Are you providing answers to your potential customers’ most pressing questions?


Written by Sarah Miles

17 October 2019

AEO | Algorithms | Answer Engine Optimisation | Google | SEO

Answer Engine Optimisation is the new Search Engine Optimisation

In all the years I’ve been in marketing (over 20, but who’s counting?…) and all the marketing training I’ve ever done, one of the key things we’re told to think about is “where is my clients’ pain?”, followed by “and how do I make it better?”. However thinking changes and technology developments, that is a universal truth that is still as true today as it was in 1997 when I used to send press releases out by fax and hardly anyone even had a website.

For a while now, content marketing has at its centre, a desire to empathise with people; demonstrating that you understand their issues and that you have the skills, knowledge and expertise to provide a solution. In other words, understanding their pain. Websites are not just about explaining what businesses do, but why they do it and how they can make things better.

While this has always been the case in terms of capturing the imagination of your prospects, providing answers is now a very functional element of search engine optimisation (SEO), now often known as Answer Engine Optimsation (AEO).

Google’s algorithms look for specific things when ranking websites which are many and varied, but one very significant factor is quality content that directly provides answers to the questions that people are searching for. AEO facilitates this.

AEO is all about really understanding the things that your prospects want to know about and offering direct, concise answers. It is a very powerful form of SEO and can make a big impact.

When you search in Google, take note of what comes up: chances are it will be blog posts where the title and/or description very closely resemble the wording of your question. You may even notice a ‘People also ask’ section at the top of the page with similar questions to yours and a single answer from somewhere on the web provided. This is the holy grail of AEO, getting your content featured here, but anywhere on page 1 is a fantastic ranking for your site.

As well as really understanding what your audience wants to know about, there are technical tricks for enhancing AEO such as using plugins like Schema Markup/Rich Snippets.

I’ve seen it working in practice. I have several clients where a large proportion of their traffic is brought in by these types of posts: one about how to stop spiders spinning webs over CCTV cameras for a security company and reasons why your radiators are not heating up properly for a plumbing and heating company. As well as boosting your rankings, the content of your post builds authority very effectively.

So, next time you’re racking your brain to come up with good blog topics, or when you’re putting some FAQs together, consider what your potential clients really want to know (where is their pain?) and use that as a starting point.

Looking for professionally written blog posts that provide answers and build authority? I can help. Give me a call on 01924 820273 or send me a message. You can commission posts on an ad hoc basis or secure discounts on a longer term arrangement.

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