What is a Google Answer Box & is it still relevant in 2023?

Lady learning SEO terms

Google Answer Box is an organic search result that provides an answer to a given question. Unlike a search result, the answer box will include text or data directly from a web page that looks to answer the query.

An answer box for one of our food clients in 2023

Answer boxes are often referred to as ‘Position Zero’ as they appear above the first search results on page 1. The webpage that appears in this position is thought to be the best answer to the question by Google. The answer boxes have been appearing in Google search results for a few years now but do not appear on every search.

Google is constantly evolving to present the searcher with what it thinks are the best results. This could be an answer to a question, or facts about an important topic, Google answer boxes are becoming invaluable for acquiring traffic. 

5 Reasons why an answer box remains crucial in 2023

Answer boxes are potentially more important than ever. Here’s why:

‘AI Ready’. Chat GPT and Bing have highlighted the potential for a tool to answer questions. In Chat GPT you ask a question and it will give you an answer. In a sense this is the same as an answer box, just presented differently. As consumers ask more questions, the brands that achieve these answer boxes are effectively getting ‘AI Ready’ by understanding the consumer need by providing an answer.

Increased Brand Awareness. Organic Search helps boost brand awareness and discoverability. Brands with helpful and supportive answer boxes will build awareness and connections with consmers looking to understand more about their interest or challenge. In this example below, a user wants to understand about protein overload in their hair. They may not yet be in the ‘shopping’ mode but seeing a brand support with editorial information will build brand awareness and future consideration.

‘Protein Overload’ answer box in Google

High Click Through Rates (CTR). The answer box can often be the most visible ‘real estate’ on any page, driving high click rates.

More Qualified Traffic/Leads. For a typical search result the consumer will need to decide whether to click and visit the website based on a slim title and description, With far greater visibility, and more content from the box, a consumer can make a more qualified decision before clicking through to the website. This has a potential to offer better converting traffic from organic search.

Demonstrate Authority. The core goal of any SEO strategy is to ensure our challenger brands present the right E-EAT (Experience, Expertise, Authority & Trust) to ensure Google ranks the brand well. Achieving these valuable ‘position 0’ rankings demonstrates perfectly the authority which Google seeks.

How do I get a Google answer box?

Google Answer boxes will only appear for select search queries. Your content therefore needs to be tailored around a question or provide information that can be used as an answer. For example if you want to rank for ‘what is an electric bike‘ you will need to construct the content to both present, and answer, the question as clearly as possible.

Once you have the right content, you need to ensure Google can parse your data to identify the key answer or data within your page. Lists are a good starting point for structured content to display. You can also break up your content with ‘call and response’ tactics. Set up a question as a header within your page and provide a clear answer immediately after. This will help Google associate the question and answer.

Of course, achieving these boxes will be impossible if your wider SEO is not in check. From fast loading pages to regular updates and authoritative content, there are many additional elements to consider. 

How Escaping Gravity can help you achieve Organic Search Goals

Escaping Gravity is an SEO Consultancy for challenger brands. Founded by two marketing experts, who, in 1999 co-founded, grew and exited one of the UK’s first digital marketing agencies. Our team collectively have over 25 years of experience in SEO and are focused with attention to detail.

We can help achieve answer boxes as part of a wider SEO strategy, like the examples shown above. Talk to us about our SEO consultancy and start answering Google’s questions.