It’s a goal for any content creator to have their work featured in Google’s Answer Box. Not only is it a brilliant tactic to drive more traffic and engagement, but it’s also a fantastic way to build trust between the writer and the reader, especially if the answer that’s given is correct, accurate and matches other professional answers on the internet.
Therefore, the reader might look at your content in the future. For example, let’s say you run a blog for a windows and doors company and you publish an article about why it’s important to have wooden windows replaced and it appears in the Answer Box; someone might be searching for that specific question and see your answer.
If the answer to their question is right and not dissimilar to other pieces of information on the same topic, then they’ll likely look at your blog again if they have any questions about new windows or doors. This is because they can trust your content based on one appearance in the Google Answer Box. But what is the Google Answer box and how can you feature in it?
Google added a new feature to their Search Engine Results Page (SERP) in 2015 – the Answer Box. It’s featured at the top of every results page when a query is searched for through the Google search engine. Essentially, as the name would suggest, it’s a box that sits at the top of the SERP with a snippet of information in it that should quickly answer the question you have searched for using the Google search engine.
When clicked on, it’ll bring you to the content that has answered your question, but it often displays entire articles or journal excerpts as opposed to that specific answer you have been looking for. However, the answer that appeared in the Google Answer box will sit somewhere within that content, but the entire text is available should you wish to learn more about the topic or make reference/give credit to the source.
As a result, it’s no wonder that it’s become every marketer’s dream to have their content appear in the Answer Box. Since its debut in 2015, the Answer Box has been used as a way for marketers to improve SEO results, this is because the content that features in the Answer Box ranks first organically. In turn, internet searches are far more likely to click the link that appears in the Answer Box over other results that are displayed further down the SERP.
As we’ve already touched upon, appearing in Google’s Answer Box is important because it provides exceptionally-beneficial SEO results by way of increased clicks and views (traffic) and engagement. The better the content does in this sense, the higher it will rank in the SERPs, even if it gets kicked off the top spot (the Answer Box).
In addition to performing well in the SERPs, AI assistants, such as Siri, Alexa, Echo and Google Home will pull answers to your questions directly from the Answer Box. When this happens, they’ll often ask the searcher if they want to learn more and they’ll either send a link to their phone containing the article or read out another excerpt from it. This is another way in which traffic can increase to your content. There are several benefits involved with appearing in the Google Answer Box that doesn’t just involve increased traffic and engagement. Those benefits include:
I’m sure you’re now wondering exactly how you can appear in the Google Answer Box after reading about all the advantages it has to offer a business. Whether you’re writing for your own blog or a client, it’s never a bad thing to have your content featured in the Google Answer Box, so how can you do it effectively? We’re on hand to tell you.
If you’re targeting keywords that are already appearing in the answer boxes, then it’s a great way of generating popular keywords and phrases without making more work for yourself, therefore saving time in the process. Using the latest SEO technology, you’ll be able to identify keywords that will help to produce Answer Box-worthy content. As soon as you’ve locked onto a keyword and a potential answer box to target, then use the informational snippet underneath to decide whether or not you should write content from scratch or if you have content written already that’ll answer the question more adequately.
You should also pay attention to content within the Answer Box informational snippet because some of the answers might not be quite the right fit or provide the right answer. Recreate this content answering the same question but with more accurate, correct information. This way, you’ll bump the old answer off the top spot and replace it with your own content.
Questions are really simple to answer if you’re armed with the correct information. This is a really easy, simple way to appear in the Answer Box. As the name would suggest, the Answer Box exists with the sole purpose of providing searchers with accurate, correct answers to their questions. Look out for what people are searching for with regards to questions they want to know the answers to and create content based purely around that.
For example, you might write for a fashion company and a question that people want answering is what the colour for autumn is going to be, so you could write an article that answers the question: “What Colours Will Be On Trend in Autumn 2022?”. You could then start the article with an introduction and have H2s in there, such as: “What Will the Most Popular Colour Be in Autumn 2022?”.
Not only are you targeting one question using your H1, but you’re also targeting another using your H2s. There’s more than one way to ask the same question, but there are several different ways of answering them. So your answer to the H1 could be different, but not dissimilar, to your H2 question, therefore covering all bases when it comes to searches and search volumes.
Take this article, for example, we’re giving you some tips for appearing in the Google Answer Box, but we’ve also added two H2s that contain relevant questions about the Google Answer Box. Whether someone searches for “what is the Google Answer Box?” or “why is it important to feature in the Google Answer Box?”, they’ll likely come across this article, regardless of the fact its H1 is “6 Tips for Appearing in the Google Answer Box”.
If you’re stuck for questions to target that are industry-relevant, think of a question you have and then take a look at the ‘People Also Asked’ section. This is because that will be full of similar or relevant questions that Google users are actually searching for and want to know the answer to. You could create content based specifically around a question from that section of the SERP and, if you follow our simple tips, you’ll soon be appearing in the Google Answer Box.
It’s important that you lay out your content in a Q&A format. For example, you could be writing an article about mice for a pest control company and the article H1 might be “All the Pests You Should Look Out for This Autumn”. Within that, one of your H2s could be “what time of year do mice nest?”. Directly under that H2, you need to be answering the question, this is the same for all of your H2s if it’s a question.
In addition to simply answering the question, you need to make sure that your response is clear, short and concise. It shouldn’t be long or go off on a tangent. Try and keep your answer less than one hundred words so as to keep the readers’ attention. Your answer should also be optimised, ensuring you’re adding in keywords and phrases without “stuffing” your content with them. For example:
Q. (H2) What time of year do mice nest?
A. Mice in rural areas will breed and nest in the late summer whereas in urban settings, they’ll nest all year round, seeking warm, dry indoor areas to breed and nest in.
As of October 2022, some of the questions that people also asked that surrounds the same topic are:
It’s imperative that the answer you’re giving to the question is correct and accurate. If it involves facts, quotes and/or statistics, make sure you’re referencing your sources appropriately in order to validate your claims. Referencing your quotes is also important because it’ll avoid any plagiarism cases.
If you’re taking information from elsewhere, directly, it has to be quoted and referenced correctly. If you’re including quotes, then be sure to add the author, the year the content was published and the page number, where applicable. If it’s been taken from an online article, include the website/publication, the title of the article, the year and the author for good measure. You should also link directly to the source so that the reader can inspect it further if needed.
When it comes to referencing facts and statistics, include the author name or creator, the title of the article/publication, the year it was published, the publisher and any identifiers, including which edition a book is. If it’s been taken from an online source, then make sure you link back to where you found the fact or statistic together with referencing who has issued the information, including a name and the website/publication it was taken from.
Content that contains numbered lists (or listicles, as they’re also referred to), such as this one, have proven to be extremely popular in recent years when it comes to performing well in the SERPs. Dan Forest, a writer for M-Meister, wrote an article in 2020 detailing that the second-most popular starting “word”, so to speak, is actually a number.
He also found, in the same article, that 41% of the top articles in 2020 were actually listicles or numbered forms of content, such as this article you’re reading now. But why else, aside from popularity, should you start creating listicles as a form of content? Some benefits of listicles include:
Rich content is highly-beneficial for both the reader and SEO. The more rich it is, the more likely it’s going to rank higher in the SERPs. This is because it’ll be full of optimised content as well as keywords and phrases. If you’ve written your content, but it seems a little too light, then add some more information that’s relevant to your Answer Box target. You can use the ‘People Also Asked’ section in the Google SERPs in order to do this if you become stuck. In a bid to strategise your content and enrich it even further, you could do one or more of the following things:
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As an experienced Copywriter, Lorna enjoys creating varied content for an abundance of different industries and sectors. From detailed, informative articles to creative infographics, she's always looking to inject originality into the work she produces. When she isn't working, Lorna runs her own lifestyle blog, plays the guitar and loves to take part in charity runs.