Google Answer boxes are an invaluable source of organic traffic for your e-commerce store. According to Moz’s Feature Graph, Google serves them for about 8 percent of all search queries.
While not as common as conventional organic listings though, answer boxes can prove far more beneficial.
Answer boxes are displayed higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs) than their conventional counterparts, allowing for more clicks and more organic traffic.
How Can You Rank in Answer Boxes?
Also known as featured snippets, answer boxes are unique, large organic listings displayed at the top of the search engine result pages (SERPs).
They feature similar elements as conventional organic listings but in a reversed format. Conventional organic listings are formatted with the indexed page’s title at the top, followed by its description at the bottom.
On the other hand, Answer boxes are formatted with the indexed page’s description at the top and its title at the bottom.
The description for an answer box doesn’t come from the indexed page’s meta description tag.
Instead, it comes from a quote or excerpt. Search engines will pull a snippet of text from the indexed page to use for its answer box description.
Search engines will serve a maximum of one answer box for any search query. You can find them on both Google and Bing.
They are known as answer boxes because they are typically served in response to search queries structured as a question.
If you search for a question on Google or Bing, you’ll probably see an answer box at the top of the SERPs.
Research Common Questions
To rank your blog, website, or e-commerce store in answer boxes, you’ll need to research questions that are relevant to your store’s audience.
A study conducted by seoClarity found that one-quarter of all answer boxes target a direct question. Researchers from the search engine optimization (SEO) platform provider found that roughly 12 percent of answer boxes contain the word “how,” and 7 percent contain the word “what.”
Ranking in answer boxes requires creating pages that answer common questions asked by your e-commerce store’s audience.
Think about what questions shoppers ask, after which you can create a separate page answering each question with concise but informative content.
You can also use a website like Answer The Public to pull in questions people type in on the web. If you have SEMrush, when you type in a keyword phrase, click on questions to see the related questions people ask.
Optimize Titles With Questions
Search engines are more likely to rank your e-commerce store in answer boxes if it features questions in its page titles.
In answer boxes, titles are displayed at the bottom. Nonetheless, they use larger text than that of the description.
To rank a page in an answer box for a question-structured search query, you should optimize the page’s title to include that question.
Answer boxes don’t support the meta description tag, but they do support the meta title tag.
When you create a meta title tag for a page, search engines will show it in the page’s answer boxes.
Therefore, you should optimize the meta title tags so that they reflect the questions for which are you are trying to rank.
Change Up the Format
You can format your answers in different ways. Answer boxes aren’t limited to plain text.
While most of them do have a plain-text description, they support other formats as well. Rather than only formatting your answers in plain text, use a combination of multiple formats.
When creating an answer for a page on your e-commerce store, for instance, you can use a list format. Answer boxes support both ordered and unordered lists.
For how-to pages, you may want to use one of these two formats. How-to pages, of course, often feature answers in the form of multiple steps. With a list, you can neatly show each step in the page’s answer.
Along with lists, answer boxes support tables. A Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) table consists of rows and columns.
They are used to present data in a grid-like arrangement of individual cells. For answers involving charts, schedules, or recipes, tables are an excellent choice.
Include High-Quality Images
Be sure to include high-quality images on the pages for which you are trying to rank. Unlike conventional organic listings, answer boxes may contain one or more images.
For answer boxes with a single image, search engines will typically show the image to the description’s right.
For answer boxes with multiple images, they’ll show the pictures as a horizontal slider above the description.
Even if a page doesn’t have images, search engines may show images inside of its answer box; they’ll simply pull the photos from other pages.
Of course, you can’t control the images published on other websites. You can, however, control the images published on your e-commerce store.
Follow these tips to optimize your images for answer boxes:
• Choose images that are relevant to the questions with which they are used.
• Add an alt text description describing the content within the images.
• Crop images so that they feature or square or rectangular shape.
• Compress images before uploading.
• Give images a descriptive and relevant file name.
• Avoid images that contain too much detail.
• Try to choose images with bright colors.
Add an FAQ Box to Product Pages
Another tip is to add a frequently asked questions (FAQ) box to product pages. FAQ boxes will align better align your e-commerce store for answer boxes.
In a product page’s FAQ box, include questions about the product along with a brief answer. Just remember to avoid repeating the same questions and answers on multiple product pages.
If the same question and answer appear on multiple product pages, only one of the pages will rank in an answer box for that question.
If your e-commerce store is powered by Shopify, the industry’s most popular online store platform, you can use the Product FAQ app to add an FAQ box to product pages.
If you are using the Elementor theme, you’ll find FAQ boxes there as well.
Available at apps.shopify.com/product-faq, it offers a customizable box in which you can include questions and answers.
Traffic is the fuel for your e-commerce store’s sales. Without it, shoppers won’t reach your e-commerce store. Fortunately, ranking in answer boxes can increase your e-commerce store’s traffic.
Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas. She’s a digital marketing specialist, speaker, and marketing coach and loves to share her “Ballen Method” to generate website traffic and leads online. Lori’s specialties are SEO content writing (ranking on the search engines), social media strategies, and affiliate marketing. Need a website? Contact Lori’s brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands.