This article was originally published as a part of the mddigitalgraphicdesigns Inner Circle.
It’s the private newsletter for our clients, partners, and friends, where we share one super actionable SEO tip that has worked well for us, every week.
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The Greatest SEO Hack Since… Ever?
There is an amazing SEO hack that has been spread around massively in the last couple of months and today we’re going to show you exactly how to implement it for your own business.
What makes this strategy so special compared to everything shared in the SEO world?
- It is practically instant
- It doubles the real-estate you take up in the search results
- Increases your branding
- It actually helps your readers!
Let’s get straight to it.
Time to learn: 5-10 minutes
Impact (1-10): 8
Tools required: Rich Snippet Generator (it’s free)
Introducing FAQ Schema
Take a look at this search result.
See anything different from your average Google search?
DreamGrow takes up nearly half of the page with their frequently asked questions.
Today I’m going to show you, real-time, how to implement this on your own site in under five minutes.
Want to know the best part about this?
YOU decide what the questions are and what you write in the answer box and Google displays them near instantly.
As they say… With great power comes great search traffic – or something along those lines…
Before you proceed with this, I highly encourage you to check out Google’s guidelines on using the FAQ schema and don’t abuse it. This way we can all reap (moderate) benefits from this for years to come.
If the page doesn’t have any relevant questions to be covered, don’t use the schema.
Another no-go solution would be implementing it on one of your product pages and only using questions to hype up your own stuff.
Use common sense and ask yourself – would Google users actually benefit from this?
Getting Started – Coming Up With The Questions
First of all, you’re going to need a list of frequently asked questions to use.
There are a few ways you can go about this, but here are my favorite strategies:
1. Look at the “People Also Ask” section
Naturally, being in the SEO game, my first choice for questions is going to be what Google already thinks is relevant for my queries.
Let’s say I had a post about the best protein powders, here’s what Google shows me that “People Also Ask”:
Not only does Google think these are relevant, but I could also see these being quite helpful for our content.
2. Use Answer The Public
Answer The Public is a handy tool that finds every question possible related to your keyword.
Here’s just a glimpse into what it gives us when we type in “link building”:
Now just use your head to figure out what’d be the best fit for your users.
3. Come Up With Them Yourself
If you’re the one creating the content, it’ll probably be really easy to come up with the questions on your own and just make it a part of the article itself.
For example, if I’m writing an article about link building, I would already know that most people will ask me about how many links to build, what types to use, and whether buying them is OK.
But still… I like to draw inspiration from what Google gives us on a silver platter with the People Also Ask feature 🙂
Tips For Writing The Answers
While you can write whatever you want as the answer, I’ve got two main tips for this:
1. Actually answer the question and be useful
Quite self-explanatory, huh?
2. Create curiosity and encourage people to read the article
If you look back at the FAQ example given above, it is generally going to be plain text which means there is no way to click to the actual page.
Since our goal is to get people on the site, answer the question to some extent but hint that there are more details in the article itself.
Here’s an example of how I might do it for: “What’s the best link building strategy?”
“There are dozens of link building strategies outlined in this post and they all work, but ultimately, the best strategy is going vary for every industry. What works well in sports, may not work in digital marketing. Overall, we’ve had the best success rate with strategy #4.”
We start off by mentioning that our actual post has a list of strategies they can use and finish off by recommending a specific strategy they can only learn by reading the article.
Curious? I would be!
Another, slightly shadier strategy you can use here is to pretend the results are getting cut off.
Something along the lines of:
“In our case study of building 5,325 links using 7 of the most popular link building strategies, there was a clear winner. Assuming you follow best practices, the most effective link building strategy is…”
Now, we don’t recommend the second approach but it might just get your creative juices flowing 🙂
How to Actually Implement The Results
As a recurring theme in these inner circle emails, there’s a bunch of ways you can implement this…
There’s a slightly harder way, by following the Schema markup provided by Google on their guidelines page.
And then there’s the easy way…
SEO blogger Matthew Woodward has been kind of to create a free FAQ rich snippet generator on his site that’ll automagically make the code for you.
Simply fill in your questions and answers and it’ll give you a piece of code to put into the header of the page you’re trying to get a snippet for.
I like to use the Insert Headers and Footers WordPress plugin for this as I already had it installed on my site.
If you’re using Matt’s tool, he also lists a bunch of other ways to implement the code, so check that out.
Let’s See It In Action
Now, I promised you that this would work in less than five minutes so let’s see how it works.
First, here’s a screenshot of the results for “Dropship Lifestyle Review” at 2:46 PM.
To be fair, I did write up the questions and answers before that, but it’s fast none-the-less.
Next up, I went into WordPress, edited the post to actually have the FAQ text on the page itself, and added the code to the header of the page.
Now we need to let Google know that the page has been updated and ask them to recrawl it.
To do this, you can head to Google Search Console, navigate to “Coverage” and then look for pages that are “Submitted and indexed”.
Now on the bottom of the page, you’ll find a list of all of your indexed posts.
Find the one you just updated, click on it the result, and choose “Inspect URL” from the right-hand sidebar.
As the last step, on that final page, you’ll see a button for “Request Indexing” which tells Google that the page has been updated and puts it on their priority list.
Now we wait for Google to go over it…
And voila, just 5 minutes later, the search results look like this:
Try it out and report back on how it goes – we’re looking forward to your success stories!
Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll see you next week with yet another actionable SEO strate