How to use Answer the Public to boost your SEO
There are absolutely loads of helpful SEO tools out there, but when it comes to helping with content marketing, we do have our favourites.
One such favourite is Answer the Public, which is the holy grail for our content writers. Not only does it make coming up with content ideas so much easier, it shows you what people are searching for in real time. Responding to these searches and providing useful content is a sure way to move yourself up the pages on search engines such as Google.
In this blog, we’re going to explain what Answer the Public is, why it’s useful and how it can help you to boost your online presence.
What is Answer the Public?
Answer the Public is a long-tail keyword tool that shows you questions and autocomplete searches around a certain topic. This can help you to understand what people are searching for so that you can provide content featuring relevant, in-depth answers that people are actually searching for and looking to find answers to.
Is Answer the Public free?
Answer the Public is free, but only for a few searches per day! Otherwise, you’re going to run into this guy…
The downside of this is that it works off your IP address, so if a colleague is also using the tool they can hit the day’s limit for your whole team. Not good news for those needing to churn out content consistently.
If you’re stuck for content ideas and want to improve your SEO, it’s definitely worth investing in the tool, which costs $99 per month, or $79 per month if you pay annually. This lets you have unlimited searches and users, as well as allowing you to compare data over time.
How does Answer the Public work?
As mentioned above, the site shows you what people are searching for. We’re going to use the example of one of our clients, Complete Koi & Aquatics, here. Through another SEO tool, Ahrefs, we saw that ‘Ghost Koi’ was being searched for around 1,900 times per month with a keyword difficulty of 0 - what a goldmine!
If you don’t have another SEO tool to help with this, simply note down some topics that you think potential customers would be interested in reading about.
We then headed over to Answer the Public, typed this phrase in and had a look at the results. There are two ways which Answer the Public will display results, the first is through a visualisation wheel. Although the tool will never tell you the exact amount of searches for each question, the darker the dots on the wheel, the more they are searched.
Be warned, though - it can also mean that the particular question or phrase is trending at the moment and actually has relatively low search terms in comparison to others. You’ll never get 100% accurate numbers as search engines like to keep this information top secret.
The screenshot above is just the ‘questions’ section. As you scroll down, there are more wheels for prepositions (i.e. ‘ghost koi for sale near me’) comparisons (ghost koi vs goldfish), and finally alphabeticals, which list every searched term from A to Z.
The other way the information is presented is as ‘data’, as below:
This is a bit easier to read than the visualisation wheel, but the downside is that you don’t get hints as to what is searched the most.
This information is really useful, because when you know so much about your niche, you forget the kinds of information newcomers might be looking for. You might be surprised with what people are asking about!
Using Answer the Public for SEO
Using these questions in a piece of content can really help to boost your rankings. It shows search engines that you’re an expert in your field. Generally, the more questions you answer and the more in-depth you go, the better. This is of course dependent on the number of searches and content, as sometimes people are just looking for a small amount of information.
Based on our research, we then created a piece titled ‘Everything you need to know about Ghost Koi’, which answered many of the questions from Answer the Public. This piece was published in July 2020 and naturally it will take a while for search engines to pick up on this content, but at the time of writing (December 2020), Complete Koi are now position #1 on Google for ‘Ghost Koi Carp’ and ‘Butterfly Ghost Koi’, even though their domain rating is 3.7. We expect this to continue increasing!
Similar results can be expected if you follow this process. Ensuring that the questions are formatted as H2s, H3s and H4s will mean the keyword is in the questions too, and that search engines will understand that they are your headings and subheadings.
For an extra boost, add FAQ schema to your content. This means that your questions and answers will appear when people type in related search terms, as below.
This is much more eye catching to users, and they can get their answers without even having to click on a site. Even if you’re not ranking for the term they typed in, you can appear in excerpts on the page as above, which is especially useful if you’re just getting started.
Another way that Answer the Public can help with SEO is the feature that helps you to compare data over time. For example, if we head towards Winter and suddenly spot that people are searching for questions such as ‘Do Ghost Koi hibernate?’, we can add this into the content and keep it up to date.
Also, if a new cool gadget for ponds has been released but there aren’t many searches around this yet, we can get the product page ranking as searches increase and keep an eye out for more questions trickling in as the product gains popularity. This can help us to answer those questions before anyone else does.
Finally, if one of your old pieces of content previously had a lot of traffic but is slipping down in the ranks, it could be that your competitors are answering questions you aren’t. Keep an eye on old content and update it as and when new questions arise.
Answer the Public is a fantastic tool for any content writers looking for more ideas and to boost their SEO.If you’re stretched for resources and would like to outsource content research and writing, we’re your people! Get in touch today via email@example.com or call 01204 282 213 and we’ll see how we can help.
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