Are you using People Also Search For to improve your SEO campaigns?

Seasoned marketers leverage Google’s ‘People Also Search For’ feature to generate lots of highly relevant traffic to their sites.

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t do the same to get better results out of your SEO efforts.

This guide covers everything you need to know about the People Also Search For feature.

Let’s get started.

“People Also Search For” is a Google Search feature designed to help users find the information they need.

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'People Also Search For' appears as a rich snippet on the search results page, as seen above.

Although it can get quite confusing, because PASF also appears in the sidebar, as seen below.

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Each version shows different keyword suggestions. For example, if you search “what is shipping management,” the People Also Search For widget (in the sidebar) only includes broad, related topics. The snippet below the search results are much more detailed.

People Also Search For suggestions are sometimes used in an SEO strategy. They help professional marketers, agencies, businesses, and individual brands learn their target audience’s search behaviour and identify more keyword opportunities.

People Also Search For (PASF) vs People Also Ask (PAA): How are they different?

And then to throw a little more confusion into the mix, Google also has a feature called People Also Asked. So that's:

  • People Also Search For (in the snippet, more detailed)
  • People Also Search For (in the sidebar, less detailed)
  • People Also Asked

People Also Search For (PASF) and People Also Ask (PAA) both appear in search engine results pages and both help search engine users obtain more information related to their queries.

Their difference is that they lead search engine users to two different experiences and they're based on different intents.

If you click a People Also Search For keyword, Google generates fresh organic search results. This time, the query will include the exact keyword you selected.

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On the other hand, clicking a “People Also Ask” keyword won’t fetch new search results.

The People Also Ask widget is an accordion, meaning it is a stack of headers that expand and collapse content when clicked.

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The People Also Ask feature provides a summary of the information that users want.

Some of the text in the People Also Ask section is in bold for emphasis. Others may feature a list, video, or image to convey better the information users search for.

All People Also Ask widgets include a link to the source of the snipped information, rewarding the website with free traffic. Since PAA widgets appear at the top half of search results, PAA keywords are precious in SEO.

Data from Semrush Sensor reveals that 61.92% of all search engine queries trigger a PAA widget.

Websites that appear in the PAA widget may also show in the top 10 results. That means your website is shown twice on the same search results page, increasing your organic traffic share.

What about “Related Searches”?

“Related Searches” is another widget at the bottom of Google’s search results. It has similar keyword suggestions as the People Also Search For widget (snippet) —with a few extras.

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Related Searches reveal more keywords than People Also Search For. But since People Also Search For is located at the top of the search engine results pages, it has more traffic potential.

Clicking a keyword under Related Searches will refresh the search page with results relevant to the chosen keyword.

Why are PASF and PAA keywords important for SEO?

Here are three main reasons why you need to include PASF and PAA search terms when doing keyword research:

1. They can maximise your search engine traffic

Optimising for PASF and PAA keywords helps you drive more high-quality organic traffic.

PASF and PAA keywords are generally less competitive than broad, generic search terms. You also end up with a lot more keywords to craft better content for the user, which will also help your on-page SEO.

Tip: Compmanyll related PASF and PAA keywords into your content cluster strategy. This involves several pieces of content or “cluster posts” connected to a central “pillar page” via internal links.

2. The help build comprehensive content plans

PASF and PAA keywords uncover crucial topics your target audience searches for when researching your industry—and they deserve a spot in your digital content strategy.

Remember, these keywords come from Google’s database. These are frequently-searched terms that people use after their initial query.

Integrating them within your content plans ensures they get all the answers from your website. It also lets you beef up the content length by thousands of words and get higher search engine rankings—without adding fluff.

3. They can improve the user experience

PASF and PAA keywords reflect search user behaviour.

Covering them in your content and providing all the information your audience requires gives readers a more complete and enriching user experience.

That’s how you win your target audience’s trust and build your authority as an information source—making users come back for more.

4. They help you borrow ideas from your competitors

Reviewing the PAA widget shows important snippets of text from a high-ranking website. This will give you an idea of how to angle or structure your content.

PAA answers also highlight relevant keywords or phrases, which you can add to your content strategy.

How to research PASF keywords?

Here’s how to find PASF keywords (and PAA keywords) for SEO:

Step 1: Identify a core topic

Brainstorm a core topic to develop your first “seed keyword.”

This will be the query you’ll use to kickstart your PASF and PAA keyword research.

You don’t need tools to do this. Just sit with your team, come up with words that describe your industry or product, and list them down.

For example, if you sell carpet cleaners, “carpet cleaning” is your core topic.

Other variations are:

  • Carpet cleaner rental
  • Carpet cleaners products
  • Carpet cleaner

Step 2: Run a Google Search with your seed keyword

Fire up Google, enter “carpet cleaning,” and enter one of your seed keywords.

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Remember, the PASF search engine feature only appears after visiting one of the results.

Click the top organic result and wait for the page to load. When finished, click the “back” button on your browser and wait for the “People Also Search For” widget to appear.

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List down the PASF keyword suggestions—you’ll need them later.

Scroll down to Related Searches to discover more suggested keywords that aren’t included in the PASF widget.

The Related Searches widget should contain more keywords than the PASF widget.

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However, some of these keywords may not match the search intent behind the original query.

For example, the Related Searches for “carpet cleaning” includes the keywords “Bissell carpet cleaner” and “carpet shampoo cleaner.”

These keywords are useful if you sell those specific products. Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense to target them in your SEO strategy.

Use Related Searches keywords with care.

Step 4: Review the People Also Ask widget

Inspect the PAA widget to identify keywords and topics to include in your SEO strategy.

Unlike the PASF widget, the PAA widget is shown right out of the gate. It is usually seen just below featured snippets, like reviews, images, and the Google Local Pack.

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Expand a PAA keyword to inspect how competitors write their answers.

Emulate the format of their answers. If they’re using paragraphs, then your answer should also be in paragraph form. If they’re using bullet points, then be sure to follow suit. You can come back to these later on to improve them when you have enough user data to determine whether you can improve the answers (for example, longer, shorter, or more precise).

Step 5: Search using PASF and PAA keywords

Get even more keyword ideas by running a search using the PASF and PAA keywords you discovered.

With PASF and Related Searches keywords, simply click on the keyword to reload the search page.

In most cases, Google includes similar pages in search results for PASF and Related Searches keywords. But you may notice a few new pages that are more relevant.

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Repeat steps 2-4 on the new search page to find a new batch of PASF, Related Searches, and PAA keywords. Keep going until you’re happy with the size of your keyword pool.

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Step 6: Use a keyword research tool to find question-based keywords

Find PASF keywords with more data and speed using keyword research tools.

Manually searching for PASF and PAA keywords via Google is time-consuming. You’ll also miss essential keyword metrics, like monthly search volume, keyword difficulty rating, and Cost Per Click (CPC).

Keyword Magic Tool from Semrush can unload all these metrics for you.

To use it, enter a seed keyword, set your location, and hit ‘Search.’

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Keyword Magic Tool starts with a list of long-tail keyword suggestions derived from your seed keyword.

To look for potential PASF keywords, click the ‘Questions’ tab in the top toolbar. This will refresh the keyword list with question-based keywords that people ask when researching your topic.

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For more question-based keywords, go to the ‘Related’ tab for suggestions related to your seed keyword’s topic.

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One advantage of Keyword Magic Tool is it reveals a wealth of keyword metrics to help you identify viable keywords for SEO and PPC.

This includes the keyword’s monthly search volume, search intent, keyword difficulty rating (KD %), CPC, and paid advertising competitive density (Comp.).

Here are a few tips on how to use these metrics when selecting target keywords:

  • Check the keyword intent. For traffic that leads to paying customers, pick target keywords with a “transactional” or “commercial” intent. These pertain to users who are currently considering a purchase or are already in a buying mood.
  • Watch the keyword difficulty rating. Keywords with a KD% value of 15-49 are low-medium competition keywords. They’re ideal for small-medium brands that don’t have a large team of dedicated SEO professionals to help them rank. It's important to note that keyword difficulty metrics are generally pulled from Google Ads and not organic results. But they can give you a rough idea of how commercially competitive a keyword might be.
  • Pool multiple low-competition keywords together. Rather than shooting for high-competition keywords with thousands of monthly searches, go for various low-competition keywords with reasonable search volumes. Remember, you can optimise a page for numerous related keywords simultaneously—allowing you to target their total potential monthly traffic.

Step 7: Analyse PASF keywords you already found

Go to the list of PASF keywords you found manually and run them through Semrush.

On the “Keyword Overview” page, enter your PASF keyword and click ‘Search.’

Semrush will uncover everything you need to know about your PASF keyword.

You’ll see its monthly search volume, keyword difficulty rating, search intent, CPC, and more. It even shows additional keyword ideas in the form of keyword variations, questions, and related keywords.

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To analyse your entire list of PASF keywords, switch to the ‘Bulk Analysis’ tab.

Copy and paste up to 100 keywords into the main field and click ‘Analyze.’ This runs the bulk keyword analysis tool, which reveals essential metrics (volume, KD%, Comp., etc.) for all entered keywords.

Tip: Use an on-page optimisation tool like Surfer to ensure you’re using keywords right. Surfer comes with a Chrome extension that checks the optimisation of articles on Google Docs.

People Also Search For: Frequently Asked Questions

What is People Also Searched For on Google?

“People Also Search For” or PASF keywords is a Google Search feature that helps users obtain more information about their query. They appear whenever users click on a search result and return to Google’s search page.

How do you get to People Also Searched For on Google?

Research PASF keywords by running a search using a seed keyword, clicking on a page, and returning to the results. You can also check the “Related Searches” widget at the bottom of the search results, but it won’t highlight the most relevant keywords.

What is People Also Ask?

“People Also Ask” or PAA provides Google Search users with more information related to their queries. Unlike “People Also Search For” or PASF, PAA shows quick summaries of relevant answers.

Use People Also Search For keywords to supercharge your SEO

Finding and analysing PASF keywords are just the beginning.

You still need to work them into a cohesive SEO content strategy and that’s where the challenging work begins.

Content ideation, creation, optimisation, and promotion can be overwhelming to plan—let alone execute.

The good news is our team of digital marketing experts is ready to help.

Let us handle the process of optimising for PASF and PAA keywords while you focus on top-level tasks.

Click here to book a call with me today via phone or video chat.