Google has been developing the number of queries that receive a Google Answer box as those results where over 20% in 2014 and in May 2016 they were more than 30%. Those boxes or “rich answers” are search result features that appear at the top of some queries in the SERPs.
The Google Answer Box can be a great opportunity in terms of visibility, search traffic and conversions! Actually, those areas are great to provide snackable, quick answers at the top of search results to help users easily find the information they were looking for. It also helps improving their user experience.
In most cases, these answers are selected from authoritative websites that Google trusts and provide direct answer to ‘how’, ‘what’, ‘why’ questions that users ask to provide the best answer possible.
The stake here is thus for brands to receive Quick Answers in order to boost their visibility and traffic.
Is Google Answer Box beneficial for brands?
When the Answer boxes were launched, websites started getting afraid of loosing some traffic because of direct answers appearing at the top of the page results. With that new configuration, people were supposed to directly click on the results displayed without even looking at other ones.
For websites specialized in delivering direct answers like Wikipedia, they noticed a certain drop in their traffic because that new feature was doing their job. However, websites that were in position 4 or 5 in the SERPs get new chances to rank in position 1 thanks to Google Answer Box. Indeed, the search engine doesn’t only pick answers from top 1 result but from pages in first page of the SERPs.This is very beneficial for websites that can gain more traffic, visibility and trust from users as they see Google’s pick as a sign of quality.
How to appear in Google Answer Box?
1# Respect the 4 minimum requirements
Here are some characteristics websites appearing in Quick Answers have. Websites need however to be quite authoritative.
- Pages rank in the top 5
- Pages are less than 2,000 words
- Sites have over 1,000 referring domains
- Pages have a strong user engagement and offer value
2# Optimize your site for Google Answer Box
To get indexed in Google Answer box, you need to optimize your SEO and respect some good practices. It goes from linking strategies to well-optimized titles with targeted keywords to qualitative content. But you should also focus on mobile optimization in order to deliver your content in a SEO-friendly way on mobile as it does matter for user experience and to properly rank your website. An effective XML sitemap will also help Google understand your website.
Backlinking strategies can also help you drive more awareness. Developing your backlink network will enrich your content distribution system and will build your authority. Google tends to pick websites that have a strong network and that users value and share.
In the same vein, schema markup are also a great partner to increase your visibility and help search engines interpret your website’s content and thus pull answers from your website.
Finally, if the answer is located at the beginning of your article, it will be easier for Google to find it in your text.
Using SEO tools will ease your work as you will directly know which points you need to improve or what is lowering your rankings. OnCrawl can deliver you insights about your HTML quality, your meta tags, you internal linking but also your content or performance.
3# Position yourself on the most relevant questions
If you want to maximise chances to appear in the Google Answer box, you need to find the best opportunities as only one site can appear for a question at a time.
For instance, you can use keyword tools to find out which keywords have already Quick Answers and a high traffic. If you want to play with keywords that are already taken, you need to figure out how to outperform the answer.
In case you will want to give a try to a new keyword, you need to think of a relevant answer for the user. No need to say that your pages need to respect the two previous points to have a chance to appear in the Google Answer box.