There’s absolutely no doubt that Google is the Meryl Streep of the search engine market. It’s become such a powerhouse that jokes like what’s the most searched word on Bing…Google have become commonplace.
And with Google being the most visited website in the world, it’s no surprise that it holds 91.9 percent of the market share. One of the main reasons for Google’s dominance is it continues to level up its search engine results page (SERP).
Google’s introduction of its “People Also Ask” (PAA) feature has become one of the most visible elements of current SERPs. The PAA box is a productive way to present relevant information, and here at Embarque, we’ll delve into how it can boost your rankings.
Let’s get started!
What is the People Also Ask box?
The “People Also Ask” box is a dynamic question-and-answer feature that Google first introduced in April 2015. The application unearths additional questions that link to the topic you’re searching for.
Google proactively suggests questions and answers that relate to your original search query. It’s worth noting Google’s answers are direct and to the point. It also boasts external links to the web page that hosts the answers.
On top of the standard list of links, PAA boxes occupy a large amount of Google real estate. PAA answers are presented as text, images, bullet points, tables, and videos. It’s Google’s way of lending a helping hand and steering you in the right direction.
How PAA boxes work
Google’s PAA box gives websites the opportunity for page-one visibility. According to a SEMrush study, the most common types of queries that trigger PAA boxes are question words. Question words include what, why, when, where, and who.
Google gathers answers for PAA boxes from existing websites. Using trends and search algorithms, Google links to the web pages best suited to the initial search. Research shows that over 85 percent of PAA results appear within the top three search results.
Clicking on a PAA question automatically generates additional related questions, so users can either perform an in-depth search into their initial search query or go off on a new relatable tangent.
Why is ranking in PAA boxes important?
Users who engage with PAA boxes are generally in the research phase of their digital journey. As these users are still exploring, it's the perfect opportunity to provide crystal-clear content that entices potential customers.
With Google showcasing PAA boxes in a highly-visible space, it’s providing sites credibility by shining a light on their content. So not only does it increase your visibility, but it increases conversion too!
While there’s very little data surrounding PAA box optimization, the fact that it connects you with people who want an answer is invaluable. Let’s take a look at some other PAA box benefits to consider.
- Increases visibility
Even if you rank fifth on Google’s first page of results, the search engine may still add your content to the PAA box. Effectively allowing you to rank twice on the same page! So the chance of users engaging with your links doubles in seconds.
PAA boxes also provide results that are most relevant to your content, so you can research and adapt your posts to fit your competitors and improve search visibility.
- Drive traffic to your site
As we all know, ranking on Google’s first page is difficult. If you’re not comfortable with SEO copywriting, driving traffic to your site can be a daunting experience, especially as 75 percent of people never scroll past the first results page.
Thankfully, the PAA box doesn’t consider your rankings. So even if you rank on page two or three, featuring in the PAA box means you appear on page one! Just by answering a common search query, you’re leveraging yourself into a better position to drive traffic.
- Better conversions
As we have touched on above, featuring in the PAA box increases your visibility, and with visibility comes higher conversions. Analyzing popular queries helps you understand the most relevant keywords so you can appear more often.
According to one study, only three percent of users interact with PAA boxes. But as it’s still in its infancy, these statistics should be taken with a pinch of salt. Also, we need to consider that Google might use your page as a source for multiple answers, so search queries, impressions, and clicks can soon mount up.
How to rank in “People Also Ask” boxes?
Now we’ve come to the question you’re all waiting for…how to rank in “People Also Ask” boxes?
While there’s no exact ranking formula or process, it's best to remember Google is helping people with PAA in the most efficient way possible. So featuring in PAA is all about relevancy and understanding your audience.
And while its benefits are still unclear, there are clear advantages in trying, especially if Google considers you a good authority on particular topics. Let’s delve into the steps needed to improve your chances.
1. Research your keywords
Just like any marketing campaign, SEO keyword research should be at the front and center of your strategy. And while it’s not necessary to find every keyword relating to PAA, you’ll need to target the most popular keywords to rank.
Firstly, keyword tools such as Ahrefs uncover low-difficulty, high-vlume keywords found in your niche, giving you an idea of what you should target. Once you have this info, you can begin crafting effective PAA content.
2. Compile a list of recurring PAA questions
For this step, it’s worth remembering Google uses the same PAA source for multiple search queries. So if your content is relevant and popular, Google will consider you an expert and link to your site more often.
So now that you’re equipped with a list of keywords, you need to know which questions are showing up in the PAA boxes for your keywords. While you can brainstorm and compile a list of in-demand questions, there are tools which can point you in the right direction.
Nozzle’s PAA tool provides a list of PAA questions relating to your keyword set. Once you have a list of questions, you can begin crafting answers. In the eyes of Google, you’ll be an expert in no time.
3. Consider your headlines
Now you’re aware of the questions that need answering, creating content that revolves around your keywords comes next. At this stage, it’s worth remembering your SERP ranking relies on an algorithm, so you need to be familiar with how Google ranks content.
It seems obvious, but your content must answer the question. It doesn’t pay to beat around the bush because Google prefers content that’s easy to find. When writing for PAA boxes, it’s best to create content for human users and web crawlers.
A web crawler is an internet bot that automatically searches and catalogs website content. And if you’re familiar with SEO, you’ll already know Google loves an accessible layout. So make sure your headings are descriptive and contain keywords.
4. Optimize your content
Users want instant search results with zero waffle, and PAA boxes are no different. When tailoring your PAA content, your intro should cover the basics quickly so users get to the heart and soul of your posts within seconds.
In the paragraphs that follow your intro, you can perform a deep dive into your question. Include formatting techniques such as lists, tables, videos, and paragraphs to improve user experience and readability.
Content should also include additional info relating to your question, meaning users are more likely to stay on your page. Adhering to the format Google expects boosts online visibility. If you’re not sure what format to follow, check out some popular Google posts.
5. Create FAQ Schema
To increase your chance of writing a successful blog post, including a FAQ section goes a long way. FAQs collect questions based on searches and provide efficient solutions. This not only helps your ranking, but it brings organic traffic to your site.
Think of it as a chance to show off your authority. By defining your top questions through a dedicated FAQ section or page, you can provide answers with statistics and data that promote you as a credible source in the eyes of Google.
Once you know how to target Google’s “People Also Ask” feature, you can leverage your content and gain a competitive advantage. When Google considers you an authority, clicks and conversions will begin to multiply.
Focusing on valuable keywords will boost your rankings and improve your brand awareness. If you would like more assistance with high-quality SEO strategy, Embarque has the tools to help. Check out our dynamic copywriting services and expand your digital reach today!