Leveraging Position Zero: Steps to Optimize Your Content to Drive Traffic from Google Quick Answers

February 23, 2018 Stephen Galgocy

There are endless ways to drive quality traffic to your site, and – especially in the world of SEO – it can be hard to stay up to date on the impacts of algorithm changes. But every now and then, Google presents us with a cannot-pass-up opportunity to enhance site and brand visibility. Providing an opportunity to appear above all organic listings, the Google Quick Answer box is a win we recommend every brand go for ― especially if you can include a link to your site within the displayed answer.

What Are Google Quick Answers?

  • Google Quick Answers are featured at the top of the Google SERP
  • They are deployed in an attempt to quickly and directly answer a searcher’s question
  • The featured answer is typically short
  • Google Quick Answers are primarily comprised of text
  • They are designed to provide information to users without the need to click off the search results
  • There are three types of Google Quick Answers: paragraphs, lists, tables
  • Google Quick Answers usually appear in a light-gray box
  • Most of the answers featured by data come from Google’s Knowledge Graph
  • Some answers are the result of exclusive data partnerships Google has created
  • Quick Answers sometimes provide limited information about the source of the answer


Why Do You Want Your Brand to Appear in Google Quick Answers?

Google Quick Answers appear above all other organic results ― in position ZERO. This means they are drawing eyeballs and clicks away from other first-page organic results. At the same time, the brand providing the answer is being featured as the expert on the topic addressed.


How Should I Format Content to Appear in a Google Quick Answers Box?

  1. Answer questions that start these words: who, when, where, why, how, are, was, which, will, have, does, do, can, is, should.
  2. Answer questions that already use an answer box ― especially if the current answer is not great
  3. Ask the question and follow with the answer. Be obvious.
  4. Answer the question correctly. Google favors accuracy, plus you don’t want to associate your brand with inaccuracies.
  5. If possible, answer multiple questions on one page. Make sure they all relate to a similar theme. This will help Google identify your content as an FAQ resource.
  6. Organize your content and make it easily accessible to the visitor.
  7. Utilize lists with bullets or numbers to answer questions.
  8. You can also answer questions with short, succinct and easy-to-scan, easy-to-digest paragraphs. Ideally, they should be 40-60 words.
  9. If possible, include multiple, relevant images that support the answers provided.
  10. Implement on-page SEO best practices.
  11. Refer to Wikipedia as an example of best practices.

What Are the Best Practices to Drive Traffic to Your Site from a Google Quick Answers Box?

Focus on providing answers that are not common knowledge facts, so citations are required. Beyond that, your goal is to have Google truncate your answer leading searchers to click for the rest of your content. Google typically shows lists of up to eight and truncates tables after three columns.


What Types of Domains Does Google Pull from for Their Quick Answers?

Google always pulls Quick Answers from HTTPS domains on the first page of search results. The more authoritative the page, the more likely it will be selected, so link quality and quantity matters. But remember, proper answer structure and content is more important than rank. Google Quick Answers can be your method for leap frogging the competition that is currently above you.

As always, when it comes to SEO, remember that quality content is essential. Publish posts that include answers relevant to your audience to ensure you attract the right people. And of course, nothing is guaranteed in SEO. But attempting to get your content into Google Quick Answers is almost always worth a shot ― at a minimum, you’ll be providing a great resource to your site visitors. If all goes well, you’ll position your brand as an expert while growing your audience base.


Would you like an SEO expert to look at your website and blog to identify content that can be tweaked for Google Quick Answers? Click here to have someone on Team DMS contact you and get your content audit started.







About the Author

Stephen Galgocy

Stephen Galgocy is the Senior Organic Search and User Experience Specialist at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), an industry leader in providing end-to-end customer acquisition solutions that help clients grow their businesses and realize their marketing goals. In this role, Stephen handles search engine marketing (SEM), which encompasses search engine optimization (SEO), user experience (UX), multivariate testing (MVT) and conversion rate optimization (CRO). Since its inception, DMS has evolved into a full-service performance marketing company that services firms within highly complex and competitive industries including mortgage, education, insurance, consumer brands, automotive, jobs and careers. DMS has achieved incredible year-over-year growth, which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

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