Have you been optimizing your content for questions? There are a few powerful reasons for you to start doing it now:
- Niche question research is the most powerful content inspiration source
- Questions are highly engaging: Asking a question triggers a natural answering reflex in human beings. Using questions on your landing pages and / or social media will improve engagement
- Questions are very useful for niche and audience research: What can’t people figure out in your industry and how can you best help them?
- Question research allows you to understand natural language better and optimize for voice search
- Question optimization allows for increased organic search visibility through both featured snippets and Google’s “People Also Ask” results.
Just to reinforce the latter point, Google is going a bit insane with understanding and featuring questions in SERPs. Here’s just one of their recent experiments showing a multifaceted featured snippet, addressing a possible follow-up question (courtesy of Barry Schwartz):
Types of niche questions and how to group them
- Basic questions (these usually relate to defining concepts). In most cases you don’t need to write lengthy explanations because people searching for those seek quick easy-to-understand answers.
- How-to questions (these usually relate to step-by-step instructions). Adding videos to better explain the process is almost always a good idea here
- Branded questions (those usually include your or your competitor’s brand name or a product name). Like any branded queries**, these should be further categorized into:
- ROPO questions (“research online, buy online / offline”). These are specific questions discussing your product, its pros and cons, reviews, etc.
- High-intent questions: for example, questions asking how to buy your product.
- Navigational questions: those addressing your site navigation, e.g. “How to login,” “How to cancel,” etc.
- Competitive research questions: those comparing your brand to your competitors.
- Reputational questions: those questions relating to your brand history, culture, etc.