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How to Leverage Long Tail SEO with Q&A

question markAt the beginning of the year, Quora was one of the most talked about new web properties in a while with one leading tech blogger temporarily calling it the future of blogging. Although enthusiasm for the social Q&A site may have faded a little, question and answer sites are still very popular. The programming Q&A site Stack Overflow grew over 131% in 2010 to over 16 million unique monthly visitors. Other Q&A sites like Yahoo Answers, Mahalo Answers, and WikiAnswers attract millions of visitors, although the answer quality can often be disappointing. One reason that these sites are so popular is because people tend to search in the form of a question. Also, these sites leverage the long tail of search by focusing on very specific queries by generating millions of pages of user generated content to answer any question someone submits. Answerers receive intrinsic rewards by helping others while also earning reputation points, and sometimes exposure of their personal brand.

Companies can also leverage the power of the long tail, or very specific search phrases that are estimated to total 70% of all searches. You don’t have to create a Q&A forum necessarily, but it can be a great idea to add a frequently asked question section to your site. Come up with as many frequently asked questions that you can and then utilize your employees to answer them. Each question could be a separate page that uses the question as the title of the page. Focus on questions that potential customers might search for when researching what you provide. Each individual page will probably not attract a ton of visitors, but as you build out a lot of Q&A pages over time, the aggregate traffic can be significant. Long tail traffic also tends to convert at a higher rate because people are often ready to buy if they are looking for specific information.

Here are a few sample questions to get you started:

How long is the Acme Widget under warranty?
What is the difference between a Acme Widget 1.0 and a Acme Widget 2.0?
How is the Acme Widget different from the competition?
Does Acme Widget offer gift certificates?
How much does an Acme Widget cost?
How do I install an Acme Widget?
How long does an Acme Widget last?
Who are Acme Widget’s competitors?
Where can I buy an Acme Widget?
How do I get support for my Acme Widget?

Photo credit: Erik Charlton

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