Getting referral traffic from Google is becoming increasingly difficult. This is because organic search results no longer generate as much traffic as before.
In this article, we’ll show you how to get into the Google quick response section and optimize your content for this.
From the article you will learn:
What are quick answers
Quick replies, or featured snippets, are selected search results that appear in the box above the organic Google results under the ad.
Quick Response Block Example
The goal of quick answers is to instantly answer a user’s question. When a site falls into quick answers, it improves the position of the site. Here are two studies that support this hypothesis: Types of quick answers
There are three types of quick answers – in the form of a paragraph, list and table.
An example of a quick response in the form of a paragraph with a picture:
Quick response in the form of a paragraph with a picture
According to Getstat statistics, the most popular quick answers are as a paragraph: Getstat Quick Response Statistics
Quick answers or questions-answers: difference
Often, Google’s quick answers are called answer questions, and this can be confusing. Questions and answers are a separate entity. In it, Google gives a quick answer, but without a link to the site: Q & A on Google
To avoid confusion, we will use the term “quick answers” when a link to a site is displayed in a block: Block with answers in Google and a link to the site
Chances of getting quick answers on Google
According to Ahrefs study, 99.58% of the quick response pages are already ranked in Google’s top 10. Therefore, if you are already highly ranked by relevant search queries, you have a good chance to get into the heading of quick answers.
Getstat claims that 70% of quick answers come from sites that are not in first place in organic search. But for the site to get quick answers, it needs to be no lower than the tenth position on Google, but it is not necessary to be in the first.
Not surprisingly, the site from which the largest number of quick answers come is Wikipedia. If a wiki response is displayed at your request, you are unlikely to be able to win this competition. But this does not mean that you should not try.
According to an analysis from the Getstat study In the section of quick answers, search queries are displayed on the following topics: How to do something yourself
Ahrefs study expands the list of popular with the most used words in the quick answers section: Most popular quick response headings
Identify all the possibilities to get into the quick answers section.
Start by choosing keywords.
A lot of research confirms that most quick answers come from long-tail keywords. The more words you enter in the search field, the higher the likelihood that the results will be a quick answer.
This study gives a step-by-step keyword search strategy for bloggers.
When you are looking for keywords for quick answers, pay attention to the following: Start with search terms with question words.
Focus on informational utility, not just questions.
Use the keyword search tool, which will immediately show if the results are displayed with quick answers. For example, serpstat service: Keyword Service
You can look at a competitor in Serpstat and then filter out his most effective queries under the heading with quick answers: Competitors quick response filter
So you get a meaningful overview of your future competitors – see their strengths and weaknesses.
Search for questions on Google
To better explore the topic, also use the option under the heading of quick answers – “Related Queries”. So you’ll understand what issues Google considers relevant: An example of a similar query on Google
As soon as you start revealing questions to see the answers, more questions will be added at the bottom of the section.
Identify the search queries that you already rank high for
These are the requests that will make it easiest to get quick answers after you optimize the site content.
Google search console shows what queries people are following. To see this, click on Search Traffic – Search Analytics.
Check the Position item to show the position of your pages. So you will see which queries are the most popular: Search engine page position
You can then use filters to find queries such as questions and answers:
Question and Answer Filter Examples
Go beyond traditional keyword search tools: ask people
All of the above methods relate to the opportunities that your competitors are already using. It is worth going further – ask the readers themselves.
Do not focus only on your target audience – ask arbitrary people about what questions they have on a particular topic.
Seed Keywords: how to get people’s opinions
Seed Keywords – A simple tool for finding the right keywords with the help of friends and subscribers. Create a search script, share it on social networks and ask subscribers to enter keywords that they would enter in order to get an answer to the question.
Key Script Example
Examples of people’s responses to the script:
Examples of people’s responses to the script
You can create similar polls using Surveymonkey or Google forms.
Follow people on Twitter
Search Twitter supports the search operator?, Which filters the results by those that contain the question. The main thing is to put a space between the search term and the question mark.
You can use tables to organize questions and key phrases. Some questions may become separate content, others may be subsections of wider articles: Do not try to analyze the search volume to decide which of the questions deserve a separate article or subsection.
Not to use common sense, based on knowledge of the field and search, and according to this I will compose answers to questions. If the answer gets too long, I will most likely convert it into a separate article.
Quick Response Optimization
Start with SEO on the website.
There is no magic button or special markup that guarantees that your site will fall into the heading of quick answers.
Randy Milanovic did good overview of tactics that make content more visible. Eric Brentner made up useful SEO checklist. Don’t forget about Moz’s basic SEO optimization guide.
About structured markup
Many suggest using Schema.org. But Ahrefs did not find a correlation between quick responses and structured markup.
Therefore, the best way to get into quick answers is to give a good answer. Here are some helpful tips on how to do this.
Answer each question briefly
In my experience, Google prefers to display a response in the size of a paragraph. The picture shows the optimal length for different types of quick answers: Optimal featured snippet length
This does not mean that your articles should be a paragraph long. On the contrary, today Google prefer longer content, divided into logical subsections with interesting pictures.
All you need to do to adjust the text style for quick answers:
Ask a question in an article – it may be in a subsection;
After the question, immediately give an answer to one paragraph;
Develop the topic further in the article.
This tactic will also help to better retain users, as the article becomes more structured and easier to read.
Use facts and structure your text well.
Google loves numbers, steps and lists. Most often, the answer blocks list the ingredients, the number of steps, time to prepare the dish, year and city of birth.
In the paragraph, answer the question, list useful numbers and names, provide facts.
There is no special markup to structure content. Google focuses on the table, ol, and ul tags.
Make sure one article answers a lot of similar questions.
When searching for quick answers, the authors of the Ahrefs study found that as soon as the site’s page falls into quick answers, it will most likely also appear in answers to other similar requests. This means that the page should be structured and formulated so as to answer many similar questions.
Google well defines synonymous and closely related questions. It makes no sense to create a separate page that answers a separate question: Questions synonymous in meaning in quick answers
Correctly structure your questions
To combine many related issues in one article, you need to structure them correctly. Use this strategy: Make the desired keyword section or category of the blog.
Make a more specific search term the title of the article.
Of the more specific queries you make subsections of the article. They determine its structure.
You can put many related queries under one subheading.
Question grouping plate
You can use Serpstat to find an idea for an article and split the idea into subtopics. Read Questions section – It will have hundreds of questions that contain your basic term. Of these, a tag cloud of other popular terms that appear in these issues will be generated: Tag Cloud
When you click on any word in the tag cloud, the results are filtered out for those questions that have only the right word. These will be the subsections for your article: Filtering tags by request
Use vivid pictures
Quick answers in the form of paragraphs with pictures catch the eye much more than ordinary quick answers. I never figured out how to add a picture that will be displayed in quick answers. It seems that Google is picking an arbitrary image from the page.
Therefore, the only way to influence this is to make sure that all the pictures on the page are eye-catching, branded and signed. So no matter what image Google chooses, it would look great. Great selection of WordPress pluginsto help you visualize the content.
Refresh and reload images (WordPress)
WordPress adds dates to image links. Therefore, even if you add new information to the article, the pictures are considered old. I managed to get into quick answers with pictures only after I started updating pictures.
Remember: how to get into Google quick answers
Use popular topics for quick replies.
Use Related Queries to select key queries.
Identify the search queries for which you are already ranked high.
Ask people what keywords they enter in the search to get the answer.