Ranking your website in Google’s related questions box will increase its traffic and visibility on the most popular search engine in the world
Google has become more proficient at interpreting the intent behind search queries over the years. It can now return relevant results for both keyword-formatted search queries as well as question-formatted search queries.
By ranking in Google’s related question box, your website will attract more users who explicitly or indirectly format their search queries as a question.
What Is the Related Questions Box?
The related questions box is an alternative organic placement on Google that contains questions associated with a search query. It’s typically found directly below the first standard organic listing and above all other listings.
Denoted by a “People Also Ask” label, the related questions box features four drop-down questions by default. When a user clicks one of these questions, Google will expand the respective question into a listing.
In this listing, Google will show a snippet from a web page that answers the clicked question. Listings in the related question box also contain a display URL and a title, the latter of which can be clicked to load the snippet’s origin web page.
Although it only contains four questions by default, the related questions box becomes larger each time it’s clicked. The initial click will add two new questions to the bottom. Any additional clicks will add three new questions to the bottom.
While Google almost always displays a single related questions box for search queries explicitly formatted as a question, it may display them for other search queries as well.
If Google thinks a user is trying to ask a question with his or her search query, it will likely display a related questions box.
For example, the search queries “how to stop a puppy from biting” and “puppy biting” both return a related questions box. The latter search query isn’t explicitly formatted as a question, but Google still treats it as such.
Most search queries involve a user seeking information, which Google interprets as a question. Therefore, the related questions box is a common feature on Google. Moz even found that over 84 percent of search queries performed on Google return a related questions box.
How To Capture These Snippets
Now let’s take a step-by-step look at how to rank your content using Google’s Related Questions feature.
1. Identity Relevant Questions
To rank your website in the related questions box, you’ll need to identify relevant questions. You don’t want to optimize your website for a question that doesn’t have anything to do with its content.
If your website sells cybersecurity software, optimizing it for “how to stop a puppy from biting” will be a waste of time. Instead, you should optimize it for cybersecurity-related questions, such as “can cybersecurity be automated” and “what is a cybersecurity exploit.”
You can identify relevant questions by searching for some of your website’s primary keywords proceeded by “who,” “what,” “when,” “where” “why,” or “how.” The search engine’s autocomplete suggestions feature will reveal questions containing the included keyword.
You can also use Answer the Public to find relevant questions. Available at answerthepublic.com, it’s a unique keyword research tool that’s designed for questions.
2. Build a New Page for Each Question
Once you’ve identified relevant questions, you can build new web pages to rank for them. Google usually doesn’t rank homepages in the related questions box. Most related questions box listings consist of subpages, each of which contains an answer to the specific question for which it ranks.
If you want to rank your website for 10 answers, you should build 10 new pages. Each page should cover a single question.
You don’t have to build them at all once. Rather, you can build and optimize them one at a time. After completing one page, you can move on to the next.
3. Include Questions in Title Tags
Your pages will have a better shot at ranking in the related questions box if you include questions in their title tags.
Related questions box listings aren’t much different than standard organic listings. They both have a title, display URL and description.
The main difference is that the description for standard organic listings typically comes from the page’s meta description, whereas the description for related questions box listings is simply an excerpt from the page’s content.
In both types of listings, the title comes from the page’s title tag. Therefore, your pages’ title tags will show in the related questions box. If you want a page to rank for a specific question, you should include that question in its title tag.
4. Create Accurate and Concise Answers
You should create an accurate and concise answer for each page. Google will only rank a page in the related questions box if it contains a high-quality answer. If a competitor’s website has a better answer for a given question, Google will likely choose it for the related questions box.
When building pages to rank in the related questions box, research questions using multiple sources. You can then apply this information to create accurate and concise answers that are better than your competitors’ answers.
Remember, though, Google can only read answers in the form of text. If you use a video or infographic to convey a page’s answer, Google won’t rank the page in the related questions box. You can still add images, videos or other forms of media to your pages, but you should only use text to convey answers.
5. Add Schema Markup to Pages
You can implement schema markup to encourage Google to rank your pages in the related questions box. Schema markup consists of structured code that tells search engines extra information about the page with which it’s used.
Google recently added support for several new types of schema markup that are effective for related questions box-optimized pages. The “How-to” schema markup, for instance, allows you to define the individual steps in a how-to article containing multiple steps.
Visit webmasters.googleblog.com/2019/05/new-in-structured-data-faq-and-how-to.html for more information about the “How-to” schema markup.
To maximize your website’s traffic and visibility, look no further than Google’s related questions box. It’s shown for over four in five of all search queries.
While Google doesn’t offer paid inclusion for it, you can build and optimize pages to rank in the related questions box.