What is People Also Ask?
People Also Ask, also known as related questions, is a feature on Google that is included in more than 90% of all queries. The feature is Google serving up to you other searches that are similar to yours in an attempt to answer whatever question you have brought to the search engine. Clicking on one People Also Ask (PAA) question and expanding it can also surface other questions in the same topic to appear. Optimizing for PAA is one part of the emerging field of On-SERP SEO.
How do I rank for PAA?
If you’re already optimizing your content to rank in search for your page and in featured snippets, you probably won’t have to change too much about your strategy to try to rank for PAA as well. If you want a leg up, use your content to answer PAA questions, and even go as far as including the question text in the answer.
You can do quick searches for PAA examples using tools like AlsoAsked.com or AnswerThePublic. Both tools build a web of questions around the subject you enter. AnswerThePublic uses who/what/when/where/etc. questions, and AlsoAsked.com uses a branching technique that takes popular questions and follows what people search from there. Both can provide valuable insight about the questions you should answer. SEO tools like SEMRush also have questions people ask as part of their keyword strategy sections.
How Can I Leverage PAA for SEO Strategy?
Here’s how to use “People Also Ask” to its fullest potential – whether you use another tool for keyword strategy or not!
Step 1: Perform your normal keyword research
Using tools like Keywords Everywhere, SEMRush, Ahrefs, or your chosen research tool, figure out what keywords you want to rank for. This will help you establish a baseline for your strategy and figure out which questions might be the best fit for your content to answer.
Step 2: Plug the keywords you want to rank for in Google.
Scroll to the “People Also Ask” boxes and start noting what shows up. Are these questions along the lines of what you thought would show up when you picked your keywords? Compile a list of questions you’d like to answer with your content. As an added step, research these questions.
Step 3: Optimize your post with the PAA questions in mind.
Find opportunities in your content to answer the questions you pulled from PAA. Follow featured snippet best practices when writing the answers. This will increase the chances of your answers being featured in the featured snippet or PAA sections of the SERP.
Step 4: Let other PAA questions guide your content strategy
Find other good questions that didn’t fit in the post you’re writing, but that you’d be qualified to answer? Work them into your content calendar as their own posts.
What are other ways to find and use PAA data?
People Also Ask questions aren’t just good for writing new posts. You can use them to write your FAQ page, a services page, or adjust page titles and headings of pre-existing content.
Some SEO tools scrape PAA, including AWR, the questions tab of SEMRush Topic Research, and Screaming Frog. Use them to speed up your research process but keep in mind this is likely against Google terms of service.
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