For generations, every freshman marketing college student was told they should never use a question in copy. The thought behind this “rule” was that questions allowed people to quickly think “no” and move on.
But times and technology may require this axiom to be edited to reflect the new realties of SEO strategy. The “question/answer” format for digital marketing messages has become not only acceptable, but also superior to the standard statement style.
What has driven this new approach to digital marketing writing is Google’s and other search engines’ belief that Voice Search is the future. Unlike a typed-in query, most Voice Searches are asked as a question. Who is, where is, what is, why is…is the natural way people speak to find answers.
The real difference this approach makes for search engines is that instead of being focused on finding information, SEO strategy now focuses on finding “answers.”
Because of this shift, websites that use the “question/answer” structure for data are more likely to be found and served up higher on the results page.
For marketers, the ultimate win is being elevated to the Featured Snippet or Answer Box that appears on the top of the Google result page. The snippet typical includes a summary of the answer extracted from the webpage, an image if appropriate, title of the webpage and the URL. Both visually and content-wise, securing this position practically guarantees increased traffic to the website.
A few steps that can help improve your search engine ranking for these types of content searches is to mention the question first, to answer the question in the first few sentences, to provide a direct answer and then elaborate on your answer.
Search engines are always changing their criteria for what information appears in the top of results. Unlike most changes, this one is causing a major shift in how content is structured and undoubtedly causing a lot of marketing professors to rethink one of the golden rules of marketing writing.
Do you think your website and digital marketing is optimized for this new content style? If you’re not sure, call 605-275-0011 and Insight Marketing Design’s digital experts will be happy to answer all your questions.