Some ideas are so obvious that they don’t get the attention that they should. Questions are important for SEO. Creating discussion is an important part of blogging, web design and marketing in general. A simple question in the right place can leverage a very surprising amount of direct ranking factors. This SEO short explores how you can take advantage of the simplest of techniques to drastically improve user experience and boost Google rankings.
User experience and engagement have always been very important parts of SEO. A common sales tactic is to keep talking about anything until your client feels obliged to buy a product because they like you (immoral but bear with me). Building a rapport with your client even by talking about the weather (boring) is more effective than going in to hard sell your product.
Bloggers can use a similar technique – trigger a debate for your comment section. Asking the right questions encourages your users to spend a longer time on your site; you will create a larger and more engaged audience. Most importantly the right questions will build genuine friendships which benefit both parties.
The vital factor in building a relationship with your clients, or readership is following up on those questions and then leveraging any benefit you can. Don’t be selfish – if you can help your reader by going out of your way, do it! It baffles me why some bloggers don’t reply to their comments, even when they are asked a tricky question.
There is no shame in not knowing everything. Most people don’t know why an action works – just that it does. Go away and do some research, you are the ‘expert’ and that is why your followers read and engage with you. Who knows maybe you can do a study and bring some new knowledge to the table.
How does asking questions improve SEO?
It’s almost unbelievable how something so simple is so powerful.
Take the question “what do you think of my opinion that questions work like a call to action?” Say I were trying to rank for ‘call to action’, there is a high chance of this question increasing my keyword density and related terms through user comments. More importantly starting a debate is a great way to generate backlinks with highly relevant anchor text. With the right questions you will have the right answers.
Focus on opinions with no objective answer. Google’s RankBrain algorithm has made related terms more important than ever, far more important than keyword density. People may disagree with you and use terminology which doesn’t exactly match your keyword choice. Google don’t want exact match, it’s unnatural keyword stuffing so varied perspectives are great.
Gaining a better idea of your regular readers’ opinions on subjects which you write about improves your knowledge of what makes them tick. You shouldn’t need polls to understand your followers – talk to them. Continue asking the right questions and you will better yourself as you better your audience. Take the template “I respect that you disagree with what I am saying, could you expand on why so I can add a new section to this post?”
This refines your content but is also an efficient way of link building. If you create a long debate with one of your readers they are very likely to share your post on social media. Social shares breed further engagement, social shares, follows and backlinks. If you engage a blogger you can work together on their content or they can help with your content.
- More comments, debate and knowledge.
- Increased keyword density – and related terms.
- Collaborations and guest posts.
- Social shares and follows.
- Increased time on site.
- More email subscribers.
Any cons? Let me know. =)
There is a lot of focus on call to action. There is less focus on the importance of asking multiple questions. Comments and questions breed more comments and questions – exponential growth. If a post is worth writing it should encourage discussion. If you aren’t creating a debate chances are you aren’t bringing any new information to your industry.
There is a lot to be said for rewriting existing knowledge in an easier to digest form, understand and simplify. Asking questions is a form of call to action – it encourages response. So here’s the real point of this post – do you agree with my subjective opinion?
- Do you think that questions and call to actions are the same, similar or completely different?
- Do you think that rehashing known information ever has value as the internet gets more and more cluttered?
- Most importantly – do you like my SEO shorts, do you have anything to add and would you like to collaborate on anything?
Please if you enjoyed this article, contribute. Answer a question and I will credit you!