Improving Your SEO With Question-Based Content

Posted on January 11th, 2019 by nms

Last month, we went over the various types of search intent that drive web users’ search engine queries, and discussed the benefits of understanding search intent and incorporating it into your overall SEO strategy.

The most common form of search intent, as previously discussed, is informational intent, in which users seek to learn more about a given topic (rather than make a purchase or find a specific page). If there is something specific that they’re looking to know, they will likely make a search query in the form of a question.

Google and other search engines are well aware of this pattern, and have made adjustments to their algorithms to help users find the best answers to their problems (which returns to the topic of finding your target audience’s search intent).

Content that is optimized to answer searcher questions has numerous benefits. Content that addresses questions is naturally going to be more engaging to your readers, and can increase search visibility through People Also Ask results and featured snippets. In addition, performing question research will be helpful in developing your overall content strategy. Learning what your audience is asking will help you determine what people need to know and how you can help them with your future content.

Types of Questions

We can sort search engine queries into two broad categories: simple questions and branded questions. These two categories can be further broken down, as seen below. First, let’s take a look at the simple question types:

  • Basic questions – These questions have simple, straightforward answers. They commonly appear in the form of looking for definitions to concepts. (“What is professional liability insurance?”)
  • How-to questions – These questions look for explanations of processes. They typically seek step-by-step instructions. (“How can I get professional liability insurance?”)

Questions can also fall under the “branded questions” umbrella if they include your brand name, a competitor’s brand name, or a product name. Some common types of branded questions include:

  • ROPO questions – “Research Online, Purchase Online/Offline.” These types of questions discuss products, their uses, their advantages and disadvantages, reviews, and more. (“What does [Your Agency’s] professional liability insurance cover?”)
  • High-intent questions – As their name implies, these questions have an objective in mind. Most commonly, they’re asking how to purchase your products or services. (“How much is [Your Agency’s] professional liability insurance?”)
  • Navigational questions – These questions seek guidance on how to navigate your site (“How to access my [Your Agency] professional liability policy”).
  • Competitive research questions – These questions compare your brand to your competitors. (“What is the difference between [Your Agency] and [Your Competitor’s] professional liability insurance coverage?”)
  • Reputational questions – Reputational questions deal with your agency specifically; they ask about your history, your reputation, your culture, and more. (“How long has [Your Agency] been in business?”)


Optimizing Your Content for Questions

Once you’ve determined the questions that your audience is asking (in addition to People Also Ask and featured snippets as mentioned above, you can use tools such as Answer The Public, Serpstat, or even just Google Suggest and social media), you can adjust your content to be better-suited to address them. The first step is determining what kind of content would be best suited to answer the query. Depending on the category, this could be different. For example, a how-to question would be best answered by a detailed guide, or potentially a video. Research-based questions would be better answered by longer-form content that really takes a deep dive into all aspects of the topic at hand.

If your readers are looking for answers, chances are they will not want to waste time sifting through a slow-loading page full of unnecessary text and content to find their answer. Make your question-based content readable and user-friendly. It doesn’t matter how detailed your answers are; if the site won’t load (and this includes on mobile), then your readers are likely to exit your site and not return. In addition, make use of formatting, particularly H1 and H2 and bulleted lists, to help your readers find what they’re looking for.


About Agency Tsunami

Agency Tsunami is the digital marketing division of Neilson Marketing Services, who has provided the insurance distribution sector with innovative marketing and communication solutions for over twenty-five years. With our Agency Tsunami program, we have implemented an integrated marketing strategy that includes optimized, professional websites supported by high-quality SEO and Social Media for hundreds of insurance retailers and wholesalers. Our goal is to help your insurance business perform and generate new opportunities. Give us a call at (800) 736-9741 to learn more about how we can do that for you.