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How To Fix Structured Data Errors In WordPress And Other Websites: Unparsable Schema Issues

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There are easy ways to find and fix structured data and schema markup errors and warnings, including unparsable structured data issues. These can show up for your WordPress or other website in Google Search Console. This guide will walk you through the most productive ways to fix your schema errors and warnings.

Many of us have been taking the time to add structured data (also called schema markup) to our posts in order to generate rich snippets or rich results in Google or other search engines. The rich snippets attract attention to your website, increasing click-through rates. Higher click-through rates, in turn, boost your page ranking in Google.

But you probably already know this and just want to find a way to quickly fix some frustrating errors and warnings that could be holding back you SEO performance. Fear not, it is easy to fix these errors. There are online resources that are free and will solve most of your issues. This guide will give you a useful how-to and steps to work your way through this process. Relief is on its way.

Getting Help With Fixing Difficult Structured Data Errors And Issues

If you have a particularly vexing structured data error that needs to be fixed, you can let us know in the comments below. Include relevant links to the pages or posts with the errors. We will try our best to help with fixing your structured data errors.

Why You Should Add Structured Data To WordPress Websites

Adding schema markup enhancements to websites is still somewhat new. Structured data, if done right, can boost your SEO performance dramatically. If you have not yet optimized your website with structured data, you can find a useful guide to getting started here.

1. How To Find Structured Data Errors In Your WordPress Website

Before you can fix your structured data errors you need to first find them. There are several free online tools to help you find any structured data and schema markup errors or warnings in your website.

Google Search Console

The first step is to check for structured data errors in Goggle Search Console. When Google indexes your pages it will show any errors or warnings it detects in Google Search Console.

Note: If you have not yet set up your website with Google Search Console, you can do so with Google’s “Getting started, for beginners” guide in a few easy steps.

Look under “Enhancements.” In the example below, there were several errors related to breadcrumbs structured data on our website. If you click on the errors, you can find out what the errors are and which pages or posts are affected.

Google Search Console For Finding Structured Data Errors

Google Search Console is a great place to check for ongoing structured data errors across your website. It is a good idea to periodically look here for the overall performance of your website too. Or set up automated email notifications to notify you if any issues are detected.

Once you know which pages are affected and have structured data errors that need to be fixed, you can find out where the errors are with the two online tools described below.

Google Rich Results Test

Another place that will test for structured data errors and help you fix them is Google’s Rich Result Test. Actually, before you publish your page or post, it is best to check for structured data errors here first.

Enter URL To Test Structured Data

Enter the URL of the page which you need to check or fix structured data errors on and click on the orange “Test URL” button.

Google will analyze the structured data on that page and provide you with a list of what types of schema it detected and if there are any errors.

If you click on the arrow next to any errors, you will be able to see what they are.

Enter Code To Test Structured Data

If you have access to the structured data code on your page you can also directly test the entire code in the Rich Results Test. Choose the “Code” option. Then copy and paste in you code in the box and hit the orange “test Code” button.

The results will look something like this:

From the screen shot above you can see that testing your code directly if more informative. The results from this tool will show you exactly which fields have errors and where exactly in your code they are.

Google Structured Data Testing Tool

You can also check for structured data errors using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. Overall, what you get from this tool is very similar to the Rich Results Test from the previous section. You don’t really need to use both.

As with the Rich Results Test it is self-explanatory to you. Paste in the URL of your page and hit the green “Run Test” button.

Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool: Fetch URL

Or use the “Code Snippet” option and paste your JSON-LD code in or you can paste in the URL of your website page or post.

Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool Code Snippet

Google’s structured data testing tool will review the structured data it finds on the URL you provide or it will analyze the structured data code you pasted in. In the examples used here it found two errors and three warnings.

Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool Test Results: Two Errors, Three Warnings

Scrolling down we see exactly what the errors are.

Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool Test Results: Two Errors, Three Warnings

We are missing the logo, headline, dateModified, and mainEntityOfPage fields. Without these your rich snippets won’t appear in search results.

How to fix these errors will now be covered in the next section.

Note: In 2020, Google announced that they will be shutting down their Structured Data Testing Tool and are encouraging users to use the Rich Results Test. As of the writing of this article, the Structured Data Testing Tool was still available for use.

Find And Fix Unparsable Structured Data Issues In Google Search Console

Unparsable structured data errors are those related to the syntax of your schema code. Because of these errors Google and other search engines cannot understand (parse) you structured data. Here is a link from Google that lists the common syntax errors found in structured data.

You can find these structured data issues, if they exist, in Google Search Console. But the “Unparsable structured data” report is not always available in your normal view. To access the report for your site on Google Search Console, click this link.

You will now see it on the bottom left (circled below). If there are no errors, nothing will show up in the report. But if you see any,

If you have unparsable structured data errors, you can find out more about each error, which pages are affected, and suggestions for how to fix. Usually, it is not enough detail to fully fix the issues. So you will need to follow the other steps outlined below to fix your unparsable structured data issues.

2. Fix Structured Data Errors (Unparsable) In Your Website With Google Tools

Two of the tools we have discussed earlier in this article can also be used to fix your structured data errors. Here is how they work.

Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool For Fixing Structured Data Errors

In Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool, you should first look for your errors that are highlighted by Google in red. In the example below you can also see that the exact lines where you have errors is marked with a red cross.

Google Structured Data Testing Tool – Fixing Your Code

Click in those lines and directly correct the schema markup code. After fixing your structured data errors, click on the grey arrow and test it again. If you do not know the right coding to use to fix your structured data, then use the instructions later in this article that show you how to re-generate correct structured data code.

Google’s Rich Results Test For Fixing Structured Data Errors

Google’s Rich Result Test will also let you find the structured data errors on your pages by highlighting them for you as shown below. You can then make the changes and fix/test the errors in the same screen.

Google Rich Results Test – Fixing Your Code

Both these tools from Google are good to fix structured data errors that are minor, such as missing syntax. But if you have significant items missing from your markup or more serious errors that are preventing your rich results from showing up, then you will need to address them with some of the approaches below.

3. Use Our Previous Schema Examples To Fix Your Structured Data Errors

In a previous post of ours, you can find our Word examples that cover the most common structured data types. Compare your errors to the schema markup which we have checked and verified as correct.

Fixing Structured Data Errors In Word. Missing data is in red text.

Replace the red text in our Word files with your information and you will have complete structured data that you can paste in to your website. This approach takes a bit of effort but you are in full control of your rich results. Unlike WordPress plugins that keep your structured data behind a wall. And you cannot access to correct.

4. Use Google’s Schema Examples To Help You Fix Your Structured Data Errors

Google has published several example structured data markup for a variety of rich result types. You can look at these examples and try and compare to your own JSON-LD code to check for structured data errors.

5. Merkle’s Schema Markup Generator (JSON-LD) For Fixing Your Structured Data Errors

One of the best places for generating your structured data from scratch is Merkle’s Schema Markup Generator.

Merkle’s Schema Markup Generator (JSON-LD) For Generating Structured Data

Below we have added in the missing structured data items in Word.

Merkle’s Schema Markup Generator (JSON-LD) – Product Structured Data Example

Now paste in the corrected structured data back in your post and check it again in Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.

Or, use the schema data generated by Merkle to compare to yours to find and fix structured data errors on your website.

6. We Can Try And Fix Your Structured Data Errors

The good thing with trying out the approaches above to fix your structured data is that you will learn quite a bit of how JSON-LD code works. Once you understand the basic syntax, you can easily spot errors and fix.

But we also understand you have a website to run and a million other things to do. If you are stuck with a particularly difficult error, feel free to leave a comment below and we will try our best to resolve. A link to the page with the errors would be all we need.

We add structured data to almost all our pages. Often there are errors but we use the methods described here to easily fix our schema markup.

7. Test Your WordPress Website’s Structured Data For Errors

After fixing your structured data by the any of the approaches above, test it again. The best place would be Google’s Rich Result Test.

Google’s Rich Result Testing Tool

Here is what the preview of the rich snippets from some structured data from this article looks like:

Google’s Rich Results Test: How-to Preview Of This Article

Periodically Check Google Search Console For Any Structured Data Errors

Google will first need to re-index your page to access the corrected structured data. Use the “URL Inspection” tool for this and request indexing for your revised page. After Google has re-indexed your post, you can check again with the “URL Inspection” tool to see if the enhancements from your structured data were detected by Google.

Google Search Console Check Of Enhancements

Not all schema markup types are currently supported in Google Console. In the example above, breadcrumbs, the sitelinks searchbox, and logos were detected. The article schema that was also included did not get picked up. Google does not currently support article schema in its console.

However, it is still active and will appear as rich results. The main test if whether your schema markup is detected in the Structured Data Testing Tool. If it is picked up there, you are all set and don’t need to worry about what shows up in the search console.

The schema types that are currently supported in Google Search Console and the Rich Results Test are breadcrumbs, dataset, sitelinks searchbox, logo, FAQs, fact check, event, job posting, how-tos, product, Q&A, and recipe.

Boost Your WordPress Website’s SEO With Error-Free Structured Data

It can be frustrating to see structured data errors crop up on your website. After taking the trouble to add it in, plugins can often mess things up. Unfortunately, if there is even one error, your pages won’t be eligible for rich results. And your SEO will take a hit.

But with a bit of patience, all structured data errors can be fixed. There are several online resources for doing this. This article has captured some of the most productive and quick approaches to home in on the errors and then fix them.


Shaun Mendonsa, PhD is an influencing expert and pharmaceutical development leader. And sometimes, an occasional webmaster. He writes on the topics of influence and persuasion, and develops next generation drugs in human pharma by advising international pharmaceutical CROs and CMOs.


Keywords

How to fix structured data errors in WordPress websites; Schema markup errors; Find structured data errors; Google rich results; Structured data testing tool; Unparsable structured data issues; Google search console; JSON-LD; Schema.org.

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