Whatever industry you are working in, you can make use of these sites for business growth and exposure. And if you’re running a blog, they will provide another channel for content exposure.
Although it may surprise you to hear this, the atmosphere at the top Q&A sites such as LinkedIn Answers and Quora is highly professional. You don’t see a lot of spam or white noise there. These websites are home to real people and real industry experts who exchange legitimate questions and solutions.
Participating in Q&A sites can be extremely advantageous for you. Here are some of the specific ways it can happen:
1. You can effectively position yourself as an industry expert I’ve gathered a significant number of followers who key into my niche on LinkedIn Answers and Quora. By providing detailed and extremely relevant solutions to people who are looking for them, you will gain respect, and you will find that people follow your work beyond the sites where they first encountered you.
2. It’s a great way to discover ideas to blog about For bloggers, writer’s block can be a recurring issue. Fortunately, Q&A sites provide forums for a wide range of industries. You can find a constant stream of topics and issues to provide grist for your mill on them.
I make a point of visiting LinkedIn Answers and Quora not just to answer questions, but to discover the timely issues other folks are asking about.
3. Q&A sites provide an awesome tool for backlinking Google Panda hit several Q&A sites last year, but many — including LinkedIn Answers, WikiAnswers, Quora, and Yahoo! Answers — remain strong and viable for SEO.
Participating in Q&A sites is a great way to increase variety in your backlinking profile. As you may already know, variety in linkbuilding is one of the keys to staying strong in an SEO world monitored by Pandas and Penguins.
Also, links generated by answering questions on these sites are natural, a very important SEO factor these days.
4. They offer an excellent channel to highly targeted traffic As mentioned, Q&A sites are home to thousands of people legitimately searching for genuine answers to their most pressing concerns. That makes them a perfect avenue for finding highly targeted traffic with tremendous opportunities for conversion.
Sure, competition can be fierce within these sites. But as long as you provide high-quality responses and useful solutions, you’ll be one of the options. And don’t worry: on these sites, there are plenty of questions to go around.
5. Q&A sites present a superb keyword tool Apart from furnishing me cool ideas to blog about, Q&A sites have performed yet another extremely great service — as a keyword tool. They allow me to see the variations people use for certain keywords and therefore take a peek into their needs.
Questions have high search volumes, and the keywords that appear in questions on Q&A sites are long tail keywords. This means you will find lots of options for keywords with low competition, but with a potentially good search volume.
6. You can get opportunities to network with industry leaders and experts As mentioned, Q&A sites are home not only to people with real concerns; they also attract industry experts. Read the responses to some of the questions and you’re bound to encounter insightful answers.
Remember, Q&A sites also function as social networking sites, so grab the opportunity to reach out on them. Nurture relationships with people you meet by asking for their permission to include their thoughts in your blog posts and to link to their site.
Odds are, they’ll be happy to return the favor. On several occasions, industry experts found me in one of these Q&A sites and invited me to collaborate with them on projects.
7. They’re a terrific marketing intelligence tool Participating in Q&A sites gives you tremendous amounts of leverage in terms of marketing intelligence. It’s easy to stay in the loop with Q&A sites. All you need to do is key in keywords using the search feature on these sites. You will find a wealth of information that specifically relates to your niche.
Conclusion Get on the program starting today and become active on Q&A sites. You don’t have to create a profile on all of them. Choose the ones that will provide the most value to your business. They’re good for exposure and networking, as well as for landing new customers.
Timothy Carter is the CRO for AudienceBloom. Since 1997 he's been helping businesses maximize their sales revenue from websites via content marketing, SEO and Internet Marketing strategies. Over the years he's written for publications like Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal, MarketingProfs and other highly respected online publications.