The Ultimate Guide to Using Quora for Marketing

The Ultimate Guide to Using Quora for Marketing

Quora is one of the top few hundred sites in the world, with 300 million unique monthly visitors and a valuation in Silicon Valley of $2 billion.

It’s based on a question-and-answer format that lives alongside common characteristics of social media platforms that help drive interactivity and engagement.

It has a good level of authority, with questions on the platform regularly ranked on the first page of Google.

Even presidents have been known to use it.

For marketing purposes, you can use it to grow online visibility, attract traffic back to your website, and as a valuable research tool.

However, approaching it in the wrong way can lead to your answers being deleted, and even an account ban.

This guide to using Quora for marketing aims to show you:

  • How to use it in the right way for effective, long-term advantages for your business.
  • How to avoid the common pitfalls that many users unfortunately stumble into.

Results from quora on reddit quora-marketing-results.jpg

You’ll find out:

  • Why Quora should be part of your content marketing strategy.
  • How to create and set up your Quora account in the right way—there are some specific aspects to take care of to maximize the business benefits.
  • How to use Quora effectively for marketing—including growing online visibility, driving traffic back to your website, generating leads, and using Quora for research.

Want the Quick Version? Grab our FREE cheatsheet on how to use Quora effectively for marketing—Download Now

Why Quora Should Be Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy

I’ll be honest with you.

Quora today doesn’t have the same impact for marketing it had a few years ago.

Content spam on the platform has diluted its credibility to some extent, and Google doesn’t rank its content as highly as it once did.

But that’s not the same as saying it’s no longer useful.

Quora has been nothing short of a miracle for me. I get enough queries via Quora that I have to decline clients, referring them to other specialists. How cool is that?

I've had job offers, consulting offers, offers to move, offers to head small companies, offers to speak, offers to write a book, offers to do lectures, offers to make instructional videos, offers to partner-up, offers to be a board member, offers to be on the advisory board, offers to take equity...

...invitations to come and speak here, or come and speak there, or moderate this forum here, or come as a phone-in guest there, etc. are all over the place. I try to appease as many as I can.

Faisal Khan, Banking, Payments & Fintech Consultant

According to Alexa data, Quora is still one of the top few hundred sites in the United States.

Visitors from the United States make up nearly a third of Quora’s traffic, or around 100 million unique visitors a month.

For businesses focused on the US market, that’s significant.

Audience geography of Quora users quora-audience-geography.jpg

In addition, although rankings have indeed dropped, Quora answers to search queries are still regularly ranked on Google’s first page. The value’s in the long-tail keywords.

And over 60% of Quora’s traffic comes from search (Alexa).

Quora search traffic quora-search-traffic.jpg

In other words, Quora can still be of benefit. For the few minutes it takes to repurpose content for the site, I still consider it a worthwhile use of time and resources.

And of course, all content platforms rise and fall.

It wasn’t too long ago that people were declaring the death of Twitter. It’s now back in solid growth.

It’s likely that Quora too will find its way back to growth before long.

So what are the benefits exactly?

Let’s run through them…

Traffic

Publishing content on Quora builds traffic to your website too in three different ways:

  • Displaying your domain name within the credentials shown above answers.
  • Linking back to your website via your profile.
  • Linking to longer content on your own website from within your answers.

As I show below, this is long-term too.

The answers you provide on Quora have longevity, and continue to attract hundreds of views several years later.

I’ll show you how to approach all of this shortly, as well as how to use Quora for…

Lead Generation

Naturally, if you’re attracting traffic to your website, that provides opportunities to convert those visitors into leads.

I run through two ways to do this below.

What About the SEO Benefits?

While Quora gives you increased search engine visibility via your answers to questions, you shouldn’t expect it to give your own website ranking a boost.

At least, not directly. After all, links from Quora are no follow so have no direct value.

However, in growing a solid body of content on Quora that positions you as an authority in a particular topic, the chances of other content creators finding your blog in the course of their own research on the platform, and then linking to it increases.

And that of course does help your SEO.

Which leads me to…

Using Quora for Research

A popular use of Quora is as a research tool to determine what to create content about.

It’s the perfect platform to see exactly what people want to know about, in topic areas relevant to your business.

In fact, it provides an almost limitless source of new content ideas, as well helping to validate other ideas you come up with.

I’ll show you how to do this soon.

But first, you need an account.

So let’s run through...

How to Create and Set Up Your Quora Account

Create an account on Quora by clicking on the Google or Facebook buttons, or via the Sign Up With Email link.

Create an account on Quora quora-create-account.jpg

After signing up, you then need to select a minimum of ten topics of interest.

For marketing purposes, choose topics relevant to your business and the interests of those in your market.

Select topics of interest for marketing on Quora quora-topics-marketing.jpg

Scroll down for more topics, selecting all those that are relevant.

However, you’ll find that as you select topics, others are added below (such as sub-topics of those already selected), and the list of available options becomes endless.

So, don’t spend too long on it. Once you’ve selected all the main ones, click to continue.

Before you start answering (and possibly asking) questions, the next step is to...

Add Your Bio

Click your profile top right, and click through on your name.

Add your profile on Quora quora-add-profile.jpg

First, upload a profile picture.

Use a personal photo rather than an anonymous avatar or business logo.

Update your avatar on Quora profile-update-avatar.jpg

There are then a couple of other bits to add.

Both can be improved over time, so spend too long or get too hung up on what to write. For now just add some basic information about yourself to get started.

The first is your profile credential—click on the Add profile credential link.

Add profile credential link quora-add-profile-credential.jpg

Enter something about yourself to help boost the credibility of your answers and illustrate your expertise.

You have a maximum 60 characters available, so it needs to be short and succinct.

Edit your credentials on Quora quora-edit-credentials.jpg

While it won’t be linked, this is an opportunity to refer to your domain name so that people can look up your website if they want to find out more about you.

(As you’ll recall, this is one of the ways in which Quora can help drive traffic back to your website).

This credential is shown on your profile, and can also be selected as the credential to show above an answer you provide.

(Or you can enter and select another).

More on that soon.

After entering your profile credential, click on the Write a description about yourself link.

This opens a bigger editor, in which you can enter a longer section of information about yourself.

This can include active links, images and even a YouTube video (simply enter the video link).

Add a description to your Quora profile quora-profile-description.jpg

Some people reading your answers will click through to your profile to find out more about you.

Use this space to:

  • Build credibility and authority—provide information that serves to illustrate your level of expertise.
  • Link through to content and profile pages you have on other platforms, whether social profiles, your blog, your YouTube channel and so on. As an example, here’s how Gary V approaches it on his:

Gary Vaynerchuk’s profile on Quora quora-gary-v-profile.jpg

For links back to your own website, see the Tracking Quora Traffic section below for information on how to use Google Analytics to measure the traffic you get from Quora.

With your account now set up, you can now start...

Using Quora for Marketing

Finding Suitable Questions

There are two main ways to find suitable questions to answer.

The first is via the Quora answer icon at the top of the page.

Quora answer icon quora-answer-icon.jpg

This will show questions related to the interest areas you selected on registering with the site. Most of these will show recent activity in terms of someone following that question.

Pick a question to answer quora-pick-question.jpg

If someone follows a question, it means they will get a notification each time someone answers.

The second way to find questions is by using the search facility, and entering relevant keywords.

Use Quora’s search facility to find questions quora-search.jpg

As you type, suitable questions will be displayed, and often a wider topic area too.

However, by clicking the top option for a straight search, you’ll see a longer list of potential questions.

These will display either a sample answer, or the current follower count, with some of the most popular questions shown at the top.

Quora questions quora-question-ranking.jpg

Generally speaking, those with higher follower counts tend to attract the most answers too.

Popular questions on Quora popular-questions-on-quora.jpg

While you may get some short-term advantage from all the notifications those followers receive, it can be harder to get your answer ranked and achieve visibility longer term.

However, those questions also get more traffic… so in the end it’s a balancing act.

Personally, I prefer focusing on questions which so far have attracted a handful of followers and a few answers.

It’s a bit like choosing long-tail over short-tail keywords for SEO.

There’s also a third way of finding questions—or rather, the questions find you.

But it doesn’t start happening straight away.

Once you’ve provided a few answers and have been active for a while, you’ll likely start receiving direct requests from people to answer their question.

These are sometimes referred to within Quora as A2As—or ‘Ask to Answer’.

For example, I get several A2As a week.

People request your answers to questions quora-answer-requests.jpg

Not all will be suitable, but they’re an additional opportunity to consider.

If you don’t want to receive email alerts when you get a new A2A, you can turn it off in Email & Notifications on the Settings page (available by clicking on your profile).

Quora A2A email notifications quora-a2a-emails.jpg

Answering Questions

Answering a question is very intuitive.

You simply click the Answer button beneath your intended question, formulate your answer, and click Submit.

Answer a question on Quora answer-question-quora.jpg

However, before clicking Submit for the first time, you also need to either pick a credential to use, or add a new one.

Otherwise your answer will just show your name.

Click the Edit Credential link at the top of the answer box, under your name.

If the profile credential you entered previously on creating your account is relevant to the question, select that one.

Add answer credential add-answer-credential.jpg

Or if there’s a different credential that would better illustrate your expertise in relation to the question, click Add a credential, and then select Topic from the dropdown.

select-topic.jpg

In Select a topic, just start typing, and a list of possible topics to select from will appear.

Then enter some relevant information into the Describe an experience field.

This will likely be similar to your profile credential before, but more topic-specific.

Again, you’ll likely want to mention your domain name so people can look you up if interested.

Add a topic credential add-topic-credential.jpg

Free Resource: Grab our FREE cheatsheet on how to use Quora effectively for marketing—Download Now

Contribute Regularly and Consistently

As with most content platforms, the greatest benefits come through regular and consistent action.

For example, when I first started on the platform a few years ago, my views rose steeply once I started regularly contributing.

Quora view counts quora-view-counts.jpg

It’s not a short-term affect either.

Years later, I’ve since amassed millions of views, and get hundreds of views a day to the questions I’ve answered.

Quora views over the long-term quora-views-long-term.jpg

The key to regular and consistent action is to simply make it part of your post-publication strategy for your seed content.

(Your seed content is a main piece of content published on your primary platform, usually a blog for your business, that you then repurpose for multiple other platforms).

So each time you publish say a blog post, look for a relevant question or two on Quora that your blog post can be repurposed for as an answer.

Answer Length

An answer to a question does not have to be long, difficult to create or time-consuming.

First, if you follow the advice above, you already have the material from which to formulate a suitable answer. It can even be delegated to someone else to do.

Second, it’s more important on Quora to answer the question directly, clearly and succinctly, rather than to add unnecessary fluff.

Sometimes, answering the question fully—particularly for more open-ended questions—may well require a longer, more detailed answer.

In doing so, you can attract a significant number of views, upvotes, shares and other types of engagement.

As an example, consider this one from Neil Patel which is nearly 5,000 words long, and likely repurposed from content he’d published elsewhere:

A long answer from Neil Patel attracted lots of engagement neil-patel-long-answer.jpg

The true answer to how long an answer should be is this: as long as it needs to be to fully answer the question.

Link to Your Site (The Right Way)

Maximizing the benefits to your business from Quora will involve linking back to your website from your answers.

Not always, but some of the time.

Overdoing it—linking back to the same domain every single time—can raise a red flag and potentially lead to a warning or even suspension of your account.

Here are some key principles to follow when answering questions to help stay on the right side of Quora’s policies.

1. First and Foremost—Add Value

Regardless of whether you add a link back to your site or not, your answer should stand on its own merits.

Don’t simply add a couple of sentences and link back to your post for the rest, or Quora may consider it as spam:

Quora spam policy quora-spam-policy.jpg

The more value you provide in your answers of direct relevance to the question, the more exposure and therefore results you’ll achieve.

And the less likely it is that you’ll experience any issues with your Quora account.

By simply adopting a value-first mentality, you:

  • Build trust.
  • Attract more upvotes (increasing the visibility of your answers… more on that soon).
  • Increase the visibility of your profile.
  • Attract more traffic back to your site and generate more leads.

2. Don’t Link Back to Your Products and Services Directly

At least, not unless it’s fully justified by the question, and you otherwise provide a full answer.

But it’s still a risk.

According to Quora:

“Answers that drive traffic to external sites for promotional or commercial purposes and do not sufficiently answer the question are considered spam.”

Their full policy on promoting your own business in answers on Quora can be found here.

Rather than directly linking to a product or service, it’s preferable to link to other content you’ve created that’s:

  • Relevant to the question; and
  • Optimized to convert visitors into leads, or via which you can target visitors via retargeted advertising (though note the latter is becoming more challenging to do with browsers blocking third-party cookies).

3. Don’t (Solely) Link Back to Your Site In Every Answer

If every single answer you provide always links back to the same website, and only that website, it can lead to account issues.

But there’s no need to try to force a backlink to your website into your answer when it doesn’t really fit.

You still benefit anyway, it’s not all about the links:

  • You’ll still attract traffic from people seeing say a domain name in your credential and looking you up, or clicking through from your profile.
  • You’ll attract followers, increasing the visibility of your content—more on followers and building your audience soon.
  • In general, the more content you publish on Quora, the more visibility your content tends to attract.

This actually frees you up to just start answering questions, regardless of whether or not there’s an opportunity to link to say an existing post back on your website.

If you see a particular answer taking off and attracting a high number of views, you can always return and add a link later, even creating a suitable post back on your blog to link back to.

You can also choose to do things like:

  • Link to relevant content you’ve created elsewhere, such as an article on Medium or LinkedIn.
  • Embed a relevant YouTube video you’ve created that adds value to your answer.

Each of these can include for example a call to action that invites visitors to join your list.

You should also...

4. Link to Other Websites Too.

Blog posts tend to link to multiple other websites to provide:

  • Additional interest and value.
  • Sources for research and for when people are quoted.

In fact, this is one way to get your posts ranked highly on search engines.

It’s all about value for the end user.

Quora works the same way too.

It adds value for their users, plus it makes any issues with linking back to your own website far less likely as the link will be diluted.

If you’re repurposing existing blog posts, as suggested above, in order to answer questions on Quora, it’s going to be natural to link to other sites, just as in the original blog post.

5. Don’t Use Affiliate Links. Ever.

Quora’s policy on affiliate links is very clear.

Content that includes such links is seen as spam.

So don’t do it.

Simple.

6. Track Traffic to Your Website in Google Analytics

When linking back to your own website, you need to add some special information to this link so that you can track the traffic you get from Quora within Google Analytics.

For one, this allows you to see your results and improve them over time.

See the section below on Tracking Quora Traffic for information on how to do this.

Use Images and Formatting

As on other content platforms, images add value to and increase engagement with your answers on Quora.

That can mean more upvotes, increasing the visibility of answers.

Use formatting too—bold, italics and bullet points—to increase the readability of your answers.

As with much online content, many readers quickly scan content rather than read word for word.

This type of formatting, along with short succinct paragraphs, makes it easy for them to do so.

Be Authentic

Speak from personal experience as much as possible on Quora.

Avoid putting forward a more disconnected, ‘corporate’ point of view, or what you think people want to hear.

Build an Audience

Building an audience on Quora increases the level of engagement and visibility your content on the platform attracts.

It also builds the authority of the answers you provide. People can see your follower count by simply hovering over your name.

In other words, your audience amplifies your content.

According to Quora:

“When you follow a person on Quora, your Feed will start to include their activity — answers they've written or upvoted, and questions they've asked or followed.”

People can follow you:

  • Via your profile

Follow people on Quora via their profile quora-follow.jpg

  • By hovering their mouse over you name, and clicking follow

Follow people on Quora by hovering over their name and clicking follow quora-follow-hover.jpg

The best way to grow your audience is simply by regularly and consistently contributing content to the platform.

How Quora Ranks Your Answer

As you’d expect, the level of visibility an answer achieves depends to a large extent on how high it gets ranked.

Most questions attract multiple answers, and Quora uses a number of factors to determine how to rank them on the page.

Their chief goal is to:

“...put the most comprehensive, trustworthy answers at the top of the page, so that they are easily accessible for people who have a question.”

The best way to get a high ranking is to do exactly that.

But how does Quora actually determine how high to place your answer?

One ranking factor used is Upvotes.

Quora users can choose to ‘Upvote’ your answer by simply clicking the button provided.

Upvote Quora answer upvote-quora-answer.jpg

(They can also choose to downvote, another reason to aim for quality and value first).

But upvotes are just one ranking factor used.

Users are also sometimes shown the following box at the bottom of answers—this too feeds into how answers are ranked:

Quora feedback box quora-feedback-box.jpg

Clicking Yes or No just makes the box disappear—no opportunity to provide further feedback is provided.

Aim to attract as many upvotes and Yes answers as possible through your answers.

It’s not as simple as just the basic voting stats though.

Quora also takes into accounthow trustworthy voters are in a given topic”.

Other ranking factors include:

  • The previous answers you’ve provided.
  • Whether you’re an expert on the topic.
  • The type and quality of the content provided, including the actual text, images provided and links.

Quora provides full guidelines on what it takes to get ranked highly on the platform and achieve wide distribution.

In summary, your answers should:

  • Answer the question that was asked.
  • Provide knowledge that will be useful for lots of people interested in the question.
  • Demonstrate why your answer is accurate and helpful.
  • Demonstrate credibility, such as linking to reliable sources.
  • Be clear and easy to read, including for those skimming the page.

Tracking Quora Traffic

To help judge the amount of traffic Quora is sending you, use a special type of link when linking back to your website from your answers and your profile.

Doing this means Quora will appear in Google Analytics as a traffic source.

Viewing Quora traffic in Google Analytics quora-traffic-google-analytics.jpg

To set up this type of link, you need to add UTM codes to the end, which tells Google Analytics more about where the traffic has come from.

In its simplest form, you just need ?utm_source=quora at the end of the link.

So if I were to link to a post on this blog for example, it might look like this:

https://www.takanomi.com/blog/rss-submission-sites?utm_source=quora

You can get more sophisticated if you want to by also including the other UTM parameters, medium and campaign.

These provide more context to the link, potentially letting you see exactly which question the traffic came from.

If you want to do this, use Google’s Campaign URL Builder tool to create the link.

Campaign URL Builder campaign-url-builder.jpg

So for example, the Campaign Medium might be profile or question, indicating the type of content in Quora the traffic is coming from.

For questions, the Campaign Name might in some way indicate the exact question on Quora.

Personally, I use this finer level detail for my profile information, but not for individual questions.

(At the end of the day, it’s a trade-off between the additional time needed to create the links, and the level of benefit received for doing so. I prefer to keep question-level tracking as simple as possible.)

Remember:

  • This only gives you a partial indication of the results you are getting from Quora, and doesn’t tell you the whole story, such as how many people are seeing your domain name in your credential, and visiting you that way..
  • The level of traffic when you first get started will be miniscule compared to what you get a few months or years down the line from regular consistent action. That’s how content marketing works—don’t get hung up on it, it’s a long-term play.

How to Use Quora for Research

Quora gives you direct insight into exactly what people want to know about in relation to your niche.

You can also see just how popular certain questions are by looking at:

  • The number of followers.
  • The number of answers.
  • The level of engagement answers receive (comments, shares, upvotes).

Quora engagement levels quora-engagement.jpg

It’s fair to say that with Quora, there’s no real excuse for being unsure what to create content about for your market.

It’s like going into a crowded room full of potential prospects for your business and hearing exactly what they:

  • Are confused or unsure about.
  • Hold misconceptions about.
  • Are struggling or need help with.

You’ll also see advice given to people in your market that you know is just downright wrong or misleading.

So how can you create content that’s more authoritative, authentic and that actually gives people what they need?

Using Quora for research is as simple as:

  • Searching on relevant keywords.
  • Looking at relevant topics.
  • Reviewing the questions that people are asking.
  • Drilling down into relevant questions for further analysis.

When searching on keywords, note that by default Quora lists questions where those keywords are included in the question itself.

Change that to Answers for a list of answers that contain the keywords instead, giving you other questions and insights you may not have thought of.

Filter answers by keyword quora-keyword-filter-answers.jpg

You’ll also use time filters to find the most recent questions that people are asking.

Use Quora’s time filters for more recent results quora-time-filters.jpg

This also gives you insight into how popular certain keywords are on the platform, in terms of how regular new questions are asked, and therefore where the most pressing content needs are.

Researching the competition...

Quora also provides useful insights into other products and services in your industry that people are using, recommending or otherwise talking about.

You can see exactly:

  • Who you’re competing against.
  • What some of the common frustrations are with those other products and services.
  • What the potential opportunities might be for providing what people are really looking for.

You may also of course see your own product or service referred to, showing you:

  • How it stacks up against the competition
  • Potential improvements that would be advantageous for your position in the marketplace.

To Conclude

This ultimate guide to using Quora for marketing has shown you everything from how to get started on the platform, to:

  • Finding suitable questions to answer...
  • Providing answers that generate traffic and leads for your business…
  • And even how to use Quora for research to further benefit your business.

As frequently mentioned, and as with other content platforms, remember that the benefits of Quora come from regular, consistent action.

So while you're here, grab your free copy of our cheatsheet with a summary of all the essentials from this post so you have it on hand to refer to.

By making Quora part of your regular content marketing activities, you're investing in a solid source of traffic, leads and other benefits for years to come.

@byStephenDShaw

Stephen D Shaw is the founder of Trafficonomy, content distribution, multiplication and amplification workflow software that saves time, reduces overwhelm, and creates massive publicity for your website. For more info, click here.