Will you link to pages from business/ commercial sites, or to some user-driven ‘how to’ or Question and Answer pages? Let’s assume that both options are valid to your subject matter. I am certain that you will go for the second option in such a scenario. There are obvious reasons for this preference on part of search engine users, a trend that has only got more and more apparent in the recent years.
‘How to’ and QA pages are prominently placed in SERPs owing to the high degree of on-page optimization. No surprise, they are search engine friendly and thus help your pages rank higher. Ideally, establish a standalone and domain specific Q&A resources on a capable free open source solutions, to build such platforms. This will act as a perfect value proposition for your users. Simultaneously, devise a keyword strategy to make your content search engine friendly.
As we have discussed in the previous post, it is advisable to go for a targeted Q&A segment with queries related to narrow and specific topics. If most queries revolve around a specific topic, it will prompt readers to use your platform since they are more likely to perceive it as an authoritative and comprehensive resource to get correct solutions (will you prefer to ask about hotels in a dedicated or general source?). It will also encourage expert users to leave answers (ego?), especially if they have a business or a website in the hotel industry that they wish to promote.
Now that we have decided which topics and keywords to focus on, it’s time to fill the platform with some basic questions/ answers. Having done the initial background and research work, you may now start spreading the word and creating a buzz about it. Here’s a quick list of things that will help you in this process:
- Publish a few questions initially that incorporate your main domain-specific keywords. It is not a bad idea to check in some of the more popular, independent Q&A sites to check the commonly asked questions, and take a cue from them. It is highly recommended that in the beginning, you focus on queries with low-middle competition in SERPs.
- Leave elaborate answers to these queries. Do not do so all at once, space it out over a time period of a couple of hours so as to make the activity look more natural and not pre-determined. To make it appear even more natural, try out different identities.
- Ensure that you exercise appropriate SEO strategy to drive targeted traffic to your QA section. Leverage social media for the purpose. Try out techniques like retweeting new questions, sharing on facebook, mailing your contacts, linking up from your site’s homepage, and seeking reviews in popular forums.
Your own Q&A section is a great tool to generate leads and increase conversions.