Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) nowadays don’t just list ranked websites. The addition of the People Also Ask Google feature has made the search experience more interactive for web users. The feature has piqued the interest of digital marketers and has changed the way content is created. Since its addition to the Google search engine, search engine optimization (SEO) experts have sought different strategies to optimize its benefits to improve website visibility on search results pages.
The position of the PAA questions has become integral in search engine optimization. In this article, we will talk about how to utilize this feature to improve your digital marketing strategy.
What Is People Also Ask by Google?
Google started integrating the People Also Ask feature into its search engine results in 2015. Also known as a “People Also Search for” box by search engine optimization (SEO) experts, People Also Ask is an interactive search result in query format. Questions that are shown in a PAA box are related to the keyword, phrase, or sentence you originally searched for on the Google search engine. In other words, the People Also Ask section of your search engine results will display questions that are relevant to your search query. In fact, you might even find the answer you are looking for in a People Also Ask Box box.
Initially, a “People Also Ask for” (PAA) box may contain three to four questions. As you click on each PAA question, more questions will appear. Answers will display as small snippets of the pages they link to. Upon clicking on a PAA question snippet, it will expand to show you the content, the link, the title, and the meta description of that page.
Where Does a People Also Ask Box Show on SERPs?
The placement of a People Also Ask box on search engine results pages (SERPs) varies, so it is difficult to predict its location. Sometimes, a PAA box can appear right after the top result. In this case, the PAA feature can greatly affect the flow of organic searches for web users. On some occasions, the People Also Ask Box box may appear before your website link, which can result in web users getting lost in an endless loop of related questions and answers. However, if your website link appears in a PAA box, it can greatly change the organic search traffic of your website.
Why Is People Also Ask Important in Digital Marketing?
There are many reasons why you should consider utilizing Google’s People Also Ask feature and integrating it into your digital marketing strategy. The feature can help your website secure long-term top positions on search engine results. If you are aiming to increase your website’s organic visitors, People Also Ask can also boost organic traffic. If your content is PAA-optimized, it can help your website secure a place in a People Also Ask box. This is greatly a game-changer, especially if your website is not organically ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). Aside from this obvious advantage, here are more reasons why the People Also Ask feature is important in digital marketing:
- PAA increases the reach of your top-of-funnel marketing.
- provides better answers for branded search queries.
- PAA improves both organic and paid SERP ranking.
- PAA increases your chance of appearing on Featured Snippets.
- PAA allows you to use the market competition to your advantage.
Let’s examine each benefit below.
PAA Increases the Reach of Your Top-of-Funnel Marketing
Top-of-funnel marketing is a marketing process wherein you seek to capture as many leads as possible by reaching out to a wide audience. Customers at this stage are only looking for information. Therefore, the purpose of the top of the funnel is simply to increase brand awareness and generate leads. If your brand appears on a People Also Ask box, you are given the opportunity to entice customers with informative, brief, and easy-to-understand answers to their queries.
PAA Provides Better Answers for Branded Search Queries
In a nutshell, a branded query is a search engine query that contains a brand name as one of its keywords. Searches that include a brand, product, or domain are all under this category. A branded query may also include the physical location of a store. This is in contrast with non-branded queries wherein customers are only looking for products or services they need that you happen to offer.
Branded queries tend to have lower search volume as they are already at the bottom of the marketing funnel. This means that customers looking for branded queries are already at the end of their purchasing journey. Because of this, they are important in digital marketing as they can make or break a potential sale. People Also Ask can help you make sure your brand is represented in the best light.
PAA Improves Both Organic and Paid SERP Ranking
Search engine results pages (SERPs) are Google’s response to web users’ search queries. These pages have the tendency to include organic search results, paid Google Ads, Featured Snippets, Knowledge Graphs, and video results. The most important categories are the organic and paid results.
The organic results are listings of website links that appear on SERPs due to search engine optimization. These results are determined by Google’s algorithm. While organic results are “earned”, paid results are those that have been paid to be displayed by a web advertiser. These results are from advertisers bidding on keywords via Google Ads.
By appearing in a People Also Ask box, websites can improve their credibility and trustworthiness to Google’s algorithm. This way, websites with low authority can increase their impressions and clicks as well as the probability of ranking higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).
PAA Increases Your Chance of Appearing in Featured Snippets
As mentioned above, search engine results pages (SERPs) tend to show different types of results. One of these categories is the Featured Snippets. A Featured Snippet appears as a highlighted snippet of text, list, table, and/or video at the top of the first Google search engine results page. This part of the SERP is also called “Position 0”.
In a nutshell, Featured Snippets provide web users with a quick and concise answer to their search query. Google shows Featured Snippets above the organic search results, and there can only be one Featured Snippet box per SERP. Since Featured Snippets are more prominently placed on a search engine results page, websites that appear in the Featured Snippet box can expect more organic traffic. Most of the time, the answers showcased in the Featured Snippets are taken from the People Also Ask results. Therefore, if your content is PAA-friendly, your website has a better chance of appearing in a Featured Snippet box.
PAA Allows You to Use the Market Competition to Your Advantage
Long bygone are the days when you have to rely on presumptions and speculations in creating content for your website. Nowadays, you have to be more proactive with your content strategy. By having a better and deeper understanding of People Also Ask questions, you will gain a competitive edge over your competitors and be able to make data-driven decisions. You will know which of your competitor brands have higher or lower visibility on PAA boxes and what types of queries they are showing for.
How Do You Make Your Website’s Content PAA-Friendly?
To make your website’s content appear on People Also Ask boxes, you can’t just create content and hope for the best. With today’s ever-increasing competition to be visible on SERPs, you need to be proactive and initiate a doable action plan. Here are some suggestions that you can follow to optimize your content for People Also Ask boxes and turn impressions into actual clicks:
- Look for opportunities in SERPs.
- Have a better understanding of your target audience’s intent.
- Work on on-page content optimization.
- Search popular People Also Ask (PAA) questions.
- Incorporate semantic-rich search terms into your website’s content.
- Add FAQ schema.
- Utilize jump links to directly take web users to answers on your website.
Let’s take a look at these steps in more detail below.
Look for Opportunities in SERPs
The search engine results pages (SERPs) themselves can provide you with information on how to be featured as an answer to a People Also Ask a question. You can do this by optimizing your content to answer relevant questions that show up for a lot of keywords related to your business. But before that, you need to determine if the keywords you are targeting have a strong potential for People Also Ask optimization. In other words, you need to identify which of your target keywords can trigger People Also Ask questions.
Have a Better Understanding of Your Target Audience’s Intent
The People Also Ask feature makes Google search journey more exciting for users. It automatically recommends related queries on each question that you click. This has the potential of leading you deeper into your search intent or taking you in a completely different direction. Because the Google search engine relies heavily on semantics, it relies on the meaning of words, phrases, sentences, or texts to anticipate the web user’s next questions. With this in mind, you must focus not only on the keywords but also on the possible intent of the users who will find your content. When creating content for your website, you should add related details that you know will be useful to your target audience.
Work on On-Page Content Optimization
Quality and relevance are extremely important when it comes to getting your content rank in the People Also Ask boxes. Therefore, you should make it a point to observe a clear structure and proper formatting in presenting your content. You must do your research on what content format Google expects and keep yourself updated, as web standards tend to change every now and then. For instance, you must use clear headings (H2, H3, etc.) and minimize, if not avoid, page errors. Remember, a messy content structure can confuse Google and cause you to lose potential clients.
Search Popular People Also Ask (PAA) Questions
There are many ways in which you can optimize your utilization of the People Also Ask feature. One strategy is to get a grasp of what questions your target audience might ask after their initial query. With this information, you can tweak your content to address these questions.
So, how do you do this? You can get started by examining your own business website. Identify the pages with high-ranking search keywords and research the most popular People Also Ask questions related to them. If a People Also Ask question is showing up on the PAA box for other keywords, then that PAA question has great potential for content optimization.
Incorporate Semantic-Rich Search Terms into your Website’s Content
The Google search engine uses Contextual Search to populate its People Also Ask boxes. As a digital marketer, this means you need to integrate semantic-rich search keywords into your website’s content. This can help expand your reach as your content has the potential to bring out more related questions. When doing your keyword research, you need to identify which of your keywords are triggering People Also Ask questions. Aside from expanding your reach, adding semantic-rich terms also support your content by providing more depth and context.
Add FAQ Schema
A FAQ schema is a specialized markup you can add to your website’s code that contains a list of questions and answers. Google uses this markup to generate rich snippets on search engine results pages (SERPs). These snippets can help you increase your click-through rates or CTR, help Google crawl your site, and help your brand claim for more search results pages.
A carefully created FAQ page can help your website rank higher on search engines and bring more organic traffic to your site. Collate questions based on your target audience’s search practices and habits and provide credible answers to these queries on your FAQ page. The most important thing of all, this can also help your website’s content rank on People Also Ask boxes.
Utilize Jump Links to Directly Take Web Users to Answers on Your Website
Jump links, or anchor links, are links that direct the user to a specific section of a page rather than to the page itself. They are often used to link to sections or elements that are located further down the page for faster access.
When optimizing your content for the People Also Ask feature, you must see to it that even the most inexperienced user will be able to find the words, phrases, sentences, or texts they are looking for right away. This can help improve your bounce rate and make it easier for Google to crawl and index your website. One way to do this is by adding a table of contents embedded with jump links on the top of a page where it is applicable or necessary.
How SERP Monitoring Helps with PAA Ranking
Through SERP monitoring, businesses can track their results and rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). The process allows you to keep track of each SERP component, such as the search intent, category, region, and ad placement. SERP monitoring provides you with valuable insights that are useful not only for getting your content to rank on People Also Ask boxes but also for improving your website’s online visibility. In terms of PAA optimization, SERP monitoring helps you minimize wasted efforts and resources since you know which questions to focus on. By targeting the right questions and optimizing your content to answer them, your website has a higher chance of ranking on the People Also Ask boxes.
How Does People Also Ask Help with Search Engine Optimization?
What is PAA in SEO? Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of improving your website’s visibility on search engines when users search for products or services that you offer or are related to your line of business. In principle, the more visible your web pages are, the more likely you are to attract potential customers.
With this in mind, by seeking to rank in People Also Ask boxes, you are basically optimizing your website’s content for search engines like Google. Since almost 50% of search engine result pages (SERPs) also show People Also Ask results, it is crucial to consider PAA optimization a major part of your overall SEO strategy. So, how do you integrate People Also Ask questions into your SEO efforts? Here are some tips:
- Come up with better ideas for your content.
- Research more keywords.
- Repurpose old content.
Come up with Better Ideas for Your Content
Understanding how the People Also Ask feature works can give you insights into what your target audience wants to know. It can help you understand their intentions and discover what people are asking about. Incorporating answers that respond to PAA questions can add more depth to your content. However, simply adding them to your web pages is not enough. You need to present them in a way that is still engaging for users. PAA-optimized content should not appear or feel forced for the sake of improving search rankings.
Research More Keywords
To rank in People Also Ask boxes, it is crucial that you just don’t focus on your primary keywords. You must also get new keywords to target for content optimization. How do you research more keywords? You can get started by doing conventional keyword research. Many People Also Ask questions that may not have high search volumes. However, if you use any of these questions as your main query, you may find websites with high search engine rankings. Once you have identified these websites, the next step is to analyze them and determine the keywords that they are ranking for. Do this for more PAA questions, and you will get more topic and keyword ideas that you can use for your business website.
Repurpose Old Content
If your business website has been around for quite some time, chances are you already have many old content pieces that you have created and optimized for search engine optimization. These pieces of content may no longer be relevant in the present, but you can use People Also Ask questions to bring back their relevance. Most questions that appear on PAA boxes are some of the most relevant inquiries in relation to the initial inquiry. By refreshing your old content, you can stay relevant and target users’ intent.
What’s the Takeaway?
Indeed, the People Also Ask feature has become an integral part of a web user’s journey on Google. With People Also Ask questions getting more popular these days, you must get started in optimizing the use of this feature for your digital marketing efforts as soon as possible. Getting your business website to appear in People Also Ask boxes offers plenty of benefits, such as boosting your website traffic, improving your customers’ awareness of your brand, and increasing your overall online visibility, among others. You can make your SEO strategy move forward by ranking popular keywords and creating engaging content for your clients.
Getting You Started
Before you can start optimizing for People Also Ask boxes, you must have a business website first. While template and drag-and-drop website builders may seem convenient for those setting up their website for the first time, this can potentially limit your growth and cause you to miss out on plenty of marketing opportunities as a brand. To make the most of your appearance on search engine results pages and People Also Ask boxes, your business website should be responsive, user-friendly, and inviting. This way, web users who happen to find it will stay and be interested in learning more about who you are as a brand and what you have to offer them.
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