By Emilia Gjorgjevska

2 years ago

Learn how to use schema markup based on questions and answers and how to combine them with Ask and ReplyAction annotations.

Table of contents:

  1. FAQPage schema markup
  2. QAPage schema markup
  3. AskAction schema markup
  4. ReplyAction schema markup
  5. On Using Action-based Schema Markups

Line bars in Google Search Console are not just lines or simple SEO reporting metrics. They show actual search interest performed by real people: users searching for answers to their problems or getting information before buying a product or service online. This happens directly on your website or in Google search, where your content shows up as a possible solution to their problems. Therefore, it’s important that you markup your pages with the most appropriate schema markups that you can find in Schema.org’s lists, so that you can gain the audience’s interest as quickly as possible and hope that they convert.

At Wordlift, we have participated in more than INSERT _NUMBER schema markup experiments and implementations and know from experience that sometimes website owners like you struggle with finding the right schema markup for them. Sometimes this is due to a lack of knowledge about good schema markup practices, sometimes it’s due to insufficient explanations on the Schema.org website, and sometimes it’s because there are too many options to choose from, so they are not sure which schema markup types are best for their site.

When marking up a web page that contains questions and answers, it is important to work with the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) schema markup, but the QA, AskAction, and ReplyAction schema markups can also be useful. So when should you use each schema and for which SEO scenario? We will explain it to you. Get started!

FAQPage Schema Markup

If your web page contains questions and answers on a particular topic, with each question having only one answer, or if you have a product category page that contains a section of Q&A without allowing users to provide multiple answers, then you are dealing with a FAQ page. The pages that qualify for using a FAQ schema markup and use it correctly can perform well on Google, even though they may look different for different business cases. It may seem obvious, but we still remind you that all content (both questions and answers) must be present on the web page.

Here’s one example of a legit FAQPage schema markup:

<script type="application/ld+json">
{
"@context":"https://schema.org",
"@type":"FAQPage",
"mainEntity":[{"@type":"Question","name":"Who's the founder of Google?","acceptedAnswer"
:[{"@type":"Answer",
"text":"Sergey Brin and Larry Page"}]},
{"@type":"Question",
"name":"What's the parent company of Google?",
"acceptedAnswer":[{
"@type":"Answer","text":"Alphabet "}]}]
}
</script>

As you know, properly marked FAQs give you access to broader Google visibility, such as in the FAQ and People Also Ask sections. When you use WordLift, you add FAQPage markup without having to manually add code to your site. In addition, you can use WordLift Looker Studio Connector to measure the performance of your FAQs on specific web pages and optimize your FAQs to rank better on Google and get more organic traffic to your website.

You can use the FAQ schema to build Conversational AI systems, such as chatbots. As the WordLift team itself has tested, you can train the model to answer users’ questions using data from KG and the questions and answers you have included in your content comments. With a chatbot and KG +FAQ, you can provide a better experience for users. When you get the information they are looking for, users will not have to go back to Google.

QAPage Schema Markup

If your web page contains questions followed by one or more answers, a forum page, or a product support page where users can submit an answer to a single question, then you are dealing with a page that is eligible for QAPage schema markup. Of course, all the required content must be publicly available on this page as well, just as it is in the schema markup itself, which identifies sections that are available to the online audience anyway.

Example QAPage schema markup:

<script type="application/ld+json">
    {
      "@context": "https://schema.org",
      "@type": "QAPage",
      "mainEntity": {
        "@type": "Question",
        "name": "FAQPage, QAPage, AskAction, ReplyAction schema markup - which one should I use and when?",
        "text": "",
        "answerCount": 3,
        "upvoteCount": 26,
        "acceptedAnswer": {
          "@type": "Answer",
          "text": "FAQPage for single answers and single questions, QAPage for multiple answers for a given question and AskAction + ReplyAction on QA-based webpages.",
          "upvoteCount": 1337,
          "url": "https://example.com/question1#acceptedAnswer"
        }
      }
    }
 </script>

AskAction Schema Markup

Over the last decade, our main focus has been on entities, things like places, people, companies, etc., and on describing them as accurately as possible using schema markup or advanced knowledge graph techniques.

However, the web is not static and entities are more complex than just information about them: they also interact with each other, forming relationships and performing actions, e.g. [“Dan Brickley works at Google helping the SEO community”]. For this reason, Jason Douglas, Sam Goto (Google), Steve Macbeth, Jason Johnson (Yahoo), Alexander Shubin (Yandex), and Peter Mika developed the actions vocabulary, which allows websites to describe what kinds of actions are possible on their websites.

AskAction is one of them. If users have the ability to ask questions on a particular web page, you should describe this activity with the AskAction schema markup. It usually fits well with ReplyAction. Some notable attributes that you can use to construct your AskAction schema are:

  • About attribute
  • InLanguage attribute
  • Potential Action
  • Question
  • Recipient

An example of AskAction implementation as a JSON-LD markup:

<script type="application/ld+json">
{
  "@context": "https://schema.org",
  "@type": "AskAction",
  "agent": {
    "@type": "Person",
    "name": "Emilia Gjorgjevska"
  },
  "recipient": {
    "@type": "Google",
    "name": "Dan Brickley"
  },
  "question": {
    "@type": "Question",
    "text": "What are the most advanced schema markups for SEO?"
  }
}
</script>

ReplyAction Schema Markup

This schema markup goes hand in hand with the AskAction schema markup and is used when someone gives an answer. By and large, we can use the same schema attributes as in the AskAction schema markup. We recommend using it whenever all the basic schema markup criteria are met.

<script type="application/ld+json">
{
  "@context": "https://schema.org",
  "@type": "ReplyAction",
  "agent": {
    "@type": "Person",
    "name": "Dan Brickley"
  },
  "recipient": {
    "@type": "Person",
    "name": "Emilia Gjorgjevska"
  },
  "resultComment": {
    "@type": "Answer",
    "parentItem": {
      "@type": "Question",
      "text":  "What are the most advanced schema markups for SEO?"
    },
    "text": "AskAction, ReplyAction, FAQPage and QAPage"
  }
}
</script>

On Using Action-based Schema Markups

Action schema markups help disambiguate intentions. So we advise you to play around with them and use them on your websites in an A/B test. We hope we have helped you understand what is the right use case for implementing FAQPage, QAPage and AskAction, ReplyAction schema markups to gain more visibility on search engine results pages. Are you ready to learn more about advanced schema markups with us?

There is nothing more powerful than utilizing what you have on your side in the first place. Do you want to learn how you can bring your business to the next level? Book a demo.

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