With thousands of blog posts appearing on the web monthly, simply writing good content is not enough to lure more readers in. You need to come up with something to set your content apart from others in search results. Fortunately, Google and other search engines have already introduced that "something". It is structured data.
Except for the BlogPosting article schema our Blog extension already adds to the blog posts by default there is also a HowTo structured data. While the former merely tells Google that your content is a blog post, the latter makes your blog post eligible for rich results.
Today, you'll learn what exactly is HowTo schema markup, why you need it for your blog posts in Magento and how to add them easily with no coding skills.
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What is HowTo Structured Data?
HowTo is a special type of structured data that helps you to define your content as a how-to, especially if your blog posts provide a set of steps for completing a task (including text, images and videos).
Marking your Magento blog posts with the HowTo schema makes your content eligible for rich results and may be featured at 0 position on Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
Moreover, how-to rich results are available in all languages and countries where Google is available. This opens multiple opportunities for your to increase traffic to your blog, even if you manage it in several languages.
The best part though?
HowTo structured data is not only useful for food or review blogs. Any article that describes a clear sequence of steps required for performing a task will benefit from this schema greatly.
Look at the examples of standard rich results and rich results with the images below. Wouldn't it drive your attention?
Moreover, you can also add a video to the How-to snippet to stand out even more.
HowTo Structured Data Guidelines
Since HowTo schema is only one of many types of blog posts schema, there is a certain set of guidelines to follow when using it.
- Don't use HowTo structured data for advertising.
- Don't try to make dangerous, illegal or graphically violent content eligible for rich results with the HowTo schema. It won't be displayed in rich results.
- Don't include more than one HowTo for a page and make sure the HowTo content is visible on the source page.
- Only mark the source steps data with HowToStep. No summaries or introductions should be marked as steps.
- Don't use the same image to describe multiple HowToSteps and don't use images that don't reflect the how-to content.
You can learn more about the HowTo content guidelines from Google Search Central.
How to Add HowTo Schema Markup for Blog Posts in Magento?
To improve the visibility of your blog posts in search you need to learn how to add HowTo schema markup for blog posts.
One of the first options that will probably pop up in your head is adding the HowTo structured data yourself. Although it is one of the simplest solutions, you'll, most likely, need to call out a developer. Even if you manage to generate the markup with a markup generator, implementing it on your website won't be that easy.
Besides, you don't want to call out for a developer every time you have a new article planned, do you?
A much easier solution will be to implement HowTo schema widget that comes with the Magento 2 Rich Snippets Extension.
So, let's see how easy it is to add the HowTo schema markup to a blog from the admin panel.
To add HowTo markup for blog posts in Magento 2:
1. Navigate to a blog post which you'd like to add the HowTo structured data for and scroll to the Content section.
2. Insert a Widget into the blog post content.
3. Choose HowTo by Magefan as a Widget Type.
4. Choose the Structured Data Type:
- JSON-LD (application/ld+json) — both JSON object and HTML will be on the page.
- JSON-LD (application/ld+json) Without HTML — only JSON object will be on the page.
- Microdata (HTML attributes and tags) — only HTML attributes and tags will be on the page.
5. Specify the title of the how-to in the HowTo Name field.
6. Set the HowTo Steps, including Text, Image URL and Step URL.
7. Specify what your how-to is about in the HowTo Description field.
8. Set the Estimated Cost of the supplies required to complete the instructions.
9. Specify the HowTo Supply (consumed supplied) required for performing the task.
10. Spefiy the HowTo Tool (not consumed supplies/instruments) required for completing the steps.
11. Set the HowTo Total Time it will take to complete the instructions.
12. Select the Template to define how the HowTo markup will be displayed on the front end, given the structured data type you've set before.
Don't forget to Save the blog post after you finish and check the HowTo structured data with the Schema.org Validator.
Once added, HowTo structured data will help search engines understand the content of your blog posts better. Those additional details structured data allows you to add to the page will make blog posts more relevant and more likely to appear in rich results.
At the same time, you shouldn't forget about other important rich snippets, while you optimize your blog posts. Reviews, rating, breadcrumbs and the price will make a huge difference in your click-through rates (CTRs). So, next, explore how to add rich snippets in Magento.