Ask Questions

Ask Questions (And Answer Them) To Rank Higher In Google Search Results

If you can ask questions - and fully answer them with interesting, unique, in-depth content, you can rank higher in Google search results. Let's explore this a little bit.

To start with, Google came out the Hummingbird algorithm update back in August 2013. Their proprietary search formula was completely re-written to better index and rank content that answers complex queries, such as long tail keyword phrases that ask questions.

Ask Questions Like These With Great Content

How do you find questions to ask and answer? Keyword research is a great place to begin looking for them. I like to use Wordtracker. I literally just type in single words like: Who, What, Where, When, Why, How.

In other wask questionsords, the old newspaper article questions, yes. So here are some phrases I found that have a very high number of searches (demand) but very few, if any, competing web pages that are using these phrases in either the title tag or anchor text of a web page or blog post. (Supply).

For these, I've also noted whether or not they would be good topics for interactive content, such as videos, slide shows or infographics.

  • how do you get a passport - infographic, blog
  • how does a bill become a law - infographic, step by step blog, slide show
  • how do you tie a tie - infographic, video
  • how do you make guacamole - video, step by step

For the ones listed below, notice how I found a long tail keyword that asks a question, and how you can create content to answer it.

  • what is gluten (and why does it affect so many people so badly?)
  • what is a good credit score (and how to get it)
  • what causes high blood pressure (and how to prevent it)
  • what is a podcast (how do I make one)
  • what is malware (and why it's so harmful to computers)

Ask questions like these and provide in-depth answers for searchers:

  • why is sleep important (and how a lack of it affects your health)
  • why is voting important (and the fact that many countries limit the right for their citizens)
  • why is new york called the big apple (an interesting story that will capture attention)
  • why isn't pluto a planet (especially because it used to be!)

Even more questions to ask and answer:

  • when do babies start teething (some interesting facts and how to cope with it)
  • when was the great depression (and the impact of it)
  • when is the best time to buy a car (why this is, and some tips on car buying)
  • when was electricity invented (and write about how this discovery was so life changing)

Or, what about answering questions such as these to inform searchers:

  • who is hamas (what is this organization, and how has it impacted world politics and events)
  • who is eligible for medicaid (at what age, other requirements)
  • who is the fastest man in the world (historical figures, why it's so hard to break the time barrier)

Here's the last set of long tail keyword questions I found that people need answers on:

  • where do birds go when it rains (how do they take shelter)
  • where did the titanic sink (talk about that part of the Atlantic being full of icebergs)
  • where did soccer originate (can tell a great story about the history of the game's origins)
  • where was pizza invented (why was it invented, how it's become so popular around the world)
  • where does protein synthesis take place (can make a lengthy scientific article)

Some other places you can go look for questions that need good answers are Quora and Ubersuggest. Also, do keyword searches on LinkedIn, and go to groups to see what information your target audience needs.

I hope this article has spurred your thought processes about approaching your content marketing strategy in a little bit different manner. You can write and publish useful, unique, informative robust content pieces that could be considered "evergreen" - they will always be useful, even if the topic has other changes.

If you'd like to learn more about getting better search engine results visibility for your website, let Invenio SEO train you in search engine optimization. You'll be glad you did!

You can now take an Invenio SEO class online.  Here are individual course modules, and more information about the online training.

Until we meet again, stay safely between the ditches!

All the very best to you,

Nancy McDonald

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

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