Semrush recently completed a People Also Ask study of 1 million random keywords based on desktop search results in the United States. We’ve highlighted the findings from that study that are relevant to ecommerce.
One thing is clear and intentional for Google: responding to users’ queries as quickly as possible.
Google has developed various SERP features to reduce time friction from the user’s search to walk the tightrope of time constraints. One of them is the People Also Ask (PAA) box feature.
To put it in perspective, the “People Also Ask” results appear six times more frequently than other featured snippets within a SERP. This demonstrates the importance of the People Also Ask boxes in search engine optimization and content marketing methods.
Let’s talk about our people before we go any further. Also, inquire about critical findings and broad trends that may impact your digital marketing efforts.
Semrush People Also Ask Study 2020’s Key Findings
Since Google initially tested PAA units in April 2015, the number of them has exploded. Here are some of the most critical conclusions from the SEMrush investigation.
The paragraphs in the PAA box have an average length of 41 words.
- PAA boxes can be found in half of the 1,000,000 keyword dataset, and the number is growing.
- On the first page of a SERP, you won’t find 74% of the sites inside a PAA box.
- PAA boxes have an 86 percent chance of containing question terms.
- Paragraph text accounts for 45 percent of the PAA results.
- Regardless of their position on the SERP, less authoritative sites have the opportunity to be visible.
- As an eCommerce seller, you want to answer your customers’ questions in the content of your website. Keep your responses short — one answer per paragraph.
Trends in PAA Digital Marketing and Ecommerce
The PAA feature has been helpful for content strategies and SEO for a few years now. When you click it, it displays a snippet answer from a website while also triggering the addition of new questions to the PAA box.
If the user wants to learn more, the snippet answer includes a link to the website.
A look at 25 different industries reveals that the outcomes differ.
At 64.2 percent, the computer and electronics industry had the highest presence in the PAA box. On the other hand, the real estate industry was struggling with a PAA SERP presence of less than 10%.
What does this mean for specialists in eCommerce and digital marketing?
Let’s take a look at the answers.
PAA Frequency on SERPs
The PAA feature is activated by half of the keywords you search on Google.
Nonetheless, Google prioritizes mobile searches because mobile searches account for more than half of all searches.
1. On average, you’ll find PAA boxes in at least 50% of searched keywords
According to Semrush, the user’s search intent influenced the frequency of results Google displayed in the PAA boxes. PAA was found in about half of the 1,000,000 keyword dataset. And the number continues to rise.
2. PAA results appear more frequently on mobile than on desktop
PAA results appeared in 52.27 percent of our mobile search results and 49.37 percent of our desktop search results.
As a result, we may reasonably conclude that mobile search causes more PAA than desktop search.
3. Computers and electronics account for 64.2 percent of PAA result boxes
Computer and electronics had an all-time high of 64.2 percent, 0.1 percent higher than the Arts and Entertainment industry.
This indicates that more people are looking for ways to keep themselves occupied. They work from home and have access to indoor activities.
4. In Google, PAA boxes appear in the top three results 75% of the time
We discovered that the PAA feature appears in Google’s top three results over 75% of the time. As a result, it’s one of the most noticeable and consistent aspects of a SERP.
5. The PAA feature appears 58 percent of the time following the initial organic result
After the first organic result, you’ll almost always locate the PAA function.
Google’s algorithm does this to speed up the answering process.
The PAA feature dynamically creates related questions to eliminate time lag and avoid scrolling down because it’s only natural for the eyes to dart to the following result after the first.
Positions of the Sites in the People Also Ask Box on the SERPs
A PAA box can assist you to rank twice on the first page of Google’s SERP, regardless of the PAA location.
According to the data we gathered, 13% of the sites in the PAA box also appeared in the first three spots. By contrast, almost 73% of websites do not appear on the first page.
6. Thirteen percent of the sites in the People Also Ask box also rank in the top three on a SERP
Thirteen percent of the PAA box’s sites may be found on the first page of Google’s search results. These sites also appeared in the top three slots, unlike the Featured Snippets box.
7. The majority of sites included in the PAA box do not appear in the top ten SERP results
According to the report, 74% of the websites that appear in the PAA box do not appear on the first page. With this feature, less authoritative sites have a better chance of improving their SERP ranking.
8. Twenty-six percent of the sites in the top ten positions and the PAA search box appeared.
While nearly 74 percent of websites do not appear on Google’s first page, 26.25 percent appear in the top ten results.
9. Keywords with up to ten words have a 73 percent chance of triggering the PAA box
A PAA box with a featured snippet is likely to appear in 73 percent of queries with keywords longer than 10 words.
Google has a hard time with particular and nuanced queries. As a result, a 10-word keyword has a better chance of triggering a PAA box.
Type of Queries PAA Initiation
10. Regardless of industry, big brands cause PAA results
Big brands like Nike, Amazon, and Etsy have a SERP visibility advantage over smaller eCommerce brands because they appear in PAA result boxes regardless of the industry.
11. Question-like queries trigger PAA 86% of the time
PAA is triggered 86 percent of the time by questions that begin with question words like “why,” “what,” “how,” “when,” “where,” or “who.”
Instead of roundabout content that your readers may not understand, we recommend that you structure your content around these simple triggers.
This question-like format gives your content a chance to appear as a standalone PAA search result.
12. Only about 1% of the time, Google returned the People Also Ask feature as the first result in a search query
For query refinement, Google includes several SERP features. Google Suggest is one of them, and many also look for features in the search box. This category also includes the People Also Asked box.
These features may appear when a user makes a specific or ambiguous search. In cases like this, Google only shows the People Also Ask box as a response to a query about 1% of the time.
This allows websites that focus on more specific queries to become “authority” websites by default, as Google promotes their content by linking to it.
13. Long search queries may trigger the PAA feature
The data also reveals that, unlike highlighted snippets, which are more targeted but less commonly generated, the PAA SERP feature appears when a complicated string of keywords is complex for Google to decipher.
14. Texts in paragraphs account for 78.6% of PAA search query results.
Web content written in paragraphs text appears in about 78.6% of PAA boxes’ findings. Lists (13.8 percent), tables (4.3 percent), and videos were the other result forms (3.3 percent ).
15. A PAA paragraph has an average of 41 words, and the longest has 132 words
The PAA box structure is similar to the mentioned fragments in PAA anatomy. In a PAA paragraph, the average amount of words needed to answer an inquiry is 41, and the longest paragraph is 132.
Other content formats, such as lists, did not surpass eight items in the examined dataset and did not go below two.
Despite being less common, table content types displayed more data per PAA box, with up to 14 rows of online content and three columns.
Google’s PAA Feature: How to Optimize Your Ecommerce Website
You can optimize your ecommerce website for industry-related search queries.
Providing answers or solutions to your users’ search queries could transform them into long-term clients.
With the increased competitiveness and relevance of PAA in SERP rankings, you’ll need a web and content optimization strategy to stand a chance.
Here’s how to make your eCommerce site compatible with Google’s PAA.
Determine the Right Questions for Your Industry
You can examine the target keywords your competitors are ranking for and if they are now ranking on Google’s SERP by comparing their websites. If it isn’t, you might have a shot at ranking.
First, you should figure out which keywords you want to rank for in the PAA boxes.
To locate keywords, you can utilize the Keyword Overview tool from Semrush.
Another option is to make a list of questions based on the PAA boxes displayed on the first page. However, selecting questions at random is unproductive and can waste time.
You may end up with low-volume search queries. In any event, ranking for these low-volume inquiries will not provide your website with the necessary exposure.
You want to look for relevant questions, relevant keywords, and a high search volume if you want to rank for high-volume search queries.
If these questions already have a high ranking on PAA, take note of the related questions in the drop-down menu and base your next set of keywords on them.
Develop Quality Content That Caters to Those Questions
While establishing a FAQ page that caters to many questions will help you rank for Google’s PAA (or featured snippets), you’ll get more significant results if you create separate pages for each query.
Google favours Long-form material. When developing these pages, make sure the target keywords appear as questions in the title tag and primary heading.
However, because you’re expounding on one or a few questions, be wary of fluff so you don’t end up with a lot of extra material in your content.
To avoid this, talk about issues linked to the fundamental question you’re addressing.
Optimize Your Website for SEO
However, creating long-form content will not result in a PAA SERP feature. Increase your chances by addressing a specific query in depth from an SEO standpoint.
On-page optimization is another term for this. On-page optimization will benefit you in two ways.
- Optimize your page for SEO, and
- Increase the authority of your website and its chances of ranking in the SERPs.
Because having a clear SEO strategy that gives you an edge over traditional SERP listings is the foundation of any SEO activity, you can quickly rank for PAA by having a clear SEO strategy that addresses your customers’ search needs.
Having your content optimized for Google’s Rank Brain is a fantastic strategy.
The main goal of Rank Brain is to understand queries in natural language. Google uses the rank brain algorithm to analyze entities in material and create knowledge graphs that fit users’ search criteria.
Including your website in this graph as a source of knowledge for users is a proven PAA strategy for increasing your SERP visibility.
To Meet Google’s Expectations, Format Your Content
Another essential rule to remember is to format your content in the way that Google expects it to be formatted.
It’s straightforward. If you’re asking and answering questions like “where are the best places to shop during the holidays?” It’s clear that Google prefers content in a list format, so provide it.
If you have similar content in a table or paragraph format, Google is unlikely to select you as an answer source.
Check for Messy Header Tags
Double-check your headings, subheadings, and meta descriptions to ensure they’re all appropriately optimized.
Unorganized header tags can cause Google to become confused and lose track of your website’s “scent.” Remove the fluff and use the correct SEO tags in your article to make things as plain as possible.
You’ll attract excellent backlinks when you generate high-quality content that outperforms your competitors’, allowing Google to consider your website as an industry authority.
You now know how to make your eCommerce website PAA-friendly and how these trends affect your digital marketing efforts.
Rather than wasting time selling what you enjoy, use statistics to drive your ecommerce business.
Make sales instead of just constructing a website and providing the content. Use the search results to help you select what to sell and how to describe it.
Regardless of where you rank on the SERPs, you should optimize your website for mobile to boost your chances of selling. To boost your visibility, provide material around the topics they answer.