AnswerThePublic Review & Tutorial: Visual Topic Research Tool
Do you struggle to find relevant keywords for creating your next blog post? It happens to the best of us.
There are tons of keyword research tools online that can help, but not everyone has the budget or technical skills to use these tools.
If you have a blog about Instagram marketing, then you’d have to think about what phrase, question, or a specific aspect of Instagram people might be searching for.
Most bloggers make a common mistake of assuming that they know what kind of content their audience wants.
Most of the time, they’re dead wrong.
Making assumptions about which long-tail keywords to target can seriously derail your content marketing strategy and no amount of software and tools can fix that.
So how do you know what questions are people exactly looking for about a particular subject?
The answer is simply in a free tool called AnswerThePublic.
What is AnswerThePublic?
AnswerThePublic is a visual keyword research tool that extracts queries from Google and Bing and presents them in a categorized keyword cloud.
Enter a general topic, and the tool will return several keywords in question form. Each keyword result is a question. The results are then categorized according to the type of question (what, when, who, where, why, how, can, etc.)
There are also five different sets of answers when searching for a topic.
All keyword results here are questions that start with why, what, where, how, when, and can.
Ex: how Instagram makes money, are Instagram stories saved, etc.
The keyword is used with common prepositions like with, without, near me, for, and to.
Ex: Instagram for photographers, Instagram with music, Instagram cafes near me, etc.)
The keyword is then compared with similar or related keywords
Ex: Instagram and Facebook, Instag.ram vs. Snapchat, Instagram or blog
Keywords are presented by alphabetical order from A to Z.
These are similar keywords found on the topic.
As you can see, AnswerThePublic tool can give you hundreds of valid blog post ideas from typing just one or two main keywords.
How To Find Topic Ideas With AnswerThePublic
Using this keyword research tool is simple. Go to answerthepublic.com and type a keyword in the search bar.
You should get the first type of result, which is Questions. In this example, I typed “Instagram” in the search bar and clicked on Get Questions.
This is what would come up in the Visualization tab:
By default, you’ll get the visual representation of the list of questions.
This is a massive list of questions ranging from how, where, what, why, can, and who in a keyword wheel. Each question will include the main keyword you entered in the search, but it will appear as a question in different contexts.
A closer look at this image shows you what is in it:
There are two things you can do with this information:
- You can save the results in a spreadsheet by clicking on the Download CSV button on the top right corner of page.2. If you like to keep the keywords in its visual form, click Save Image.
If the visualization is making you dizzy, click the Data tab on top of the keyword results.
Each group of keywords has its own Image button. Click on this to see the visualization of the keywords.
There’s also a Hide button beside the Image button, and you can click on Hide to hide the particular set of keywords.
Tip: The darker the green dots on a topic, the more popular it is.
Now all you have to do is organize these results and decide which ones you want to create content more accessible.
If you want to get more information about a specific question, you can use other keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMRush to check the number of searches it gets per month and other relevant stats.
Why use AnswerThePublic?
Now that you’ve seen the tool in action, you might be wondering, “Is that it?”
AnswerThePublic is not an advanced keyword research tool, but it is a handy one. It will not give you stats like search volume, keyword difficulty, CPC, etc.
However, it will give you lots of long-tail keywords that you can use to create content and increase your chances of ranking in Google search. This is important if you’re starting a new website.
AnswerThePublic is great when you have absolutely no specific topic variation, in mind and all you have is a general keyword. Use this tool, and you’ll go from zero ideas to a hundred in just a few seconds.
If you manage keyword optimization for clients, you can use the visual keyword list to include in a presentation.
To get a bigger picture of what AnswerThePublic can or can not do, here’s a list of pros and cons.
- Free and easy to use
- You can download the results into a CSV file
- You can download the keyword visualization as a .jpeg file
- Provides relevant and current long-tail keywords
- Varied categories in keyword search results
- No need to sign up or register
- Free email course on how to use the tool
- The free version only allows three searches a day
- Setting a different language and location requires an upgrade to Pro
- No keyword stats available (possible update may be coming)
Despite these facts, AnswerThePublic remains to be a compelling tool for coming up with great blog topics.
Using AnswerThePublic to appear in Google Featured Snippets
Answering a question that is asked by people on search engines through a blog post can increase your chances of appearing on the top of a Google search result page (SERP).
This spot is called a Google featured snippet, and it’s a preview of a blog post that ideally presents a direct answer to a question that is typed into the search field.
For example, when I search for “What Instagram account has the most followers,” I get a snippet like this:
Google can get this answer from the top-ranking site on the page, but sometimes those on lower ranks (but within the first page of a search) are also used as snippets.
Research has shown that people are 2x more likely to click on featured snippets than other links on the results page.
Google decides which content should be on the featured snippet spot and it is not always taken from the top-ranking source.
How to make your content appear on Google Snippets
1. Look for popular, relevant questions using AnswerThePublic
Once you identify questions related to a keyword, you need to decide which one you would use to create content.
In my previous example, I can focus on the “how” questions on my Instagram search. To increase your chances of showing up in a snippet by creating just one blog post, you can pick more than one question.
For instance, I can answer “how Instagram ads work” and “how Instagram helps business.” Both of these questions are related and can be answered with a blog post on “How Instagram Can Boost Your Sales.”
2. Create content in a snippet-friendly format
Here are a few tips from Hubspot on how to make your content optimized for snippets:
- The question should be a headline in the content (h2, h3, h4) – see example below:
- The answer should be in <p> format right below the question
- Answers should be 50 words or less for paragraphs
- If you are making a list, make it more than seven items so people will still click on the rest of your content (Google snippets only shows the first seven items on a list)
- Write answers in a conversational manner, just like a person would normally answer the question
As you can see from the example above, getting featured on Google Snippets can be easier with AnswerThePublic.
Using AnswerThePublic to appear in voice search results
If you’ve ever used Siri on your iPhone, Google Assistant on your Android, or Cortana on your Windows device, then you have probably done a voice-based search.
Voice queries on Google may not be that common, but recent reports have shown that the number of people using voice search is on the rise. Google itself announced that 20 percent of mobile queries are from voice searches.
Unlike computer or text searches, voice searches are longer and use natural, conversational form.
Doing a text search and a voice search for the same topic may not give the same results.
This is what I got from a text search for “best microphone for podcasting“:
And this is what appeared when I did a voice search on my phone that said: “What’s the best microphone for podcasting?”
Based on these search results, a voice query is usually more specific and detailed, so you are more likely to get equally detailed and accurate results.
According to a Moz article, voice searches are longer at the tail as compared to text searches.
As mentioned earlier, AnswerThePublic is excellent for finding long-tail keywords that use the exact words that people are using in their searches.
With these facts in mind, you can now choose which questions to create your content for and how they can be optimized for voice search.
How to optimize your content for voice search
Tip #1: Use natural language
Don’t skip prepositions and filler words like “the,” “of,” and “in.” People talk in sentences, not broken phrases.
Tip #2: Go for specific questions and long-tail keywords
Voice searches are longer, and therefore more detailed. When choosing queries, go for those that have more, details and these are usually found in long-tail keywords.
Tip #3: Go for questions with a stronger intent
According to Moz, not all questions have the same level of intent. Here’s a graph to further illustrate this point:
You can use these questions to create a series of content that leads to a call-to-action in the end, maybe an offer for a discounted product or service. You can start with “What/Who” questions and end with “Where” which is an opportunity for you to turn the reader’s interest into a sale.
If you want to get access to unlimited search, customized language, and location, then you can upgrade to the Pro version at $99/month.
Here’s what you can do with the Pro version:
- Unlimited search
- Customize the language and location of the search
- Download high-resolution images of visual search results
- Automatically save reports
- Hide individual “arms” or questions
- Unlimited team members
These features are vital for advanced keyword research strategy and you may need it for your team, so the upgrade is a good investment.
Discovering what your audience wants can be a time-consuming task. AnswerThePublic saves you valuable time while giving you massive information that would take you days to get if you’re doing it using other methods.
A smart content creator would want to get the most accurate information in the easiest and fastest way possible.
You don’t want to spend too much time researching for the next blog topic — you’d rather spend it on actually creating content.
Thankfully, tools like AnswerThePublic makes free and reliable keyword research accessible to everyone. There is now virtually no excuse not to create content that is tailored to your industry or niche.
Do you use AnswerThePublic?
Leave a comment below and let me know.
Great article Ayush! The only thing I dislike about Answerthepublic is only 3 free searches and sometimes it doesn’t allow even one search because somebody else in our office used it that day (same ip issue). I have found another tool called SearchPatterns (https://www.usepatterns.com/) which allows unlimited free searches with almost similar features as Answerthepublic.
They have a pro version to get more searches and some other advanced features they can’t offer for free since they don’t blast their users with Ads. UsePatterns seems interesting too.
thank you for this deep review, indeed ATP is a must tool to use for marketers. For PPC lover, you can find new long tail transactional keywords 😉 I use https://www.question-generator.com if you have an free account you get a lot of data. I set alerts to get fresh ideas as well ! Happy to share and enjoy