… and why are Personal Searches Important for Google Answer Boxes.
In short, Personal Searches are asking for advice. Advice about their car, their hair, their pet, their diet. Where in the past people would ask friends, family, someone they trust, they now turn to Google. They believe search can help them with their problem.
According to Think With Google, Personal Searches are massively on the increase.
Searches that end with the words “… for me.” are up 60% in the past 2 years.
Searches containing the words “… should I…” are up 80% in the past 2 years.
These searches often take the form of a question. This offers an opportunity for bloggers and content marketers; You can answer these questions. Because Google offers an extra bit of credit for answering a question well. In the SEO world it has come to be known as “position zero,“ Featured Snippet or Google Answer Box.
In the post Think Like a Blogger I outline some other tactics for small businesses.
“My Car Won’t Start”
What do you think of this Google Answer Box? If I was in the auto industry I would be targeting this search term. The answer is vague and incomplete. I think a list type answer within a page 1 post could definitely take this position.
“What kind of paint to use on kitchen cabinets.”
This is a better result but still offers an opportunity I think. The paragraph and images are lifted from a post that is from a related topic but not an exact phrase match. In addition the result is in position 5 (as well as the above position zero).
We can only speculate at how Google chooses this result but it’s safe to say that if you were to out-rank this result and optimize for the question/answer more accurately this spot could be secured.
“The best wood for a staircase.”
For the final example I’ve chosen a website that I think has done an excellent job. They are in position zero and position 1. They have targeted a list result with a very attractive, well formatted and informative post.
Above is the website itself (https://www.glacialwood.com/blog/wood-species-what-is-best-for-staircase-longevity). Notice how much editing Google does before it displays the result in the SERP. The paragraph of explanation under each list item has been removed to produce a more concise result. It also leaves the user enticed to click for more information.
Personal Searches & Google Answer Boxes
Answering questions has become more important recently with the advent of the Google Answer Box.
Google Answer Boxes/Features Snippets make up around 15% of all Google search results.
Of that 15%, they are broken down into 3 categories;
- Paragraphs 63%.
- Lists 19%.
- Tables 16%.
Well done to WP Beginner, they have got themselves the Answer Box for the question/search, ” What is Google answer box?” This is what is looks like in the SERP, it’s the number 1 position above the other results;
Hopefully this post will make up the answer box for What are Personal Searches?
Google says that it’s about user experience, solving the searcher intent as quickly as possible, with as few clicks as possible. If that means giving the user an answer without ever clicking through to a website, great. Happy User, Happy Google.
This has frightened many bloggers, marketers and webmasters but it can be an opportunity;
Answer boxes have a click through rate of 32.3%
So, your post may only rank number 7 in the SERP (the above example is ranked number 3, well below the fold) but you can snatch away 1000’s of clicks from your competition by taking a few steps. Getting that answer box requires a bit of work but it can be done.
How to Land a Google Featured Snippet
Google Answer Box Tips & Tricks…
- What questions do your customers ask you when you first meet them? This is a great place to start. What questions do you ask when you meet others in your trade?
- Type all of these questions into Google and see what you find. Break them down into; 1. No Answer Box. 2. Answer Box, Good Quality. 3. Answer Box, Poor Quality.
- Cross reference these against your most valuable keywords.
- Identify High Value + Answer Box with Poor Quality result and go after these first.
- If you are targeting a list or table make sure that it has more than 6 items, to entice the click.
- Make the list, table or paragraph prominent in the post and use the question as a heading.
- Not essential but it can help if the question is in the title tag and/or the URL. Using it in the meta description shouldn’t make any difference but it couldn’t do any harm, even just for CTR.
Thanks for reading this post, hopefully you clicked on a Google Answer Box to get here. Good luck in your efforts to secure some results for Personal Searches, Google Answer Boxes and Featured Snippets.
Leave a comment below with any questions, I’ll do my best to answer them. Also feel free to show off your Answer Box talents and experiences.