When exploring a topic via Google search, how often do you find everything you need after a single query?
If you’re like most people, it takes you a few attempts.
You might have to rephrase your query.
You might think of a follow-up question to ask.
Or you might just be curious to know what kind of related content is out there.
That’s one reason why Google has introduced two similar, related search features:
“people also search for” (PASF) and “people also ask” (PAA)
Chances are, you’ve already used both of these features as a user, whether you realized it actively or not.
But did you know that you can also tailor your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to get more value out of these features for your brand?
Let’s start with a definition of “people also search for” (PASF).
This feature only reveals itself when a user conducts a search, clicks a link, then bounces from the website to get back to the original search engine results page (SERP), typically with the “back” button of a browser. When this happens, Google adds a “People also search for” section underneath the search result you clicked; there, you’ll see an assortment of alternative, related queries you can click. If you click these, you’ll be taken to entirely new SERP.
Google provides PASF as assistance for people who aren’t able to find the results they want upon initially searching.
If you visit a page, then return to the first SERP you encountered, Google takes that as an indication that you didn’t find what you were looking for (and rightly so).
Think of it as a search safety net designed to capture engagements, interaction, and better experiences for people who were unsatisfied with the initial results provided.
“People also ask” (PAA) is similar, but it starts with a different goal and works slightly differently.
You’ll see a “People also ask” box near the top of more than half of SERPs. In fact, PAA boxes are now 10 times more popular than featured snippets, and are increasing in visibility and prominence every year.
Within this box are suggestions, based on what other queries users have searched for in the past.
For example, if you search for “What is a dinosaur?”, you might get PAA results like:
You’ll then be able to click on any of these results to reveal a featured snippet and a link to a trustworthy result for that search.
It’s kind of like a search-within-a-search, meant to help people answer related questions without needing to leave the central SERP.
Why should you care about PASF and PAA optimization?
These are some of the best strategies for optimizing for people also search for (PASF):
These are some of the best strategies for optimizing for people also ask (PAA):
These are some additional tips to help you make the most of your PASF and PAA optimization strategies.
People also search for (PASF) and people also ask (PAA) are similar in both name and function, though they serve different purposes and arise under different circumstances. Accordingly, you’ll need to think about them somewhat independently to get the most value out of your SEO strategy.
That said, it’s relatively easy to use both PASF and PAA optimization in your campaign. You’ll use similar analytic tools, similar strategic approaches, and similar ground-level tactics (like content creation and link building) for both. You may even discover significant overlap between the recommendations you find in each of these contexts. Feel free to optimize for both simultaneously, using the same strong content for each application.
PASF and PAA optimization are just two small components of your overall search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
SEO is complex, challenging, and demanding – which is why most people turn to the help of an SEO agency for their strategy and execution needs.
At SEO.co, we have all the experts necessary to help you build and follow the best campaign. Contact us today for more information!
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