Google Loves Questions – Are You Using Them in Your SEO strategies?

There is no question (see what I did there?) Google loves questions. We use them frequently in our daily lives. Siri and Alexa are busy taking all our voice search request and Google often provides answers our questions with Featured Snippets. I found a great article by SEMRush during my search to answer the question about questions and how featured snippets were performing. Here is a quick run down of the usage and implementation ideas

Featured Snippet Usage Data:

To drive home how much Google loves the Q&A game, I found this article and study by SEMRush in a partnership with Brado as an excellent source. Here are some key takeaways.

  • 43% of keywords in the Job & Education category trigger Featured Snippets.
  • 19% of all keywords trigger a featured snippet therefore the Job & Education keywords are above average.
  • Featured Snippets tend to appear within the first organic position and take over 50% of the screen on mobile devices, driving higher-than-average click-through rates (CTR)
  • The key to featured snippet optimization lies in a few specific areas: long-tail- and question-like keyword strategy, date marked content that comes at the right length and format, and a succinct URL structure.

Featured Snippet Implementation:

How does one decide which questions to implement on your school’s website? There are many resources on the Internet but there are four that you can score with that we like and are free.

  1. Google Analytics.  Analyze search terms visitors are using when accessing your website internal search feature.
  2. Ask Google. Type “Questions People Ask” before education related search topic.
  3. Answerthepublic.com Allows you to enter a term and receive Bing and Google generated questions people ask when searching.
  4. Conversations. Do not overlook the obvious resource. What questions you or admissions teams regularly get from potential students in conversations.

Here is the quick rundown to formulate your content for questions and answers on your website. First, longer keywords/questions of 10 words triggered a featured snippet 55.5% of time vs 4.3% of one word. Next, the answer to the question should be a short paragraph. 42 words/249 characters on average was 70% of the results. Steps/Lists made up nearly 20% of featured snippets results. The last 10% were made up by tables and videos. Finally, make frequent content updates and publish date-marked content. No worries of being outdated as many featured snippets (70%) were two or three years old.

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