Rich Answer as a Source of Huge Traffic: Is It a Myth or Reality?
Today we are going to talk about rich answers in SEO. According to Linkedin.com, Google provided Rich Answers for 40% of queries in 2016. If you want to know more about rich answers and double your traffic you should read this. Let’s start talking from a short explanation why a rich answer is good for your page, how to get your content indexed as a rich answer and what advantages and disadvantages you may face with. Also, we will show you how we were implementing all theory on the practice.
Being in the Rich Answer Box and How It Could Benefit You
In a few words, a “rich answer” is an effort by Google to answer the searcher’s query in search results without clicking through to a website. There are different types of rich answers and each of us could see them when searching for some information.
Let’s list all of them: featured snippets, charts, tables, sliders, maps, forms, snippets, answers provided by Google. You may see rich answers answering your “how to”, “why”, “when”, etc questions. It doesn’t matter what you are looking for from “how to cook salmon” to “how to create a website”.
Sample of Google’s rich answer in search results
So, what is good in having a content indexed as a rich answer and what is bad? As for us, it is really cool to have such approach. Your may see that your traffic is doubled, as your content is shown in the top of all results.
But people don’t need to open your page and they have no need to click through your website. The worst thing is that in one moment Google can stop showing your content as a rich answer and your traffic will be dropped out.
Short Guide on How to Get Rich Answers
Now we are going to show how you can get your page shown as a rich answer.
Search for proper queries.You may create a list of the most asked questions in your industry. It is very useful to read some relevant blogs and find out what your audience is searching for but it can’t find. Don’t forget to pay a particular attention to a question that is shown up in Google search autofill. Quick tip: it is better to use queries that don’t have a rich answer as it’ll increase your chances of success.
Create a high-quality content. Yes, it should be really a good content. First of all, it should answer your question specifically. It is important to have short informative bullets, use keywords in your short answers. Mark up the question you want to answer in “H1”. Good practice is adding some supplemental information, especially links to some useful pages. Quick tip: write one question on one page, use step-by-step answer format, and don’t forget to keep your content short and sweet.
Make a promo for your page. You should show your page for Google. So, submit URL in Google Search Console, distribute links in your Google+, promote links on other high-quality resources. Also, you may use YouTube, providing short and interesting video (check our YouTube video optimization guide). Quick tip: use only relevant resources with good SEO profile.
How to Get My Page Indexed as a Rich Answer?
A few months ago we tried to get content shown as a rich answer. We start with analyzing the situation on the market.
First of all, we’ve found 20 queries relevant to our industry that were shown as rich answers. After this, we start analyzing pages params to understand which pages are good for Google to be shown at the top of search results. We were analyzing the 6 params: length of the page, UR, DR, Alexa rank, the number of backlinks and implementation of schema.org.
The results were amazing. Are you ready to get to know them? We saw that :
- the length of the pages variates from 428 words to 3670 words;
- UR – from 13 to 43;
- DR variates from 0 to 74;
- number of backlinks – from 0 to 4.24K;
- Alexa rank variates from 1.66K to 119K.
- only one page was implemented schema.org.
And what is the conclusion? We understood that these params had no influence. Really? Which params does Google use for choosing some pages to be indexed as a rich answer, how to get rich answers? Nobody knows it.
“Rich answer” page parameters
Content Planning for “Rich Answer” Page
After this small research, we’ve decided to do keywords research. We tried to find queries relevant to our industry that weren’t shown as rich answers. We’ve found 10 queries with good capacity. It was very useful to read some questions that our target audience was looking for but can’t find. We think that Quora and sites similar to it are good resources, feel free to use them. The next step was to plan a content. For our 10 queries, we’ve planned 10 pages. We chose 3 keywords per page. We separated these pages into 2 categories. For each category, our content plan was specified.
For first 5 pages, we used our “how to” keyword as the second and added short informative bullets. Also, we marked up our keyword in “H2”. For other 5 pages, we used our “how to” keyword as the main, marked up it in “H1”, added a short definition, and added an answer to our “how to” keyword.
Rich Answer Experiment Results
In a month we checked the results. And what did we see? We didn’t get our content indexed as rich answers. Bad, really bad. So, we decided to recheck queries that we had used for our analysis. We were impressed that 6 of 20 queries didn’t have rich answers anymore. And for 3 queries Google showed other pages. So, we decided to do promo for some pages and check the results in two months. We hope that Google will show our content as a rich answer.
As nobody knows which params Google use for indexing your page as a rich answer you may try to follow our short guide and get successful results. Good luck!