Adding schema markup to your website is a great way to give search engines extra information about your site. This allows Google to retrieve what it calls "rich results" from your site code, which is an advantage for you. Google Structured Data Markup Helper is an easy point-and-click tool that lets you pick what goes into that information by highlighting the appropriate bits from your page.
The tool then gives you code that you copy and paste into the <head> section of your page.
There are two common errors that come up when using this tool, which are both covered in this article. The first is the "Unable to create page" error. The other problem is an inability to fill in the bits from your website and move on to get the code with the "Create HTML" button.
Fortunately, there are easy fixes for both of these problems. I'll cover them one at a time.
How to fix the "Unable to create page" error on the Google structured data markup helper
If your screen looks something like the above where it has a box saying "Unable to create page", rest assured there's an easy fix. First let's assume you've clicked on the type of website (Articles, Events, etc), and you've entered the URL and clicked the blue "Start Tagging" button. Then you get an error "Unable to create page".
Simply log into your Google Search Console account first, and then go to the Google Structured Data Markup Helper - you'll need to either reload your tab on the structured data markup helper, or open it fresh.
It only works when you're logged into your Google Search Console. It would be helpful if Google mentioned that tiny-but-important fact on the error message, but they don't!
So it's an easy solution, just be sure you're logged into your GSC account first before opening the structured data markup helper.
Now it will work and you're ready to start tagging. There's another common error you might run into while tagging, so let's take a look at it next.
How to fill in bits from your website if Google Structured Data Markup Helper won't let you click the Create HTML button
Let's suppose you've started filling in tags but the "Create html" button won't let you click on it. Your screen will therefore look something like this with the "Create html" button faded out and inactive:
The solution, as we can see by the red X I've added on the image above, is not to use the "Add Missing Tags" button. It's finicky and doesn't always work well. Instead add everything by highlighting your page to the left of the tag option list. Here is a step by step illustrated tutorial for how to do that. We'll demonstrate this for adding the article name.
On the left, highlight the bit you want to add as a tag
Using your mouse just highlight the text or image that you want to add into your tag field. In this case, I'm highlighting the title of the article so we can fill it into the "Name" tag:
Once the title is highlighted, a drop-down menu automatically appears with a list of possible tags available. Because we highlighted the title, we want to put that into the "Name" tag, so let's click on Name.
Once you click the tag from the dropdown menu, it'll automatically add the information into your tag list on the right, like this:
As you can see, the "Create html" button is now active and available to click on. Problem solved! So enter tags by highlighting, not by using the "Add Missing Tags" button.
Remember that "Name" is a compulsory tag, so if you've filled out other tags but not "Name", it won't let you click on "Create html". So even if you're just testing out the tool, you'll still need to enter the Name field at the very least in order to proceed.
You don't have to add every field, so don't worry if you don't have information for every tag. The tags are what make up the schema markup that Google uses for rich results. Remember that you'll need to paste the resulting html into the <head> section of your page for search engines to see it.
If you think you want to use "Add missing tags" (for example, for information that isn't available on the page to highlight), then use the Chrome browser to do this. Although I took the pics above with the Firefox browser and it works enough for highlighting, I found that "add missing tags" doesn't work on Firefox - it lets you type information into the tag fields but they won't show up. In general, I noticed that the Google Structured Data Markup Helper works much better on the Chrome browser. This is not surprising since the tool and Chrome are both Google products.
After you've put the code into the <head> section of your website, it's well worth checking to make sure it's being recognized. I recommend checking with both of these free official tools (they differ very slightly):
In both cases, you simply enter your URL of interest and the tool will check for you. It'll give you a report then and there on the page, no signups involved.
The bottom line
The Google Structured Data Markup Helper tool is a good point-and-click tool for adding schema markup to your website. That said, it's not the most intuitive to use, and it won't let you know what the cause of any errors are. Above are quick fixes for the two most common problems with the Google Structured Data Markup Helper.