How And Why Question Keywords Can Level Up Your SEO Strategy

How And Why Question Keywords Can Level Up Your SEO Strategy

Updated on: 18 October 2022

How And Why Question Keywords Can Level Up Your SEO Strategy

Nowadays, the way people search online is changing. Queries have become longer, more specific, and more complicated.

Many times, searches are written in the form of a question.

“What to do in the Malaysia?”

“How to get from Singapore to Dubai?”

“Where to try wine tasting near me?”

Often, people type in what is on their minds whenever they search for something on Google. And as voice search becomes commonplace, question-based keywords will also become more popular.

What are question keywords?

From the term itself, question keywords are those that people type in on Google whenever they search for information. These are complete and specific questions that require specific answers.

For example, typing “What is SEO?” gives you a more specific answer. Unlike searching for the word “SEO” alone, asking a question on Google ensures that you’ll get a more accurate answer.

But why are question keywords important?

Google rolled out the Hummingbird update in 2013, which emphasises natural language searches, putting more weight on context and meaning rather than individual keywords. With this significant change in its algorithm, the search engine giant is telling the world that they want to ensure users of more relevant and helpful search results. This is called “semantic search”.

And what is semantic search?

Semantic search describes how Google and other search engines are able to predict information that users may be searching for. The four main principles semantic search uses include entity identification, query stream context, natural language processing (NLP), and the user’s search history.

For example, you want to search about what SEO or Google Ads is. So, you type in “what is SEO?” or “What is Google Ads?”. After reading a few articles about it, you decide you want to search for more specific information about its benefits and complications. You start typing a search for that. But before you can type the whole sentence, you get suggested searches related to your original query.

This shows that Google can predict search questions based on the following:

  • Typical series of questions most users ask when searching about SEO
  • The natural language used in questions to predict the rest of your query
  • Most recent search history on a given topic
  • An understanding of what SEO is as an entity

Aside from predicting what you want to search for, Google also uses semantic search to guess the results that are most relevant to you. The quality of the results that search engines show is what makes optimising your SEO for question-based keywords so important.

How do question keywords improve your SEO?

When users search using specific questions, they are motivated to find the most accurate answer to their query. They have a specific need that must be addressed immediately. This might be for information alone but may also be for commercial intent.

For example, if someone is searching for social media marketing in the Malaysia, their next step would most likely be to find the best companies that offer social media marketing services in the Malaysia.

So, how do question-based keywords enhance your SEO strategy?

1. Convert potential customers who are actively shopping around to actual buyers.

2. Establish the client as an authority in their niche.

3. Increase click-through rate (CTR) from organic searches.

How to optimise a site for question keywords?

One of the best ways to level up your SEO strategy using questions as keywords is through featured snippets. It is when a user asks a question, and Google shows a few sentences answering the query at the top of the results.

In other words, featured snippets are shown to provide users with short answers to their questions. This allows users to decide whether to click on the link to that website to get more information or not.

There are three kinds of featured snippets you can use:

1. Paragraph snippet – this is used when the answer to a specific query needs a text-based answer. This snippet gives search results in a paragraph and an image.

2. List snippet – this is primarily used to answer questions in the form of a list or steps, helping users go through certain processes.

3. Table snippet – this is displayed when the best answer to a question is in the form of a table.


Use these tools and processes today to start improving your search engine optimisation strategy using question-based keywords.

Once you’ve gotten all that figured out, the next step you need to take is to write engaging and relevant content built around answering the questions most people ask about your company or niche. Make sure your content is accurate and interesting to reap the rewards of using question keywords, semantic search, and featured snippets.