Have you asked Google a question lately? Depending on what you typed into the search box, the answer may have appeared in Google’s Answer box — the search engines informational box located at the top of the results page.
Although this useful tool has been in existence for quite some time now, it was only recently that the search engine giant decided to make it more widespread. Asking questions related to recipes, maps, unit conversions and event listings will now appear in the Rich Answer box.
Can You Optimize for Google’s Rich Answer Box?
With Google making this tool more of a priority in order to improve user experience, it will no doubt be important for SEOs to optimize their pages.
The first step to optimizing a website for the Rich Answer box is to think outside the box. No doubt you and your competitors have covered the easy-to-discuss topics related to your industry. To get your site to “position zero” you should strive to cover more difficult, complex questions that your users are asking.
Next it’s time to conduct some keyword research. Check out some of the questions your audience is asking that you will be able to extensively answer. Using Keyword Planner you will be able to see a long list of queries. Simply use the “Keyword options” search customization feature and type in words such as “how,” “why,” or “when.”
Another alternative to finding out what your audience is asking is to simply ask an industry-related question in a search engine. Queries such as “how can I lose weight” will no doubt generate a lengthy list of long-tail keyword questions to choose from.
Keeping the User in Mind
No matter how complex the question is that you are answering, always be very clear in the answer. According to recent studies, our attention spans have decreased from 12 seconds to eight in the past 13 years. Don’t forget about the importance of Google’s Panda algorithm which rewards sites for quality content.
Don’t forget about your H1 tags as well. Having the question typed out in full as your H1 tag will help Google’s bots crawl your site faster and they will be more inclined to pull up your page for users who use the search query.
One way to pop up in position zero is to develop an FAQ section for your blog. This is a great sub-category to answer all your user’s pressing questions. Internal linking throughout your FAQ post to other related questions your users might have will also keep users on your site longer.