"How-to" queries comprise of a larger portion of daily search queries for Google. If we are able to rank our site for "How-to" style queries based on our niche then it can help us to divert extra traffic to our site making more way for conversions.
An example of an "How-to" query can be "how to tie shoelaces" where Google displays a set of steps to answer the question searched by the user. Such type of answer display is called as the "Rich Answer Box". A screenshot for this can be seen below:
Rich Answer Boxes started displaying in June 2014. Some display complete answers while others display incomplete answers as marked by a “…”. The above example is actually an incomplete answer and is marked by a "...".
In the above example, URL from kidspot is ranking on the number 1 spot. What does that mean? This means, Google considers the information provided by Kidspot to accurately satisfy the intent of the user. For Kidspot, this means extra traffic to its website.
Major Ranking Factors to Display Your Site In the Answer Box
The following are the main ranking factors that will help your site to easily get dislayed in the answer box:
1- The site should be authoritative and must be in good terms with Google.
2- The Trustrank of the site should be high.
3- The page content should be written in a step by step pattern that is easy to read by the user.
4- The volume of content on the page should be sufficient.
5- The domain and the page should have high quality natural backlinks.
6- The page should have a low bounce rate.
7- The page should have a high CTR.
8- It should have a high time on page spent by the user.
9- In case a manual review of the site takes place then your site should pass with good grades.
10- Should have high relevancy score based on user search query.
11- The semantic score should be high based on the data gathered from Wikipedia and Freebase. (See: Topic Modeling)
12- A how-to video on the page can increase the relevancy score.
13- Positive comments on the page can increase the trust score.
14- Anchor text of the backlinks should contain the main keyphrases.
15- The TF-IDF score of the page should be high.
16- The H1 tag of the page should have the exact searched phrase for better relevancy score.
17- If the search query requires the answer to be calculated then having a answer calculator helps. For ex- for the search query "how to calculate bmi", a page having a calculator for calculating BMI wins.
18- Use proper images with every step of instruction.
19- Don't be afraid to make the list comprehensive, if the search query demands it.
This list is not exhaustive but I have tried to cover as many points as possible. If you know about any other point then share with us in the comments below.
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