How Utilizing Quora Ended up Sending 82.10% of our visitors

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The following is a guest post from fnBlog Contributor Marc Hoag, Co-founder and CEO of Venturocket. This post, originally posted on Quora, shares how he creates blog traffic for Venturocket.

“How Quora sent us 82.10% of our visitors”

Marc Hoag

80 votes by Marc Bodnick, Anon User, Andrew Hamada(more)
To say that Quora has helped drive traffic to our site would be a bit like saying that San Francisco is popular with startups, or that coffee is black. Since we launched our beta on April 1, 2011, a staggering 82.10% of all traffic to our site has originated from Quora. By any metrics, by any standards, that’s impressive. Very impressive. And totally unexpected. To put it another way, Quora drove 45% more traffic to our site than our TechCrunch launch story back in August 2011 (Venturocket Launches An AdWords-Inspired Jobs Marketplace To Kill The Resume | TechCrunch). But that’s not all. Our bounce rates from Quora visitors have fluctuated around the59-63% mark*, comfortably below the more typical 65% of most websites. And the results speak for themselves: We’ve averaged 10.5% sign-up rates, hovered between 20-30% for months, and even peaked at around 40% for a while.In contrast, although a brief stint with Google AdWords drove a seemingly impossible 91.01% of traffic to our site, the 77.73% bounce rate rendered AdWords a relatively useless — and expensive — source of users. And so we promptly abandoned it. Even more impressively, nearly 5% of our users have provided us with payment information. But that’s not what’s cool. What’s cool, is that they provided their payment information before they were required to. That’s a bit like walking into a pub, slapping your credit card on the bar, and asking for a glass of tap water just to check out the scene. Ordering warm milk with honey would be less weird: at least the credit card would actually have been, you know, required.

So then. Quora has been as reliable as a cup of coffee, produced more user sign-ups than we could have imagined, and provided us with users’ payment information just so they could have a look around.

But how did this all happen? How did we actually leverage Quora this way?

It’s quite simple, really. I look for questions that are relevant to the problems we are trying to solve, and answer to the best of my abilities. Many of the answers end up being explicit promotions for our site, but only when the context of the question allows for it, or it would not otherwise put off or annoy other readers.

On the other hand, it is sometimes clear that a product pitch is neither desired nor appropriate, so I simply answer the question without any explicit reference to our site and leave it at that.

Yes, sometimes I’ve totally botched it and managed to fall off the precariously thin line between proper and improper plugs for our site, and my answers were appropriately downvoted into Quora oblivion. So be it. My mistake. Keep calm and carry on.

So there you have it: if you want to drive ridiculous volumes of traffic to your site, minimize bounce rates, maximize user sign-ups, and get your users throwing their credit card numbers at you just to play with your new site, use Quora.

And on that note, a huge thank you to the Quora community. It’s a genuine honor to be a part of this phenomenal network of fascinating people, and I’m thrilled — and humbled — that Marc Bodnick asked me to write this piece for the Top Writers Blog when I met with him at the recent Palo Alto Quora meetup earlier this month (December 2012). So Marc, thank you very much for this opportunity!

Happy holidays and happy new year, everyone… good night!
* To be fair, the bounce rate from TechCrunch visitors has been markedly lower, at 56.67%, though I suspect this has more to do with the nature of visitors clicking through to a startup’s homepage from TechCrunch than anything else.

Want to learn more about @venturocket?  Check out Marc’s Quora profile or connect with him on Twitter @marchoag
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