How To Boost Your Content Creation Strategy Using Google’s People Also Ask SERP Feature

7 min read
SEO/Content Marketing
By: Salini Vineeth

Writing an article on stress-busting techniques? From jogging to meditation, yoga, and dancing, there are thousands, if not millions, of articles online about ways to relieve stress.

So, how do you make your content unique, relevant, and engaging enough to stand out?

Ensuring it targets your audience’s needs, challenges, and questions is a great start. But if you’re like me, you can’t read your target audience’s mind (even if you tried).

The good news? You can save your much-needed brainpower and draw inspiration from Google’s wisdom instead.

Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) have rich features that help searchers and content creators alike. For example, the People Also Ask (PAA) feature offers an endless vault of user queries you can dig into for insights into what people want to know.

Let’s explore Google’s People Also Ask SERP feature and go over how The Blogsmith uses it to optimize content.

Google’s People Also Ask SERP Feature​

People Also Ask is one of Google’s rich SERP features. It lists questions and answers related to a search query, helping searchers explore additional questions related to the original query.

Google pulls the PAA answers from relevant websites and presents them as snippets, along with a link to the original website. The answers could be in different formats — paragraph answers are most common, but lists, images, tables, or videos also appear as PAA answers.

An example of Google’s People Also Ask feature.


To decide which website to feature in PAA results, Google seems to pick from websites that rank among the top SERPs for that particular question or websites with relevant, direct answers.

Difference Between People Also Ask and Featured Snippets

Google’s featured snippets and People Also Ask answers look similar. Both include a snippet of information and a link to the original website, but they aren’t the same.

Unlike featured snippets, which show a single snippet of information, the PAA box has multiple questions, and each answer is a snippet. While a featured snippet is fixed, the PAA box is dynamic — more related questions will be added to the box when a searcher clicks on a question.

Featured snippet vs. People Also Ask.


How People Also Ask Questions Help You Improve Content

While Google’s PAA feature helps searchers find answers and widen their original search, it can also help you generate relevant content for your target audience.

With Google’s PAA feature, you can:

Cover Relevant Information​

PAA shares the related queries searchers have around a search term. Answering them improves the relevancy of your article and increases your chance of ranking high for that keyword.

For instance, take our guide on creating effective content briefs.

The primary keyword is “what is a content brief.” When you search for the term, PAA shows questions like “How do you write a content brief?” and “How do you write an SEO content brief?”

The PAA box while searching for content brief.


So, we covered these questions in our article to ensure the content is helpful and relevant to the users behind these queries.

The Blogsmith article on content brief.


Get New Content Ideas​

PAA expands dynamically. When you click to expand one question, it populates the PAA section with additional related questions and answers, giving you valuable information about what Google knows about search patterns and the related topics users find interesting.

While brainstorming an article about how style guides can improve your content, we came across the following PAAs:

PAA box showing content ideas related to style guides.


Get the Pulse of Your Audience​​

Let’s say you run a search for your branded keywords, like your brand or product name. The related PAA questions will give you an idea of what people think or want to know about them.

You can even add words like “price” to your brand search query to get a clearer picture of what people think about a specific facet of your business. For example, here’s what comes up in the PAA box when you search for “Elton John Farewell Tour prices”:

Google’s People Also Ask results for “Elton John Farewell Tour prices.”


  • Product research questions that tell you what prospects want to know about your product.
  • Troubleshooting questions that point to the common issues people face while using your product or service. It’s a good idea to create an FAQ or a knowledge base to answer these questions.
  • Reputation-related questions to see how others perceive your brand. You can use these to refine your website content and run campaigns to improve your reputation.
Types People Also Ask questions around branded keywords.

How To Optimize for People Also Ask

Before optimizing content for PAAs, it’s good to set your expectations. Getting featured in PAA answers might not improve the organic traffic to your website.

Here’s why:

Google’s People Also Ask SERP feature aims to provide quick answers. Searchers quickly refer to these answers and might not click through to the featured website.

FirstPageSage’s research finds that the average click-through rate of PAA is 3%. In other words, three out of a hundred searchers click through to a website that appears in the PAA box.

So, is it even worth getting featured in Google’s PAA answers? In short, yes.

With PAA features, you can create brand awareness and establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry. Appearing on several PAA answers related to your industry can help establish you as an authority in your field, boosting your credibility and earning the trust of your target audience.

Appearing on PAA answers for your branded keywords can also be essential for your brand’s reputation.

After all, not ranking on PAA for questions related to your brand means Google is more likely to pull information from review articles or competitor websites that might paint you negatively relative to other options.

With these things in mind, let’s explore the steps to optimize your content for Google’s PAA answers.

Types People Also Ask questions around branded keywords.

Identifying the PAA questions around target keywords should be a part of your keyword research. Maddy Osman, CEO and founder of The Blogsmith, explains why looking at the PAA questions during your keyword research is essential:

This aspect of our advanced keyword research process is used for the content we create for The Blogsmith’s clients. As Maddy suggests, finding relevant PAA questions helps us understand topics better and enables us to create relevant content for our client’s target audience.

Along with manually reviewing the PAA questions on the SERPs, we use content optimization tools to find additional PAA questions relevant to the topic. These include premium tools like Clearscope, Frase, MarketMuse, Outranking, and Contentpace.

Determine What Pages To Optimize

Topic clusters can contain different pieces of content with overlapping ideas. That’s why determining where to answer the PAA questions is crucial.

Let’s say you have two high-ranking pages where you could potentially place your PAA answer. How do you choose between the two? Relevance is the key here. You need to place the PAA answer in the article that’s most relevant to the question.

For example, The Blogsmith blog has two articles, one on how a style guide can help your brand and the other on the importance of creating an inclusive style guide. If we want to rank for the PAA question, “How do you write inclusive content?” it’s better to place the answer on the inclusive style guide article.

That improves your chances of getting featured on SERPs. Relevancy is a ranking factor for Google SERPs. So, when you place a PAA answer on a relevant page, the chance of your PAA answer getting featured on SERPs increases.

Optimize the Content To Answer PAA Questions

The People Also Ask box appears on the first page of Google’s search results. So, getting featured in PAA is a potential opportunity to appear near the top of the SERPs.

That means you need to put effort into optimizing your content for Google’s PAA questions. You can organically incorporate these questions into your content or create a separate FAQ section.

Here are a few tips to optimize your PAA answers:

  • Ensure the answer is factually correct.
  • Make the answer concise yet complete.
  • Avoid giving generic answers. Specific answers show your expertise.
  • Create answers to match the search intent. Searchers don’t want salesy answers when they look for basic information.

And remember — the content you optimize for featured snippets could win you a spot in the PAA box. After all, PAA answers generally rank as featured snippets.

Use Common PAA Questions as Headings

Formatting PAA questions as headings immediately followed by the answer makes it easy for search engines to identify it as a PAA answer.

If you are dealing with a complex question, you might be unable to explain everything in a few lines. In that case, it’s best to give a short answer right after the heading and explain it in detail in the rest of the section.

A word of caution here:

When formatting PAA questions as headings, ensure it’s not affecting the reader experience. If the PAA answer naturally fits within your article’s body, it’s better to place it there.

With new-age search technologies like BERT and MUM, Google can understand the content as a whole.

Previously, Google could only read the primary keyword from left to right. Now, it can understand it backwards and forwards, gleaning more of the context of the query to determine its intent.

That means you don’t have to be so literal with keyword implementation — Google will recognize certain sections of your content as the most relevant answer to a PAA question, even if it’s not a heading.

Add an FAQ Schema Markup

Search engine crawlers find it easier to understand logically structured pages. FAQ Schema markups are a great idea to structure your content for search engine crawlers.

The FAQ markup is a piece of code in your webpage’s source that tells Google the content is formatted as questions and answers. Here’s an example of FAQ Schema markup:

Example of a schema markup script.


Final Thoughts: How To Use Google’s People Also Ask To Improve Your Content

Getting your content into Google’s PAA box is a great way to get search engine visibility. And while you can look up PAA questions on SERPs, you need in-depth keyword research to uncover more PAA opportunities and on-page optimization knowledge to capitalize on them.

At The Blogsmith, we help clients identify potential PAA questions and optimize their content. Get in touch with us if you want to leverage our expertise to appear on Google SERP features like People Also Ask.

Salini Vineeth

Salini Vineeth

Salini Vineeth is a freelance writer with a decade of experience in the engineering industry. She is also a travel and fiction writer.

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *