A Comprehensive Guide To Lifting SEO With Question Keywords Optimization

Out of the total number of searches Google gets in a day, maximum ones are ‘Question-related.’ According to the data by Internet Live Stats, 2018 had about 3.5 billion searches per day. Moving on to 2017, close to 8% search queries were question oriented, as stated in Jumpshot study published on Moz.

SEO optimization strategy

Above mentioned statistics have cleared that the way towards creating a major difference to the SEO strategy begins with optimizing the website for question keywords. Snatch a part of the featured snippet and earning links, boosting traffic volume and converting it into sales won’t be any challenge. 

This detailed post throws some serious light behind the science as how Google finds answers for question-oriented phrases. Also, you will discover how to make your dear website rank under the feature snippet or say, like a rich result every time related search is run.

What is Semantic Search?

Well, the term talks about a data searching technique that is all about understanding meanings of the words and analyzing the intention of the user prior to showcasing the search results.

Below given factors come under semantic search:

  • Query stream context

  • Natural language understanding

  • Entity recognition

  • User context

It won’t be wrong to say that during the phase of processing the search queries, Google uses this technology, i.e. semantic search.

Putting it into clearer words – when a search query is entered, Google interprets the natural language and take the objects from the query itself. This is followed by determining particular documents and providing the answer in a featured snippet.

Google Hummingbird Update

The update was set up in 2013 and resulted in making Google a search engine that even faster and accurate. As compared to the previous algorithms, Hummingbird was advanced and promising.

In the current era, Google holds the ability to select identities from the search string, conclude the relation between them to offer the best possible search result with the best answer.

3 Types of Questions Answered By Google

1- Direct Answer Questions (DAQ)

Question keywords for these kinds of queries are: Which, Who, Why, What, Where, When and more.

When someone asks, ‘Who is the President of the US?’, they simply want a quick and direct answer, which is ‘Donald Trump.’

Here, Google will estimate the objective of the user through Hummingbird  powered by the semantic search technology and present the accurate answer like shown below:

Direct Answer Questions (DAQ)

2- Short Answer Questions (SAQ)

Such questions begin with: Can, Why and more.

For example, if a person asks question like ‘Can humans fly with artificial wings?’, they will be presented with an answer snippet with the correct explanation to the question asked, as shown in the screenshot:

Short Answer Questions (SAQ)

3- Long Answer Questions (LAQ)

When question such as ‘How to fix blue screen of death?’ is asked, answer that’s returned to the searcher is a step-by-step guide to clear the procedure.

Such questions focus towards the searcher’s intent to know the procedure in a direct and useful way. By predicting the intention rightly, Google provides search results with brilliantly explained steps, as shown in the screenshot:

Long Answer Questions (LAQ)

2 Excellent Ways To Find Question Keywords

1. Google keyword planner is a great tool to find question-centered keywords with the main keyword. The keyword has to be entered in Google Adwords keyword planner upon logging in the account. As soon as this is done, a plenty of relevant question keywords will be flooded. 

2. Other noteworthy tools to find the best question keywords are - SEMrush Topic Research,  Keyword Tool, Ubersuggest, AnswerThePublic, Instakeywords and Seorch.

Ranking Pages For Direct Answer Questions

Optimizing the below listed factors is the path to rank the web pages for DAQ:

  •  Answer the question at the shortest possible

  • Prior to answering the question, assure putting the question first, as it assists Google in tagging the designer webpage as the most appropriate answer.

    For example: If the question is ‘What is the opposite of beautiful?’, answer it like ‘The opposite of beautiful is ugly.’

  • Avoid ending the answer on absurd note. Even after providing the direct answer, elaborate it to add weightage to the answer.

  • Provide powerful information, use unique content, answer queries, refrain from suspicious & fishy SEO practices.

  • While creating informative content, explore as much as you can.

Ranking Pages For Short Answer Questions

Optimizing the below listed factors is the path to rank the web pages for SAQ:

  • Create the content in Q&A format, wherein, question that has to be answered is mentioned first and the answer is elaborated afterwards. Take a look at the screenshot to understand better:

Ranking Pages For Short Answer Questions
  • Keep the language easy to understand for people of every age.

Ranking Pages For Long Answer Questions

 Optimizing the below listed factors is the path to rank the web pages for LAQ:

  • Lengthy answers are best presented through videos; however, the topic should be explored deeply and must be useful & relevant. Future cards foresee long answer questions returning videos as answers. Also, search results favor YouTube.

  • Language must be easily readable, chief points must be outlined and key topics must have heading tags.

  • Relevancy score improves with keeping page’s main heading similar to the asked question.

  • Step-by-step, text-based tutorial is an amazing way to answer LAQ questions. Tutorials are accepted as well as appreciated by audience; thus, generate huge traffic.

  • Certain questions are best answered in a list format.

  • Images are undeniably important in every step as tutorial looks incomplete without related images or screenshot.

Why SAQ and LAQ Keywords Must Have Relevant Structured Data Added?

Because it is known as the most necessary step. Below are given types of structured data that hold prime value for question keywords.


When adding videos to the content, information like thumbnail, duration, video upload date and video description must be added. Going through instructions given under video data type is necessary.


It makes sense when people ask questions about a particular product. Adhering to instructions given under the product markup page is essential.


Recipe websites have to have the recipe schema markup added on all the pages where a recipe has been shared. Check out the detailed guide to add recipe structured data to the page - Recipe


This data type is the next big thing on the way for voice SEO. Speakable schema is good to use when promoting a NEWS website owing to the fact that it identifies sections in an article and returns the answer in a voice format.


Optimize Search Performance Through Performance Report

Now this is important to know that major metrics associated with your site’s performance in Google search results can be seen in the performance report. This helps to find out the web pages that are seen as rich results. Suggestions to lift their performance can be found.

It’s A Wrap

A good SEO strategy can jump towards being excellent through question keyword optimization. Grabbing featured snippet share is an easy and sure way to surpass the competitors. When content from the site is displayed in the answer box, natural links and traffic come abundantly. All in all, question keyword optimization is the rewarding SEO strategy for 2019.