There are many reasons to have an FAQ page on your website and SEO is just one of them. But it has become a tool used by many SEOs to get some FAQ rich snippets displayed in the SERPs or to be shown in the SERPs ‘people also ask’ section.
We will have a look at:
- Why you should have FAQs
- How to do the Schema Markup for FAQs
- The extra bit of Schema Markup you didn’t think about
- How to validate your Schema
Why you should have FAQs on your website?
It is not really a secret that FAQs have a number of benefits which go beyond their use just for SEO. The user should be (and this is not only for FAQs) the first beneficiary, before we think of SEO.
What are the benefits of FAQs?
- They are the first point where customers and potential customers can find answers
- Shorten the users buying journey, by providing relevant information
- Decrease the time and cost of the support team
- Highlight the unique selling points of your products and services
- Guide user to other relevant pages by internal links
- Help users and search engines to understand the main focus of your page
- Help you to get more visibility in search engines
How to mark up your website with FAQ schema
If you have a WordPress website there are some good plugins which generate the schema markup automatically. You can also use a schema markup generator to provide you with the code snippet to implement on your website.
Before you implement any FAQ schema you should have a look at the Google Guidelines. The most important rules are:
- The FAQ content must be visible on the page (question and answer)
- The content must be written by the page owner / author not submitted by users via the page
What are the most popular WordPress plugins for FAQ schema?
WordPress is the most popular CMS. One of the reason for its popularity is, that you can get a plugin for nearly everything. And there are more than a few plugins to do your schema markup for you. We won’t be able to list them all, but here are 3 well known SEO plugins that enable you to markup FAQ and one more lightweight and less known option.
All of them do a decent job and have more uses than just to mark up your FAQ schema. My personal favorite is All in one SEO. But this is a personal reference and for most schema markup I prefer to do this manually. Why? That will be explained in a bit.
What is the best schema markup generator?
Again, if you Google it you will find a few. But there is only one I really recommend. The tool from technicalseo.com does a really good job and lets you generate FAQ schema code and much more. As this one does everything I ever needed, I haven’t really the background to recommend any other. But it could not mark up any entities or the hierarchical structure of the webpages.
This is the trick that follows now and I have come up with a generator that creates all the code for you. Check it out here: Free Schema Generator with entity and hierarchy markup.
What is the trick with FAQ schema?
Additional schema for your FAQs
Everything is marked up and you are good to go. Why would you need anything else?
If we just sit back and think for a moment what we are using the structured data for, it will become clearer.
With the structured data we use in our FAQ Schema markup, we make it very easy for Google (and other search engines) to understand what the exact question is and what our accepted answer is for this question.
That is all.
But what if we could tell Google also what ‘entities’ this question and answer is regarding?
Don’t get me wrong Google is getting better and better in understanding content and what it is about. Still the reason why structured data exists and we use schema is, that even now Google prefers a little help with that.
The question I asked myself is not the ‘if’, but the ‘how’
After pondering for quite a while on this problem, the answer was easier than I expected. I haven’t found it on any other expert’s website, but in the place I should have looked first. The Schema Documentation page.
Within this, I found the properties need to reference the main ‘entity’ a question is about and related topics. When I say ‘entity’ I mean the overall subject of the question, not the exact question itself.
The properties are ‘sameAs’ and ‘mentions’.
What are these properties?
sameAs: Does basically what it says on the tin. It indicates that the content (item) is the same as the explanation given by a page with high authority e.g. Wikipedia, Wikidata, or official website.
mentions: Again, the name gives it away. It indicates a reference in the content to an item of importance which is not the same but related to the main topic.
You can just right click to see the source code of the blog post and how this is implemented. But to make it easier, here is the full script ( click on the image to download the full script in PDF format)
Note: Thanks to Tim Bridges (@BrowserBugs) for providing the code in microdata format. As I use JSON-LD I would have struggled with that. You can find the microdata example live on the test-page Tim has set up: https://browserbugs.co.uk/faq-demo.html
How to validate your FAQ schema markup
No matter if you have written the code yourself, used a generator or a plugin, you should always validate your schema.
Again there are different tools offering validation for structured data, but why go anywhere else when there is a validator on the Schema.org page?
If you have used a generator or written the code yourself, just copy and paste the code snippet in and run the test. If the schema markup was generated by the page, I still recommend to run a test, just in case, no plugin is perfect.
Use our free Schema Generator
We provide a free to to create your schema in JSON-LD. This is the first that enable you to include markup for entities and the hierarchical structure of your content.
Try our free Schema Generator for your FAQs and be ahead of the game.