Even if you have never heard of the Google Quick Answer Box, you’ve probably seen and used it. You go to Google and enter your search term, phrase or question. The returning page may just well show a box at the top with your answer right there. That is the Google Quick Answer Box.
This little box is Google’s way of giving people the information they want quickly and simply. Users often love it because it avoids the hassle of clicking a SERP link only to find it doesn’t really answer the question at all. Then they have to try again, maybe multiple times, until they finally find what they want.
Google gets the content for this box from the website that the box directs people to. It can pull images as well as copy and generally appears before all other results.
An Opportunity for You
Before you poo-poo the box thinking you don’t need it because by giving people answers from a SERP page, they won’t want to come to your site, stop for a moment. Right out of the gate, you have garnered the impression because they have seen your URL and name in that box. That’s step #1. Next, you have answered their question. That’s step #2.
By accomplishing these two things, you have increased your chance of being the go-to resource when more is needed. That might be right away or it could be on another day.
You have also shown Google that your site contains content that is actually useful to people. Even if your pages aren’t currently reaching that #1 ranking, you can still be found in the Google Quick Answer Box. It actually provides you with a very important opportunity—if you’re willing to take it.
How to Get in the Box
The best way to get your content in the box is to make sure that your site content is set up to answer questions and provide useful information. How-to and Q&A pages are excellent places for you to start. Both of these pages by nature do exactly what the Quick Answer Box is designed to do.
When looking at what content to develop, start by identifying what some of the most common questions people could have. This might be how to do something or even understanding what something is.
From there, develop very organized, succinct, and high quality content that answers those “how” or “what” questions. You can use bullets or numbered step-by-step lists. Do whatever you need but be direct—remember, the point is to be quick here, as the box name implies.
You will also want to ensure that the pages you target as potential Quick Answer Box candidates focus on one topic only. This avoids confusion and ensures that Google recognizes this page being about topic X only. Make sure your on-page SEO is strong to complement the rest of your “instructional” copy.
Yet Another SEO Nuance
You have known for a while that SEO is multi-faceted. Fortunately for you, that just opens up more doors via which you can reach your intended audience. The Google Quick Answer Box is one of those doors.