In today’s world of SEO and content marketing, it is increasingly important to understand consumer intent throughout the buyer journey. This is made evident by the way in which SEOs conduct their keyword research today, as it’s moved far beyond simply finding the keywords with the highest search volumes.
We now want to understand why the consumer is searching for these specific terms in order to provide them with the most relevant content that Google can crawl and render. In doing so, this allows us a much greater chance of ranking in the featured snippets answer boxes. Unless you’ve been living under a rock somewhere in the middle of Winterfell, you should understand that Google’s Direct Answers are examples of Featured Snippets and often referred to as position ‘0’. Who thought we could go higher than position 1, eh? I blame voice search…
If I were a betting woman, I’d put £1,000 on the fact that you’ve probably heard this before: “by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches”! Now it may be old news, but it doesn’t make it any less important… The answers provided via voice search are, retrieved from Direct Answer boxes.
We’ve conducted our own research into the prevalence of different Universal Result types in the SERPs by analysing the data from our SERPs API for approximately 10 million keywords in the UK, U.S. and FR, respectively. We found that 28% of keywords in the UK market return People Also Ask results and 8.67% return Direct Answers. Direct Answers are stronger in the US at 10.34% and weaker in France at 3.18% which shows there is a good opportunity in France to rank for these important snippets, as their penetration of the SERP grows.
Table 1: Universal SERP Result Type Penetration By Country
In order for you to pinpoint where it is you need to focus your content creation, we have developed an FAQ Explorer tool which gives you a deeper insight into related search queries. So, for a given keyword or topic you can easily get a comprehensive perspective on what related question (from ‘People Also Ask’ results) consumers are asking. You can then use this to inform your content marketing strategy and editorial efforts.
As you search for a question our API crawls and extracts all the relevant questions and phrases from the People Also Ask section in the SERPs and displays the top 30 results with the URLs and ranking article titles. Combined with reports and .csv download option, you can now generate a comprehensive article better, faster, and on-the-go.
Content generation with FAQ explorer
The ideation process for your blog, social strategies and other marketing campaigns can sometimes prove to be quite tricky. Using our FAQ Explorer tool can provide that guidance, or at least a starting point in understanding what it is that people are searching for in a particular industry. The FAQ Explorer also gives you the ability to think about the varying angles to approach the different topics. You can generate up to 30 Related Questions around your chosen topic as it seems that Google starts to deviate from the initial topic, after this.
How it works…
The process is extremely easy, by following these next few steps you can have hundreds of new content ideas at the click of a mouse.
Step 1. The FAQ Explorer can be found under the Keyword tab in the menu (shown in the screenshot below). Once you have clicked into it you will be directed to the new tool, where you can start using the software.
Step 2. Decide on a general topic that you’d like to explore and identify a question or simply a keyword related to your chosen topic. You can then simply type it into the ‘phrase’ box under the ‘FAQ Explorer’ field in your admin panel. You can also choose the region, currently available in 6 countries (UK, US, CA, ES, FR and DE), language, search engine and number of related questions to show (up to 30 questions per phrase).
As an example, we’ve decided to test it with ‘How to start a business?’.
Tip: You can query up to 10 keywords in one go if you comma separate them.
Step 3. After the software has processed your enquiry it will return a table with the searched phrases that can then be downloaded in a .csv file.
We obtain our data in real-time so there is likely to be a slight delay in retrieving the results. You will know the file is ready when a ‘tick’ is displayed in the ‘Ready’ column. (As shown in the screenshot above). If a file is ‘Ready’ but has ‘0’ results, then it means Google did not serve our crawler a ‘People Also Ask’ result. Either amend your keyword or try again later.
Step 4. As you click the ‘View Results’ button – it will open a separate table with the related questions, the ranking URLs and page titles. Queue: inspiration! 😊
As illustrated in the example above, some of the Related Questions we found were from various blogs providing advice and tips on how to set up a business. This gives us an idea of what people are asking for in terms of starting a business.
We also pull in the ranking URL and a page title for each article, question and phrase which can significantly improve your content production process as you now have a list of examples of existing articles from your competitors or industry experts. This module will help you see which competitors are performing well for each search term.
Last, but not least – you can download a complete .csv file with the questions generated which saves you hours of manual work! To do so, click the ‘Settings’ cog in the top right-hand corner and click on ‘Download CSV’. In the drop-down menu you will also see the ‘Show/Hide Columns’ option designed to tailor the question research process specifically to your needs.
You’ll notice that we don’t pull in search volume data for these related question from Google AdWords. The reason is that in our extensive tests, the overwhelming majority of those keyword phrases and questions had tiny monthly search volumes in the range of 0 – 400. What really matters is the search volumes for the short and medium-tail keywords that a better, more comprehensive page covering all angles of the topic will rank for.
That’s it! We hope you like our new feature. Make your way into the platform and try it out. If it’s something you’re interested in and don’t currently have access to, then do get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to set you up with a trial.
As always, feedback and questions are welcome here on the blog or via your Account Manager.