This content is then highlighted in search engine SERPs and voice assistants. HowTo is one of many structured data formats you can use to set yourself apart from your competition. Not to mention that Google is particularly fond of it.
It would be a shame to deprive yourself of it; is not it ?
What is a HowTo structured data?
The HowTo structured data primarily relates to content that guides users through a series of steps to complete a task. It can be, for example, content that explains how to cook a dish or how to tie a tie.
In general, HowTo structured data is appropriate when the subject of the page is a step-by-step guide.
They are used to improve and highlight articles that provide answers to the question “How?” ». When you use the appropriate markup for this type of content, it appears as a rich result in Google search results. The content also appears as an action in the Google Assistant (on mobile).
This helps to highlight your content and therefore attract qualified traffic to your site.
The Benefits of Structured Data HowTo
The use of HowTo format has several significant advantages.
It promotes a rich display of content in the SERPs, as a multi-step drop-down list. This makes it possible to read and navigate by voice step by step. Google Assistant and Google Home.
The Internet user thus obtains a precise result while enjoying a rich experience with your content. This necessarily results in increased traffic to your site. Several analyzes have also shown that the enriched results lead to an increase in the click rate between 5% and 30%.
Plus, HowTo rich results appeal to your readership and inspire admiration from your prospects and customers. For your competitors, it reinforces your authority and attracts their jealousy.
Supported content formats
The HowTo rich results are usable for content including text, images or videos.
However, the display of content in search results will be different depending on whether it has one or more images (or video).
- For content that is essentially textual, with only a representative image, Internet users will see an overview of certain steps with the main image alone.
- If the content has images at each step, people will see the rich result as a carousel.
Content may include a mixture of text, images and videos. In this case, Google will determine the most appropriate format in which the rich result should appear.
How to implement HowTo structured data on your page?
Google provides webmasters with a step-by-step guide to adding HowTo type structured data to your pages.
You can consult the complete guide on Google Search Central, but in general, you must:
- provide quality content. The quality and relevance of the content are major criteria for obtaining any type of rich result. In this regard, it is important to entrust the writing of your content to an expert to guarantee relevance and quality.
- add the required properties of the HowTo markup and insert the structured data on the page. You will then need to follow Google’s guidelines to complete the process. If you use a CMS like WordPress, you can do this using a plugin.
- Test your code for validation in the Rich Results Testing Tool.
- add the page containing your structured data and analyze how Google sees the page with its URL inspection tool. The page must not be blocked by identifiers, a noindex tag or a robots.txt file.
If you make changes to your pages, you will need to notify Google by submitting a sitemap.
Note that there are three different formats supported by search engines for adding HowTo structured data.
You can embed it directly on the page in the form of Microdata or RDFa or use an external file in JSON-LD format.
You can get more details on the use of the different formats on the schema.org site.
What are the tools and resources to implement HowTo structured data?
Working with HowTo structured data involves using code.
If this seems too complicated for you, our SEO agency can help you implement your structured data. But if you want to get hands-on, there are tools and resources for writing and implementing HowTo structured data.
Here are some tools you can use:
- Google’s testing tool
- A structured data generator
- Google’s Structured Data Tool
Mistakes to avoid
Unlike FAQ structured data, HowTo markup is not for all types of content.
- Google does not recommend the use of HowTo structured data for advertising purposes or for obscene content, violent images, etc.
- Recipes have their own dedicated schema. It is therefore not recommended to use HowTo markup on this type of content.
- You need to mark up each stage of content to set benchmarks for Google.
What is structured data?
Structured data is a piece of code that we insert on a web page.
It is a type of markup put in place to provide details to search engines about the purpose of the content and the elements that compose it. Google uses this piece of code to interpret the content and give it a rich display compared to standard results.
What are the most used types of structured data in SEO?
Google particularly appreciates HowTo structured data since it provides complete answers to users.
But these are not the only ones to exploit. Google also offers other types of structured data such as:
- The featured snippets or zero position (Featured Snippet)
- The enriched snippets (Rich snippet)
- The Google knowledge base (Knowledge Graph)
- The FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
- The accelerated mobile pages (AMP)
On which device are the HowTo rich results displayed?
The HowTo rich results display feature is available on mobile, computer or connected speakers with a screen.
What are the applications of HowTo structured data?
HowTo structured data is available for specific types of content that can be used as a guide.
In addition, HowTo rich results are available in all countries and in all languages or language. google search is available.