With the rise of Q&A sites such as Quora, StackExchange and Linkedin Answers has come a terrific marketing opportunity for eCommerce merchants. Outstanding tools for content exposure, they’re perfect for attracting attention.
Further, people tend to treat these sites with a great deal of respect, so you won’t usually encounter an abundance of spam on them. This adds to the credibility of any material you post—as long as you’re careful to avoid sullying the waters with less than reliable information.
Here’s how leveraging Q&A sites to build traffic can benefit you.
Establish Yourself as an Authority
Consistently providing thoughtful, accurate and useful questions will lead people to look to you as an authority in the field. The key is to produce detailed and relevant solutions. This will make people curious to see what else you’re doing, which will lead them to your blog and your eCommerce site.
Unearth Blogging Topics
When you have to come up with five or ten good story ideas a week, the vein of inspiration can run a bit thin every now and then. However, within the questions and responses you’ll find on Q&A sites, there is a gold mine of story ideas just waiting for you to come prospecting. Pick a topic within your pertinent niche and you’ll find many questions capable of supporting detailed blog posts.
Find Backlinking Opportunities
While you want to be careful to avoid the appearance of overtly marketing your eCommerce store, Q&A sites are perfect for placing backlinks. When you see a question you’re qualified to answer, rather than writing an answer for it directly, write a blog post about it and publish it on your site. You can then go back to the Q&A site and provide a succinct answer to the question, linking to your blog post for extrapolation. Even better, Q&A posts tend to be evergreen, as they resurface when another person comes along and asks the same question. This means that link will continue to work for you over an extended period of time.
Q&A sites are outstanding keyword tools. Every single question contains them. Reviewing the sites with this in mind can afford you an excellent source of long tail keywords around which there is proven interest. In most cases, they’re also low competition with good search volume.
Providing quality responses on a consistent basis will attract attention and help you build relationships with people you meet on these sites—many of whom have blogs of their own. This opens the potential for reciprocal guest posts. This has been proven to broaden audiences for both parties.
Other Publishing Opportunities
Publications like Forbes, Newsweek and The Huffington Post have run content from sites like Quora on more than a few occasions. This presents unrivaled possibilities for exposure to much broader audiences. After all, each of these sites has millions of visitors.
If you see one of your answers get picked up you’ll experience a significant spike in traffic to your blog and, in turn, your eCommerce store. With that in mind, you’ll need to make sure your site and your hosting provider can handle the increased traffic. The best free website templates, like those offered by Shopify, scale readily.
In addition to the traffic building opportunities these sites represent, you can learn a lot from them. Q&A sites attract highly intelligent and influential people. In fact, the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, has answered questions on Quora.
Leveraging Q&A sites to build traffic for your blog and eCommerce store is a very smart play. It’s relatively easy to do, provides you another outlet for your marketing effort and benefits society in general.
That’s a hard combination to beat.