Have you ever seen an “answer box” when searching on Google? Chances are you probably have. They’re usually at the top of a search page and they provide a direct answer to the query you typed in. Answer boxes have become prime real estate in that battle for site traffic, rankings, and click-through rates. And the good news is, small businesses can get in on the action too!
Keep reading and I’ll show you how to get your result to show up in a Google Answer Box!
What is an “Answer Box”?
I know we just talked a little bit about what an answer box is above, but there’s more to it.
Answer boxes come in many forms – graphs, tables, pictures, lists, video, and text. However, the most popular answer box formats are paragraphs, lists, and tables. They’re designed to give you an immediate answer to your question so you can move on with your day. Because of this, queries that have the potential for an answer box are always listed at the top of the SERP (search engine results page), even before the organic search results.
That Google answer box is the first result a searcher sees, and if that answer box fully answers their question, they’re less likely to click on any other result or move further down the page. In short, answer boxes have become the new number one spot on a search page.
At the bottom of the answer box, there will be a link or a small citation of where the information came from. Being in this top spot and having all eyes see your result, your content, and your website link is a great way to build brand credibility and familiarity. Gaining a spot in a Google answer box will likely help establish you as an expert in your industry and drive new and relevant traffic to your site as well.
As I said before, small businesses can compete to have their content appear in an answer box. Now, it’s safe to say that it will be more difficult for a small, niche business to compete for answer box space, but it’s not impossible either. There are definite and proven steps you can take to ensure that your result is the one that will show up!
How to Appear in a Google Answer Box
Here’s a list of actions you can take to help you get a Google answer box position:
1. Format your content with the answer box in mind. Add a graph, format your content into a list, or make sure to include a supporting image. You want to style your content to match the appearance of answer boxes.
2. Optimize your content for a query-based keyword, and then specifically answer that query in your content. However, don’t get so specific with your question that it can be answered in one sentence. You want to leave room for you to give a comprehensive answer.
Format your keyword with an <H2> header tag and then provide the answer in the paragraph(s) below. You want your question and response to stand out from the rest of your content.
3. Check out queries that already have an answer box and see if you can improve them. If there isn’t an answer box yet, it might be an opportunity to create the content Google would use to provide an answer box in their search results. Check out the result for position one in organic rankings as well to see what you’re going up against. Who’s featured in that answer box currently? Can you develop content to better answer the question?
4. Try to already be ranking for a specific query. Results that already rank on page one of Google have a better chance of gaining a spot in an answer box. Make sure your information is valid (provide backlinks) and you’re following SEO best practices.
Getting a spot in a Google answer box can help increase your credibility as a small business, build familiarity with your brand, and boost traffic to your website. Now more than ever, Google answer boxes are common on most result pages. Google answer boxes are yet another way small business have a fighting chance to gain traffic from the web.