Search engines have changed significantly over the years with new features being added every now and then. One of the most popular features today is the Google’s Quick Answers box. You probably have seen it but may not have paid much attention to it. This is a box located above the first organic search results but below the paid listings.
The purpose of the Quick Answers box is to give you answers to a search query without having to open the link. The answer you get is scraped from one of the high ranked pages. The Quick Answers box usually appears for queries that start with ‘what is’ and ‘how to’.
Examples of the Quick Answers Box
- How to cook Spanish omelette
- How to buy a car
What are the benefits of Google’s Quick Answers box?
The reason for Quick Answers box is to increase mobile search as well as to improve user experience. Google recognizes that most searches are made using handheld devices with most people not wanting lengthy explanations to queries.
Although this is a good thing for the users, it does not help publishers much. Visitors don’t have to open the link to learn more. Even so, all is not lost for you as a publisher. The Quick Answers box is not bad for your website.
When the SERP contains an answer box, the rank structure is automatically shifted. This means the website whose content is featured in the answer box will have the top position and outrank other pages. If the answer is good, people will want to learn more. This automatically increases your traffic. The Quick Answers box helps quality content rank better.
With the Quick Answers box in place, it does not matter how much your click volume drops, you will benefit in an unconventional way. People searching for answers using certain phrases may not have heard about your company until they see it in the answer box. Even if they don’t end up clicking through, they will see your brand and associate it with their question. This is basically free advertising.
If your content has been featured on top of SERP, Google definitely considers your page to contain useful answers. It will also consider your website to be authoritative in relation to the searched query. This means that both your content and your brand is trustworthy.
How does Google decide what to show in the quick answer?
If you are thinking of getting your content featured in the Quick Answers box, you have to start by understanding how Google chooses what to show. To give speedy results, Google restricts the number of pages it scrapes. The highest ranked pages get preference. The first thing you need to do, therefore, is to invest in SEO to boost your ranking.
After achieving a high ranking, the Google algorithm will mostly consider your pages’:
- Backlink profile; this includes your domain
- Evidence of user engagement such as bounce rate and time spent on the page
- Relevance of your content to the search
- Structuring of your content in a logical and hierarchical way
How can you get your content featured in the answers box?
Whether people end up opening your link or not, being featured in the Quick Answers box has its benefits as you saw earlier. Your next step now is learning how to get your content featured. There are a couple of things you need to do for this to happen.
- Have the title tags and URL match the target query. For example, if you wish to give answers on how to buy a UHD TV, you need to use a title tag that has a phrase like ‘how to buy a UHD TV’. Your URL should also contain a similar phrase such as domain.com/how-to-buy-a-UHD-TV.
- Target ‘what is’, ‘how to’ and ‘how do you’ phrases. Most of the queries that trigger the Quick Answers box are those that start with these phrases. What is more is that answers to such queries are unlikely to satisfy the user with a short answer. People have to open the link to learn more. You, therefore, transform the answer box into a gateway to your website.
- Make your target question the H1 and use a short paragraph to give an answer. Use one sentence or two and enclose it with the <p> tags. For queries answered in points, don’t forget to use the appropriate list tags (<ul> or <ol>.
- Don’t be scared of using striking images. Images can also be featured in the answer box. The command attention.
- Give in-depth answer to the question. You will enjoy better ranking if your page gives a more comprehensive answer than other pages. What is more is that the answer in the answer box will just serve as a teaser that compels customers to open the link.
Being featured in the Google’s Quick Answers box is important. However, considering other publishers are competing for the spot, you must never cut corners. Your objective should be to stand out from the crowd.
Derek Iwasiuk runs a national digital SEO company based in Minneapolis. He also takes pride in offering some of the best services to help website visibility in the global market. Feel free to follow him on twitter @Diwasiuk