A complete guide to ranking in People also Ask questions

90% of the search results of Google nowadays show so-called People also ask questions. In this article I describe how to find the questions that occur most often, how to rank in them and track your rankings over time.

Wouter van der Meij
Wouter van der Meij
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90% of the search results of Google nowadays show so-called

To start off, you need to know what questions show up on Google. You can find them by simply Googling your important keyword and writing down the questions you see.

But, you want to know what question pops up most often, if you know that, and you can rank in that particular question, you'll hit a lot of exposure with only one question.

In Umbrellum I've created a dashboard that shows all the questions that are shown for all the keywords in a rank tracking project and show what question is shown the most, and what the cumulative search volumes are for the keywords that show the question.

Now that you know what questions are shown the most, on high volume keywords. You need to start ranking in them! The strategy is as follows:

1. Find a relevant page on your site in regards to the question. If you don't have one, create a new page.

2. Make sure the page is about the topic in general, not a specific page for a specific question.

3. Make sure you literally use the full question in your text. You often see the different types of spellings of the same questions in Google, you can simply pick one and see if you can rank in all of them.

4. Write an answer. Start with a short answer immediately after the question, and expand on that if possible.

5. Compare your answer with the page ranking already. See if the page has more content in general or not and see if your answer could be better than the other site that's ranking already.

6. Sometimes you need to boost your content with internal links. Make sure you link to your content from multiple places within your website. The more the merrier.

7. Show your expertise, authority and trust. Make sure that you are, or become a trustful source.

You can keep track of your ranking in the People also Ask box in Umbrellum. That's one of the reasons I've built the tool, other tools didn't allow me to see what questions I was ranking in.

You can also see what competitors are doing really well and how often these boxes show up in your industry.

90% of the search results of Google nowadays show so-called "People also ask" questions. These are questions, that Google thinks are relevant, to the topic you're searching for.


You can click these questions open to see the answer and the site that has written the answer. If you want to know more about the question, you can click on the site and see the page where the question is answered.

This last thing is interesting for SEOs, as you can try to rank in the question. The best part is, that you can rank in the normal organic results as well as in the People also Ask box, even with different pages. The only question is, how do you rank in the People also Ask box?

How to rank in the people also ask box?

To start off, you need to know what questions show up on Google. You can find them by simply Googling your important keyword and writing down the questions you see. But, you want to know what question pops up most often, if you know that, and you manage to rank in that particular question, you'll hit a lot of exposure with only one question. Next to that, you show Google that you have an answer to a question that they deem as relevant and very important (because the question is shown often).

So how do you find the most shown people also ask questions?

Well, I'm quite biased, but I personally use Umbrellum. I've created a dashboard that shows all the questions that are shown for all the keywords in a rank tracking project and show what question is shown the most, and what the cumulative search volumes are for the keywords that show the question.

Most occurring questions for an example set of SEO related keywords

People also Ask questionCumulative search volumeTotal keywords
What are the 4 types of SEO?
105660
21
How can I do SEO for my website?
538580
20
Can I do SEO on my own?
439450
19
What is search engine optimization with example?
537570
18
What does search engine optimization do?
537000
16

I want to write content about the question that appears most often on Google and is shown for high search volume keywords. Simple as that. In the table above you see that the question that is shown the most is "What are the 4 types of SEO?". It is shown for 21 keywords of the keywords I track, and the total search volume of those keywords is over 100.000 per month. So if I write content for this question, and rank in it. Google might show my answer on the search results of 21 of my important keywords that are searched for over 100.000 searches per month. All by simply answering one question on my site!

Another thing you can do is query my database. I've created a public endpoint where you can query the entire question database with millions of questions scraped over the past two years. That way you'll probably get a lot of ideas for new People also Ask questions to write about.

Now that you know what questions are shown the most, on high volume keywords. You need to start ranking in them!

The strategy is as follows:

  1. Find a relevant page on your site in regards to the question. If you don't have one, create a new page.
  2. Make sure the page is about the topic in general, not a specific page for a specific question. 
  3. Make sure you literally use the full question in your text. You often see the different types of spellings of the same questions in Google, you can simply pick one and see if you can rank in all of them. Make sure the question is semantically correct of course.
  4. Write an answer. Start with a short answer immediately after the question, and expand on that if possible. Try not to use images, videos or other HTML elements to answer the question, Google often only shows text in the boxes.
  5. Compare your answer with the page ranking already. See if the page has more content in general or not and see if your answer could be better than the other site that's ranking already.
  6. Internal linking. Sometimes you need to boost your content with internal links. Make sure you link to your content from multiple places within your website. The more the merrier especially on relevant pages that already rank well. 
  7. Show your expertise, authority and trust. Make sure that you are, or become a trustful source. This is more important in 'money' and 'life/health' industries, and less so in others. But still, something to keep in mind. In the end, you want to become a trustful resource in your industry.

It will take some time to rank in the People also Ask box. But the more questions you answer on your site, the more often you'll start to show up. Next to that, Google will start to see that you often answer questions it deems important, therefore valuing your site more, and showing you more in the search results. It helps your ranking anyway.

How to keep track of rankings in the People also Ask box?

You can keep track of your ranking in the People also Ask box in Umbrellum. That's one of the reasons I've built the tool, other tools didn't allow me to see what questions I was ranking in. So I've built it myself. You can also see what competitors are doing really well and how often these boxes show up in your industry.