This post is going to look at why you need to use People Also Ask in your SEO tactics, what the benefits are, and the best examples of companies using PAA.
If you’ve searched anything online in recent years, you may have noticed a section of related questions people ask popping up directly under the top-ranking answer to your query. This section preempts the questions people ask next concerning their initial query.
This is called People Also Ask (PPA) and is a section of 4 similar questions that can help you discover further information on the topic.
But how does this affect you and your SEO strategy?
Firstly, People Also Ask analyses search terms to predict what people will also ask on a specific topic. The feature uses snippets for some results as it does for the top search terms directly related to the search.
You click one of the questions in People Also Ask, and you are again shown a snippet. This can be in the form of text, multimedia, a table, or anything that answers the query it is being shown for.
So, if you are already utilising snippets to boost your SEO strategy, delving a little bit deeper into what People Also Ask is and the results and effects of including it in your SEO tactics moving forward can potentially help you boost your position in the SERPs.
Why Do You Need People Also Ask?
It might be interesting to learn that a survey by SEMRush found that almost three-quarters of the pages used in Google’s People Also Ask results for various queries were not actually results from the top tens of pages that ranked for that specific term.
What this means for you is that you can create content on the related terms that you want to rank for and still be featured on the first page; for example, if you are a cyber security firm looking to rank to assist people with protecting their online data and you have a campaign around people getting their identity stolen, maybe your primary target is around “how many people get their identity stolen this year.”
People Also Ask will then show people searching for this or similar questions, including “How common is identity theft?” or “Why is identity theft so common in the US?” and so on. So even if you don’t rank for your primary search, then you might be in with a shot of ranking in PAA for other related search terms.
Basically, People Also Ask is a way to boost your SEO if you are already creating relevant content around the topic you want to rank for.
Are There People Also Asked Case Studies?
Despite one study (via Backlinko) noting that only 3% of users interact with PAA boxes and People Also Ask boxes not appearing in 100% of search results, the full results varied.
The study found there were some instances generating interactions or intent from over 13% of users, meaning it is able to appeal to people who are searching for a topic relating to your query and it is highly beneficial in terms of boosting visibility.
It’s important to understand that interactions aren’t the same as clicks; an interaction is simply a user expanding the question.
Using this study, Ahrefs noted that if you take the 3% interaction rate and estimate that 40% of these interactions lead to click, you are left with 0.3% of results appearing in PAA getting click, which might not sound like much for the effort required. But the payback depends on the volume of search terms. For example, to gain an extra 100 clicks per month, you would need a combined search volume of 33,000.
Again, for context, over 90% of pages get no organic traffic, so being able to get at least one more click if you’re hovering around zero can be worth the effort required.
For more detail, these People Also Ask case studies show significant upward trends in ranking and traffic.
Graco Inc. is a company that provides homewares and solutions for both homeowners and contractors alike. A deep dive into their SEO found that the top pages Graco Inc. was ranking for weren’t on their preferred search terms.
An overhaul of other strategies led to content creation and optimization of existing content to rank for the desired search terms relating to all queries; this included a regular posting schedule and optimising images and alt tags to support a climb in rankings and meet all Google best practices.
This approach led to them uncovering high search term volumes pertaining to their industry to be utilised, allowing them to make further changes to feature in snippet results. This, in turn, led to an influx in traffic from People Also Ask results and Quick Answer opportunities.
The focus on prioritising snippets results to help them land viable visibility in People Also Ask resulted in a 718% rise in PAA features and a boost of 145% in Quick Answers, too.
Ubigi is a global cellular service that wanted to dominate all four of its PAA results. Initially, when searching for the communication company, it didn’t feature in any of the related questions.
In fewer than 6 months, they went from not appearing once to taking control of related queries in People Also Ask by incorporating the answers into their content in an existing FAQ structure.
They took the PAA search terms that appeared when searching for their company and ensured the responses to their questions met the parameters Google required to be chosen. They positioned themselves as the authority in that niche, and results showed they achieved their goals.
What this managed to achieve was total control over how they appear in the search engines and ensured that all traffic and clicks pertaining to them were maximised to benefit their own endeavours, not those of other parties.
While figures on exactly how much additional traffic this gained them isn’t as forthcoming, it’s expected that they gained more impressions and clicks than previously when they only had the main results for the initial query.
Corporate Vision is a leader in sales training. To reach potential clients, they needed to be visible in the space they specialised in to drive traffic and make conversions via lead generations.
Sadly, organic search terms and SEO weren’t working for them, and carrying out SEO in-house meant they were missing out on a substantial amount of traffic.
Despite a high content volume on their website, they failed to appear in search engine results. An overhaul of their SEO strategy saw their partners focus on SEO migration Services, Historical SEO and Conversion Rate Optimisation to get the results they need. This approach turned around the failing campaign and delivered the traffic required to sustain business and generate new leads.
However, if Corporate Vision were utilising the power of PAA, they would be able to deliver results pertaining to search queries related to their niche.
Questions such as “sales skills training”, “how to train my staff to boost sales”, and “Who has the best sales training?” would all benefit Corporate Vision’s objectives and support SEO and lead generation even if they didn’t rank for the main search.
The answer generated by PAA would be enough to land them on the top page. So, while People Also Ask may not have a driving factor in their SEO campaign, today, the changes they implemented in their content strategy mean they will have a greater chance of being chosen to appear in the boxes than previously.
Merci Facteur is an online postal service that saw a drop of 37% in year-on-year organic traffic. While alarming, this drop indicated that what they were doing was ceasing to have any impact, and they needed to rethink their SEO strategy.
What was identified from the research was that Merci Facteur was not communicating who it was and what it does, so the beginning of their journey required them to ensure that basic questions were answered so that search engines understood precisely what they did and when they needed to be recommended. Once this was rectified, the results were immediately on the rise again.
Alongside an overhaul of their “About Me” page, collecting independent third-party reviews and providing detailed, consistent content to frequently asked questions and search terms relating to their industry, Merci Facteur was able to change their fortunes, reclaim the lost traffic and build momentum.
In 2022-2023, the company saw a 33% increase in Google traffic from SEO and a 28% increase in SERP visibility. The work put into defining what the company was all about meant that their snippets were picked up and displayed in PAA in related queries.
The introduction of PAA meant that Merci Facteur secured top spots for many of their preferred search terms and featured in related queries to support their original search terms, which played a massive part in the 28% increase in visibility.
Using the power of People Also Ask (PAA) has been instrumental in refining Testlify‘s online presence. In evaluating the company’s website, they frequently employ PAA to identify content gaps and capitalize on opportunities.
For instance, they noticed a trending PAA query related to talent assessment tools and promptly customized our content to address this, resulting in a significant boost in organic traffic.
Moreover, PAA data is integral to their strategy for improving Click-Through Rate (CTR) and overall search performance.
By aligning their content with prevalent PAA queries, they have not only enhanced our visibility but also fine-tuned the approach to meet the specific search intent of their audience.
This integration of PAA data has proven invaluable in ensuring their platform remains at the forefront of relevant search results.