Optimising for short attention spans with Rich Answer Boxes

A feature that we’re all familiar with is Google’s Rich Answer Box. The instant answer feature has been around for a fair while now but is starting to gain traction across a range of different terms – not just when you want to quickly check the exchange rate before you make an online purchase!
Answer Boxes increase the potential space for your content and brand to appear in organic search results by making information available directly in the search results. Often displaying before what most would consider ‘real’ results, the site content used in Answer Boxes is not always from the top ranking site. You can see an example below:


Rich Answer Box Example


With rapidly falling attention spans, people want the option to click through for further information rather than having to click on a link and sift through paragraphs of content. If you operate in an industry with commonly searched questions and keywords that when searched deliver these Rich Answer Boxes, it may be worthwhile considering whether optimising content for them is of value to your website.


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3 things to consider

  1. You will be unlikely to rank for generic, easy content that is already well-covered.Don’t make your SEO harder than it needs to be. Take the example above; if you were a craft site that wanted to drive people to the site for playdough related content, you would find it very difficult to compete with PBS for this Answer Box. A better focus may be on ‘interesting playdough recipes’ with no existing Answer Box. You would still be reaching your intended audience without dedicating all your time to a near impossible task.
  2. Don’t beat around the bush in your answerGoogle will more likely pick your content if it is concise and straight to the point. Answer Boxes are intended to deliver quick answers in a single paragraph or bullet point form. If your intention is to appear in an Answer Box you should keep your sentences short and punchy without skipping on important details.
  3. Don’t ignore the userIt could be easy to get caught up with ranking for Rich Answer Boxes but that would make the content on your site disjointed and light. Remember that Google values and prioritises sites that users enjoy and actively engage with. Online content should always be working for the user and not for a mathematical equation.

If you have any questions about whether Google’s Rich Answer Boxes could be for your business or are interested in SEO for your website, get in touch with the team at Bang on 08 9328 7000 or send us an email here.