Website owners cannot fully control the appearance of organic search snippets, but Schema.org markup can help. An example is HowTo, a Schema type for instructions.
Google’s guidelines allow for the use of HowTo markup on a page containing plans, procedures, or a sequence of steps for completing a task.
The result is organic rich-snippets on desktop and mobile search results. The desktop version below includes steps, materials, and time to complete.
On mobile, the snippets are much more prominent. The steps can appear as images on a carousel, increasing the tappable area of the snippet. Clicking any image takes the searcher to that part of the page.
Implementing HowTo Schema
Other implementation options include:
Validating HowTo Schema
Validating Schema markup via Google’s Rich Results Test is essential.
Then, after validating, check Google Search Console’s “Enhancements” section, which lists the pages containing the markup. In my experience, those pages usually produce rich snippets in search results but not always.
The “Performance” section of Search Console includes pages with rich snippets. To access:
- Click “Search Results”> “New.”
- Select “Search performance.”
- Select “HowTo rich snippets” or click “Compare” and select another rich snippet.
Comparing the organic click-through for rich snippets is not necessarily meaningful as the pages and queries differ widely. Still, it’s helpful when choosing Schema types that cannot be combined in a single search snippet, such as HowTo and FAQ.
The Performance section also shows search queries that are likely to trigger How-to rich snippets. It is a good idea, however, to perform a few searches to view your rich snippets in organic results.
Use Schema.org’s Markup Validator to evaluate (and locate) the markup of a page you don’t own, such as a competitor’s.
When to Use
Use HowTo Schema markup for pages:
● Containing step-by-step instructions,
● With informational intent, to inform Google the purpose is to instruct.