WordPress Schema plugins allow you to add product reviews, recipe JSON, etc your website but are they really useful? Will your website traffic increase after adding a schema? Do you really need a plugin to add a schema? Below, I’ve shared my thoughts on the same:
3 reasons to avoid the best WordPress schema plugins
I have been using the WordPress content management system for 8 years. In these 8 years, I have used 2 popular rich snippets plugins. I have also used a paid search engine optimization plugin that has a schema function built-in. Whatever I’ve shared below is based on my experience with the three plugins:
For some reason, the rich snippet plugins for WordPress are costly. You won’t find a plugin that is priced under 40$. If you find a plugin, it may not be complete. For example, the plugin that I had purchased supported the product schema but it didn’t allow users to add rating/aggregate rating to the schema unless the user used WooCommerce on his/her website. The license of all premium rich snippets plugins for WordPress must be renewed at the end of 12 months. If you don’t do so, you won’t get support from the developer nor you will be able to update the plugin. The developers of the plugins also allow users to purchase the lifetime license of the plugin. The price of the same will be more than $150.
Waste of money and time
Last year, I purchased a premium SEO plugin that had the schema generator function built-in. The plugin can automatically add schema of your choice to pages of your choice but this feature has several drawbacks. It also has the option to add JSON schema manually. I spent several days adding the software application schema manually to one of my sites and the product schema to another site. It is important to test the JSON with the Google Rich Results testing tool. All pages of my site passed with the flying color in rich results test. However, even after a year of implementing the schema on my sites, Google never displayed a star rating next to the meta description of my website’s pages in its search result pages.
Rich snippets appearing in search engine result pages may increase the click through rate. Higher CTR will result in more clicks but there’s no guarantee that the rich snippet code you add to your site will make Google, Bing, etc show rich snippets. Have you seen a plugin seller guaranteeing that star rating will appear in Google Search pages if you use his/her WordPress schema plugin? The answer is no. Even if you spend your hard-earned money and your precious time in creating schema, there’s no guarantee that search engines such as Google will show the rating, recipe, FAQ, etc in its search result pages.
What to use?
Google Developers documentation covers all schema in detail. It also shares schema snippets/examples. You should copy the JSON to notepad or a similar text editor and modify it as per your requirements. You can also use a code editor such as VS Code, Once your rich snippet JSON is ready, test it with the Google Rich Results testing tool. If the code is correct, put it on the page on which you want to add the schema. You can also use a schema generator tool available on the web. The tool will ask you to fill some text fields, select options. Once you do so, it will generate a JSON. The JSON is nothing but the code that you must put on the page of your site.
Is there any disadvantage? Yes! If the schema specification changes, you’ll have to re-create or modify the existing code. If 100 pages of your website have a manually created JSON code, you will have to edit 100 pages and modify 100 JSON snippets. In the case of a plugin, if you’re using a free plugin, the developer may or may not update the plugin.
After finding it unuseful, I have removed the rich snippet plugin from my site and have decided to never use it again. If Google or any other search engine that generates maximum traffic to your website doesn’t show star ratings (or any other rich snippet you have added to your website), there’s no point in using the rich snippet plugin.