Your goal is to achieve the number one position in at least one of Google’s search results. So, you work hard to create high-quality, value-added content that is optimized both for search engines and people.
But, what if we were to tell you that there’s a better option than being number one?
No, we’re not talking about Google advertising.
Ranking in position zero is a new and ingenious way of boosting your traffic and establishing your brand as an industry leader.
So, how do you get your content featured in Google’s Rich Answer Box?
Let’s find out!
What Are Google’s Rich Answers?
You may have noticed that for some searches, Google provides a box at the top of the results page with the information you need. After all, you don’t need to read an entire article to learn when the Titanic sunk or how many calories are in one tablespoon of olive oil (119, by the way).
The problem with Google’s Rich Answers is that, although they are convenient and time-efficient for users, they can cause quite the headache for businesses.
First of all, your SEO has to be on point to have a chance of being featured in Google’s Answer Box. Secondly, Google doesn’t always provide users with the best possible content, which can make it a bit difficult to understand how the search engine selects the answers.
So, what should you do to optimize your content for Google’s Rich Answer Box?
Here are a few tips.
- 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 Google AdWords tools, such as the Keyword Planner 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.
- Look at the Existing Results
Once you’ve selected a list of relevant keywords, use the “autocomplete” function to analyze the results. Look at the suggestions at the end of the search page as well; they can give you valuable information regarding what people are looking for online.
Make sure to check the errors and hiccups too. That way you can understand why certain definitions don’t make it to the answer box and tweak yours accordingly.
- 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, then you need to provide clear and concise answers. Use the question as the headline and offer the answer in the first paragraph. Make the answer stand out so that users can spot it immediately.
- Provide a Good User Experience
Visitors must have an enjoyable experience on your website – that’s a given. If your page is cluttered and people have a difficult time navigating it, then they will bounce. A high bounce rate is a strong indication to Google that something is wrong with your website.
Make sure that your content formatting is logical and intuitive. Use titles and subtitles, bullet lists, infographics, and photos to make it easier for your audience to digest your content.
- 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 (besides creating quality content, of course):
- 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
Google’s Rich Answer Box is a rather new feature, and businesses are still trying to figure out how to leverage it. Just as with any other SEO-related topic, there is no secret formula that can guarantee you a place at the top of a search result. However, these tips should put you on the right track.