People Also Ask: The New SERP Powerhouse
Increasingly, Google is placing heavy emphasis on the People Also Ask (PAA) section in its search listings. As are those who use Google, who now routinely turn to PAA for concise answers to key questions.
The People Also Ask box appeared some time ago as an experiment and has since become a permanent fixture. Also referred to as the Answers Box, Featured Questions, Featured Snippets and more, PAA can appear anywhere on the page, depending on the search term entered.
PAA consists of a list of FAQs of relevance to the main subject matter of the search. By clicking on any of these questions, the user is presented with concise snippets of an answer, along with a link to the source page.
The content of the People Also Ask box matters because it contains carefully curated questions or answers from Google itself. This is information that Google has approved as relevant, trustworthy and of genuine value.
Hence, to appear in the PAA is to present yourself as a credible and authoritative presence within your niche.
How Do I Rank In The People Also Ask Box?
All well and good, but what can you do to increase your likelihood of being featured in the PAA? Does ranking in PAA differ from getting featured in Google’s general SERP listings, or is the process largely similar?
1. Focus on longer-tail search terms
By its nature, the content that appears in PAA is based on longer-tail search terms. It is essentially a Q&A section, which means that every ‘People Also Ask’ entry will be a question. Consequently, the best way to get featured in PAA is to focus on these longer-tail search terms and phrases. The PAA box itself can be a great source of inspiration if you are looking to find high-performing long-tail search terms within your niche.
2. Provide concise yet informative answers
The whole point of the PAA section is to provide at-a-glance answers to important questions. You therefore need to ensure that the answers you provide on your pages are as concise as possible. PAA has a tendency to show preference to content featuring tables, lists and other easily digestible content. The reader should be able to read and understand your answer within just a few seconds, with no unnecessary complications.
3. Add FAQ content to your website
One of the best ways of taking full advantage of the PAA section is to add FAQ content on your website. Not only does this provide plenty of scope for answering important questions, but it also allows you to include the actual questions (i.e. search terms) in your on-page content. FAQs make it easy to bring all the important questions you can think of into your content in a wholly natural and organic way. Again, the best source of inspiration for these questions can be the PAA box itself, so be sure to keep an eye on what people are asking.