Stop paying outrageous web coder fees with this easy Google hack

Making sure that your business website is optimized for search engines can make small business owners feel like they’re swimming upstream against a strong current in pursuit of a destination that is constantly moving further away.

Consultants and coders will review your site and make suggestions on ways to improve it and these projects always come with a hefty price tag.

It’s welcomed news that Google itself has created an online tool that empowers people with zero coding or HTML experience or knowledge to dramatically improve the way their websites appear in search results.

The first step is to have your website hooked up to Google analytics and start using Google Search Console. But before I show you – step-by-step – how to use this tool, let me take a quick side path so you’ll understand why it is so valuable.

Structured data

Google has started relying on some “extra” HTML coding to create “structured data.” Typically,  this coding uses a system of tags called “schema,” which comes to us via The tags help search engines learn exactly what certain things on your webpages area.

It’s especially useful for some specific types of information you may be providing on your webpages.

However, instead of hiring an HTML expert to go back and add all these tags to your pages, Google has a DIY tool available in the Google Search Console that will do the work for you. All you have to do is be able to select text and choose things from a drop-down menu. The only catch is that you need to be conveying certain types of information on your webpages. Currently this information is:

  • Articles
  • Book Reviews
  • Events
  • Local Businesses
  • Movies
  • Products
  • Restaurants
  • Software Applications
  • TV Episodes

I don’t think too many TV producers are reading this, but I suspect many local business owners who have articles on their websites or sell products or schedule events are following along with me – not to mention restaurant owners. Let’s look at what you need to do.

Using the Google tool

First, navigate to your Google Search Console then select “Search Appearance” followed by “Data Highlighter.”


At that point, you’ll need to copy and paste the URL from a page that contains information that falls into one of the above categories. If you are working with a page that is one of many similar pages, be sure to select “Tag this page and others like it.” This is handy if you have several blog pages or product pages that are all essentially laid out the same. Nest, select the type of information that is on the page.

With that done, hit return and Google will then pull up that page within the search console.

Once your page is on the screen, you’ll need to highlight each instance of information you want Google to know more about. If you went to the contact information page for your local business, for example, you would highlight any of these pieces of information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone
  • Opening hours
  • Category
  • Department
  • Image
  • URL
  • Average rating
  • Review

For your local business, by adding this information, your company’s listing in Google search results would be more “polished” and complete, such as the one this example:

If you highlight one page that will serve as an example for many similar pages, you’ll be asked to create a “set” of those pages. Google will essentially pull together pages that it believes are similar. Review a few of those to be sure it’s on the right track and then “publish” them to Google.

If you’ve built a website over the years where every page is a unique creation, you might find this to be a lot of trouble. However, in today’s online world, I don’t think that is very common.