There will always be questions that neither you nor your competitors rank for, and you can find these in Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer. Just type in a few ‘seed’ keywords related to your site’s topic, then go to the Questions report.
For example, our site is about SEO, so we’ll use “SEO,” “link building,” and “keyword research” as seed keywords.
6 keyword explorer
3. Decide if and where to provide answers
Now that you’ve found some relevant and popular questions that people ask Google, you need to find a place to answer them. After all, Google can’t read out an answer from your site if it isn’t there.
Here’s the basic process:
08 voice search
Given that you probably found plenty of potential questions to answer in the previous step, it’s worth starting with those you already rank for. You can then move onto keywords that competitors rank for, and finally, other keywords.
Let’s go through the process in a bit more detail.
Have you already answered the question?
If you’re already ranking for a question, then chances are you’ve already answered it on the ranking page. That’s why we rank (in the featured snippet) for the question “how to start affiliate marketing.” Our affiliate marketing guide answers it with a shortlist of steps.
7 answer on page
And it answers the question “what is affiliate marketing” with a short definition:
8 answer on page 2
If this is the case for your question, check the optimization advice in the next step.
Can you add the answer to an existing page?
If you haven’t answered the question already, you’ll first want to consider whether it makes sense to answer it on an existing page.
For example, we don’t rank for the question “what is guest blogging” because we haven’t answered it in any relevant blog posts. However, as we already have a post about guest blogging, it’d make sense to add the answer there.
9 answer not on page
Just know that even if people are searching for a question, potentially by voice, it won’t always make sense to answer it.
For example, take a question like “how to find all email accounts in my name.”
10 bad question
Despite being a popular question, it wouldn’t make sense for us to answer it in our post about finding email addresses because it’s unrelated. Trying to shoehorn the answer in there will just confuse and alienate the rest of our visitors.
If you’re unsure whether an answer to a question fits on a page, check its “Parent Topic” in Keywords Explorer. If this is the same as your page’s main target keyword, it’s a sign that the question falls within the page’s broader topic.
For instance, the Parent Topic for “what is guest blogging” is “guest blogging,” which is the target keyword for our post:
11 parent topic
You can also check the SERP overview to see if any similar pages to yours are already ranking for the question. If they are, that’s yet another sign that the question falls under your page’s broad topic.
Here we see that most of the top-ranking pages are broad guides to guest blogging:
12 serp guides
Does it make sense to answer the question on a new page?
It rarely makes sense to create new pages just for voice search, but you’ll sometimes find questions about topics you haven’t yet covered. For example, when I was researching questions for our post on influencer marketing, I stumbled across “how to find influencers on instagram.”
The workload like this whatsapp number list allows both the vendor and the affiliate to focus on. Clicks are the number of clicks coming to your website’s URL from organic search results.
Judging by the types of pages ranking for this term in Keywords Explorer, it probably wouldn’t make sense to answer this question in our influencer marketing guide. It’d make more sense to write a new guide specifically about how to find Instagram influencers.
13 how to find instagram influencers
4. Answer the question
Providing answers to questions, whether on a new or existing page, is relatively straightforward. Just add it to the page as a short paragraph or list.
How do you know which format to go for? Ask Google your question and listen to the answer. If it reads out a short paragraph, go with that. If it reads out a shortlist of steps or bullet posts, go with that.
However, there are a couple of other things to keep in mind when writing answers.
Keep it short and sweet
You might have noticed that Google rarely reads out long answers, so you need to keep things short. How short? Google doesn’t give a definitive number, but one study found that the average Google Home answer is 29 words. So that gives you a decent ballpark figure.