How to Use AnswerThePublic Tool: A Guide
If you are trying to rank well on Google, then keyword research is your best friend. Is it still important in 2023? Despite recent AI developments and the Google MUM Update, voice search and zero-click search, keywords remain the main player in successful SEO strategies.
Answer The Public is a valuable resource for search listening, keyword research and content ideation as it pulls data straight from Google and other search engines. Its concept is in its name – see what your target audience searches for, and deliver!
DevriX, a leading WordPress agency, has compiled this comprehensive guide on how to use Answer The Public to enhance your rankings on SERPs. We will first explain what the tool is and what features it offers, outline some benefits you can get, and then walk you through the steps to use it for optimizing your content. Let’s go!
What Is AnswerThePublic?
AnswerThePublic is a powerful keyword ideation tool that helps content creators and marketers uncover valuable insights into the questions and queries people have on a particular topic.
It was created by CoverageBook as a link-building experiment rather than an SEO tool. However, it harvested great success from the very start – it didn’t take too long for it to generate More than 65,000 inbound links, 500,000 users per month, and more than 1,500 actual paid customers.
So I think @answerthepublic will be the best #digitalpr “campaign” I ever work on. Passed 65k unique links now. Took some early work to spread the word. But most are earned. It’s a business now…but it started as a link building thing! 🙂
— Gary Preston (@garydpreston) December 8, 2021
The tool was eventually acquired by NP Digital back in June 2022. Although the founder Neil Patel already had a similar tool in his arsenal – Ubersuggest, which was already partly based on the AtP technology. So, they wanted to add AnswerThePublic to their marketing portfolio.
The purpose of AnswerThePublic is to help you understand the needs and interests of your target audience. By knowing the questions people are asking, content creators can develop relevant and engaging content that addresses those queries. This tool allows users to gain a deeper understanding of their audience’s pain points, interests, and search behavior.
Say you are a WordPress web development company and want to boost the keyword “WordPress agency”. Sure you won’t be able to predict, off the top of your head, what search queries containing that keyword people type in, right? However, if you want to produce content your potential customers will look for, you need to be ahead of them and already make it available for them.
Using AnswerThePublic offers several benefits to content creators and marketers. It provides a treasure trove of content ideas and inspiration, ensuring that the created content aligns with what people are actively searching for. By addressing popular queries, marketers can enhance their website’s SEO performance and attract organic traffic. Moreover, AnswerThePublic helps identify gaps in existing content, enabling marketers to fill those gaps and establish themselves as authoritative sources.
This is because AnswerThePublic utilizes search engine data to generate insights. By analyzing search autosuggest and autocomplete results and related searches, the tool compiles a visual map of questions, prepositions, comparisons, and other search patterns. This data provides valuable insights into the language and phrasing people use when searching for information. Understanding these search patterns allows marketers to optimize their content for better visibility and relevance.
How Can You Benefit From The Tool?
AnswerThePublic comes with several key benefits, especially for small businesses looking to expand their online presence with content people want to read.
The first perk it comes with is that you can use it for free. Although there is a daily limit of 3 searches, when you have to sift through the results generated by them, it is not limiting at all. Each search generates about 400 results per entry that you need to further analyze and comb through. So when you think about it, 3 searches per day is legit.
This brings us to the second benefit of the tool: it is fast! Although many of the results would be duplicates or not quite logical, you can easily find phrases with high potential for your editorial calendar.
Also, AnswerThePublic is that it is quite intuitive. You can export the results either in a graphic format or as a CSV file.
Another great feature of the tool is that you can choose the location where you want to check for that specific search query. For instance, if you operate mainly in the US market, you wouldn’t want to delve into suggestions based on UK searches.
Getting Started with Answer The Public
Using AnswerThePublic is quite straightforward – you enter your main keywords, set the location and search. However, you may need to use other tools in parallel, like Smrush and Ahrefs, to assess the generated outputs and do a competitor analysis as it doesn’t display any metrics other than the phrases themselves.
Let’s now walk you through the process.
Create An Account
Before AnswerThePublic was handed to Neil Patl, users could use it without signing up to create an account. You can also use your Gmail to save some time:
Load The Website
Once you’ve created an account, you are presented with the website. Keep in mind that if you access it from a mobile device, you may struggle – the tool currently is optimized for Desktop only.
Set Location And Language
Before you type in a particular keyword, make sure you set the right country and language. This would depend on where your business operates and where your customers are based.
Type In A Keyword
And now – exciting times! – type in your keyword and press “Enter”. Before you do that, you may have to check what your competitors rank for. To do that, use any SEO tool of your choice. For the sake of consistency, we will continue to use the search term “WordPress agency”. Under the AtP search bar, there is a prompt advising you to use 1-2-word phrases for best results. So, leave the long-tail keywords for the tool to generate for you, and stick to simple queries.
Review The Results
Next, go through the results. AnswerThePublic displays them in a brunch format. If you find it difficult to navigate, feel free to press the Data tab for more clarity:
The tool organizes the suggestions into five categories:
- Prepositions. For “WordPress agency”, it generated suggestions with ‘can’, ‘for’, ‘is’, ‘near’, ‘to’, ‘with’ and ‘without’.
- Comparisons. Suggestions include ‘and’, ‘like’, ‘or’, ‘versus’ and ‘vs’.
- Alphabeticals. It displays search queries people use that combine your keyword with words starting with each letter.
- Related. This category is similar to the Keyword Magic Tool on Semrush – it shows you different variations of phrases with your keyword.
For the sake of further analysis (and because of the limit of 3 searches per day that you don’t want to waste), you can download the results as a CSV file for better visibility.Make sure you rename it!
Sift Through The Results
The results you’ve just downloaded will not contain any additional data such as competitor analysis, metrics like Authority Score and Trust Flow, or organic search traffic insights. This is for you to investigate. However, it’s important to first remove rows that contain generic suggestions, duplicates, or phrases that don’t really make sense (you definitely don’t want to rank for those!) such as ‘who is wordpress agency’.
Here are a few bonus tips you can apply to analyze the results faster: remove rows that are not logical, or grammatically correct, get rid of duplicate or semi-duplicate entries, and topics you have already covered in your blog. Remember, ever since the Helpful content update and the E-E-A-T revised update that recognizes experience as a key ranking factor,, it is all about being original and useful.
Now that you have narrowed down your selection, get to work with the other SEO tools for a more detailed search.
As you can see, AnswerThePublic is a great content ideation tool that can save you the time you would otherwise spend entering each query that contains your keyword and check the autocomplete and PeopleAlso Ask suggestions that come with it. Despite its obvious limitations like having to pay for more than 3 searches per day, or the fact that it doesn’t display any additional data, it is quite useful to spy on what your target audience searches for.
Mariela Kashukeeva is an Outreach & Content Specialist at DevriX. With over 5-year experience in SEO, she is responsible for establishing collaboration opportunities with high-authority websites and creating amazing content.