A step-by-step guide to creating FAQ diagrams
At first glance, the schema markup can seem overwhelming. Schema markup, or structured data, is a snippet of code that you add to your website pages that helps search engines better understand and define your content. Structured data can define everything from videos to local SEO, and it can help you appear on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
Specifically, an FAQ diagram helps visitors find answers to their questions quickly, and therefore these diagrams have become an integral part of Google search results.
Recent changes in patterns
In May 2019, Google announced the introduction of the structured data type FAQ in Google Search and Google Assistant, giving marketers the ability to own more real estate on the search engine results page. However, since then Google has made numerous updates on how FAQ schematics work and display.
For example, in March 2020, Google announced that websites would be penalized for tagging the same question and answer in the FAQ on different pages. This change forced marketers to re-examine all of their FAQ tags and determine which pages are best suited to specific questions and answers.
Additionally, in June 2021, Google announced that each domain can only have a maximum of two FAQs with SERPs per search instead of four previously. This update forced marketers to consider how much they value FAQs on different pages, and to be selective about which potential FAQs are most useful for a potential ranking.
Since domains can now only be ranked for two FAQs with SERPs per search, now is the time for businesses to create FAQ schemas to attempt to rank searches that were previously out of reach.
Building an FAQ diagram in 6 steps
1. Check out Google’s content guidelines.
The first step in creating an FAQ schema is to review Google’s content guidelines to determine if the desired pages are eligible.
Google’s FAQ content guidelines page includes various valid and invalid use cases, but to summarize the rules of Google’s FAQ schema, your page must meet these requirements:
- Both the question and the answer are visible on the page
- Users cannot submit alternative responses
- The response provides both original content and up-to-date information
2. Determine for which pages you want to create an FAQ schema.
It is important to consider FAQ patterns for pages that include questions simple enough to answer in 1 to 2 sentences, but also entice the reader to click for more. If a question is fully answered in the FAQ result in a way that doesn’t invite clicking for more information or context, SERP viewers will likely see your answer and move on to another link or search. .
3. Make sure your target pages are optimized for conversions.
Additionally, make sure that the desired pages for the FAQ schema are optimized for relevant conversions. For example, when you google “what is inbound marketing?” The first FAQ is a Marketo page on inbound marketing.
This page defines ROI for inbound and inbound marketing, provides common issues that inbound marketing can solve, and provides the visitor with two conversion opportunities to learn more about inbound content.
Put yourself in the visitor’s shoes. When you click on an FAQ diagram link, you would expect to easily find the question and answer as well as other related questions and answers. This is a great example of a page optimized for the FAQ schema because the content and layout of the page is optimized for the visitor.
After you’ve created a desirable list of pages for which to create FAQ schemas, it’s critical to go back to step one and make sure you follow all of Google’s guidelines for qualifying pages for FAQ schemas. With pages optimized and eligible for FAQ schemas, you can now implement the schema on website pages.
4. Create your FAQ schema code.
There are many tools that can help you generate JSON code, but two popular and effective schema generator tools are:
5. Test and validate your code.
When you create JSON code, you can validate the code in Google’s Rich Text Results tool or in the Schema Markup Validator tool. This ensures accuracy before adding the snippet to the page and ensures that your FAQ schema is visible on Google.
6. Add the code to your CMS.
Once you have generated and validated the code, you can copy the code directly from the generator to add it to your content management system (CMS).
A CMS like HubSpot allows you to easily add code to the header and footer of individual pages. With a CMS like WordPress, it’s usually easier to download a plugin (like Yoast) to add the JSON code to individual pages.