You must have noticed in when you performed a Google search: somewhere at the top or bottom of the page with the search result there is a special section called: People Also Ask. This box contains search queries similar to yours or generally related to the large topic you are searching for. In the People Also Ask Boxes there are between 5 and 10 questions and each has a different website selected as suitable answer.
So, how does Google generate this special section? And what can you do to find your website among the selected answers for the People Also Ask boxes?
A Few Relevant Information about People Also Ask Boxes
This special section of Google search results exists since 2017. At the present, it is estimated that around 43% of all SERPs in English display this box. Therefore, we are talking about millions of searches performed every day by users around the globe.
One thing you will notice in People Also Search Boxes is that the answers vary in terms of format. You get snippets, videos, paragraphs from articles and tables. This means one thing: that Google wants to offer users a wide range of options to find an answer to a topic they are interested in.
How Google Picks Answers for People Also Ask Boxes
To be honest, if we had a clear answer to this question, this article would stop here. Unfortunately, Google does not give away all its secrets. The selection for People Also Ask boxes is likely connected with the BERT update, which uses natural language programming to understand user intent and display relevant and related answers.
However, after analysing various selections from PAA boxes, we managed to understand what all they have in common. First of all, they are informative, not sales-oriented. Secondly, they are written in simple terms, which anyone can understand. And thirdly, they are formulated as answers to the specific question listed above each of them.
Should You Consider Trying to Rank for People Also Ask Boxes
To be fair, any kind of free traffic is valuable traffic. So, yes, you should try to get your website featured in the PAA section. However, it is unclear how effective it is as a traffic source.
You will not find analytical data about traffic coming from PAA snippets in the Google Search Console. Also, given the nature of the section – providing quick answers to questions – many people may not be interested to click on the link shown under the snippet.
How to Increase Your Chances of Getting Your Site Featured in PAA Boxes
What we suggest is doing what you always do – update your site with fresh content, optimise it for keywords, etc. – with a little more attention to the following areas:
1. Update Your Q&A Section
The FAQ or Q&A section is very useful for your website. On one hand, Google looks for this specific format for its People Also Ask boxes. On the other hand, voice searches using digital assistants are looking for natural language and long tail keywords, which you generally find in questions and answers.
2. Give Simple, Clear Explanations
Albert Einstein famously said: “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” This is what you should keep in mind when providing answers, details about your services and product descriptions. Use simple words and make your text easy to understand by anyone.
Also, whenever you use keywords, make sure that they occur naturally. To achieve this result, read the sentences aloud. If you feel like stopping and re-reading a sentence, then you probably should rewrite it.
3. Scout for PAA Questions
One of the best ways to push your way into PAA boxes is to anticipate Google’s selection of questions and answers. No, we don’t have the secret to outsmarting the Google algorithm.
What we have is a very neat and useful tool, called AlsoAsked. All you have to do is type in one of your keywords, and the tool will display questions users asked in relation to it in search engines. This will offer you not only ideas to expand your Q&A section, but also new content ideas for blog posts.
4. Create Short Explanatory Videos
As we explained above, Google uses a mix of results for its People Also Ask boxes. If the competition is quite steep in the written content section, you can still find your website ranking with a video.
Here is a simple idea: accompany each relevant blog post on core topics by a short video summarising its contents. Add simple video tutorials to product pages and demonstrate your services in the same manner. This is not just a good idea for People Also Ask boxes, but also for website visitors who do not have the time to read your articles.