In 2016, the customer journey is expected to become even more fractured as customers seek information from a variety of sources, during several brief browsing sessions. Google has even coined these mini browsing sessions “Micro-Moments.” In order to succeed, your business needs to have a presence during all of these sessions, across all mediums and devices.
One platform that doesn’t get a lot of attention is forums and discussion groups. While it’s important to not intrude on these user-focused groups, many clients can benefit from participating. I had a lot of success recently with building valuable links on Quora, Yahoo Answers, and LinkedIn for one of our clients that resulted in and continues to be a pretty healthy source of referral traffic for them. Below I will outline the basics of how to use each of these services to build links and the pros and cons of each. First, though, let’s cover some basic ground rules.
- If you’re going to start building links on sites like these, begin by reviewing their community guidelines or TOS. The last thing you want to do is spend several hours answering questions and commenting only to have your account suspended and all your work removed.
- Don’t be spammy. Give honest, real, on-topic answers and comments. The client I was doing work for provides a content marketing tool which I’d have real experience using for the past year, this gave validity to my answers. When you say, ‘I’d had a lot of success using this product/tool/service’, mean it.
- This type of link building doesn’t work for every client. Obviously there are some clients/industries that are more conducive to this type of work.
Start by creating an account and setting up a basic user profile, it doesn’t have to be much. Then search for questions related to your client and start answering questions, including links where relevant.
As mentioned, the client I was doing work for provides a content marketing tool so I did a search for “content marketing tools” on Quora and some of the top questions included “What are the best tools to use for Content Marketing?”, “What are the best content marketing tools that are too good to be free?”, and “What are the best content marketing tools for 2015 in your opinion?”
These types of questions were all perfect for me to answer with my personal experiences of using my client’s tool and naturally include links. The approximately 50 answers I added on Quora for this client have gotten 3,590 views since July, which has led to some great referrals for them.
- Very easy to get setup and going in.
- You only have to answer questions relevant to your client.
- No need to worry about a moody points system/algorithm (see Yahoo Answers). You can immediately include live links in your answers and anyone can see the answers you give right away.
- They provide useful statistics including how many views each of your answers gets per questions.
- The lack of restrictions on new users opens the platform to a greater opportunity for spam and means there’re more people answering/competing on questions you target.
Start by creating a Yahoo account and setting up a basic user profile, much like Quora. Then start answering questions that appeal to you but are quick and easy to answer. Try and answer 10 or so “regular” questions for every 1 answer you add for your client.
Keep this in mind, Yahoo Answers is governed by a system of levels and points. When you first create an account your profile starts at a level 1 with 100 points. Before you can begin answering questions that include live links in them, you need to build your profile up to at least a level 2. Even once your profile is at a level 2 though, your answers that contain live links won’t always show up. You need to get to at least a level 3 before all your answers, even those containing live links, show up on a consistent basis. These makes Yahoo Answers quite the endeavor one you might want to hire a part-time intern to help with or split among several of your clients.
Yahoo Answers has a system of points and levels, as pictured below:
You can gain more points with the following actions:
Here’s an excerpt from Yahoo Answers Community Guidelines.
Yahoo Answers is a place to gain knowledge, not customers, page views, or dates. If you have years of experience in something, have a special hobby,