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How Answering Questions Brings Your Website More Traffic

By Alex Gaggioli, November 2, 2015

The most compelling content answers your potential guests’ specific questions. A recent Google study highlighted the importance of being there for consumers in their time of need. When potential guests have questions, your property should be at the ready with answers. Useful, educational content is how you gain attention and inspire guests to book. We listed some of the best ways to create content for your guests that will enhance your SEO and lead to conversions.

Catch Your Guests in The “I-Want-To-Know-Moments”

Before a potential traveler decides to book a reservation, you have to provide enough value in a short period of time. Google likes to call this an opportunity for “micro-moments.” And these micro-moments work best when they are educational and steer away from a hard sell.

Consumers are 69% more likely to buy from a mobile optimized website that answers their questions. The answers could be as simple as what your cancellation policy is, to an updated list of popular local attractions.  

Whether potential guests find you via search engines, OTAs, social media, or other means, there are many ways you can peak their interest with educational content.

You can predict their questions using the following strategies.  

How to find the questions they’re asking:

Google Search

When anyone is looking for an answer on just about anything, they Google it. So, when you look to create helpful content, use basic Google search functionality to find the most asked questions.

For example, if you own a hotel in California popular with hikers and backpackers, you can Google something like: “Best hikes in California” and Google will auto-populate common searches similar to that query. Google will then list other queries users have placed into Google, which can give you ideas for how your guests are thinking. In this example, Google listed “best day hikes in California”, “best backpacking hikes in California”, and “best winter hikes in California”.

Google California Hike Search Results

You can use this information to write useful content for your travelers. One or all of those searches may be relevant to your property, so it is good to know what Google prioritizes.

Google Adwords

Google Adwords offers many free tools to help you create content. The Keyword Planner gives you the ability to search for keywords related to topics you’re interested in writing about. So, for the California hiking example, you can search for related keywords. The tool will show keyword ideas, and something like the following will show up:

  • California hiking trails
  • California hiking
  • Hiking in California
  • Southern California hiking trails

Google AdWords California Hike Example

You can gauge a keyword’s popularity by checking how many average monthly searches it receives. You can also check how fierce the competition is for that keyword. The competition is determined by how many people are buying ads against those keywords. In this instance, competition is low for all California hiking keywords because few people are running ads against them. Even if you are not running Google search ads, this data is extremely relevant to what people are sharing via Google search.

If you have a paid subscription with Moz, you can use Moz’s Keyword Difficulty Tool to discover how competitive it will be to rank well on Google if you produce content for specific keywords.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free software you can install on your website. It shows you how visitors interact with your website once they get there. You can use it to discover the words and phrases guests are using to discover your website.

Sometimes you’ll get traffic from people who have asked questions that you haven’t produced compelling content to answer. This is a great way to discover new questions to answer. To see these questions, open Google Analytics and navigate to Acquisition > Search Engine Optimization > Queries. You will see a list of words you can use as starting points for producing new content. If you see nothing here, you may need to integrate your website with Google Search Console.

Quora and Yahoo Answers

Online Q&A portals such as Quora and Yahoo! Answers are great for finding questions people are already asking. For example, we can use the California hiking example again to demonstrate how you can find existing questions. For example, when you search for “California Hikes” on Quora, two relevant questions pop up:

  • What’s a good north California hiking destination for the Fall season?
  • Does Northern or Southern California have better hiking in the winter?

Quora California Hiking

Both of these questions are directly related to your interest in providing content about California hiking. Now, if you feel so inclined, you can answer these questions directly on Quora. It’s great to spread your knowledge on these types of websites as it gives you another outlet to spread your brand. But, these questions are great topics to address on your own blog too. Use the questions as inspiration to write about what you know best.

If you do decide to answer a question on Quora, make sure to fill out your profile and include your property’s website so that people can find you.

Yahoo! Answers is similar to Quora. Again, I searched for California hikes and found the questions:

  • What are some cool places in Southern California to hike?
  • What are the chances I could get eaten alive by a mountain lion if I hike in Southern California?

Yahoo Answers California Hiking Example

If you want to have a fun or quirky piece of content, you could answer the mountain lion question with some zest. You can respond to the ridiculous claim, as mountain lions don’t pose a huge threat in Southern California, and then include some safety tips on more plausible dangers, such as rattlesnakes or poison ivy.

When searching for questions on both of these platforms, look at how many comments there are. A lot of comments are a good indicator that people are generally interested in that topic. While on Quora, you can also pay attention to how many upvotes a question and its answers have received and that is a good indicator to general interest as well.

Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is one of the best content research platforms out there right now. You can search for any topic and Buzzsumo will display the most shared pieces of content. Social shares are a good indicator that a piece of content was particularly helpful to people. It is also good to show you what topics have already been covered and give you ideas for new types of content. While there might be enough posts about best hikes in Northern California, there might not be a piece about safety tips while hiking in rocky NorCal terrain.

Buzzsumo California Hikes Example

For a more in-depth directions on how to use Buzzsumo, you can see our previous post here.

FAQ Page

One of the easiest ways is to provide answers to your guests’ most frequent questions. Potential guests are going to have questions. Depending on your property and the type of guests you attract, it could be about local attractions or could be about business amenities. First, understand what types of customers you attract, or want to attract, and include those questions. It is also a good idea to include the basic questions like where you are located, your cancellation policy, etc.  

Typical FAQs include:

  • How far are you from (X) Airport?
  • Where can I park? How much does it cost?
  • Where is the hotel/property located?
  • Is there wireless internet? How much does it cost?
  • What is your smoking policy?
  • What time is check-in and check-out?
  • Do you allow pets?
  • Are there restaurants nearby?
  • How old do I need to be to reserve and check-in to a room?
  • How can I find out about Special Offers or Discounts?

These are just samples of what type of questions you can include. Definitely include questions specific to your property. If you’re a ski lodge in the Swiss Alps, include questions about skis, the slopes, etc.

You can integrate a lot of these questions into your social media posts as well. There is a way to share educational content without pushing your sales. Convince your potential guests that you are the best option by answering their questions. Consumers decide in a matter of seconds whether or not they are going to click on a post or stay on a page. So, make sure you are attracting them with the most valuable content.

Conclusion  

Creating content that answers your guests specific questions is the best way to attract potential guests. In today’s highly connected environment, it is important to offer relevant educational information right when consumers are looking for it. These tips will help strengthen your SEO and provide the right type of content to your curious guests.

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