How to Track People Also Ask (PAA) Including Site-Specific PAA (from FAQ Schema) with the MobileMoxie SERPeratorApril 24, 2020
People Also Ask results, also called PAAs have been around in the Google search results for a while now. People Also Ask results can be very interesting, because they may give us insight into how people are thinking about and searching for things related to our content. Many companies have developed strategies to gain visibility within the PAA dropdowns, but these can be incredibly hard to track. Now, Google has started to show site-specific PAA results that are based on FAQ Schema, as shown below. These can be a great benefit to your site, but are also difficult to track, since they are not reported in Search Console, and most SEO analytics platforms are not great at reporting on them either.
Even when some of the SEO tools catch up and are able to report that there was a site-specific PAA, they may not be able to accurately report what the questions were. If you or your competitors have or want these kinds of site-specific PAA results, or if you suspect PAA results may be limiting the number of clicks that you get from SEO then we think you should use the MobileMoxie SERPerator to capture and archive mobile screen-shots for the queries that you care about. Out tools can be set up to test specific queries, with all the same settings that a real mobile search has, like location, specific phone user agent and language, and we can capture full-length screenshots of the results over time – either daily, weekly or monthly. This way, you can actually track in detail what the PAA, looks like, and where in the rankings it is showing up. The steps to set this up are included below:
1. Start by logging into your MobileMoxie account, and click on the top tab on the left that says SERPerator, and then click below to see the Live Testing view (If you don’t have a MobileMoxie account yet, you can register for a 7 day free trial here).
2. Next, add the address that you want to test from. This can be a full address, down to a specific street address, or it can just be a city or postcode/zip code. If you leave the postcode and street address blank, we will just measure from the geographic center of the city. PAA results tend to be less localized than other kinds of searches, so it is fine if you just want to go down to the city level here. Don’t forget, the SERPerator works for testing in most countries in the world, so if you are doing business in different countries, it might be a good idea to set up multiple tests for each country or major location.
3. Add in the query that you want to collect or track PAAs for. Remember, search results, including PAA results, can change based on the language setting of the searcher, so just select the language that corresponds to the most-likely phone language of your users, and you are done (the only search engine available in the tools right now is Google, so leave that as it is).
4. Now just choose the phone or phones that you want to test on, and hit ‘Run Test. We recommend testing with two phones – one iOS device and one Android. If possible, it is also a good idea to choose different size screen phones – one large screen phone and one small screen phone; this will give you the strongest sense if there are changes in the way results are displayed between the different OS, and the different size phones.
FYI: The phone OS usually won’t make a huge difference in these kinds of searches, but the size of the phone could. Google seems to change the layout, placement or likelihood of PAA results, so it is good to cover all your bases. In some cases, Google will alternate between full-size videos and smaller video thumbnails based on the size of the handset that is searching. In other cases, like in the example below, you can see that there is a video pack at the top of both phones, but People Also Ask and Interesting Finds have out-ranked the Knowledge Graph when compared to the bigger phone on the right. This is by no means a rule that happens every time, but things like this can definitely happen.
5. Next Step – Check out the results! When you are in the Live Testing view in the tool, you can click into the PAA results and expand them to see what is there, as shown below.
6. After that, you can click the ‘save’ icon below each of the phones – Each test, aka each phone, must be saved separately, so it is fine if you only want to save one of the results, to test on a regular basis. When you click the ‘save’ icon, a modal will pop up with options. You have the option to re-run this test daily, weekly, or monthly, and you can specify things like the day and time that you want it to run. You also have the option to run the test, not just in the address or location that you specified, but in a radius around the area, to see if the result changes. If you choose non-local, you will only test in the one location, but if you choose ‘local’ the tool will test with 12 different addresses in a 20-mile radius of your main address. When you are done here, click ‘Next’.
7. Next, you can set up tests in other locations if you want. If you have other addresses saved to your account, you will be given the option to run the same test in multiple locations outside of the 20 mile radius. This is great if you want to compare how this test looks in different cities, states or countries that you serve, or if you want to to the same test at multiple store locations. Click ‘Submit’ and then you are done. If you want to run this test in multiple locations that are not already set up in the tool, go to the ‘Dashboard’ CSV uploader, then come back to this step if you need to. The test, you just ran, will be added to your dashboard, and you can see the progression of your tests there.
Optimizing and tracking the impact of People Also Ask is a new way to learn about your audience, what they are searching for, and what your opportunities to rank are. There is currently no way to easily track what questions are ranking for each query, and how much they change, other than the MobileMoxie SERPerator. The MobileMoxie SERPorater allows you to track SERP changes and help you discover new opportunities as they appear in the SERP in PAAs. We hope you have found this step-by-step tutorial valuable! FYI: this tutorial focused on the view of the tool that MobileMoxie subscribers see. We do have a free version of our SERP test, which lets you test one query at a time. If you need to test more than that, you should consider signing up for a free 7-day trial, to get unlimited SERP testing.