Feature Image Credits: Flickr
Organic search, page optimisation, keyword research, search engine results pages and ranking are words that keep ringing in our mind when we think about search engine optimisation or SEO.
The evolution of digital marketing came about with SEO. Although in the past few years digital marketing has seen the introduction of marketing tactics such as pay-per-click campaigns, SEO continues to be popular in the digital marketing world for the simple reason that it is simple, yet challenging. Bloggers are constantly trying to improve and perfect SEO tips and tricks because SEO is a game changer and each new strategy opens up a world of opportunities.
SEO is important in creating stunning content, and stunning content is the cornerstone of effective content marketing.
SEO is constantly evolving in how, when and where it can be used, and if you are keeping up with the latest news, you will notice that Google is almost always redefining practices to implement SEO effectively. Just recently, brands have discovered a completely new way to implement SEO by optimising their websites for what is known as the Google Answer Box. It is completely changing the way brands approach SEO at present.
This brings us to an important question.
What is a Google Answer Box?
The Internet is always at our disposal. This makes it so much easier to ask questions and find answers. People simply type in everything from the most basic queries to complex questions in the Google search box and voila! The answer is staring at you no later than a few seconds.
If you are a person who frequently has a number of questions for Google, you might have noticed that each time you type in a search query, a text snippet with high visibility pops up right at the very top of the search engine results page. This is nothing but the Google Answer Box. These text snippets have had so much impact on search results that brands are now trying to optimise their website for the Google Answer Box.
Why is the Google Answer Box important?
Google always picks out only the most relevant content in answer to a user’s search query. The content that appears in the answer box is highly relevant and is based on meaningful keywords and behavioural models. In addition to this, the text is highly visible. These two factors play a crucial role in increasing the click-through rate and web traffic.
So, if a business manages to beat hundreds of other businesses and gets their content in the answer box, it automatically attracts more users to their website, thus increasing the likelihood of profitable conversions.
How to get your content featured in the Google Answer Box?
It’s all about the keywords
To appear in the Google Answer Box, it is important to note that the text snippets always appear as an answer to a question. So, it is crucial to identify keywords that have a query in them. The query can be explicit or implicit. For instance, when the search query is “What is SEO?” the question is explicit, and it is easy to provide a suitable answer. But your content should also be able to answer an implicit query such as “SEO definition.” In this case, there is no question visibly, but it is a search query that demands an answer nonetheless.
You need to narrow down the trending keywords and check how your competitors are doing when it comes to keyword research. The important thing is to identify all possible triggers.
Image Credits: Pixabay
It’s more than just an answer
Google is always looking for ways to present the content as effectively as possible to the user. If your content is well-optimised and answers a search query with relevant keywords, you stand a chance of being picked by Google. This chance improves if you can add other elements like infographics, images and videos that are highly relevant to the search query. The addition of such elements enhances user experience, and the content becomes more effective in reaching out to the masses.
Try the Wiki way
You might have noticed that a large number of text snippets in the answer box are taken from Wikipedia. This tells us that if you are featured on Wikipedia, you have a higher chance of being picked by Google. Wiki helps you score your space in the answer box.
How has Google Answer Boxes impacted different industries?
It was not only until 2016 that brands began recognising the importance of the Google Answer Box in increasing website traffic. Ever since then, different brands from different industries are constantly trying to optimise their content so as to be featured in the answer box.
Take a look at some of these examples.
Research conducted for desktop websites revealed that 15.4% of the answer box results were dominated by Wikipedia. This can be attributed to the fact that Wikipedia has always focused on giving their users even the most minute details to a query. Wikipedia pages are accurately formatted, and often, relevant keywords are used as many times possible without keyword stuffing. A combination of all these factors makes Wikipedia content the best answer to most search queries which is why it gets featured more than any other websites in the Google Answer Box.
Image Credits: Pixabay
Not far behind, from the health industry is WebMD. Again, this health-oriented website has answers to most health or medical billing-related questions that users have. WebMD understands that when a user asks a question related to the medical field, the answers should be detailed, yet simple enough to understand. Over the years, WebMD has evolved to become one of the most popular patient sources for information. The simple representation of information and the use of relevant keywords that do not confuse the user has led to WebMD occupying 2.5% of the Google Answer Box results.
When it comes to finance, you can see that most answers to your finance-related questions are taken from Investopedia. In fact, 0.6% of Google Answer Box results are dominated by Investopedia. The data and metrics in Investopedia are suitable for users and answer financial queries in the most effective way possible. Investopedia provides a unique user experience because of which it is one of the most popular finance sites to appear in the Google Answer Box.
Looking at all these examples, we can see that all of these websites have one thing in common. The content in these websites answers the why, who, where, when, what and how of a search query. This means that the content is highly relevant and contains the crucial keyword phrases.
The more precise the content is and the better it matches to a search query, the higher are the chances of the content appearing in the answer box.