How to F.A.Q use Rich Snippets in your SEO content?
The implementation of structured data or microdata is essential for any website that seeks to rank in the first results of search engines for competitive keywords. The main functionality of structured data within an SEO strategy is to provide additional information to search engines so that they can have a better understanding of the content of a page.
There are a multitude of different types of structured data that apply to online stores, blogs, media, travel sites, booking sites, etc… All the different structured markup and the guidelines for applying it correctly can be found on schema.org.
In this article we will focus on F.A.Q. structured data. We will understand how to know which F.A.Qs to include in the page, how to create structured data in any type of web or CMS (WordPress, Prestashop, Magento…) respecting Google’s best practices, and finally we will see some experiments I have done.
What are F.A.Q Rich Snippets?
Frequently Asked Questions or F.A.Q. is a type of structured markup that helps to present questions and answers in a featured snippet on a SERP.
If a page with F.A.Q structured data is correctly marked up, you could get a rich snippet F.A.Q in Google search results.
These rich snippets display the marked-up F.A.Qs in a drop-down manner, so that only when the user clicks on the question, an answer will be displayed.
How to properly implement the F.A.Q.?
In order for Google to be able to read your F.A.Q microdata and display it correctly on its results page, the following two main conditions must be met:
- The answers must be contained within the content of the page.
- The questions and answers must contain structured F.A.Q type markup.
There are other conditions that apply to certain types of websites and very particular cases that I won’t cover in this note, but are available in Google’s guide on F.A.Qs.
inding F.A.Q. ideas with the PAA
The People Also Ask section is a widget found on certain Google results pages that contains search-related questions and excerpts from other websites that answer them.
While ranking on this widget is not of great interest because of their low CTR, they are my favorite tool for finding frequently asked questions.
If we are writing a beginner’s guide on how to learn electric guitar, for example, we could take inspiration from the questions that the People Also Ask section proposes and include them in our F.A.Q. section.
If we want to go even deeper into the analysis, we can cross-reference this data with a keyword research tool to associate demand to the different questions.
Insertar los datos estructurados de F.A.Q in your website
Once we have found the frequently asked questions and written their corresponding answers, we must include in our website the F.A.Q structured data that will allow Google to display them as a rich snippet.
Generate the F.A.Q. script
The tool that I use to save time is the F.A.Q generator by Saijo George.
This tool will generate the necessary script for the F.A.Q in JSON-LD format with the questions and answers that we indicate. Attention, the order in which you do them will be the order in which they are displayed.
Google usually displays between 3 to 5 frequently asked questions in the search engine, and may include “see more” button to display the next ones, if more have been included.
In my opinion, the more you add, the better. Google will choose and display the ones it deems relevant.
Paste F.A.Q script
To add the F.A.Q script in our web page, all we have to do is copy and paste the script in the html of our web site. For performance and rendering blocking reasons, it is advisable to paste the script as low as possible in the html of the page.
If we do not have the possibility to modify the code of our website, it is also possible to paste the script in the html through Google Tag Manager, inserting a custom html code in the container.
Finally, CMS such as WordPress offer plugins that allow you to manage structured data. Among them, a very popular plugin is WPSC.
Include links within the F.A.Q. snippet.
I could not find official documentation on how to include links in the F.A.Q section, so I decided to investigate and test until I found how to do it. To include links inside a F.A.Q rich snippets, we must include the link in html inside the JSON-LD code and in the content.
Including relevant links that give more detailed information that answer the questions in your F.A.Q snippet could increase the CTR of the page.
Inside your JSON-LD code, you must write the link as follows: <a href=\”https://your-link.com/directory\”> Anchor Text </a>
Feel free to view the source code of the example I have given to examine how to do this.
What happens if we do not show the contents of the F.A.Q.?
According to my experience and some tests I have done, it is not necessary in all cases that the script and your content are the same letter by letter, but quite similar.
Here we see a small experiment I have done, in which I have hidden for the user a text with white color on white background and I have included that text in a F.A.Q. script. As a result, Google ignores that blank paragraph and displays the F.A.Q visible to the user only. Neither the structured data testing tool nor Search Console report errors in the script.
White Q&A on white background
white question & answer F.A.Q script
The result: Google shows all F.A.Qs except the one in the blank paragraph.
Verify the F.A.Q
There are several ways to verify that the F.A.Q script has been implemented correctly (which is no guarantee that Google will display it). Among the main tools are:
- Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.
- Schema.org’s Structured Data Testing Tool
- The F.A.Q structured data section of Search Console.
In the first two, the verification consists of adding the url of the page once they have been implemented and we will have an immediate verification. The Search Console section will tell us if our F.A.Qs are valid or have errors, but it will report them only when Google crawls the page.
Why include an F.A.Q. section?
f you are here, it is probably because you are already aware of the added value that F.A.Q. sections have. Among them, we can highlight an increase in CTR (because the result takes more space) and by including long texts and several questions, you push your competitors’ results even further down. This is even stronger on mobile.
Logically, if your questions solve real doubts that your customers have when buying your product or service, the conversion rate will increase.
In a nutshell
F.A.Qs are a type of structured markup that allows you to display drop-down questions and answers as rich snippets in search results. In order to achieve this, the Q&A must appear in your content and the script must be error-free.
In this guide you will find my advice on how to find user questions and integrate them as F.A.Q and tools to generate the script easily. To increase the CTR to your website, you can include links inside the F.A.Q. snippets.
To see errors, use Google’s structured data testing tools, Schema, or Search Console.