People Also Asked: The next big SEO opportunity?

If you have cast your eyes over the search engine results pages (SERPs) recently, you will have seen that they have changed dramatically – with the People Also Ask (PAA) feature increasing in importance in recent years.

In fact, research has shown that over 80% of search queries in the past 12 months have included PAA in their search results.

Let’s take a closer look at People Also Ask, how it can enhance your site’s visibility and reach – and why as an SEO agency Manchester we think it is the next big SEO opportunity.

What are People Also Ask (PAA)?

People Also Ask (PAA) is a dynamic SERP feature that shows the searcher a list of questions that Google thinks are closely related to their search intent, and which quickly shows the searcher additional information relating to their initial search query.

For example, if you type search optimisation into Google, the list of PAA shows as:

If you click on the arrow on the right of the PAA question, Google will provide you with a clickable link to the source of the question (and answer) from a reputable web page.

The PAA questions are generated through a combination of Google’s algorithm, other search queries, links to search topics, and various other metrics that the search engine uses to pull out relevant questions and answers from web pages in their index.

Why are People Also Ask (PAA) so important?

SEO Manchester knows that securing a place in the PAA results will help your website secure a long-term place on the first page of the SERPs which will boost your organic traffic. It does this by providing further information and answers to the searcher’s topic of query or search.

Achieving a PAA result can:

  • Help you increase your top-of-the-funnel marketing reach as people who click on the PAA questions are typically in the research or awareness stage of the customer journey. You can therefore entice them to your site with concise and easy-to-understand answers
  • Improve your organic and paid ranking on the SERPs as you can show up in both the PAA section and as an organic result on the same page – unlike a featured snippet. Achieving a PAA snippet also increases your trustworthiness and credibility with Google too.
  • Provide you with an opportunity to achieve a Featured Snippet as well – which achieves 8% of the clicks. There can be many PAA results on a page, but only one Featured Snippet with data showing that the majority of the time, the Featured Snippet is taken from the PAA results.
  • Get ahead of your competitors as they may not have realised the value of securing a PAA snippet yet giving you the opportunity to create better, more useful content and stay one step ahead of them at all times.

How can we help you optimise for PAA snippets?

There are various tactics we can use as part of your SEO strategy to help you optimise your content for PAA snippets and these include:

  • Finding PAA opportunities in the SERPs and optimising for relevant questions containing keywords with a high combined monthly search volume
  • Understanding your target query and search intent through the use of semantics, allows us to prioritise answers that have the details that we know searchers will find useful and of benefit
  • Ensure all content is on-page optimised by making sure that the answer to the question you are targeting is detailed yet easy to understand in order for it to have the best chance to rank.
  • Looking for popular PAA questions to target relating to high-volume and targeted keywords.
  • Adding semantic-rich search terms to your content in order to provide more depth and context for Google.
  • Creating FAQ schema to help your page rank higher and bring more organic traffic to your site.
  • Creating jump links on your site to make it easier for your visitors to quickly find the information they need. This can also help with crawling and indexing, as well as lowering your bounce rate.

How can PAA help with SEO?

The basic aim of SEO nowadays is to help your website to satisfy user search intent, and as over 80% of searches now show PAA results it is vital that you increase your visibility in this area.

Some of the ways we can incorporate PAA into your SEO strategy include:

  • Generating better content ideas to satisfy user intent
  • Identify new keywords to target
  • Refresh old content to make it more relevant to today’s searchers

People Also Ask is now a standard feature on Google’s SERPs and so ranking in PAA boxes is a great way to boost your organic traffic, increase brand awareness and improve your visibility.

If you want to optimise your content for PAA please get in touch with the team at SEO MCR, SEO consultants Manchester to find out how we can help.

About the author

Simon is best know for Co-Founding, a portal for student accommodation which attracts over 2 million visitors a year. Simon has 17 years online digital marketing experience and has widespread knowledge of building and/or optimising websites in most industries.

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