I’m sure we are all familiar with the great feeling we get when Google provides the answer to our query at the very top.
There is no need to click on various links, or excessively scroll through the page to find a small piece of information. This magic is now provided by the Google Answer Box, which is powered by the Knowledge Graph.
In fact, according to a study, around 4 million results were returned by Answer Box for US desktop-based search queries.
But what exactly is the Answer Box?
The Answer Box is a blessing for search users and webmasters. The former get their required information, while webmasters have a chance of getting their websites featured in the forefront of SERPs, even above top ranking websites. It also leads the user to click on your site, especially if they need more information on their query.
Additionally, there are predictions of screen-less, voice integrated searches taking over by 2020. With voice search, only Google Answer Box results are read out, thereby increasing its reach immensely.
Despite the easy access and increased views achieved by the Google Answer Box, it can also be a curse for webmasters.
In case your website contains the same answer as the Answer Box, or is too far down the search page, your content is bound to get overlooked. Most searchers either stick with the Answer Box result or check out the very next relevant result.
Understanding The Answer Box
Before we dive into the strategies to get that highlighted position, we need to first understand Google Answer Box itself.
Also termed as a Featured Snippet, the box is a unique SERP result that is displayed right below the ads and aims to instantly answer your query. The box itself contains the answer in a brief text form alongside the source site’s URL.
Despite the fear of a decrease in the number of people that actually visit pages, the Answer Box was seen to achieve a whopping 32.3% increased click-through rate (CTR). It also lowers your Pay Per Click costs and gives you a massive edge over your competitors.
The Answer Box usually provides results in text form, but a bulleted list may be given for certain searches e.g., ‘the steps to make bread.’ The website through which these results are displayed is given a ‘rank zero.’
How Does Rank Zero Affect Rank One?
In terms of search engine results, rank one just isn’t the most successful spot anymore. Ever since the introduction of Google Answer Box, rank one has seen a decrease of 7% in CTR according to several data analyses.
While the CTR for rank zero has been increasing, rank one is at a low of just 18%. Despite maintaining its title, a rank-one website no longer gets the same clicks and lead generation ever since the introduction of the Answer Box.
Achieving That Ideal Rank Zero Position
Now that we’ve seen the benefits of getting featured on Google Answer Box, let’s discover ways to achieve rank zero for your site.
The easiest tactic for low-ranking websites to employ is to change their titles and meta descriptions, and SEO optimize them. In other words, having a ‘hook’ in your meta can draw in users.
Some other strategies to apply include:
Recognizing The Relevant Triggers
While it may seem like something very complicated and tech-based, achieving that rank zero spot is actually rather simple. The best way of getting there is knowing the right keywords to use in your website content.
It has been observed that the Answer Box is commonly prompted with the use of long-tail keywords. The lengthier the search query, the more chances of an Answer Box result. So instead of using short keywords, use phrases containing 3-6 words. For example, instead of writing ‘blog posts,’ use ‘starting your own blog’ or ‘how blogs work.’
Determine how people are terming their queries, and base your keywords in accordance with that. Also, look through the ‘related searches’ and ‘people also ask’ sections of the SERPs to get an idea of the keywords to use – this shows Google that your site has an answer to the actual query.
Using A Question And Answer Format
Since questions make up about 41% of the Answer Box content, it makes sense to design your content in a similar format. If some of your content clearly presents a question, and then its subsequent answer, you can significantly raise your chances of getting to rank zero.
It may feel rather peculiar, but try placing these answers within the very first sentence of your content. This will boost the chances of having that sentence featured in the relevant Answer Box.
Also, remember to keep your answers brief and to the point so they match the layout of Answer Boxes.
Maintaining SEO Practices
When optimizing your website for rank zero, don’t forget to continue your usual SEO efforts.
Develop all your Answer Box potential content with SEO strategies in mind. Remember to include all the trending keywords in your titles, content, and descriptions – using appropriate categories, tags, and internal linking.
Analyze The Competition
Go through industry-related queries that are featured in the Answer Box, and determine whether your competitors are doing a good job. If they aren’t, this would be the ideal place to work in order to steal away their ranking.
The process is quite simple:
- Seek out questions using a tool like STAT to identify the types of results given to particular queries
- Filter out all the Answer Box results
- Overtake those results by developing answers that are more accurate, and better formatted
Overall, achieving rank zero is not as difficult as it sounds – and these pointers should be able to get you there in no time.
Remember, achieving rank zero can further increase your website traffic and conversion rates, so it is definitely worth the effort.
If you are still confused about how do you optimize your site for Google Answer Box. You can hire a professional SEO service provider to do the job for you.