How to display your FAQ in Google search results?
In SEO, you need to talk to your visitors and to Googlebot.
If convincing your visitors is important to improve your conversion rate, showing Googlebot that you’re an expert in your industry will definitely help you to increase your rankings. To do so, writing more content in your pages is a good solution, and FAQs are great to build trust with these two “audiences”.
Since few years now, Google is pushing brands to use more structured data, which helps the search engine to have more “context” about a page, a website or an organisation. While there are dozen of structured data, that can be implemented in your webpages, one of the most interesting is the FAQPage.
This markup, helps your pages to stand-out in search results and will encourage you to write more content to increase their relevancy. If you wonder how to get start, help yourself, and follow the guide.
Introduction to the FAQ snippets
What do you need to display your FAQ in Google?
In our last article, we have defined what are the structured data and if you haven’t got the chance to read it yet, let’s clarify two main words that we will use in this guide.
- Structured data : Additional code, most likely a JSON-LD code, that webmasters can add in their pages, which will give more information to Google about the context of the page. Structured data are also supported and documented by a community named, Schema.org, and that’s why SEOs sometimes talk about “Schema Rich Snippets”, “Schema Structured Data” or similar naming.
- Rich snippets : Term used to describe the enhanced snippets of the pages, that are displayed in search results, following the implementation of the structured data.
Therefore, to display the FAQ in search results, the idea is to follow two steps:
- Write questions and answers and create an HTML FAQ, for the visitors.
- Generate the JSON-LD code to implement the structured data, for Googlebot.
Once Googlebot will index the pages that contain the FAQ and the JSON-LD markup, “rich snippets” will be activated, and your links will be enhanced in Google.
In the example above, for the query “SEO training hong kong”:
- The first website uses the “Event” structured data to let the users know about the next available courses.
- In our case, we display the FAQ and the Reviews. Users can have more information about the common questions people ask about our trainings, as well as to see the ratings we got, based on the reviews our clients wrote on Google Maps.
- As for HKU, there is no structured data in the page, so there is no rich-snippet in Google.
In order for Google to display the rich snippets for the HTML FAQ, having the schema markup is mandatory, but Google also needs the FAQ to be visible for the readers.
Let’s call it the “HTML FAQ” for the purpose of this article and here is the one for our training page.
Why implementing FAQs with structured data?
Implementing the FAQ with the schema markup and displaying it in search results implies some copywriting and technical work but the question is, why spending time and resources adding FAQs in your pages?
Actually, it has various advantages and it will have positive impacts on your SEO, and your UX.
More content for Googlebot
Adding FAQs in your page means that you will have more text that Googlebot can scan, to better understand the topic that you target. Google does not need you to repeat X times the same keyword in your content.
Instead, it needs to make sure that you provide the best answer for a research, that a human performs.
Having an FAQ is a good way to write about the sub-topics, to make your page “richer” and therefore, to improve your rankings by proposing a more relevant page, in regards to the keywords that you target.
Less clicks for the users
The less number of clicks the reader needs to perform, the better it is.
FAQs are meant to solve problems and therefore, why would you send readers away, to read an FAQ that they could have directly read in the page they were browsing?
Adding FAQs in a page does not mean that your FAQ page, the one that gather all your questions and answers, will be useless, but we think that it’s better for the users to have the access to the right information without leaving the page.
Better CTR in search results
By implementing the structured data, your pages will be entitled to have rich-snippets in Google.
The links to your pages will be more catchy and it can result in a better CTR (Click Through Rate).
While it gives your page a larger snippet, it’s also a way for the potential visitors to have a first idea of your expertise, which can encourage them to click your link rather than your competitor.
Convinced? Let’s implement them!
What kind of FAQ can I write in my pages?
To get there, the first step is to write questions and answers that will be useful for the readers and that will enhance your SEO strategy. There are several ways to identify the questions that you can answer :
- Analyse the feedback from your prospects and clients.
- Brainstorm your teammates and staff (don’t forget to get feedback from your stores, if any).
- Review the FAQs your competitors are proposing to their readers.
- Use Google Keyword Planner to highlight questions you can answer.
- Use Tools like Answer The Public or Also Asked to gather data about the questions searched by users about a particular topic.
- Check the questions displayed by Google in “People Also Ask”.
For instance, if you are a real estate agent in Hong Kong, you might have a page that lists down the properties for sale. Having just a listing of the properties in that page might not be enough to rank high, especially if you are a new comer. Therefore, adding information about the prices, the laws or the interest rates will help you to have more targeted content, to increase the relevancy of the page and to help the readers.
Once you have 3 to 10 questions for each important pages, you can work on the schema markup and generate the JSON-LD code, if you plan to implement it manually.
Implementation the FAQ schema markup
How does the JSON-LD code for FAQs look like?
Implementing the HTML FAQ in the <body> part of your code is one thing. Visitors will be able to read it, such as any other type of information that you would have add in your page. This is something easy that any developer or webmaster, who would be using a CMS, can do.
However, to display the FAQ in search results, you need to implement the JSON-LD code in the <head> or your page, and to do so, it needs to follow a certain formatting edited by Schema.org.
Here is an example of the JSON-LD code for the FAQPage and as you can see, the code is implemented in the <head>. It contains various information such as the questions, the answers and the type of structured data, so that Googlebot will be able to display them in search results.
How to manually generate the code?
Generating the code and implementing it manually is more time consuming but it gives more flexibility in terms of UX and a tool like the FAQPage JSON-LD Schema Generator by Saijo George, is a great to easily generate the right schema code that Googlebot will love.
Congratulations! Now that you have both the HTML FAQ and the JSON-LD code, you can publish it, submit the page in Google Search Console, and enjoy the new rich snippets for your pages.
How to put the code in the <head> of my WordPress?
If you are using WordPress, you can use a plugin like Header and Footer Scripts (Free) to add the code in the <head> of a specific page. You will have a new section in your “Pages” and “Posts” and you just have to implement the code that you have just generated with the FAQPage JSON-LD Schema Generator by Saijo George.
Publish your page and that’s it, you’re done.
If you use Shopify you can follow the same procedure and install paid Apps like Add <HEAD> Code or XO Insert Code, to be able to implement the code at the page level. Other CMS might have similar apps while your IT department can also develop a feature in your CMS to be able to implement the markup.
The FAQ + Schema Markup plugins for WordPress
Each website is different and while the procedure above apply for any situations, if you are using WordPress, you might wonder if there are options to implement the FAQ rich snippets without having to generate any type of code. Answer is yes, and let’s have a look at some options.
The most popular plugins for WordPress SEO are probably Yoast SEO and Rank Math.
The good news is that they both propose a FREE feature to add FAQs in Gutenberg, that will contain the JSON-LD code by default. You don’t have to code anything but that might be less flexible, in terms of UX.
In terms of SEO, it does job and here are the guidelines if you want to know more :
- Yoast SEO : https://yoast.com/how-to-build-an-faq-page/.
- Rank Math : https://rankmath.com/blog/faq-schema/.
For Elementor, you might need to purchase a plugin like PowerPack, to implement the rich snippets for the FAQ in Google as the tool does not provide such feature by default. The manual implementation of the code describe above works, but it might require some UX tricks to make sure that it displays properly.
PowerPack proposes a package with +70 widgets for Elementor for US$ 69 that works properly.
More information at https://powerpackelements.com/faq-page-structured-data-elementor/.
If you’re using WPBakery, Schema.Press seems to be your best bet, if you don’t want to touch the code.
Schema.Press proposes a package with 9 other plugins for WPBakery for US$ 99 per website.
More information at https://schema.press/docs-premium/faqpage-wpbakery-page-builder/.
However, if you want a free solution, then implementing the code manually in your page is the way to go, taking into consideration that WPBakery has nice accordion features that work well.
Test your code and index your page
Once you have implemented the codes (HTML + JSON-LD) in your page and that you have the FAQ displayed for the readers, you can verify that the markup can be crawled by Google using the Structured Data Testing Tool, before submitting the page in Google Search Console.
If your page is new, you will need to have it indexed in Google, and if you have implemented the schema code in a page that was already online, you will have to wait for Googlebot to re-crawl your page so that it can update its search results… or you can use Google Search Console to speed-up the process.
Note that, in Google Search Console, you can also follow the implementation of the structured data using the reports available under “Enhancements”.
New reports will be generated based on the structured data that were implemented so that you can make sure that Googlebot took them into consideration and that there are no errors.
How to create FAQs that get clicks?
😇 That’s probably the best headline of the blog so far but before listing our best tips, let’s have a look at what does Google say about this type of structured data.
Make sure that you follow Google guidelines
Google has edited guidelines about the FAQPage markup and they provide details about the DOs and DONTs. As you probably know, if you “cross the line”, Google might take actions against your pages so it’s important to make sure that your FAQs respect the guidelines, in order to avoid penalties.
The most important is to make sure that the questions and answers that you will write (and mark as “structured data”) are unique in your page and that they are visible to the readers. Having the same FAQ in many pages and marking them with the JSON-LD code is not accepted by Google.
11 tips to create FAQs that stand out in Google
There are some best-practices that you might want to follow to have attractive FAQs :
- Write questions and answers that will be useful for the users by using data and tools to know what users search.
- Make sure that they also help your page to be more relevant in regards to the topic to your target in SEO.
- Trigger the emotions of the users by creating a Q/A that will “force” the user to click and display it within the first three questions.
- Implement a minimum of 4 questions since Google will display a “Show More” button after the third one. If the user clicks on it, more questions are displayed, which pushes the competitors further down and if you just display four questions, they will all be displayed in one-go, which is actually the best recipe to maximise your visibility in search results.
- Write up to 10 questions since that’s the limit that Google will display.
- Use emojis at the beginning of the questions to be more visible in search results. If you implement JSON-LD code manually, use the HTML Entity (Hexadecimal) versions of the emojis.
- Format the answers using bold, italic, line breaks, lists and internal links to your pages. If you implement JSON-LD code manually, use the an HTML formatting in the code.
- Add a link to your contact page in question #2 or #3 so that users in Google can directly get in touch.
- No need to use the markup for images or text with colours in search results since Google will not display such information in search results.
- Update the JSON-LD markup, each time you change the HTML FAQ to reflect the changes in search results. For instance, if you have questions and answers that apply for 2020, change them next year.
- Google will automatically add a link “More” if the answer contains more than 175 words. That limits might not be set by words, but can also be a matter of pixels though.
And then, here is the rich-snippet that you can get in Google search results.
More about the FAQPage… in our FAQ
More questions? Read our FAQ about the FAQPage structured data.
In which page can I add an FAQ with structured data?
Google forbids webmasters to use the FAQ markup for content that has been created by the users themselves, especially in forums or product pages. Except for that you can implement it in different types of pages, as long as the questions and answers are unique, which includes the landing pages, the articles, the categories, the products.
Can I re-use the FAQ from my FAQ page?
Some brands already have FAQs listed in a FAQ page (ie. https://www.site.com/page/faq/) and copying and pasting the questions and answers in the landing pages directly can be a shortcut. However, Google declares in its guidelines that “If you have FAQ content that is repetitive on your site […] mark up only one instance of that FAQ for your entire site.”, therefore, FAQs in your landing pages shall be unique.
If you really want to re-use the content from your FAQ page, use a Meta Robots, with “Noindex” and “Nofollow” values (<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, nofollow”>) to prevents Googlebot to crawl that page, then you can re-use the content.
Can I add the markup in an existing page?
Yes, just make sure that Googlebot crawls that page again so that the rich snippets will be implemented in a faster way in search results, which can easily be achieved using the feature available in Google Search Console.
What is if my IT can’t add any code in the header?
You will have to generate the code manually, as described in the article, and try to implement it using Google Tag Manager, as described in that article from SEMrush.com.
Adding new content in existing pages is always a bit tricky for brands due to the redundancy that can occur. However, it’s important to improve the relevancy of some pages, to better target the semantic field and the sub-topics.
Based on our experience, working on the FAQ is actually easier for brands than just adding that “another new paragraph for SEO purposes” and it will help the readers since it will give them more information about your product or services. On top of that, it also helps to get rich snippets in search results and therefore, it can increase the CTR on your links.
Question is : What are you waiting for? 👻
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