For the SEO marketer, there’s few experiences more gratifying that seeing a client’s website in Google’s Answer Box. But taking that pride of position and enjoying the visibility that comes with it, requires a new form of SEO optimisation.
Here we take a look at the most effective tips for getting your content seen as part of Google’s ‘top priority’ listing.
What is Google Answer Box?
Unless you’re a technophobe with no experience of using the web, you’re likely to have come across Google Answer Box countless times. Thanks to the more intuitive algorithm updates in recent years, it’s become an integral part of day to day browsing.
Type in a command in the search bar and Google will most likely show an answer box as the first listing. Search for ‘How to fit wall tiles’ and a snippet is shown from DIY brand Wickes with a shortened version of the content.
It’s confused many SEO practitioners who can’t see the reasoning behind displaying information without having to click through to the site. Why would a user would be inclined to visit a site if all the required answers are visible from the search engine?
But this is missing the point entirely. The brief summary gives only a snippet of the information which should be enough to encourage users to click through. And the credibility factor from having Google choose your website as the priority listing should surely be enough to warrant the effort of optimising for Google Answer Box.
Optimising your content
While there’s plenty to be said on this subject, the most salient objective is to keep content organised and easily accessible. It’s often those sites which present data in the most structured and simplistic manner that are chosen for Google Answer Box. Take for example Wikipedia which employs structured data, uses plenty of nouns and links to other sites (where relevant).
Clearly the layout of information is important, but that’s not the only aspect to consider. Quick answers are always chosen from high authority sites. In other words, websites which have an impressive audience thanks to their super relevant content.
It’s never been more important to narrow down your niche and focus on the most important topics within your industry. Do anything in your power to understand the needs of your customer whether through focus groups or online surveys.
Once you’ve chosen your topic (s), structure the page with the user in mind. How would they want to be presented with the text and what parts would bullet points or graphs be useful? Always, define a how-to list if possible, including the phrase ‘how to’ for optimisation.
Finally, go back to basics and implement the tried and tested SEO practises. That includes theme relevant cross linking, linking to other reputable sites and other technical SEO practices. While there’s no guarantee that you’ll take that coveted position, it’s worth optimising for general SEO purposes. Who knows, you may get lucky and enjoy the huge influx of traffic that comes from appearing in Google Answer Box.