Is keyword research part of your marketing routine? What about niche question research?
Niche questions may boost your content marketing on so many levels!
1. Answering Questions in Your Copy May Improve Your Google Search Visibility
Google is highlighting the best answer to the search query in a featured box on top of all search results. That’s a great way to put your brand on top of everyone else!
Question research helps with mobile search optimization too: Seeing which questions people tend to put into the search box lets you understand natural language better, the way people would put it using speech-to-search technology, so optimizing for questions means looking into the future of search.
2. Asking Questions on Your Landing Page May Improve Your Conversions
When you ask a question, it prompts a user to stop and think which leads to a lower bounce rate which, in turn, results in a higher probability of a conversion.
Asking a question triggers a natural answering reflex which means you’ll convert all those lurkers into attentive listeners. Once they listen, it will be up to your offer to lure them further into your conversion channel.
3. Covering a Lot of Industry-Related Questions on Your Site Will Turn Your Site into the Resource
And this helps in so many ways including:
- Natural links coming in.
- Higher trust from clients (which also positively impacts your conversion rate).
- Better secondary CTA performance (those email signups which will convert into customers later on).
- More return visitors (who are more likely to buy).
4. Knowing What People Ask in Your Industry Gives You In-Depth Insight into Your Customers’ Behavior, Struggles & Issues
Collect popular industry-related questions and you’ll know what kinds of problems your customers are dealing with on a daily basis.
Be the best to solve those problems and you’ll win their hearts forever!
5. Question Research Gives You Lots of Content Ideas
Writer’s block can hit whether you are a creative or a technical writer.
Trying to come up with topics for a blog, as an example, can be really difficult. After all, you constantly have to come up with new ideas, or at least fresh takes on old ones. Not only are you doing that for your own content, but you are also competing with the millions of other bloggers out there, many who are writing about the same thing.
One of the easiest ways to be inspired when I am in a dry spell is through questions. These marvelous little language nuggets can spark a whole symphony of new thoughts, concepts, and even other questions that can inspire you further.
Now, giving answers on your site starts with a thorough and continuous question research, here are nine tools to help you out with that part.
Question Research: Keyword Research Tools
1. Use Serpstat “Search Questions”
Serpstat is a search query tool that lets you find out how people are using popular (or unpopular, your choice) keywords around the web. It is great for data collection, especially as it gives you information in a way you might not expect.
They have a separate section called “Questions” which hides behind “Content Marketing” section. It works by having you search for a single “base term” at a time.
You can select a “Questions” tab that uses a separate algorithm that specifies interrogative queries. Then you can export your results so it can be saved.
Serpstat generates a tag cloud based on most common words that can be found in those niche questions. Clicking any word in a tag cloud will filter questions to only those containing that word. That’s a great way to define the structure of your future article.
2. Find Questions People Type into Google Search Box
Google Suggest gives a lot of insight into what people tend to type into the search box: The more people type a phrase and click “search”, the higher the phrase will appear in the as-you-type drop-down when you are starting your search.
AnswerThePublic is a free tool that takes Google Suggest database, identifies question-type queries there, and creates a visual map of popular questions with your core term in them.
Question Research Tools: Going Beyond Traditional Keyword Research Tactics
The problem with the above tools (albeit great and must-use) is that they tackle already discovered opportunities: Those you or your competitors are already ranking high.
But how about venturing beyond that: Ask your readers, customers, and followers how they search and which questions they ask. This articles goes beyond traditional keyword research tools and tries to offer you something new.
3. Find Questions People Tend to Ask When Searching
Your question research starts with the good old keyword research. It gives you a valuable insight into most popular questions people ask most frequently.
Most of these questions will need a separate section on your site to cover. Think about setting up a glossary or a knowledge base (or both) section on your site to address most frequent questions in your industry.
I use Serpstat because it lets me filter search queries to see those that trigger “People also ask” results in Google:Here’s the Google’s box you’ll find useful for question research (it will expand further and further as soon as you start clicking questions in it).
4. Find What People Ask on Forums & Discussions Boards
BuzzSumo has recently launched their “Question Analyzer” feature allowing you to search multiple discussion boards at a time (including Amazon Q&A) to quickly see the list of discussed questions. They will also use semantic analysis to let you see related questions (those using a different keyword from what you entered but which are likely to be very much related). This allows you to expand your research and look outside of the box.
5. Research What People Are Asking One Another
Online “Ask Me Anything” interviews give a great insight into what interests people in your industry.
Try searching Ask Me Anything Subreddit for your primary keyword and go through users’ comments to see most voted-for questions people ask a notable figure in your industry.AskReddit is another valuable research you need to monitor for great questions in your niche. It always works wonders for my inspiration!
6. Ask Your Customer & Sales Team to Record Questions for You
Your customers are your most valuable source of content inspiration. Your site should address all their needs and concerns which not only relieves your teams of the need to answer the same questions again and again but also attracts more customers.
Therefore most of your customers’ questions should be treated as potential content ideas.
Use your current customer or sales management platform to record and escalate all the questions to the content team. I use Salesmate because it keeps my sales process organized and easy to delegate between the departments.You can integrate Salesmate with Slack or Gmail to record your customers’ and team members’ questions from there.
7. Monitor Questions People Ask on Twitter
While Google gives a lot of insight into most popular questions, Twitter would bring up less obvious, yet trending questions people are interested in at this very moment.
I use Cyfe to monitor and archive Twitter search results. Simply use ? (with the space) after your primary keyword when setting up your Twitter search widget inside Cyfe.
8. Monitor Questions People Discuss on Quora
Quora is a must-have platform to monitor for question research. It doesn’t make it too easy to monitor it but you can set up your dashboard using your core terms and login from time to time to the site to scroll through popular discussions on the topics of your choice.
There is an additional benefit of making connections, as well. You can answer questions, and establish yourself as an authority.
Further reading: Quora Community Rules: A Starter Guide for Joining the Conversation. Here’s also a great tutorial on how this Q/A content can be turned into a whitepaper.
9. Ask Random People to Submit Questions Using MyBlogU
MyBlogU (Disclaimer: I am the founder) isn’t so much a question site, as it is a way of crowdsourcing content ideas. But it utilizes the brain power of many to come up with a single, shining idea to work off of.
To get people send you topical questions, all you need to do is to create a brainstorm request and ask people to send you the questions that interest them on the specified topic. The beauty of the platform is that everything being sent to you remains private, so the article gets partially written for you by your fellow MBU users. Here’s how MyBlogU improved my writing productivity.
More Keyword Research Resources Here:
- 10 Timeless Keyword Research Tips
- A Deep Keyword Research Process That Will Attract More Customers
- Long-Tail Keyword Research: How to Train Copywriters for SEO Success
Featured Image: Pixabay, modified by Ann Smarty, November 2017.
Screenshots by Ann Smarty. Taken November 2017.