Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
The People Also Ask area is a great tool for both searchers and content creators alike. It can easily provide answers and ideas across a vast spectrum of content. So, how do you get your posts included as answers?
Well, that depends on the competition and how well you can quickly breakdown the solution.
What is “People Also Ask” in Google?
The People Also Ask portion of Google is where the search engine shows results that are relevant to your search phrase. Using relevant keyword content on the Internet, Google displays common questions people ask.
It is different than the Featured Snippet section, and it’s possible to have both available in any given search.
By answering questions searchers have, a piece of content can be added to this list of answers.
How to Get Into the People Also Ask Section
Getting added to the PAA doesn’t have to be a strenuous activity. In reality, it all depends on whether you can provide a better, short answer to the question.
Now, there’s no guarantee that your answer will be the one Google chooses. After all, the algorithm has a lot of moving parts that Google does not disclose.
However, you can vastly improve your chances by:
1. Examine Your Search Term in Google
Decide on a keyphrase you want to aim for in search results. It appears that long-tail phrases are easier to rank for and often have a higher click-through rate.
Run a basic search on that keyphrase to see what comes up. In this example, I’m going to search for “what is composting.”
As you can see, the People Also Ask section is near the top, beaten out only by the #1 result.
These answers can come from a wide range of websites, and not all of them are located on the first page of Google. In fact, I’ve seen answers from sites that were much further down the list in Google.
2. Analyze What is Showing as Results
Take a look at what people are asking for and expand the answers. When you do, more relevant questions will appear in the People Also Ask section. These are often connected to the question you’re expanding.
For this tutorial, I’m going to pick a question I want to answer in my blog post.
As each question expands, Google will display additional ones. You can find yourself going down a pretty deep rabbit hole in Google. It reminds me of playing six degrees of YouTube back in the mid-2000s.
You never know where you’ll end up.
3. Find a Question that Best Fits Your Content Idea
Because of how the People Also Ask section works, you might need to sift through a few expanded questions to find one that best fits your content idea.
It is possible for you to answer as many questions as you can. However, you still want to make sure that all of those are relevant to the entire piece you’re writing.
In other words, not all of the questions you expand will fit a specific piece of content. That is unless you plan on writing a massive eBook.
Depending on the topic, I’ll try to answer two or three of these questions that best fit the content. It’s kind of like hedging your bets at roulette.
4. How Can You Write a Better Answer?
Now comes the tricky part. Are you better at creating an answer than is already available?
No one can say for sure what Google deems as a “good answer” as that would be revealing the algorithm. However, using long-tail keyphrases to answer specifics is what works best for me.
Part of creating a better answer in People Also Ask is making sure you get to the point as quickly as possible. This means you don’t want to have any fluff or filler in your answers.
Aim for two to four sentences if possible, which will include the search terms and phrases. I also find that using third-person writing helps slim down the answer and makes it appear better.
Take note of what words are in bold in an answer. These are relevant terms to the question and can help focus your answer to specifics.
This is part of latent semantic indexing.
5. Use Proper Format in Your Content
And lastly, pay attention to how answers are formatted in People Also Ask. This means using relevant headers before the question to help guide Google’s crawler or adding specific text to highlight the content.
In some cases, all you would need to do is have a relevant title. As in the image above, the title of the post itself leads one to the answer of the question.
However, you can use headers within your content in the same fashion, as long as it’s relevant.
One thing you can do is visit the page’s answer and see how the competition set up their content to appear in the PAA. Don’t copy what they created, but use the formatting as a way to get ideas about how you can make it better.
Why Should You Care About People Also Ask?
There is conflicting evidence for the People Also Ask section of Google. Some experts have data that demonstrates the PAA improves clicks to the web page while others state how providing the answer in Google means the visitor doesn’t have to open your website.
Personally, I’m on the side that it does help. In fact, the pages that I have in the PAA section are some of the most popular on all of my blogs.
And getting clicks isn’t the only reason you should care about this area of search.
In reality, answering these questions may also help any visitors who find your content through other search terms. This can improve sharing on social media, repeat visitation, or even gaining email subscribers.
This is because you’re demonstrating authority by providing answers people need. Coincidentally, this is also a search factor for visibility…authority.
What it all boils down to is that you cannot go wrong by providing as many relevant details about any topic you write about.
How Can You Use People Also Ask for Content Ideas?
Answering questions and getting clicks isn’t the only purpose of the People Also Ask section. In fact, it can lead to a wide variety of content ideas for yourself or clients, if you’re a freelance writer.
Because the PAA will keep expanding into relevant terms, you can gain quite a long list of potential material. Nearly every question can result in an entire blog post about the topic.
You can go so far as to combine several questions into a single piece of content.
In the end, a single long-tail search term can lead to a near-endless supply of content from People Also Ask. Even if you never appear in this section of Google, your target audience may still appreciate the substance.
Add Your Content to People Also Ask
Whether it’s getting clicks, content ideas, or domain visibility, the People Also Ask section is a treasure trove for creators. From blog posts to video content, providing informative details is where it’s at.
Provide the answers people and Google want to read.
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