We heard a wide range of insights at Brighton SEO in April, including some interesting takeaways around Google Answer Boxes. Our clients often ask us for our advice on how they can appear in this prime time Google space.

In an age where top organic listings are increasingly relegated below the fold, it’s essential that brands take every action possible to be ‘answer box friendly’; generating those much needed clicks and increased traffic. Here are 6 essential tips for optimising your content for Google answer boxes.

person using google on iphone and laptop at his desk with cup of coffee

1. Answer the search query in the first 100 words

Don’t forget that your content is primarily there to answer a question. Format your H1 to the question, and prioritise your body copy so that the answer is tackled clearly and concisely in the first 100 words.

For example, if your H1 title tag and heading read: “Why should I use Google’s Answer Boxes?” Your copy should kick off with:
“Google Answer Boxes provide the ability to appear above other organic listings, but not only that they also help you to rank for longer tail keywords…”

2. Answer multiple related questions

Maximise the usefulness of your content by identifying questions related to the main search query and answering them in your body copy. A focus on ‘how’ and ‘when’ questions can be especially beneficial.

For example: if your H1 title tag and heading read: “Why should I use Google’s Answer Boxes?” your H2 tags could include:
“When does Google’s Answer box appear in search results?” and “How do I optimise my site for Answer Boxes?”

3. Create unique content that addresses the whole topic

Your published content needs be concise, relevant and original. Be sure to fully answer the search query, and ensure the content you publish is original. Google will generally see a longer piece as being more insightful, so we also recommend you aim to write at least 1,200 words.

4. Use different assets to help to add topic authority

Employ as many different types of media as possible to assist the user. Think about using calculators, assets, images, video and charts. Not only will this create a visually more attractive page, but also act to improve your chances of ranking in Google’s answer boxes (as well as the overall usability of your page)

5. Implement strong SEO housekeeping and practices to rank higher

Don’t forget to ensure that each page has a keyword phrase optimised title tag, H1, meta description and copy as if any are off topic that could be a hindrance. It’s also best to ensure that any images added are optimised so that the page loads fast on mobile and desktop devices.

Quite simply, the key to ranking in Google’s answer boxes is to understand the user’s intent, needs, wants and desires. Build your content addressing these foundations, and you’re on the road to success.

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