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8 Steps to Securing Google Answer Boxes using SEMrush

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8 Steps to Securing Google Answer Boxes using SEMrush

Kevin Gibbons
8 Steps to Securing Google Answer Boxes using SEMrush

We've experimented a lot with featuring content on Google Answer Boxes at BlueGlass. BlueGlass Search Strategist Sam Hurley took an in-depth look into how to secure Google Answer Boxes. He was looking specifically at car reviews, as these have a large number of answer box listings. 

He found some common themes:

  1. You don't have to be the number one listing in Google in order to secure answer boxes
  2. It’s easier to replace an existing answer box, than it is to convince Google for the first time that your answer deserves to form a new answer box. (Hint: SEMrush is great for finding these opportunities!)
  3. Formatting in Q&A format is key – having a question as a headline and answering that question in a concise way within the body of your content using bullet points, bolding etc. This makes it easier for Google to pull out the key points.

Appearing as a Google Answer in what is commonly referred to as “position zero” can be a great way to leapfrog your competitors to the top of the SERPs and capture as much traffic as possible. Below I share our go-to actionable plan that you can use to get started with using SEMrush to help you get your content featured on Google Answer boxes too.

How to use SEMrush to Identify and Track Featured Snippets?

  1. Put your domain into SEMrush
  2. Navigate to Organic Research > Positions

    8 Steps to Securing Google Answer Boxes using SEMrush. Image 0

  3. Apply an advanced filter to only show for ‘SERP features’ and select ‘featured snippets’

    8 Steps to Securing Google Answer Boxes using SEMrush. Image 1

    These are the SERPs that AutoExpress currently have featured snippets appearing. Great. Now what? Now we identify where the gap is compared to competitors…

What SERPs do we rank in the top 10 for that have a featured snippet that we’re currently not in? This is where the opportunity is!

Our 8 Step Process to Identify Opportunities

  1. Input your competitor domain:

    8 Steps to Securing Google Answer Boxes using SEMrush. Image 2

  2. Complete the same filter process as above and export into Excel:

    8 Steps to Securing Google Answer Boxes using SEMrush. Image 3

  3. Put your domain into SEMrush and grab all of the keywords you rank in the top 10 for, excluding brand terms too (although you can include these in if you think competitors are outranking you for your brand):

    8 Steps to Securing Google Answer Boxes using SEMrush. Image 4

  4. Merge the 2 excel downloads into a single excel document and insert a blank column in B in your competitor data:

    8 Steps to Securing Google Answer Boxes using SEMrush. Image 5

  5. Rename your tabs to the following:

    8 Steps to Securing Google Answer Boxes using SEMrush. Image 6

  6. In cell B2, do a Vlookup using the formula “=IFERROR(VLOOKUP(A2,’Our Rankings’!A:B,2,FALSE), “no”)”:

    8 Steps to Securing Google Answer Boxes using SEMrush. Image 7

  7. Finally, filter out all of the cells in B that say ‘no’. This will allow you to see which keywords you rank in the top 10 for that your competitors are dominating the knowledge box for:

    8 Steps to Securing Google Answer Boxes using SEMrush. Image 8

  8. Next step is to optimise your content as outlined in the previous section

There you have it - now you can start going to secure those Google Answer boxes for the phrases and questions in your industry and leapfrog your way to the top!

Kevin Gibbons
Expert

Provides valuable insights and adds depth to the conversation.

Kevin is founder and managing director at BlueGlass, an SEO and content marketing agency with offices in London, Zurich and Tallinn.
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Comments

2000
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Great post!
Nicholas Niesen
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Thanks for the info. Just got myself a few new keywords to work on!
strony internetowe
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Very nice, good article, Thanks
Akash Srivastava
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Very helpful article Kevin. Thanks!

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