How To Use Answer The Public (Features, Alternatives)

Wondering how to use Answer The Public to optimize your content for search results?

When it comes to search engine optimization, keyword research is one of the most crucial and rewarding SEO activities you can undertake as a content marketer. 

And one of the smart ways of doing that is using Answer The Public to discover the questions your target audience is already asking online. 

But is Answer The Public the answer to all your SEO needs?
We’re here to answer this question and more. 🙋

In this article, we’ll cover the five ways in which you can use Answer The Public for your keyword research. We’ll also find out how much this SEO tool costs, its limitations, and this tool’s best alternatives

Further Reading:

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Let’s go!

What is Answer The Public?

Answer The Public is a keyword research tool that collects autocomplete data from search engines like Google to give you all the phrases and questions people are asking around a seed keyword. 

Now, even though several keyword research tools can offer you keyword suggestions, Answer The Public is by far one of the most accessible online tools you can get started with. 

You can run a free search for any keyword and download a hefty list of related keyword ideas in seconds. This keyword tool can also give you alerts on changes in search behaviour and provide content ideas for your next blog post to boost your organic traffic.

And if the plethora of keyword suggestions ever make you feel like this…

…the tool’s developers have designed a beginner’s email course (tutorial) on how to use this data to understand your target audience better. 

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Next, we’ll find out how to use this tool for keyword research. 

5 Awesome Ways to Use Answer The Public 

Here are the five ways in which you can use this free SEO tool to design your digital marketing strategy: 

1. Find Relevant Search Queries

Answer The Public harnesses Google’s autocomplete feature to show you all the related phrases and questions people are asking on a search engine. 

While Google search also gives you a list of related keywords when you run a search, the number is limited to just ten keyword suggestions. 

For example, if you run a Google search for “dog accessories,” here are the top suggestions you’ll get: 

Google's autocomplete results

On the other hand, this keyword tool goes beyond the top 10 FAQs and maps out all the available phrases (long tail keywords) and questions your potential customers are typing on Google.

Here’re the results we got from Answer The Public for our seed keyword “dog accessories”:  

keyword results in Answer The Public

As shown in the image above, Answer The Public organizes all keyword suggestions under different categories and displays them in the form of “search clouds” when you scroll further.

These categories include: 

  • Questions: Phrases around the seed keyword along with five W’s (When, where, what, why, and who) and with “can,” “will,” “which,” etc.  
Question-based keywords in Answer The Public
  • Prepositions: Related keyword ideas with “for” “is” “near” “with” after the keyword.
Prepositions based keywords in Answer The Public
  • Comparisons: Keyword ideas with “and,” “vs.,” “or,” etc. 
Comparison keywords in Answer The Public
  • Alphabeticals: Keyword suggestions followed by every letter of the alphabet.
Alphabetical keywords in Answer The Public
  • Related: Other phrases related to the seed keyword.
Related keywords in Answer The Public

However, if you’re not comfortable with the “search cloud” view, you can switch to the data view from the top left corner. The data view displays all the keyword suggestions in the form of lists.

Keyword lists in Answer The Public

2. Export Your Results as CSV or High-Res Images

While the visualization of keywords looks impressive, it may be difficult for marketers to refer to the image over and over while working on their content strategy. 

To make things easier, Answer The Public allows you to download your keyword research data in a CSV file format, so you can filter and use the keyword data the way you like. 

You can also import the data from the CSV file to a Google Sheet and share it with your content marketing team in real-time. 

And, if you’re a marketer who wants to showcase all that keyword research to their client, you can download the visualizations as images and use them to create an impressive presentation. 😎

What a power point, right?

You can access these options from the top-right corner of the search result. 

Download keywords as CSV in Answer The Public

3. Get Search Listening Alerts

While this free SEO tool can give you enough content ideas to start your blog post, your content also needs to stay relevant to the public.

And for that, you need to keep up with the changing search behavior of your target audience. 

But how do you do that? 
By easily upgrading to the Pro version of this free SEO tool to get Search Learning Alerts!

Now, if you’re wondering…

This tool’s Search Learning Alerts feature sends you weekly emails showing how the search behaviour for a seed keyword has changed over a specified period. 

In simpler words, you’ll get to know any new question being asked around your targeted keyword. 

Alerts on changes in search behavior in Answer The Public

But how does that help? 
By comparing search behaviour changes over time, you can:

  • Track shifts in brand perceptions and be ready to react to any positive or negative change in your online brand reputation
  • Spot seasonal Google trends and create new content around them so you can stay ahead of the game.
  • Track your competitors by creating alerts for their brand, product, or service. 

While you can also gather such data via surveys and interviews, the responses can be unreliable. On the other hand, Answer The Public gives you real insights into what people are actually thinking and not what they say they are thinking.

4. Organize Your Keyword Research 

Sure, it’s easier to keep track of multiple keywords for your own brand, but if you’re a digital marketer, you may have to deal with multiple clients and projects at once. 

In that case, keeping track of all your competitors for different keywords can be an uphill task.

To make things easier, the Pro version of Answer The Public lets you organize all related keywords under folders called Collections

Keyword collections in Answer The Public

You can also quickly add a new search keyword to a specific collection or create an entirely new folder for a different search query. 

Moreover, you can hide unwanted branches and keyword suggestions or even hide individual results to make your keyword research more relevant to your brand or product. 

Option to hide search results in Answer The Public

5. Identify Top Keyword Opportunities 

Once you’ve gathered all your keyword ideas, you also need to figure out which ones are the most profitable keywords and how many people are searching for them. 

To make things easier, Answer The Public uses darkening green dots to measure how popular a search term is. However, the most popular keyword searches may not necessarily mean that they also have a higher search volume. 

So, whether you want to run Google Ads or create a social media strategy, you could use this keyword research tool alongside an additional tool like Google Keyword Planner to narrow down the profitable keywords based on: 

  • Monthly search volume: How many people search for that particular keyword every month.
  • Pay-per-click (PPC): The amount you need to pay to search engines every time someone clicks on your online ads. 
  • Keyword difficulty: How difficult is it to rank for a specific keyword on a search engine. 
  • And more.  

This way, you can also spot long tail keywords that are high in search volume and low in competition. You can then use such keywords as content ideas for your content strategy to improve your organic search rankings. 

But that’s not all. 

Using this keyword research tool, you could discover questions that can help your website get featured as a snippet or listed under the People Also Ask (PAA) section. 

Note: Featured snippets are excerpts from a webpage that appear in Google’s search result to answer a query quickly.

This helps in establishing your website’s authority on a relevant topic. 

So, by being featured as a snippet, you can tell Google…

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But before you use this tool to take your digital marketing to the next level, let’s take a look at how much this is all gonna cost. 💰

How Much Does Answer The Public Cost?

If you’re a small business or a marketer not ready to invest in an SEO tool, you can use Answer The Public for free to do your keyword research. 

But, if you wish to enjoy all its features, you’ll have to upgrade to the Pro version. 

Here are the three pricing plans this tool offers: 

  • Monthly ($99/month):
    • Unlimited searches
    • Up to three users
    • Five search listing alerts
    • CSV report
    • And more 
  • Annual ($79/month):
    • Unlimited searches
    • Up to five users
    • Five search listening alerts
    • CSV export
    • And more 
  • Expert ($199/month):
    • Unlimited searches
    • Unlimited users
    • 20 search listening alerts
    • CSV export
    • And more 

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Now, we don’t want you to simply go with the popular public opinion and opt for Answer The Public. 

Next, we’ll look at the two significant drawbacks of this free SEO tool so that you can make an informed decision. 

2 Limitations of Using Answer The Public 

Here’re the two shortcomings of Answer The Public: 

1. Doesn’t Offer Relevant Keyword Metrics

While this tool offers endless keyword suggestions, you also need specific keyword metrics to run a successful content marketing strategy. 

Keyword metrics like search volume, cost-per-click, or keyword difficulty are crucial for understanding if a keyword is worth targeting. 

Nonetheless, this keyword explorer does give you a good head start in understanding what the public is looking for on the internet and optimizing your content accordingly. 

And if you still need relevant keyword data, you could always use this tool alongside tools like Ubersuggest, Google Analytics, or Google Search Console to get the right information. 

Moreover, if you’re a small business or an independent content marketer, you can even download a free Chrome extension like Keywords Everywhere. This extension displays keyword data in the search clouds of Answer The Public. 

Now that feels like…

2. The Free Tool Offers Limited Daily Searches 

This keyword research tool allows only three daily keyword searches under its free version. 

While this may not be a deal-breaker for small business owners, freelancers, or SEO beginners, a professional content marketer may need to run several keyword searches daily. 

However, this keyword explorer does offer unlimited searches in the Pro version. You’ll also enjoy several other benefits like search listening alerts, team collaboration, priority customer support, etc. That means it may be worth investing in a paid plan after all. 

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Still not sure if Answer The Public has all the answers you’re looking for?
Don’t worry. 

Next, we’ll give you the best two alternatives for this tool. 

Top 2 Alternatives for Answer The Public 

Here’re the two other SEO tools you can use for keyword research: 

1. Wordstream’s Keyword Research Tool

The first Answer The Public alternative is Wordstream’s keyword research tool. It scans through a database of one trillion keywords to give you relevant keywords from popular search engines like Google and Bing. 

This tool displays the top 25 related keywords suggestions for a given keyword or website URL along with structured data like search volume, CPC, and keyword difficulty. 

However, this free SEO tool isn’t suitable for newer websites as it uses a site’s published content to generate similar keywords. So, websites with less online content won’t find many keyword opportunities for digital marketing. 

Nonetheless, marketers can still use this tool’s “popular keywords” feature to target industry-specific keywords with high search volumes.

2. SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool 

SEMrush is a powerful Answer The Public alternative that lets users discover fantastic keyword ideas using its Keyword Magic Tool.

The tool claims to give you access to 20 billion keyword ideas to spot the right keyword opportunities for content marketing.

The Keyword Magic Tool also lets you filter out popular question based keywords and organizes results by search volume, keyword difficulty, competition, etc. 

However, SEMrush’s user interface can be pretty complex for new marketers and requires an understanding of basic SEO concepts. 

That said, every new tool has a learning curve, and once you get the hang of it, the opportunities are limitless.

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Does Answer The Public Answer Your SEO Questions?

Now that you know how to use Answer The Public, you can use this free SEO tool to keep a tab on what questions searchers ask on search engines. 

Also, using this tool alongside other SEO tools can give you the perfect keyword data to answer those questions aptly and rank higher on the SERPs. 

And, if you want to make sense of all your keyword data or need someone to help you with SEO and content marketing, contact the SEO experts at Startup Voyager.

We can craft an exceptional content marketing strategy for you that’ll help you soar higher in the organic search results!

About the author

Startup Voyager is a content and SEO agency helping startups in North America and Europe acquire customers with organic traffic. Our founders have appeared in top publications like Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Inc, Huffpost, Lifehacker, etc.