April 2020 update: the old method of inserting double or triple backslashes (\) is no longer working. It appears Google has updated the way they process ‘code’. I’ve replaced the old solution with the new – scroll down to see what’s working now.
If you have a webpage on page one of Google SERPs, you can enhance your CTR by implementing FAQ structured data markup.
When SEOs began realising that FAQPage schema could help their client websites take up more SERP real estate, FAQPage schema started popping up for many commercial keywords.
FAQPage schema is pretty rad – just look how this particular organic search results stands out from the rest. How much more likely would a bride/groom who is looking for wedding venue information want to click on jackchauvel.com compared to the other results?
And that is the whole purpose of having rich results show in the SERP – it can be a competitive advantage (especially if you’re ranking in the lower half of the SERP).
Do you run a Squarespace site? Check out my guide on how to get FAQ structured data markup.
If you’re a smart marketer, you will use a series of questions and answers that attract the user to click on the dropdown toggles. But doing so will only give them an answer – it does not get them to visit your web page.
This is why you want to include a link in the answer portion of your FAQ schema.
Wedding dress website essensedesigns.com has done exactly this (see below).
See how when a user clicks on the dropdown, the answer box has a clickable link to a page on the website?
Pretty cool in my humble opinion. Pretty cool.
This is what you are going to learn to implement today.
PS – essensedesigns.com doesn’t use JSON-LD for its structured data implementation. You can verify this by copying and pasting their URL into Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. Looking at their page source, they use microdata markup.
How To Insert Links Into FAQPage Scheme
i. Manual method
I recommend against installing a plugin on your website to generate FAQPage schema. There’s no need for that. Instead, you can use one of many free online schema generators.
This one by technicalseo.com (Merkle) is one I have been using for months with great success.
Saijo George has a handy JSON-LD schema generator as well. This works flawless too.
Step 1: Pick a non-homepage webpage that would benefit from FAQPage rich results
Create your question and answers as you normally would (you will need a minimum of 3 questions and answers).
At the time of writing, you can have as many links as you want in the answer section of FAQPage rich results. This may, however, change.
For best results, I recommend coming up with enticing questions and linking to a product or blog post within your answer.
Step 2: Use Schema Markup Generator to convert your Q&A into the required JSON-LD format
Duplicate the exact same question and answers using Schema Markup Generator.
This free tool by Merkle spits out structured data markup. I like using this tool because you can validate the code with a click of a button.
A limitation of Schema Markup Generator is that it does not automatically add hyperlinks in for you so you will have to do it manually.
Simply copy the full URL of the page you wish to link out to in your FAQ rich result and wrap it with <a> HTML tag around your desired anchor text.
<a href=”https://example.com/test/”>your anchor text</a>
However, when you validate the JSON-LD you will encounter the above error when testing in Google’s SDTT.
Not to worry. The next step will resolve this error.
The correct format to insert a clickable hyperlink in your FAQ schema is this:
<a href=’https://example.com/test/’>your anchor text</a>
The single quotation mark that wraps the URL is what makes it work. You can see it in the below screenshot.
Step 5: Testing and validate with both Structured Data Testing Tool and Rich Results Tests.
If you’re using Schema Markup Generator you can easily validate and preview how your FAQ schema will look like in the SERPs.
Let me know how you go 🙂
PS – Do you want to experiment with JSON-LD? I asked my good pals and fellow SEO colleagues Nik Ranger, Jason Barnard, Lily Ray and Jono Alderson and they all replied back with the same response: JSON-LD playround.
ii. For WordPress Gutenberg users
Here’s a little secret between just you and I – I’m cheating!
As of May 2020, I’ve migrated most of the websites I own and manage across to WordPress Gutenberg.
One of the advantages of Gutenberg is blocks, specifically the free WordPress plugin called Ultimate Blocks.
I am using Ultimate Blocks to create the front-end content as well as automatically taking care of structured data markup. It even handles links in FAQ schema perfectly so if you’re on WordPress – get on this shortcut!
Common FAQPage Schema Issues
Why won’t a hyperlink show up in my FAQ rich snippet?
Probably to do with the formatting of the <a> tag. If you’re using double quotation marks – this is probably the cause.
April 2020 update: Google appears to apply some filtering. For example, a client of mine had FAQ rich results for COVID-19 related information. This disappeared. Another client had pricing FAQ rich results filtered. However, hyperlinks formatted correctly should show up as long as the Q&A has not been filtered out.
What is the difference between JSON-LD and microdata?
Microdata and JSON-LD are two different methods to mark up your data using the same schema.org vocabulary. Microdata is based on HTML properties to define each item type through the use of associated attributes.
Does Google prefer JSON-LD or microdata?
Google prefers JSON-LD.
Since both markup methods work, just be sure to having only either one or the other, not both.
Does this work on Squarespace sites?
FAQPage structured data markup is platform/CMS agnostic. This means that as long as you have the front-end and back-end of the markup as per Google’s requirements, any web page is eligible to have rich results show up in the SERPs.
Therefore, WordPress, BigCommerce, Shopify, Squarespace and Wix can all implement FAQ schema.
Check out my guide on how to implement JSON-LD on a Squarespace website.
Does text formatting show in the SERPs?
It does! Bullet and numbered lists and bold text can be marked up in JSON-LD via HTML. However, background color and text color does not work in the rich results.
Do emojis work in FAQPage structured markup?
Yes emojis can be displayed in FAQ rich results but use them wisely. Google may decide to filter them out completely (or even penalize you).
Why won’t FAQ schema show up for my page?
Even if you have the correct markup on your page there is no guarantee that rich results will display in the SERPs. Here are the 2 most common reasons why FAQPage schema does not show:
- It’s a homepage: to date, I have never see rich results display for homepage results. FAQ schema seems to only display for internal pages.
- The same data in the structured markup is not visible on-page: there used to be a a few months in 2019 where one could trick Googlebot with the JSON-LD code itself (i.e., without having the same questions and answers displayed on the page’s content). Those days are gone. If you want rich results to show up for your internal page, you have to ensure that the content matches with the structured data markup.
- You may have other structured data already on the page (i.e., reviews).
And even if you do everything right, Google may decide to not show its users your hard work.