Structured data has been a popular topic in the technical SEO realm in the last several months. Changes in the review schema guidelines have affected companies across Google. Being listed as the featured snippet is now not shown again lower on the search engine results page (SERP).
For example of the previous display:
Local SEO algorithm changes have boosted hyperlocal searches and pushed the importance of local business structured data.
Additionally, the focus has been fixated on FAQPage schema and its ability to take over the SERP. However, with the threat of zero-click search results, the question must be asked: does the use of FAQPage schema result in fewer clicks or more?
Let’s break down details you must know about FAQ schema and how to write it to result in more clicks, not less.
What is FAQ Page Schema?
FAQPage schema is a type of structured data that enhances a search result by adding a drop-down feature below the search result. This drop-down contains three or more questions that help strengthen your result by answering the full intent of the search.
For example, if you Google “insurance reviews”, there is a result for Consumer Affairs that shows three questions on the topic of car insurance.
When you take a more in-depth look at the page result, the questions showing up on the SERP are located on the “Car insurance questions” section of Consumer Affairs’ page.
What is Schema Used For?
Schema has numerous alternative names, including schema markup, structured data, rich results, and more. Regardless, its ability to help your website stand out on the SERP can be incredibly beneficial to showcase your brand over competitors.
Many arguments about how utilizing schema can boost rankings have swirled around the search marketing space. However, they were quickly debunked by John Mueller of Google.
How to Set Up FAQ Schema
FAQ schema is a piece of code that must be added to each page you want the schema to show up for. Luckily, various tools exist to help you get set up.
Hear me out; you do NOT need to be a highly technical SEO to be effective in implementing FAQ schema strategies.
Step 1: Identify Pages to Add FAQ Schema To
To meet Google’s guidelines for FAQPage schema, have an FAQ page written already or a product page that lists FAQs. The purpose is to create structured data that enhances the user experience of the search itself.
The problem with this structure is that it limits your ability to use FAQPage schema to pages with FAQ sections listed, or does it?
We have discovered examples of FAQPage schema used to provide answers to the questions that are answered within web pages. For example, if you Google the difference between SEO and PPC, ReliableSoft created FAQpage schema without having an exact FAQ section on the page. They use their H3 headers as FAQs and implement them into the structured data.
The best questions to keep in mind when creating pages with FAQ schema are:
- Does adding FAQschema enhance the user experience?
- Does the content on my page answer the questions around my target keyword?
- Will this attract more relevant users to my site?
- Will this make my webpage a zero-click search?
By carefully weighing the benefits and costs of adding FAQ schema, you allow yourself to reflect on your content and dive deeper into your keyword targeting as well to make sure it is aligned.
Step 2: Build Out 3 Questions to be Answered
Now that you have determined precisely what pages are primed for implementing FAQ schema, you can begin to strategize what questions you will be answering with this schema.
There are a few ways to determine what questions Google believes helps enhance the SERP:
- Analyze the “People also ask” section.
- Analyze “Related Searches”.
- Analyze individual pages that rank, and determine the questions they answer.
“People also ask”
The “People also ask” section is a beneficial way to determine what Google believes are vital questions to answer on the SERP. You may want to pull these questions and make them new headers in your content.
When I build content briefs, I usually analyze these and pull the most relevant questions that align with the intent of the SERP.
You can do the same with the “Related Searches” section. They provide you with a list of other search queries related to your targeted keyword.
Once you have determined topics and questions that need to be answered, you can cross-reference with the content that is on your page, and pull the best material that is aligned.
Analyze Individual Pages That Rank
Competitor analysis is a well-documented marketing strategy that is used by almost everyone. When you Google something, you see a list of results that you are trying to compete with for a specific keyword. Those articles have been determined by Google to answer the best questions that relate to the particular search.
It is crucial to analyze the individual pages that rank because you can get a good idea of a trend of ideas and questions discussed in the top articles that you may need to address as well. In this case, if you find a few questions or topics discussed in numerous articles, you may want to use similar questions or topics in your FAQ Page schema.
Step 3: Create the JSON-LD Code
Luckily, several tools exist for you to use to create this code:
- Merkle – Technical SEO’s Schema Markup Generator – https://technicalseo.com/tools/schema-markup-generator/
- Hall Analysis JSON-LD Schema Generator For SEO – https://hallanalysis.com/json-ld-generator/
- JSON-LD Generator – https://jsonld.com/json-ld-generator/
- Rank Ranger Schema Markup Generator – https://www.rankranger.com/schema-markup-generator
Personally, Merkle’s Technical SEO tool is my preferred method because its steps are straightforward:
- Add your questions and answers into the page.
- Copy the code from the blue button in the top corner.
- Click on the orange “G” button to test your code and determine if your content is eligible for structured data.
Step 4: Launch Using Google Tag Manager
Once the code has been created, you can apply your code to your webpage in several ways. Apply your code directly to the page, or add the script into a GTM container.
Keeping your technical SEO mindset secure, maintain page speed by adding the code to your GTM container. By doing this, you can reduce the amount of code on the page and the number of requests.
Here are the steps to add this code to GTM:
- Create a new tag in GTM
- Name your tag and set up the tag configuration, choose custom HTML
- Place your HTML that you generated into the textbox.
- Set up your Trigger on the specific page you want the stars to show up on.
- Pair your tag with your desired Trigger
- Hit Submit
Step 5: Analyze Results
As with any significant change to your website, always document your “before and after numbers”. This shows the effects of adding the new schema. Utilizing tools such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics, track changes in organic traffic, click-through rate, average position, and more.
The most critical metric here is the click-through rate. Many conversations around SEO on Twitter say that adding FAQ schema will increase impressions, but lower clicks.
You won’t know if this is true unless you track these changes through GSC.
Why is my FAQ Markup Not Showing Up?
It’s essential to keep in mind, just because you ran Google’s Structured Data test tool and it showed no errors in the script, doesn’t mean that Google will show your schema in the SERP.
Valid markup does not mean that you will obtain the rich snippets.
If the marked-up content does not match the content shown on the page, Google may reject the attempt at creating structured data.
Your best bet to being featured is to cross-reference your FAQpage schema content with Google’s content guidelines.
Good Examples of FAQ Schema
Saijo George created a FAQPage JSON-LD Schema Generator and created FAQPage schema to supplement the page and give the user an understanding of what is covered on the webpage.
Policy Genius created an article reviewing the Best Homeowners Insurance Companies and created a FAQpage schema that provided answers to some of the main questions that help answer the query “best insurance companies”.
FAQ Schema as SERP Real Estate
FAQ schema is not only necessary because it enriches your content in the SERP, but it also takes up “SERP Real Estate”.
If you look at a typical search result that is not enriched with structured data, the majority of the results are around four lines (see below).
When we measured the result at 100% on Google Chrome, the result was 100 pixels by 600 pixels.
If you take a look at the PolicyGenius result from before, the result has four FAQ questions, which extends the size of the result to 250+ pixels by 600 pixels. This extends the coverage of your brand’s results by 2.5x.
By covering more ground on the search result, you take more space on the SERP away from competitors and increase the chance for companies to interact with your brand (note: interaction with your brand does not necessarily mean clicks to your website).
How to Get More Clicks with FAQ Schema
As previously discussed, there has been discussion around whether or not FAQ schema truly drives more users to your site. Although this may be true for some search results with zero-click intent, there are tactics you can focus on to mitigate the potential of losing clicks.
Write Compelling Copy
Some of the brightest minds in marketing, such as Dave Gerhardt or Russel Brunson, continue to preach the importance of writing compelling copy that resonates with humans. Grabbing the eyes of the user, regardless of the intent of the search, will give you better opportunities to increase interactions with potential customers and brand advocates.
For FAQ schema, this means to write quality content that speaks to the user with high-intent keywords. Writing boring answers to bland questions will not benefit the user in any way.
Focus on User Experience
Creating an optimized user experience for potential customers that leaves an impression helps ensure that they interact with your brand in some way. Provide quality FAQ content and answer their questions simply and thoroughly.
Highlight how much value you provide to users by giving them the quick answers they need. Save their time, help them succeed with satisfactory solutions quickly.
Include Links in Your FAQ Schema Answers
A beneficial way for users to land on your website is by adding links in your FAQ schema answers. However, refer back to the content guidelines for including links; they must be a 100% match with the content that is live on your webpage.
Now It’s Your Turn
As with any SEO strategy, be sure to understand why you are implementing structured data before you begin. FAQ schema can be a useful tool to provide a better user experience to users, but there are ramifications for thoughtlessly adding structured data without weighing the consequences.
Be sure to analyze the results before and after launching your structured data. This way, you can determine whether or not your user interaction with your website is better off or not. It’s all about testing out what works for your brand!
If you have any questions regarding schema, Google does an excellent job of outlining its quality guidelines to maximize user experience for their users.
Moz says it best, “Avoid misusing Schema, or it’s possible Google might take away these fantastic opportunities to enhance our organic listings in the future.”