There are countless topics in any niche imaginable.
People can’t possibly feel like they’re out of ideas for new articles, right?
Unfortunately, that’s not exactly how our brains work.
If I were to ask you to name 20 movies you’ve seen last year, you’d struggle to name them a lot more than you think.
Try it if you don’t believe me.
But if I were to start naming movies from last year and asked you whether you’ve seen them or not, you’d be able to recognize every movie you’ve seen with ease as soon as you’ve heard the name.
The same happens when you’re trying to think of an article topic off the top of your head.
Some people are better at this than others, but no one’s even close to being good enough not to need some help.
That’s exactly where tools like AnswerThePublic come in.
Sometimes you just have to see your options to help you decide what your next article is going to be.
What is AnswerThePublic?
AnswerThePublic is a browser-based tool that helps marketers and content creators to better understand the consumer intent and context behind keywords.
Why should you use tools like AnswerThePublic?
Because it helps you put yourself into the shoes of your target audience and understand their needs and problems in regards to topics or products.
When you pinpoint consumers’ problems, you’re able to provide value through your content by solving these problems.
And that’s where the magic happens.
Your audience starts trusting you and regards you as an authority figure within your niche.
And when people trust you, they buy from you.
It’s as simple as that.
What does AnswerThePublic do?
AnswerThePublic aggregates suggested searches and predictions from Bing and Google and separates them into 5 categories for easier consumption.
The tool breaks down the results into:
- Question-based keywords (what, when, will, where, can, who, which, why, how, are)
- Preposition-based keywords (can, with, without, to, near, is, for)
- Comparison-based keywords (versus, like, vs, and, or)
- Alphabeticals – lists of up to 20 results for each letter of the alphabet
- Related keywords
Is AnswerThePublic free?
AnswerThePublic has Free and Pro versions.
The most significant difference is that the free version only allows you to enter three searches per day, while the pro version doesn’t have any limitations.
Another notable difference between the two versions is that the Pro version allows you to set the language and location preferences.
Other differences, while somewhat useful, aren’t really going to make anyone buy the Pro version.
Do I think the Pro version is worth $99/month?
For most content creators and marketers, no.
Very occasionally, for a business heavily dependent on locational data the Pro subscription might be worth it, but even then, some other tools provide more useful information for the money.
The reason why I decided to feature this tool is because the Free version can be very useful.
If you put some thought into what you want to search, 3 searches per day are plenty.
How to use AnswerThePublic?
Using AnswerThePublic is very easy and intuitive.
To use the tool, you don’t have to register at all, which is always nice.
It’s one less account to worry about.
Once you enter the website answerthepublic.com, this fella is there to greet you.
They change the people from time to time so it might be some other person by the time you discover the tool.
Anyway, try not to get too distracted or weirded out.
From there, you simply enter your keyword into the search box and press the “Get Questions” button.
It’ll take the tool 10-20 seconds to aggregate all the data and then you’re set.
For example, I entered “noise cancelling headphones.”
Once the tool renders the results, it displays them in two modes – visualization and data.
Visualization mode is a prettier version that’s useful if you’re including it in your articles or presentations and you want things to look nicer.
But I imagine the good old lists are much easier to consume.
Plus, you won’t risk straining your neck while trying to follow the visualization mode full circle.
Another, and perhaps the most useful, way of consuming the data is simply hitting the “Download CSV” button in the upper right-hand corner and importing everything into MS Excel or Google Spreadsheet.
From the comfort of your home… I mean, your Excel sheet, you can do whatever you please with the data.
Another notable feature is the ability to save the visualization or list images.
Simply click on the Save Image button to do so.
You can also quickly jump from category to category by using the Category Bar that always stays on top of your screen.
How to use AnswerThePublic to get content ideas
Talking about the features of this tool is fun and all, but let’s see how you could use it to actually help you come up with content ideas.
Let’s continue with the example keyword “noise cancelling headphones.”
Right from the get-go, you get bombarded with useful long-tail keywords in the form of questions.
Again, AnswerThePublic aggregates data directly from Google and Bing so you know you’re getting exactly what people are typing in.
People are interested in how noise cancelling headphones work in general. For example:
- How do noise cancelling headphones work
- How effective are noise cancelling headphones
- Are noise cancelling headphones hearing protection
- When were noise cancelling headphones invented
They’re also interested to know if noise cancelling headphones could cause any health-related issues. For example:
- Are noise cancelling headphones bad for your hearing
- Are noise cancelling headphones better than earplugs
- Can noise cancelling headphones cause tinnitus
- Can noise cancelling headphones be used with hearing aids
When you move on to the Prepositions category, you also get good ideas like:
- Noise cancelling headphones for kids
- Noise cancelling headphones for flights
- Noise cancelling headphones for gym
- Noise cancelling headphones with mic
You also might want to compare noise cancelling headphones with other types of headphones too.
Here are the content ideas AnswerThePublic offers in that case:
- Noise cancelling headphones vs regular headphones
- Noise cancelling headphones vs airpods
- Noise cancelling headphones vs noise reducing headphones
If you still need more ideas, going through Alphabeticals category will certainly provide you with many.
Tip for free version users: once you perform a search, a good idea would be to download the CSV file and import the results to Excel or Google Spreadsheets.
There, simply delete the keywords that don’t make any sense and keep the rest.
The reason why is because you only get 3 free daily searches.
It would be a shame if you had to waste 2 or more searches on the same exact keyword because you wanted to double-check something.
How to use AnswerThePublic to outline articles
Now that you have a bunch of topic ideas, let’s pick one and see how we can use AnswerThePublic to pretty much outline an article.
Pick a keyword that’s not too competitive on Google if you’re starting fresh because ranking for more competitive keywords is hard for a new website.
Also, check if the content that’s already on Google is any good in the first place.
If the competing content is weak, don’t shy away from targeting slightly more competitive keywords.
You could always beat your competition with better quality articles.
But don’t go too crazy and pick a keyword that has dozens of great articles competing for the first few ranking slots.
Whatever you do, always aim to better than your competition.
Mediocre content doesn’t go anywhere these days.
Let’s try to outline an article on the following topic: “Noises you can block out with noise cancelling headphones.”
AnswerThePublic suggested “How do noise cancelling headphones work” which could serve as an introductory part of the article.
From there, you should just look for suggestions that fit this topic.
Here are some that AnswerThePublic suggested:
- Can noise cancelling headphones block snoring
- Can noise cancelling headphones block baby crying
- Can noise cancelling headphones block talking
- Which noise cancelling headphones cancel the most noise
- Will noise cancelling headphones block out TV
- Will noise cancelling headphones block out loud music
- Will noise cancelling headphones block out dog barking
- Will noise cancelling headphones block lawn mower
- Will noise cancelling headphones block out fireworks
- Will noise cancelling headphones block out thunder
Right there, you have 10 subheadings for your article.
Writing such a thorough post would surely bring some traffic to your website.
You could also cover all these sub-topics separately even more thoroughly and then interlink your content into a “content silo.”
A content silo is when you cover one larger topic that serves as a “pillar post” and all the related sub-topics in smaller posts and then link to each of the sub-topic posts from the pillar post.
This suggests to Google that you’ve covered the larger topic in-depth and you’re an expert on it.
In turn, Google is likely to bump up the rankings of all the posts from that particular content silo because Google values expertise.
Another benefit of interlinking is that two links within your domain weigh as much as one backlink.
So, by interlinking your content you’re increasing your domain authority.
How to use AnswerThePublic to optimize your content for voice search
Voice search is the future of search.
AI assistants like Amazon Alexa are getting more and more popular.
People search the Internet slightly differently when it comes to voice search vs. ‘normal’ web search.
Voice search is done in a lot more of a conversational manner, using fully formed questions.
For example, if you wanted to find a pizza place in Youngstown, Ohio, you’d simply type into Google “pizza place Youngstown, Ohio.”
But the exact same search done by voice would probably sound a lot more like “Alexa, where’s the closest pizza place to my location that’s open right now?”
People usually talk to the AI assistants like they would talk to a friend.
How does AnswerThePublic help you optimize for voice search?
It provides you with a lot of questions related to your keyword and gets you into a habit of using full questions in your titles and subheadings.
This doesn’t punish your content in normal searches because search engines are sophisticated enough to recognize the meaning without robotically focusing on the keywords.
Still, keywords are very important and should not be disregarded entirely.
How to use AnswerThePublic to optimize for the Featured Snippet position on Google
The featured snippet position has also been dubbed as the rank #0 on Google.
It’s the paragraph of text in which Google attempts to provide you with an answer to your query so that you don’t even have to open any articles.
Since AnswerThePublic provides you with questions related to your keyword, you could optimize a paragraph in your article that answers such a question really well.
For example, if you titled your article “Can noise cancelling headphones block out a lawnmower” and gave a really good answer in the first 30-40 words, Google would take note of that.
Of course, there are no guarantees you’ll get the featured snippet position because that depends on a lot of other factors, but that would be considered optimizing for the featured snippet.
In other words, you’d give your article the best chances to grab the featured snippet position.
AnswerThePublic is certainly not the be-all-end-all tool for keyword research.
Not even close.
But it’s a free tool that can help you out if your budget is tight and you’re just learning the ropes.
Don’t let the fact that there are paid keyword research tools out there discourage you.
You can always use AnswerThePublic in tandem with other free tools like Ubersuggest and Google features like People Also Ask and Related Searches.
That way you’d certainly be able to pinpoint the opportune keywords without all the bells and whistles of paid tools.
The hammer is not the biggest variable in forging a great sword.
The smith is.