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Get Website Traffic at Yahoo! Answers

Posted on 4.29.2008
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Perhaps the most frequently asked question by "newbies" of the "experts" at forums for Web professionals is "how do I get more traffic?" As you can imagine, the standard replies of "SEO", "Google" and the random spammy link drop make their way into the replies. So what's the real answer? You should know by now that there are many ways to generate traffic to your website. One we'll look at today is Yahoo! Answers and it's ability to send traffic to Web properties.

A few days ago, Matt McGee of Small Business SEM cited some interesting figures for growth at Yahoo! Answers. The number of users and answers in the U.S. and worldwide has grown considerably since August 2007 (four million new users in the U.S. over a 7-month period, and 40 million new users worldwide - 77 million new answers in the U.S. over teh same period, and 150 million new answers worldwide), perhaps signaling the availability of an excellent opportunity to promote ourselves and our products, build a brand and make a few friends along the way.

So does participating in Yahoo! Answers work? Based on my own experiment, I would have to say the answer is yes.  Take a look at the chart below. I answered roughly twenty questions in the past week which resulted in one best answer (yeah for me!) and a handful (four conversions) for Website Magazine (subscriptions).  What was impressive about the miniscule amount of traffic is that it is actually real people - the average time on site was just over three minutes. In addition, the bounce rate was about 59% percent - not the best I've seen but certainly better than many traffic sources touted across the Web.

Some Best Practices For Using Yahoo! Answers To Drive Traffic

Save time - subscribe to relevant feeds: Those that have little time to participate will enjoy the fact that Yahoo! has provide RSS feeds. I subscribed to four different feeds relevant to my own personal knowledge base. I subscribed to that feed and I would periodically check the new answers throughout the day. This enabled me to sort through those that I could answer and those that I could not.

Provide meaningful answers: Contrary to the belief of many - you can not fake it till you make it. Providing meaningful answers to the questions proposed by other members will get you closer to securing some "best answer" commendations' (which boosts your exposure) and helps you establish yourself as someone who know what the heck they are talking about - not one that simply drops the same URL repeatedly to questions that are not relevant (which could get you banned).

Be "liberal" in the use of URL drops: It's not a good idea to post a link to your site, but it's not a bad idea either. Fortunately, there is a spot for it - although it's a "nofollow" link. Yahoo! has provide a "source" section which should be used. If you are sourcing other information, include it in the body of your answer - those that watch for new incoming links will appreciate it immensely and you'll find that your "friend" counts go up as a result.


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