Creating “HowTo” Schema Markup

Schema Markup

If you have instructional content on your website that defines the steps to successfully complete a task, adding “HowTo” markup to that page allows you to explicitly convey to Google that your content is a how-to. This structured data markup improves your brand and website’s E-E-A-T as you are demonstrating to Google your expertise in this area through your how-to content. Additionally, having correct HowTo schema markup may make that content eligible for a rich result on Search and How-To Action for use with Google Assistant. (Note, this is different than Recipe markup, which is used for instructional content related to making food or drinks.)

Home Hardware How To Rich Result Mobile

By marking up your how-to instructions with HowTo structured data, not only will your content be eligible for enhanced Google features in search results but search engines will be able to better match your data to a user’s search query.

Required and Recommended Properties for HowTo Schema Markup

Google maintains documentation to explain exactly what is required for How-To markup. We’ve captured the required and recommended fields below. You must include the required properties for your content to be eligible for display as a rich result. Recommended properties add more information to your structured data, which could provide a better user experience.


Schema Property  Priority Mapping Notes
name Required Text: The title of the how-to. For example, “How to tie a tie”.
step Required HowToStep
description Recommended Text: A description of the how-to.
estimatedCost Recommended Text: The estimated cost of supplies when performing instructions.
image Recommended URL: Image of the completed how-to.
supply Recommended Text: A supply consumed when performing instructions or directions.
tool Recommended Text: A tool used when performing instructions or directions.
totalTime Recommended The total time required to perform all instructions or directions (including time to prepare the supplies), in ISO 8601 duration format.
video Recommended VideoObject


Schema Property  Priority Mapping Notes
itemListElement Required* HowToDirection
text Required* Text: The full instruction text of this step.
image Recommended URL: An image for the step.
name Recommended Text: The word or short phrase summarizing the step.
url Recommended URL: A URL that directly links to the step (if one is available). For example, an anchor link fragment.
video Recommended VideoObject


Schema Property  Priority Mapping Notes
Text Required Text: The text of the direction.

For the most current guidelines on required and recommended fields, reference the Google Developers Reference Guide.

How to Create HowTo Schema Markup

To help you get started, we put together the fundamental steps for creating HowTo schema markup:

Step One: Add the required properties for HowTo Schema Markup

Add the required properties for HowTo Schema Markup using our reference above. We recommend our own tools, the Schema App Editor and Schema App Highlighter, but there are many different options out there.

Step Two: Review your HowTo Schema Markup to ensure it follows Google’s Structured Data Guidelines

Check that your markup follows Google’s structured data guidelines

Step Three: Deploy your HowTo Schema Markup to the relevant pages

Deploy your markup. Google recommends using JSON-LD, which is also our favourite format for deployment!

Step Four: Validate your page to make sure the Schema Markup is working

Test that your schema markup is working using Google’s Rich Results Testing Tool and the Schema Markup Validator, which has officially replaced Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. Read more about this change in our news post here.

This short video demonstrates the basics of creating HowTo schema markup using the Schema App Editor.

Learn how to create HowTo schema markup using Schema App with our how-to tutorial here.

Testing Your HowTo Schema Markup

Schema Markup Validator

The Schema Markup Validator (SMV) was modeled after and has officially replaced Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool (SDTT). Many SEOs still prefer the SDTT, as the SMV only validates your syntax and does not show your eligibility for rich results.

Schema Markup Validator Screenshot

Rich Results Testing Tool

Google’s Rich Results Testing Tool helps you to see which rich results can be generated by the structured data it contains.

Rich Result Test

Frequently Asked Questions about HowTo Schema Markup

What is HowTo schema markup?

HowTo schema markup is code you can add to the backend of your website, explaining to search engines what your content is and what information you would like displayed in search results. When HowTo content on your website is properly marked up with structured data, you will be eligible for Google search enhancements like rich results, helping your content to engage with users before they even enter your website.

When should you use HowTo schema markup?

You should only mark up content that is visible on your web pages. If you have how-to content, or see an opportunity to add this content to your website, marking it up with HowTo structured data will make that content eligible for Google search enhancements like rich results. Additionally, you will be improving your E-E-A-T by demonstrating to Google your expertise in that subject matter.

Do you see opportunities for how-to content on your website? Structured data not only enhances your existing content, but SEO experts use rich result opportunities to actually inform their content strategy. If you’re looking for a way to stand out in search results and take control of what information is being shown about your brand and website, get in touch! We’d love to help.

Set up a strategy call with our technical experts today.


Martha van Berkel is the co-founder and CEO of Schema App, an end-to-end Semantic Schema Markup solution provider based in Ontario, Canada. She focuses on helping SEO teams globally understand the value of Schema Markup and how they can leverage Schema Markup to grow search performance and develop a reusable content knowledge graph that drives innovation. Before starting Schema App, Martha was a Senior Manager responsible for online support tools at Cisco. She is a Mom of two energetic kids, loves to row, and drinks bulletproof coffee.