FAQ Schema: Upgrade Your SEO & Generate More Traffic

SEO experts have been using Schema to improve and optimise website performance for quite some time.

While Schema is proven to be effective for SEO, there are certain types of Schema that are more powerful than others. FAQ schema falls into that category and it’s something that should be at the top of your to-do-list.

The great thing about FAQ schema is that it’s such a small change that can deliver instant results and traffic if you have some existing rankings.

It’s also a tactic that your competitors probably aren’t using yet, particularly if they don’t have an SEO expert helping them with their rankings.

Below we’ll cover some background info on FAQ schema, why it’s so valuable and how to implement it.

Contents

What Is Schema?

What Is FAQ Schema?

What Are The Benefits Of FAQ Schema?

How To Implement FAQ Schema

How To Test And Validate FAQ Schema

FAQ Schema Guidelines

FAQs

Summary

What Is Schema?

To understand FAQ schema we first need to understand Schema.org. Schema was introduced in 2011 with a mission to create, maintain, and promote schemas for structured data on the Internet, on web pages, in email messages, and beyond.

At its core, Schema is a form of microdata that can be added to a website in order to help search engines understand the context and relevance of certain page elements.

Source

Let’s say you published a food recipe on your website. This content would consist of a small list of ingredients, steps and maybe some background info.

You can use Schema to tell search engines which exact part of your page is the recipe. With this added context, search engines can better rank your content and your recipe is more likely to appear in search engine elements such as featured snippets.

There are lots of different types of Schema. From product page schema to articles, authorship and plenty more. There are even some that are specific to industries, such as medical and travel schema.

Adding Schema to your website helps search engines understand, index and rank your content. It’s a great competitive advantage to gain traction in the SERPs.

What Is FAQ Schema?

With that background info out the way, we can now focus on FAQ schema and why it’s so useful.

FAQ schema essentially informs search engines that “this content is presented in a question and answer format”.

Source

You can add this schema to any page that features FAQs. If you aren’t using FAQs, it may even be worth adding them to your commercial pages or top performing content just so you can start using this tactic. 

Remember that this isn’t just for FAQ pages. Product pages or articles that include an FAQ section can benefit from this tactic too. You’re simply signposting which element(s) of a page is using the question and answer format, so search engines can treat those elements accordingly.

What Are The Benefits Of FAQ Schema?

Certain types of Schema bring their own unique benefits.

#1: Stand out and take up more real estate in search results

The best thing about FAQ schema is that it’s often pulled straight through to the search results.

Your FAQs will display directly in search, meaning your listing within the rankings takes up a lot more space than it did previously, standing out and attracting more clicks.

Organic search results are becoming more and more competitive as Google increases the number of ads displaying in results. Any extra space you can acquire in search is gold dust.

#2 Improve your click-through rate without any ranking increases

Another unique benefit of FAQ schema is that you can use it to drive more clicks and traffic from your existing rankings. How often in SEO can you gain more traffic without having to improve a ranking or outrank a competitor?

Google wants to keep users on Google. That’s why it displays more and more content directly within search and has added hundreds of features such as Google Flights, designed to keep users on the platform. 

FAQs not only generate more clicks due to their size, but you can also implement FAQ structures and content that encourage users to visit your website after reading an FAQ directly in the results.

How To Implement FAQ Schema

This is where it gets a little bit technical but once you have a template and process in place, adding FAQ schema will be a breeze.

There are multiple methods of implementing FAQ schema. It’s best to choose one method and stick with it, otherwise your site can get messy pretty quickly.

#1 Microdata

This is the older, more technical approach to implementing Schema. This will involve adding Schema directly within the code of your website. That might seem daunting, but it’s pretty simple once you have the template worked out. 

You can use the template below and swap out the elements that require your unique FAQ content.

<html itemscope itemtype=”https://schema.org/FAQPage”>

<head>

<title>Example Site - Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)</title>

</head>

<body>

<div itemscope itemprop=”mainEntity” itemtype=”https://schema.org/Question”>

<h3 itemprop=”name”>Example FAQ Title?</h3>

<div itemscope itemprop=”acceptedAnswer” itemtype=”https://schema.org/Answer”>

<div itemprop=”text”>

<p>Example FAQ answer.</p>

</div>

</div>

</div>

</body>

</html>

Google has published some examples of this FAQ schema code that you can view here.

#2 JSON-LD

Google recommends using JSON-LD for Schema implementation and has stated “Google can read JSON-LD data when it’s dynamically injected into the page’s contents, such as by JavaScript code or embedded widgets in your content management system”.

JSON-LD is implemented in the header section of a page and is usually the easier option as it should be quicker to upload.

You can use the template below and swap out the elements that require your unique FAQ content.

<html>

<head> 

<title>Example Site - Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)</title> 

</head> 

<body> 

<script type=”application/ld+json”> 

“@context”: “https://schema.org”, 

“@type”: “FAQPage”, 

“mainEntity”: [ 

“@type”: “Question”, 

“name”: “Example FAQ Title?”, 

“acceptedAnswer”: { 

“@type”: “Answer”, 

“text”:”Example FAQ answer.”} 

}] 

</script> 

</body> 

</html> 

Google has published some examples of this FAQ schema code that you can view here.

#3 Google Tag Manager

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Another option is to implement the JSON-LD code above via Google Tag Manager. You’ll still need the code snippet above but by using Tag Manager, you can easily edit, update and organise your Schema without having to go into the backend of your website or use a developer. 

SEMrush has published a full guide for this method here.

#4 WordPress Plugins

Source

There are a number of FAQ schema WordPress plugins that will do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to implementation. If you’re using WordPress, it’s definitely worth considering this route as it will allow you to keep your Schema organised and make quick edits when needed.

RankMath

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A well known SEO plugin, RankMath has a built-in function for adding FAQ schema. Once installed, simply navigate to a post or page, open the editor and add an “FAQ by RankMath” block.

You can easily insert your FAQ copy into this block and tweak the styling accordingly. RankMath’s FAQ function has built-in Schema code so once you’ve added your content, you're good to go.

All in One SEO

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A solid alternative, All in One SEO is another tried and tested plugin that’s very popular in the WordPress community. Once installed, navigate to the page/post that you’d like to edit as you would normally. 

Scroll to the bottom of the editor to find your AIOSEO Settings. Here, you will notice a Schema section. Within these Schema settings, you need to make two selections:

  • Select “Web Page” for Schema Type
  • Select “FAQ page” for Web Page Type

You can now upload your FAQ content, using the Add New button to add additional questions.

This tool does have a small quirk. The content you have just added is purely for Schema purposes and will not add any frontend FAQ content directly to your page. This means you also need to add the FAQ content to your page via the standard editor, as you would normally.

Remember Google has specified that all FAQ schema content must be visible to users on your live page so this is an important step.

Having trouble creating your markup and not using WordPress? You might find this Schema markup generator useful.

How To Test And Validate FAQ Schema

Once you’ve implemented your code, you’ll want to run some tests to ensure it’s functioning correctly. Google has you covered.

Google used to operate the “Structured Data Testing Tool” which has since been phased out but it’s still a very useful tool and can now be found at the Schema.org website. This tool allows you to test a snippet of code or an entire page for Schema errors and warnings.

Google has replaced the testing tool above with the new “Rich Results Test”. This will tell you if your page is eligible for rich results and how those rich results will display in the SERPs.

Notify Google To Crawl Your New FAQ Schema

Once you’ve successfully added FAQ schema to your site, you’ll want to get the changes indexed as soon as possible.

To do this, you can submit a request for Google to recrawl your page via Google Search Console.

Simply inspect your chosen URL by entering it into the main search bar at the top of the page.

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You can then select “Request Indexing” which will add your page to a list of pages for Google to recrawl and update. This won’t guarantee that your FAQs are pulled through to the results and Google will always have final say on which queries it shows FAQ Schema for, just stay patient and take note of which pages do display your FAQs versus those that don’t.

FAQ Schema Guidelines

As with all new tactics, some SEOs will manipulate the system to their benefit resulting in restrictions and guidelines coming into play.

You can view Google’s full FAQ guidelines here. Google has actually provided examples of valid and invalid uses of Schema to keep things clear.

Valid use cases

  • An FAQ page was written by the site itself with no way for users to submit alternative answers
  • A product support page that lists FAQs with no way for users to submit alternative answers 

Invalid use cases

  • A forum page where users can submit answers to a single question
  • A product support page where users can submit answers to a single question
  • A product page where users can submit multiple questions and answers on a single page
  • Don’t use FAQPage for advertising purposes
  • Make sure each Question includes the entire text of the question and make sure each answer includes the entire text of the answer. The entire question text and answer text may be displayed.
  • Question and answer content may not be displayed as a rich result if it contains any of the following types of content: obscene, profane, sexually explicit, graphically violent, promotion of dangerous or illegal activities, or hateful or harassing language.
  • All FAQ content must be visible to the user on the source page.

Some key points here are to not advertise within your FAQs and to avoid including any time-sensitive information. 

Don’t feel that FAQ schema can only be used for products either, as informational content such as articles can still display FAQs directly in the results.

Just like any page or content piece, your FAQ copy should be high-quality, optimised and provide valuable information for the best results.

It isn’t necessary for your FAQs to appear in an accordion or some form of dropdown menu, plain text works just fine. We’ve also noticed that short but detailed FAQs seem to have the best chance of being pulled through to the results.

FAQs

Should I Use QA Or FAQpage Schema Markup?

These are two different types of Schema that are used for slightly different purposes. FAQpage is the Schema that’s been the focus of this article. Adding this Schema to an FAQ will allow your page to be eligible for a collapsible menu that displays your FAQ directly in the search results. 

Q&A schema is used for websites that accept user-generated content. Many sites allow users to contribute an answer to a question and these answers receive upvotes and downvotes based on their quality. Q&A schema provides a rich result card under your SERP listing and shows all of the user-generated answers, with the top answer highlighted.

Will FAQ Schema Help Me Rank For “People Also Ask” Results?

No, at the moment there is no correlation between FAQ schema and getting your site featured in the “People Also Ask” search feature and you do not require Schema to appear here. That said, Schema will improve your overall SEO and optimisation which could help you land one of these placements in the future. 

How Many FAQ Rich Results Can Be Displayed In My Search Listing?

Currently, only two FAQ rich results are displayed at any given time on a search results page (per website). This, however, is constantly changing as Google makes updates to its results. Additional FAQs are usually shown via an expandable ‘view more’ option directly within the results. 

Do FAQ Snippets Appear On Mobile?

Yes, FAQ Schema will be displayed within mobile results, just the same as desktop. 

Why Are My FAQs Not Appearing?

The first thing to check is that your Schema has been implemented correctly and adheres to Google’s guidelines for FAQ Schema. Common issues include FAQs that use promotional copy, FAQs that have been keyword stuffed and FAQs that are not visible to the user once they’ve clicked on the ranking page.

Google will not display FAQs for every keyword or search term, it will pull through your FAQs where it feels they will be useful to satisfy user intent.

Summary 

Adding Schema to a website is almost never a bad idea and it’s definitely something to focus on if you want to take your website’s performance to the next level.

Yes, your website content will be available directly in the search results but don’t think that will lose you a click. The added real estate of an FAQ listing and carefully drafted FAQ copy will allow you to generate new traffic and maximise the value of your existing keyword rankings. 

If you’d like to use FAQ schema to upgrade your website’s SEO but need help getting started, speak to our expert SEO team today.

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