Answer Boxes Are Personalized And Brands Should Capitalize On It

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by Dan

We have been doing some research into Google’s Answer Box and discovered that what is served as an answer is dependent on search personalization. In the screenshots below there are two different results for the search “michael strahan net worth”. This first one is when logged into a browser:

Personalized Google Answer Box

And this one is from incognito mode:

Google Answer Box Incognito

How Brands Can Capitalize on Personalized Answer Boxes

Now to me, there is tons of opportunity to improve the performance of your search channel with this knowledge. Let’s use The Home Depot as an example. They are a large brand that has eCommerce store that drives significant revenue for the brand. It also is a heavily trafficked site with millions of monthly visitors. They could easily take an eCommerce category and build an Answer Box strategy around it. Let’s take smokers/grills as an example, as it’s a category I know a little about. The strategy process would look something like this:

  1. Find Money Category (Smokers/Grills)
    • If you are internal at The Home Depot you likely have easy access to this data, if you are an agency just ask your client.
    • Lots of people have bought or looked at products in this category, so you have a large, monetized user base.
    • This category has lots of ancillary products that purchasers will need over their lifetime. Smokers is a great example of this as people will need charcoal, wood and accessories over the lifetime of owning their smoker.
  2. Compile List of Related Products/Terms for Money Category
    • For smokers it’s things like charcoal, charcoal briquettes, lump charcoal, wood, wood chunks, wood chips, apple wood chunks, smoker accessories, tongs for smoker etc.
  3. Create content around these ancillary products
    • For example you could put together a guide on charcoal. This guide would try to answer questions like “What is the best charcoal for a smoker”.
    • You could review multiple brands, provide calls to action/links to the products on your eCommerce site etc.
    • Content can get granular, can focus all the way down to the product level e.g. “what is the best charcoal for a weber smokey mountain”

Consider how killer of a strategy this could be. Since answer boxes are personalized you know that you are already more likely to show up to a Google searcher who bought a smoker from, now you are offering them trusted information about what products to purchase for their smoker as well as getting preferential placement in Google through the answer box. Obviously, there will likely need to be page level optimization done for your content, but this is killing multiple birds with one stone. You are creating synergistic content around your top products aimed and keeping your brand top of mind for repeat customers. On top of that, these guides are killer link building targets and you can use them to boost the value of not just the content pages itself, but through internal links you can help rank your product pages higher as well.

Anyone out there pursuing Answer Box SEO like this? Would love to hear how you have gone about this.



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