Related Searches: What They Are & How to Use Them

SUSO 25 January 2023

Find out everything you need to know about Google’s Related Searches feature and how it can be used as part of your keyword research process and content strategy to get more visibility in the SERPs.

Author: Callum O’Neill, Content Writer & Editor

Callum O’Neill

If you’ve ever done a Google search, chances are you’ve seen related searches show up at the bottom of the page. But what exactly are these related searches? And how can you use them to make your own website or blog more discoverable in the search results? 

In this blog post, we will explore related searches in depth, from what they are and how they work to tips on how to use them to get more visibility for your own website or blog. By the end, you should have a better understanding of how to leverage this powerful section of the search results page for your own SEO efforts. Let’s dive in!

What Are Related Searches?

Related searches are algorithmic suggestions based on what other people are searching for on Google. When you type in a query, Google looks at all of the other queries that have been made that are similar to yours and uses them to provide you with results.

related searches

This can be a great way to find new content ideas, as well as get an idea of what other adjacent topics people are interested in. You can use related searches to:

  • Find new content ideas
  • See the intent that lies behind similar searches
  • Get insight into new popular trends
  • Find out about similar products or services

Related searches are a great way to find out what else your target audience is interested in reading about, and better orient your webpages to serve their needs.

This is especially important considering Google’s emphasis on Helpful Content over the past year or so.

How to Use Related Searches in Keyword Research

Related searches can be a valuable tool during the keyword research process. Seeing the popular terms and phrases that are closely related to your focus keyword can provide insight into what people are searching for, but more importantly, how they are searching for it.

Once you find some new keywords to investigate, you can plug them into tools such as Ahrefs or SEMrush to determine their search volume and competition – this will help you decide whether they might be worth targeting with new articles, or from within existing articles already on your website.

Long-Tail Keyword Discovery

Long-tail keywords are keywords that are more specific and thus have less search volume than more general, short-tail keywords. They are usually longer, and often consist of multiple words. For example, a short-tail keyword like “shoes” might have millions of searches per month, while a long-tail keyword like ”men’s size 10 black dress shoes” might only have a few thousand.

Despite having less search volume, long-tail keywords can be valuable for a few reasons:

  1. Long-tail keywords are often less competitive than short-tail keywords, meaning it can be easier to rank for them in search engines.
  2. They tend to be much more specific, which can result in higher conversion rates (i.e., people who search for long-tail keywords are usually further along in the buying cycle and thus more likely to make a purchase).
  3. Long-tail keywords can help you reach niche audiences that might not be searching for your short-tail keywords.

The “related searches” portion of the search results page can give you great insight into some of the most related and most popular long-tail keywords that surround the main keyword you are searching for.

Content Hubs

As Google’s algorithm becomes smarter, it is increasingly understanding the complex interconnections between different concepts and ideas. This makes it more important than ever to have an SEO content strategy that focuses on delivering comprehensive information about a topic.

A ‘content hub’, complete with pillar pages and cluster articles, will indicate to Google that this is indeed what you have (provided the content is really authoritative and unique!).

Related Searches are a great way to explore what Google sees as related to the topic at hand, and then adjust your content hubs to serve these demands – find out more content hubs here.

Featured Snippets

As our very own Albert Konik set out in his article on featured snippets – related searches can be a useful guide for how to structure your content in order to secure a featured snippet spot in the SERP.

google featured snippet

Answering the exact questions that people are commonly asking within your content in a clear and succinct way is exactly the kind of valuable content that Google is interested in promoting. A common way to approach this is to include a FAQ section in your blog post or article that gives in-depth articles to some of the most common questions in the ‘related searches’ section.

How Related Searches Can Inform Your Content Strategy

When you’re planning your content strategy, related searches can be a helpful way to come up with new ideas for topics to cover.

For example, if you’re a travel blogger who covers budget travel, you might start by typing in “budget travel south america”.

how related searches can inform content strategy

As you can see in the image above – Google will then suggest related searches such as “cheapest way to travel to south america”, “3 months in south america budget” and so on. 

These provide some great ideas for the exact new blog posts or articles that you can write about related to budget travel in South America.

Keep in mind that not all of the related searches that Google suggests will be relevant to your website or blog. However, they can still give you a general idea of exactly what people are interested in when it comes to your topic.

Understanding User Intent

Although the exact mechanics behind Google’s ‘Related Searches’ feature are unclear, we can be pretty sure that they are based on past user behaviour. They can therefore reveal important insights about what people are really looking for when they type in a certain query.

As a website owner, understanding why these related searches appear can help you better anticipate customer needs and develop content that addresses their specific pain points – such as budgeting for a couple, or budgeting over 3 months in the example above. 

It is clear that the primary search intent of this group of keywords is informational – people aren’t necessarily looking to purchase any product or service.

related searches user intent

In this example, however, “travel insurance south america” returns related searches that mostly include the names of real insurance companies – people are looking to buy. If your website doesn’t revolve around directly selling travel insurance, we can expect that it probably won’t be possible to rank for this term.

FAQs About Related Searches

Why Are Related Searches Important?

Related searches are important because they can be a valuable way to get ideas for new content, products, or services that you can offer on your site. They can also help you better understand what your customers are searching for and how they think about your products or services. You can use Related Searches to boost your SEO efforts by:

  • Using them as inspiration for new content – if you see a related search that’s relevant to your website, consider creating a piece of content around that topic
  • Incorporating a wider range of them into existing articles you have on the topic – this will help communicate to Google that your article offers a comprehensive view of a subject
  • Use them to inform product or service development – if you see related searches that indicate a demand for a product or service that you don’t currently offer, consider adding it to your offerings

What’s the Difference Between Related Searches & People Also Ask?

The ‘People Also Ask’ (PAA) feature on the SERP is another potential SEO goldmine. Pressing the arrow next to a PAA question gives you a rich snippet result that tends to directly answer the question.

related searches vs people also askResearching which questions appear here and attempting to answer them succinctly in your blog posts can be an easy ticket to the top of the SERP!

People Also Ask can be used to get ideas for new content in the same way as ‘Related Searches’, but it can also be used as a way to improve your ‘topical authority’ inside existing articles. By including the questions that appear in People Also Ask in your articles, you can signal to Google that your article and your site in general is a comprehensive resource for those looking for answers to those questions.

The Bottom Line

Related searches are a powerful tool that can help you better understand what your customers and prospects are searching for, allowing you to align your content more closely with their needs. Not only do related searches provide valuable insights into current user behaviour, but they also offer the opportunity to reach completely new audiences.

As a natural result of developing more targeted articles within a comprehensive framework such as a content hub, you give your website the best possible chance of ranking near the top of the SERPs, and securing key spots such as a ‘featured snippet’.

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