other options are set within the Google Structured Data Markup plugin. Depending on whether you have the Free or the Pro-version you can fill in your details, see the following screenshots:
And finally we have the advanced tab, which is basically a box to add your own custom code to.
When you're done, save and close the plugin and check the front-end code to see whether the plugin set the correct attributes. Best is to check the validity of the code with the structured data testing tool that Google provides. If all is well, no errors are shown, like here for Tassos' site:
Also, you will be able to set specific information per article. So if you decided to mark up your article with product-markup, you now have an additional tab in your articles, allowing you to configure it:
Finally, what is good to know is that the structured data are produced in JSON format, ensuring that there is no impact in the design of the website.