How to rank for People Also Asked Featured Snippets

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    This is a step by step guide on how to rank for Google’s people also asked featured snippets. But first ….

    What are People Also Asked Snippets ?

    People Also Asked is one type of featured snippet or answer box that appears in Google’s organic search results.

    Examples of PAA

    This is an example of a People Also Asked snippet with a header and paragraph answer.

    This is a People Also Asked snippet with a header and paragraph answer.

    This is a People Also Asked snippet with a list answer.

    This is a People Also Asked snippet with an answer in a table format.

    These snippets are all part of Google’s strategy to be an answer engine (not just a search engine).

    Google now answers 49% of searches without a click; so Google is now one part answer, one part search engine.

    Look at the percentage of zero click searches below.

    But PAA can also be very useful for the user.

    The top results don’t always answer your question.

    In other words, you Google something, look at the results and think, “no that’s not what I was looking for”.

    List of all featured snippets

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    How common are featured snippets?

    But here’s a quick summary of how often PAA appears on desktop devices taken from my Google Page 1 guide.

    google serp features desktop image

    And how often PAA snippets appear on mobile devices.

    google search features on mobile graphic

    How to check PAA keywords you rank for

    Don’t worry if you don’t have Ahrefs.

    This example shows you how to find featured snippets for keywords you rank for.

    Then filter by position 1 to 10 – ok you could stretch to position 12.

    I rank in the UK for 727 keywords.

    • Go to Ahrefs
    • Select organic keywords
    • Select SERP features then People also ask

    So 650 of these 727 keywords that I rank for have a PAA featured snippet

    What about my page 1 rankings ?

    I have 101 page one rankings.

    85 of those have featured snippets

    So PAA is everywhere.

    What type of content is featured in these People Also Asked Box ?

    Generally speaking there are 3 types:

    • Header and paragraph
    • List
    • Table

    And you want your answer and content to fit into that People Also Asked box.

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    An opportunity for more clicks ?

    So the train of thought is :

    If I rank on page 1 for a term and people click a PAA feature, I want to be there.

    According to Ahrefs, 8.6% of all clicks go to featured snippets.

    So it’s worthwhile ranking for PAA.

    So the only way to target keywords you currently rank on page 1 where there are PAA snippets.

    How to rank for more PAA snippets

    Identify keywords in position 1 to 10 with PAA snippets.

    • Go to Search Console
    • Select Performance
    • Select Last 28 days
    • Make sure Total Clicks, Total Impression, Average CTR and Average Position are selected
    • Select the down arrow keyword and Google Sheets to import into Google Sheets

    Set up a filter for position 12 or less.

    Copy the first or any query on your list and paste it into AlsoAsked.com

    Now click the Save CSV button to download it.

    Import the CSV to your Google Sheet

    • Create new tab and import the CSV file you downloaded
    • Tidy up the columns widths
    • In the 2nd column your “People Also Asked” questions are displayed

    Now Google the keyword you rank for

    Remember the 3 types of PAA

    • Header and paragraph
    • List
    • Table

    And you want your answer and content to fit into that People Also Asked box.

    Google your search query eg: ubersuggest vs ahrefs

    Click on each PAA question and examine the snippet Google display – are they header/paragraphs, lists or tables ?

    Write down the list of PAA related to this query and write down the type of content that is appearing eg: 

    • What is Ubersuggest – Header and paragraph
    • What is Ahrefs? – – Header and paragraph
    • How much does Ahrefs cost? – Header and paragraph

    Now go to your page/URL that this query ranks for 

    Copy one of the PAA eg: what is ubersuggest

    Select CTRL + F on your keyword

    Paste query in search box to find it

    If you can’t find the query on your page, just search for part of the query eg: ubersuggest

    Now you need to read through your page and see if you’ve any content that is somewhat related to this question or you currently have some of the answer on your page.

    Look what I had previously written.

    I mention what these tools were but haven’t structured my content in the format, header and paragraph formats that could help secure a PAA ranking.

    So I need to write a header question and a paragraph answer.

    Then the next PAA.

    Now write and add the next PAA. 

    How about adding a question and answer for the cost of Ubersuggest ?

    So then you would publish the page with the new questions and answers targeting the snippets.

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    2nd PAA example

    Go back to your spreadsheet and find another query.

    Copy the query and paste it into AlsoAsked.com

    Now click the Save CSV button to download it

    Create a new tab in Google Sheets and import the CSV, give your tab the name of your query.

    Tidy up the columns widths

    In that column your “People Also Asked” questions are displayed.

    Now Google the keyword you rank for

    Remember the 3 types of PAA

    • Header and paragraph
    • List
    • Table

    Google the search query eg: start a business with £1000 uk

    Click on each of them and examine the snippet that Google displays – are they header/paragraphs, lists or tables ?

    Write down the list of PAA related to this query and write down the type of content that is appearing eg: 

    • What business can you start with 1000? – List
    • What business can I start with 5000 pounds? – List 
    • What is the best business to start in the UK? – List
    • What are the most successful small businesses 2019? List

    Now go to your page/URL that this query ranks for 

    Copy one of the PAA eg: What business can you start with 1000

    Select CTRL + F on your keyword

    Paste query in search box to find it

    If you can’t find the query on your page, just search for part of the query eg: start or 1000

    Now you need to read through your page and see if you’ve any content that is somewhat related to this question or you have the answer.

    So I’ve gone through my post and I’ve not mentioned the exact query.

    I’m not even sure how I could reformat my page with a list for 

    What business can you start with 1000

    Then a list for 

    What business can I start with 5000 pounds?

    First I’d check the search and click volume to see if it’s worth my while reshuffling my page.

    I’ll be honest I’m not comfortable doing that nor do I have the time to make significant adjustments to this page to get a PAA snippet.

    So let’s move onto another example.

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    3rd PAA example

    Go back to your spreadsheet and find another query.

    Copy the first query and paste it into AlsoAsked.com

    Now click the Save CSV button to download it

    Create a new tab in Google Sheets and import the CSV, give your tab the name of your query.

    Tidy up the columns widths

    In that column your “People Also Asked” questions are displayed.

    Now Google the keyword you rank for

    Remember the 3 types of PAA

    • Header and paragraph
    • List
    • Table

    Google the search query eg: local advertising

    Click on each of them and examine the snippet that Google displays – are they header/paragraphs, lists or tables?

    Write down the list of PAA related to this query and write down the type of content that is appearing eg: 

    • How do I advertise locally? List
    • How do I advertise my small business locally? List
    • Where can I advertise my business locally for free? List
    • How much does it cost to advertise locally? Header and paragraph with tv and radio cost posts

    Now go to your page/URL that this query ranks for. 

    Copy one of the PAA eg: How do I advertise my small business locally

    Select CTRL + F on your keyword.

    Paste query in search box to find it.

    If you can’t find the query on your page, just search for part of the query eg: how, small business, free etc.

    I have this content highlighted formatted in a list ; so I could try and change the sub heading to “How do I advertise my small business locally with Google Posts

    It’s possibly a bit sneaky but I doubt it will do any harm to the page.

    Now look at the last PAA – How much does it cost to advertise locally

    I’ve looked through my page and I’ve not written anything about costs.

    I could easily add another subheading and some paragraphs about local paid search and local Facebook advertising costs. 

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    Summary

    If you want to rank for PAA here’s the steps and tactics that I recommend.

    • Find search queries you rank in position 1 to 10
    • Use AlsoAsked.com to find PAA queries
    • Check the SERPs to see the content Google ranks ie : Header/Paragraph, List or Table
    • Check your page to see if you already answer the question
    • Aim to update your page that answers the questions in the content format Google currently rank for.