How to Mark Up your Reviews using Google's Markup Helper

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Hullo Hallo! (Or, as Rumi and I debated for a bit - Phullo Phallo? - read that in Hindi)

Welcome back to another issue of ‘Slog that blog’! [fireworks go off]

PREVIOUSLY ON ‘SLOG THAT BLOG’ Last time, we went over what it means to markup your blog post with microdata and why we should care. Now, let’s talk about how to add markup to your blog post - the KISS way.

How to Markup to your Reviews


We are going to tackle reviews this time. Marking up reviews are kinda similar, since the tool we will be using is the same. I’m going to use the example of adding markup to a book review.

Specifically, Rumi’s review of Padma Lakshmi’s book ‘Love, Loss, and What We Ate’.

BUT FIRST: Though the instructions provided here are for use in Blogger, it does apply to most other platforms. One more thing, a tiny piece of advice. Write up your article and add in the images into a draft blogpost. Then, mark it up BEFORE you add your styles (meaning bolding, underlines, colors, etc.)

THE KISS VERSION


  1. Log in to Blogger.com.
  2. Click on the blog you want to edit. If you’re collaborating with someone on a blog, make sure you’re logged into an account that you have ‘Admin’ rights for.
  3. Go to ‘Posts’ and click ‘Edit’ under the blogpost you want to mark up. You should already have the review article written up along with its images/videos added (obvi).
  4. Then, move to ‘HTML’ next to the ‘Compose’ button.
  5. Select all the code there and copy it.
  6. On a different window, go to the ‘Structured Data Markup Helper’.
  7. Click on the type of review: Book review, movie review, restaurants, product review, local businesses (such as hotels, etc), TV show episodes, and software applications.
  8. Scroll down to click on ‘HTML’, paste the code you’ve copied, and hit ‘Start Tagging’.
  9. You should now be able to see your blog post as it appears when you ‘preview’ it. To your right, are the tags you need to add to your review.
  10. Using your mouse, highlight parts of your review on the left. Once you select the words that indicate the content for a certain tag, it opens a menu to select the tag you’re marking it for.
  11. If there is a tag that you don’t have information for in your review, it’s still a good idea to enter that information. To do that, you don’t need to re-draft your article. Just scroll to the bottom of the list of tags on the right panel and click on the ‘Add missing tags’ button. Enter the tag you are missing in your review, enter the relevant information, and ‘Save’. The tag is saved for your review but it doesn’t add any visible text to your article. So, don’t worry.
  12. Once you’re done tagging all* the elements on the right panel, click on ‘Create HTML’ .
  13. You should now see the HTML version of your blog post with added in markup highlighted. You could selectively copy-paste the highlighted parts into your Blogger post. It’s easier to copy the whole thing starting from the <div> immediately after the <body> tag in the second or third line , until the closing </body> tag in the second-last line. (screenshots below). You could also ‘Download’ the whole code and do this offline.
  14. Copy the selected code.
  15. Go back to the Blogger window where your post is still on the HTML mode. Select all the code and replace it with the one you just copied.
  16. Hit ‘Save’ or ‘Publish’.
  17. Done-zel Washington!
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
  • Make sure you don’t have any highlighted tags within other tags you are selecting for. It confuses the tool and also messes up the output HTML code, making it difficult to solve for later.
  • It’s a good idea to tag all the images if you have more than one.
  • Since you’re using the HTML code from the draft article, it might not contain the title of your review for the ‘name’ tag or the author or the review date. Make sure you to manually enter this.
  • When tagging the ratings in your review, you would need to choose between adding aggregate OR regular ratings. Since most bloggers writing reviews are not IMDB style aggregators, you can safely skip the ‘aggregate ratings’ section and tag the rest. If you are collecting ratings, kudos!, and choose only the aggregate ones, of course.
  • If you are marking up your post for the first time, I recommend saving your copied HTML code on a separate document, in case you mess up.
  • I usually skip marking up the reviewed date information since search engines can typically pick that up from the blog platform you're using like Blogger, Wordpress, Tumblr, etc. However, it's still a good idea to manually add that in. 
  • At the time this post was written, the types of reviews you can mark up using the Markup Helper are: Book reviews, movie reviews, restaurant reviews, product reviews, local businesses, and TV show episodes.
  • You know what the odd thing about this page is? There are two types for TV episodes but both of them are exactly the same. I’m not sure if that was Google’s error or there’s something I’m missing here. If you know what the difference is, let me know in a comment below.


Well, hope this helped. Ta!

~Ray

Image Credit for the baby with kisses goes to Jessica Turner from themomcreative.com. All other images are screenshots that I took. Oh, except the Futurama one which is a popular meme online and I just, like, copied it. I don't know who actually owns that. Hmm. [narrows eyes]


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