How to Populate in the “People Also Ask” Section on Google

When you conduct a Google Search, a lot of people skip over the Google Ads and go directly to the organic results. The majority of people trust organic search results more than paid advertisements. 

Once you hit the organic search results, you’ll notice there’s a “People Also Ask” (PAA) section. This is prime real estate on the first page of Google that your business can be ranking for. 

How do you go about ranking your content in the “People Also Ask” section? I’ll share with you the best practices for conducting proper research and writing better content to populate in the PAA. Before we dive into the tips and tactics, I want to share with you more background on the people also ask section. 

people also ask section on google

What Is The People Also Ask Section All About?

People Also Ask is a Google rich snippet feature that provides users with additional information they may be looking for from their initial query [source]. The PAA section typically appears on the first page of Google in prominent placement towards the top of page one. When you click into one of the PAA’s, the questions can be expanded to show more questions and answers to those questions.

PAA results used to appear quite frequently. This has cooled off a bit. According to Search Engine Land, PAA’s used to show up for approximately 60% of all queries but now they show up for about 30% of all queries. 

The Beauty of PAA’s 

There’s only ten organic search results on the first page of Google. By writing helpful content that’s answering common questions, you have a higher chance of ranking well on Google in the PAA’s.

If you were to conduct a Google search for SkinMedica, major players populate on the first page of Google, including DermStore, Wal-Mart and SkinStore. The PAA’s allow for smaller players to gain valuable organic traffic to their site. 

How to Populate in the People Also Ask Section 

Research combined with great content writing will help you populate in the people also ask section. You need to answer questions that people are posing on Google. This will ultimately help you rank well in the PAA section.

Jotting Down Customer Questions 

What’s unique about our agency is we’ve built a seven-figure in-house eCommerce brand in DermWarehouse [learn more]. The tactics we deploy for one brand we’re able to rollout for the other.

For both The Media Captain and DermWarehouse, we compile a list of questions that our customers and prospects ask. Based on these questions, we write content that answers the query.

If your customers have questions, there’s a strong likelihood other people searching on Google are asking the same thing.  This is why you want to start jotting down questions from customers and prospects and answering these questions on your site. 

Both our agency and eCom brands are set-up in Monday.com, a fantastic project management software. Our entire team is trained to write down questions from customers and prospects within a Monday.com board, which keeps this process organized.

The questions that come in from prospective customers will be different than questions from current customers, since they have different intent.  

Our team determines which questions will make for good blog posts on our websites. Well written, informative content has a strong likelihood of ranking well on Google.

Below is a visual from our Monday.com board for The Media Captain of blog topics we intend to write about, all based on customer feedback.

The beauty of writing down your own customer questions is threefold. The content you write can become a resource to send to current and prospective customers. If your customer has a question, there are other people wanting the same question answered. Additionally, your content will be more unique than copying what’s already written on other websites. 

Jotting down your customer questions is just one tactic we recommend to populate in the people also ask section. You can also be strategic in the content you search for online.

Conducting Research Online 

We find great content to write about by going to Google and conducting keyword research. It may be more challenging to outrank existing content that’s Google’s already prioritizing in the PAA’s.

If you have a stronger website authority or if you write better content compared to what’s populating in the PAA’s, your content can eventually appear in the PAA’s. 

To find strong topics for the people also ask section, we recommend looking at the related searches at the bottom of Google (see below). You can also use a tool like SEMRush’s keyword magic tool.

The issue with keyword research tools is oftentimes, the best queries for PAA’s are long-tailed keywords, which are niche with limited keyword volume. This is why we love jotting down customer questions, it’s more unique. 

Optimize Headings with People Also Ask References

Structing your content based on the People Also Ask results can give your content a better chance to appear in the PAA.

For example, if we were to blog about “How Long it takes to rank on the first page of Google,” the PAA’s provide an amazing outline for the different paragraphs that can be included within this blog. 

Google loves strong headings and will be more likely to pull information from your site into the “People Also Ask” section if you incorporate strong headings with stellar supporting content. 

Adding Content into the Right Place 

For The Media Captain, our blog content pulls into the PAA section. The reason is because we’re writing about marketing and eCommerce topics that people are searching for on Google.

For DermWarehouse (eCommerce), the strategy is different. On the brand and product pages, we include a section for FAQ’s, which is placed below the products. When customers have questions about a specific product or brand, we answer the questions in an FAQ type format. This not only improves the user experience, it helps us populate in the PAA. 

You must be strategic where you answer customer questions on your site. This is the sort of content that will pull into the PAA section.

Schema for People Also Ask 

You can add schema onto your website for Q&A sections. Properly marked up pages are eligible to have a rich result displayed on the search results page. When you add schema , it can better tell Google what type of content you’re writing and where it should appear. Schema isn’t a requirement for your questions to populate in the people also ask section.

Learn more about Schema for Q&A Sections

In Closing

  • The People Also Ask area on Google has prime real estate for page one search results 
  • You don’t have to be a powerful website to rank well in the People Also Ask section 
  • Take notes of questions from your current and prospective customers as this makes for great content for your website, which can rank well in the PAA section. 
  • Researching topics on Google and also leveraging keyword research tools can help you find great information to write about. 
  • Be strategic to find the best place on your site for answering questions. For The Media Captain, it’s blogs. For DermWarehouse, it’s product and brand pages. Find your sweet spot. 
  • There’s schema markup available for Q&A sections, this isn’t a requirement but also isn’t tough to implement.

Jason Parks

Jason Parks started The Media Captain in 2010. He’s grown TMC into one of the largest digital agency’s in Ohio over the past decade.The Media Captain has worked with hundreds of small, medium and enterprise clients on digital marketing and development projects.The Columbus Based Digital Marketing Agency has received numerous accolades. TMC was named a Top 1% Agency in the U.S. by UpCity in 2019 and 2020. They also won the “Best PPC Campaign,” which was a national award from DashThis. They were also the recipient of the Top 10 Social Media Marketing Agencies in Ohio.

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