A few weeks ago, I was over at my wife’s sister’s home letting my daughter play with her cousins. One of her cousins, Ellie had just purchased a bunny rabbit as a pet. I told Ellie that I had once heard that you can potty train rabbits and have them as indoor pets. She immediately asked me, “Well, how do I do that?” I replied, “I have no clue.” Jumping to her feet, with a big grin on her face, she said, “I know… Let’s Google it!”
I find it very funny that Google has become quite the household name. My niece Ellie is just 4 years old and already knows what Google is and understands how it works. To me, that is amazing!
In a recent report published by Hitwise it talks about how the length of search queries in Google have increased over the last year or so. Longer search queries of 5+ words have increase about 10% from January 2008 to January 2009. If you ask me, this is because searchers don’t consider their search query to be just keywords anymore; they are starting to expect the search engines to understand exactly what they are trying to research or learn. For example, if I wanted to potty train a bunny rabbit, I wouldn’t just search for “bunny rabbit”, I would search for “how to potty train a bunny rabbit”.
In doing keyword research for clients over the last few months, I have noticed that many people are crafting questions, like the one above, as search queries. Noticing this, I wanted to craft some FAQ pages on a few of my personal websites and find out if I could easily generate laser targeted traffic to my sites without much effort on my part.
Using the Google Keyword Tool, I found questions that are being searched for in the industries that I am targeting with my sites and created FAQ pages using these search phrases. In addition to the questions, I would add about a paragraph or more of keyword rich content in reply to each question.
After crafting about five questions for each site, I stopped and built a few links to the page to get it indexed quickly. To do this, I used Propeller, a social bookmarking site. I have found that by adding a link to a new page in Propeller, it usually gets indexed in about 4-6 hours. I left the sites alone for the rest of the night and logged into Google Analytics in the morning. Not expecting to see anything different, I was amazed to see that I had gotten traffic from all of those questions in the last 10 hours or so.
I immediately jumped over to Google and keyed in the questions. I was ranked #1 for all but one of the questions. Do you want to know what is even better than being ranked for those questions? The site changes that I made the night before took me less than one hour to implement per site.
I am very careful and cautious when implementing new ideas on client’s websites. So, after testing my new idea on my own web properties, I am of a firm belief that just about any web business can benefit by creating FAQ content that is targeted at answering real user questions about their products. All it takes is a little research and a little time to implement the changes and you can be pulling in new traffic that is searching for exactly what you provide. When pulling in this type of traffic, you will increase your revenue and build a stronger brand.
This works well and from what I have seen, this just might be the direction of future of search queries as well as a huge part of SEO.