You may have noticed that for some searches, Google provides a box at the top of the results page with the information you need. Although these answer boxes can be convenient and time-efficient for users, they can also cause quite a headache for businesses.
Well before we start with ways to optimize your website for “rich answers” let’s begin with a brief intro on what they actually are and what time do they generally show
What are Google rich answers?
Often referred to as “position zero”, the answer box is a rich snippet feature by Google which provides an immediate answer to a user’s question appearing above the search results. The answer box is selected from one of the results on the first page of Google which best answers the question asked
Rich answers come in many forms:
– Answers provided by google: these are generally found on top of the page such as public domain info or licensed data
– Featured Snippets: these are basically the results derived from third party sites
– Basic snippets: they are the answers often shown within the regular web search results
These answers include charts, schedules, scores, sliders and more.
Why rank for these answer box queries?
Simply put, by ranking for the answer box, you can generate more authority and organic traffic to your website. Owning answer box queries is a positive signal from Google which implies that your website has the best possible answer for users searching a question or term according to their search algorithm.
So why are Quick Answers important?
1. You can be in the most visible spot on the page without 1st-page ranking
2. You have better engagement of those who click to your site
3. Proven results of increase in organic traffic
4. Proven results of increase in revenue from organic channel
Which type of content is more prominent for quick answers? These include:
- Event listings
How can you rank for the Google answer box?
Unfortunately, there is no exact formula to rank for the Google answer box. However, there are certain steps that you can do which will give you a better chance. Of course, it depends on the keyword.
1. Identify Relevant Queries
As you may have guessed, the primary purpose of this feature is to save people time when looking for specific information. If your content is largely general and answers questions that are covered by numerous other sites, then the probability of ranking in position zero is extremely low.
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and try to think of the questions they might have about your products or industry. Use keywords such as “why,” “how,” “when,” and “where” to optimize your content. This article’s headline is an excellent example: how to optimize your content for Google’s Rich Answer Box.
Use tools such as Google Ads, SEMRush and Wordstream to generate suggestions for multiple keywords and questions. That way, you can make sure that your page includes complete answers to questions related to your niche.
One way to identify queries relevant to your industry is to look at the “suggestions” that show up in search box, or you can look up in the “Related Searches” box at bottom of the search page and people also ask box
2. Answer the Question Directly
Imagine that you want to find out when the new season of your favorite TV series will start. You go to Google and click on the first result. Instead of a straightforward answer, you have to scroll through tons of useless and uninteresting information. It goes without saying that this process is tiring and frustrating.
If you want to rank in Google’s Rich Answer Box, write your content to provide clear concise answers to the more complex questions. Use the question you choose as the headline and offer the answer in the first paragraph and make the answer stand out so that users can spot it immediately.
This means that while providing an answer, your content :
- Answers the questions thoroughly: make sure you cover all answers that come up with the topic
- Is User-focused: tailor your content to suit beginners
- Engaging: make use of the tables, graphs or step by step answer formats, to engage the reader
3. Consider user experience
It’s always important that your readers have a good experience on your site:
- make sure you are creating a good mobile and desktop experience that can be seen throughout the entire user journey.
- Make sure there are no roadblocks on your site that may cause a user to bounce off your content
- Structure your content using subheadings, paragraphs, and visuals, and use bullet-points and tables where relevant.
- If you are creating content around a query best answered in the list form, then make sure you use either ordered list tags (<ol>) or unordered list tags (<ul>) to highlight to Google what form the content is in.
4. Use Entities in Your Content
Entities are not the same as keywords; they are what keywords identify, different keywords can be used to refer to the same entity. Entities can be personal (a name), geographical (a place), or topical (an object). Semantic search allows Google to work out the meaning behind different search queries, so it can provide a range of information and entities in its results. When you’re writing your content, make sure it’s clear which entities your content is describing by clearly using nouns, verbs, and names.
AlchemyAPI is a useful, free tool that can detect entities and extract them from your text—if a tool can do this, then it’s likely Google can, too. By either entering a URL or uploading your text, you can analyze your content to find out exactly what topics your keywords and phrases are pointing to
5. Create Traffic to Drive More Traffic
The math is simple: the more people who read your content, the higher the chances of being featured in Google’s Rich Answer Box. We know, the system is a bit unfair and it benefits websites with massive traffic rates. But, Google wants to ensure that it’s providing only the best and most relevant answers. A high traffic rate is an accurate sign that the content is helpful and relevant.
You can do a few things to ensure your website will drive more traffic:
- Make sure that your site loads fast
- Verify if it’s optimized for mobile
- Build an effective link building strategy
- Use Google advertising to promote your content
Need help with your answer box content strategy?
If you are still stuck implementing or coming up with ideas to rank in the Google answer box, contact us to see how we can help you.