Yahoo Answers To Your Small Business Online Strategy

Understandably. there are precious few opportunities for the small business owner to actually take some time in the day to catch up on the news, email, industry information etc. With the online landscape shifting to a much more collaborative and community-based environment, there are opportunities waiting online for the small business owner to get their message out to individuals and groups interested in the expertise, knowledge and competitive value. Search Engine Land recently had an article on 7 ways to improve your search visibility through social media. Chief amongst them was an often overlooked avenue for potential lead generation and communication with people online that already have a definitive interest in what you are selling/what you are in business for: Yahoo Answers.

I recently published an article on the search behavior related to “Cape Cod” specific keywords. The top 2 overall themes were related to Travel to Cape Cod and Cape Cod Real Estate. If you are in either of these two businesses, you already know how competitive the online landscape is for search engine rankings.

Yahoo Answers

Yahoo Answers
Here’s a snapshot of the user base, and potential lead generation and brand awareness opportunity for your Cape Cod business found on Yahoo Answers, as of Saturday, April 7th, 2007:

  • Over 300 people have asked questions related to Cape Cod, including:
    • Cape Cod suggestions?
    • Cape Cod Activities?
    • Cape Cod, Yarmouth Port Restaurants?
    • Vacationing in Cape Cod with 9 year old and 1 year old?
    • Where should I vacation in Cape Cod?
  • 2 People recently asked questions specific to travel information on Cape Cod, that are still accepting answers.
  • 6 People are interested in things to do around the Boston area (still accepting answers), which could easily translate to a quick drive to Cape Cod.
  • There are over 500 active travel-related questions, of a general nature, being asked as we speak.
  • Over 750 people currently have real estate related questions to be answered.
  • Are you a financial adviser? Over 400 people are asking finance-related questions.
  • In fact, there are over 7,000 Business and Finance-related questions overall!

What differentiates your small business from the competition?
10e20’s post on “why” small businesses should consider search engine optimization as a part of their overall business strategy illustrates how SEO builds traffic, leads and sales for your company. One of the main reasons is that being found in organic search enhances your credibility and legitimacy as an overall “expert” in your industry. While it is not perfect, a part of Google’s ranking algorithm is related to the overall trust factors of a website. If Google trusts your website enough to present it in search results for specific keywords, users clicking on your site should end up more likely to spend time (and hopefully money) there as well.

As Google, Yahoo and other search engines begin relying more and more on these types of “trust” factors, how can you build presence as an expert in your industry and business environment? There are many strategies for doing this, ranging in costs, time and commitment, both offline and online. As a small business owner, consider strategies that are low cost and communicate directly with people interested in what you are doing or what you provide. Yahoo Answers may be one of the opportunities found online for building credibility and establishing trust related to your industry, as it is found in search.

Helpful Resource: Yahoo Answers Community Guidelines


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