What are How To cards and who should use them?
Create's How-To Cards are an industry-first feature that outputs HowTo schema to Google and also formats your content in a beautiful, easy-to-read and highly monetizable, printable format, and can get you into those much coveted "Rich Results" in Google Search.
Anyone who makes content that could be called, "How To..." can use this.
"How to paint your deck"
"How to take care of chickens"
"How to clean your microwave"
"How to use eyeliner"
"How to teach a toddler to tie their shoes"
"How to sing karaoke"
"How to work remote"
"How to not lose your mind as a blogger"
"How to use a hammer"
Literally anything that you can think up that starts with "How To" can be used in one of these cards.
How To Use "How-To" Cards
I see the irony that this isn't in a How-To Card. If our help docs were on Wordpress, it definitely would be, but for the sake of demonstration – let's pretend.
If you have not already done so, you will need to download, install and activate the Create plugin.
After you have updated your settings and registered your plugin, you are ready to get started with a new How-To card!
You can create a How-To card directly from your post editor or you can create the card to add at a later time.
To create a How-To card within a post you will click the “Add Card” button found in the Classic Wordpress Editor:
For Gutenberg users, you'll add a "How-To" block:
To start with the card first you will navigate to the “Create Cards” section in your Wordpress sidebar and then select “Add New Create Card”:
A menu will pop up that gives you the card options available - List, Recipe, or How-To.
Once you select How-To, you need to name your card. This can be changed here or later on inside the card.
Select the “Create How-To Card” button.
The left side of the Card is where you will input information and edit the card’s contents. On the right side, you will see a preview of how the card will look when published.
Enter data for each field in the card. We recommend filling out every How-To card completely for optimal performance.
Add Materials to How-To Cards
You will then scroll down to the Materials section. You can enter materials and tools in bulk and then add in details to include affiliate links with no-follow options.
You’ll just toggle back and forth between the Bulk and Detail options shown below.
Insert an affiliate link for the item and turn on/off No-Follow links.
You can also add links using Markdown in the bulk editor. Just surround the link text is brackets and the url in parenthesis, like this:
Likewise, you can also add simple HTML into the bulk ingredients editor to bold or italicize the materials.
120 pounds <b>concrete</b>
10 bottles <i>washable</i> glue
It won't render in the preview, but it should render in the live card!
Next, you will scroll down to the Instructions section where you will provide step-by-step directions for your How-To! When entering the instructions and notes, you can add headings and formatted text using the editor:
Notes about Instructions & HowTo Schema:
Google requests an image with each step of your Instructions. If you do not provide this, you'll wind up with warnings in your Google Search Console HowTo report. Don't panic. Warnings in schema are normal, and don't disqualify that content from showing in Rich Results.
ERRORS on the other hand, are serious, so if you have any of those you'll want to fix ASAP because a card with errors is not eligible for Rich Results.
Adding Recommended Products to HowTo Cards
Like the recipe card option, you can also add in affiliate items to be featured at the end of the card. Entering the Product along with the Product URL to each item and selecting “Process” will scrape the information for the product!
If you don't like the image that is pulled, or an image isn't available, you can manually upload one by clicking the image on the product area.
You can also include a video within your card.
SEO & Social Media
Next comes the SEO & Social Media section. This section is super important for the SEO performance of your card.
Just enter a variety of relevant Keywords that apply to your How-To card.
You can also link your Pinterest URL, Image, and Description. You'll only want to enter a Pinterest URL if you want the URL of the Pin generated via the Create Card's Pin button to go to a URL other than the post the card lives on (the canonical post).
If a Pinterest Image isn't set, the Pin button on the Create card will use whatever you set as the card's featured image.
This section will include a few tools that you can utilize to maximize the performance of your How-To card.
For this section, you will want to select the post that this specific How-To card is MOST relevant to (i.e. the post that the card was created for). This section is extremely important because it impacts your How-To card’s schema. Schema is only output on the canonical post.
This allows you to make an exact copy of the current card. Useful for projects that are variations of each other so you do not have to start from scratch. Make sure to make enough significant changes to the card so that it will be unique.
This allows you to test the schema markup of your Create card to ensure that it’s optimally set up for schema and Google search results. It gives you actionable tips for improvement if any information is missing within your card.
Gives you a preview of what the printed version of the card will look like.
The CSS Class is used by designers if you want to make custom alterations to your card.
The Custom Affiliate Message is what you can set if your affiliate program that is used in the Recommended Products section has specific language that needs to be added.
The Final Product
You’ve done it! You now have a How-To card fully marked up for Google schema. If you are a Mediavine publisher, the ad placement within your How-To card is automatically targeted and set up to earn! Hooray!