When most businesses start thinking about PPC, their initial thought is usually to get into Google Ads. If Google Ads are too challenging (and then can be, not to mention very expensive), they might look at Facebook Ads. Which makes sense, as so many people use one or the other – Facebook or Google – and therefore should be easy to reach.
However, there are other options, and for a company trying to get noticed by a certain demographic, or to stand out in a crowded field, or even just better position their brand as an expert in ‘X’, the question and answer platform Quora can offer both organic SEO and PPC benefits, which, as a Quora advertising agency at Pearl Lemon we are very familiar with.
The SEO benefits of Quora are something we’ve covered before, will likely cover again, and you can read more here, but today we want to take a closer look at Quora advertising and making the most of your PPC budget with Quora Ads.
What is Quora?
Quora is, as we mentioned, a public question and answer forum open to all. Some of you may remember that Yahoo! Answers was a thing back in the mid-2000s (it still exists, by the way), and those who were in SEO at the time probably made use of it for those purposes.
Quora is the 21st-century version. Founded as a niche site in 2009 by former Facebook employees Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever, the platform has grown to a worldwide draw for people from all walks of life and all ages and now boasts over 326 million registered users.
What kinds of questions are asked there? EVERYTHING and ANYTHING. What kinds of people use Quora? There is no single demographic, which is one of the things that makes Quora a platform that can be useful to almost anyone and any business.
Who answers questions there? Again, almost anyone. I do and on a wide range of topics that interest me and that I can share valuable answers to.
Most of the other Pearl Lemon team have personal Quora accounts too, and Pearl Lemon founder Deepak Shukla was one of Quora’s first superstars (!)
What are Quora Ads?
If you are browsing Quora, the advertisements come up within your question feed, as seen below from my account:
These are examples of direct advertisements, the most commonly used Quora Ads choice. You can, however, if you choose, link a ‘question’ to content you wish to promote (just like Facebook), an example of which you can see below.
Whichever you choose if you opt for Quora advertising will be up to you and will depend on your goals for your ad campaign. The general Quora Advertising process is standard, however, and is what we will discuss here (in a moment.)
Why Use Quora Ads?
There are a number of reasons why we, as a PPC ads agency, might suggest Quora ads to our clients:
High User Intent
Depending on the content they are reading, users show high intent and spend more time on the site. Quora includes a plethora of query topics to target with advertising so that you can hit the right audiences with your message at the right time.
Generate Easy Traffic
If you use Quora correctly, it can become a powerful traffic generator for your website or blog. Quora results also appear in Google search results, even those that are sponsored (like the example shared earlier.)
Lower PPC Ad Spend
An inexpensive advertisement site, compared to Google and Facebook, advertising costs are competitive given they are still new. It is not cheap; the average cost on some topics is about $6; however, if you are in B2B, this cost is minimal and is more affordable for startups and those working with a restricted PPC budget.
People who are regular Quora users – and there are a lot of them – do tend to seek answers in, or answer questions on, a specific set of topics. This creates a personalized feed over time that will highlight both UGC (user-generated content) and Quora Ads related to these topics first. Here’s a look at my feed (I like Star Wars 😂 )
This is something presented to all regular users, so your Quora Ads will be displayed first to a very relevant audience, which will not only increase the likelihood that users will click on it but also that they will remember your brand in relation to the things they are interested in.
Your First Quora Ad, Step By Step
Having covered the what and why of Quora Ads, let’s move on to the basic how-to.
Getting Started with The Quora Self Service Ad Platform
Advertisers may use Quora’s self-service ad platform to create native text-based ads that target users based on their interests, geography, or platform (mobile, desktop, or both). Quora no longer have to give up valuable to manually sell and target ads, so introducing a self-serve ad network has likely contributed to their growth.
Signing up is easy and takes five minutes. You will need a Quora account, but you will not need to enter payment information until you are ready to start buying ads.
How Quora Decides Which Questions to Show Advertisements On
Topic targeting is used, similar to other social media sites, to target audiences that are more likely to be interested in the ad offering in question. Since Quora organizes the questions and answers neatly into groups, the site uses this approach to evaluate which topics to show specific advertisements on.
As a consequence, topic-targeted advertisements usually appear on specific query pages to ensure that the audience is more customized. It’s been our experience that their targeting is pretty good and that Quora Ads show up for the right people (as in those who are interested in your brand’s niche.)
Using Quora Advertising to Reach the World
Quora advertisers can reach zip codes, cities, states, and even countries when targeting by geography. Advertisers could always reach people all over the world with self-service Quora advertising when they first launched, but they could only do so in English.
Quora is now available in numerous languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Hindi and Japanese, further expanding the platform’s global scope and its advertising potential for brands who operate globally. Google and Facebook do that too, but as a Quora ad agency, we’ve often found Quora Ads to be easier to use across foreign language platforms.
Quora Website Retargeting PPC Ads
The Quora Advertising platform started offering Website Retargeting in August 2017, enabling marketers to reach Quora users who have already visited their website. You can now build audiences of users who have visited various parts of your website in the Quora Ads Manager and then target those audiences individually.
A campaign may, for example, target people who have visited a website’s product or pricing page but did not complete a purchase.
To make use of this feature, you’ll need to install a pixel on your site, as is the case for other PPC platforms that offer the same (or similar) advertising option.
Advertisers can track a series of specified unique events and targets with Quora Conversion Pixel, which helps them to maximize ad campaign conversions. A code snippet for the pixel can be found under the Conversion Pixel tab in the Quora Ads Manager. Simply add the code to the page where conversions are recorded, and the code sends data back to Quora so that you can calculate, monitor, and optimize pretty much everything.
How Do You Pay for Quora Ads?
Quora Ads are based on a cost-per-click model with a real-time auction. Advertisers set their CPC bid after setting up targeting and can easily change it based on results. If you have used Google or Facebook for PPC before, it should be easy, if not, you might want to consider getting help from a Quora Ads specialist, at least initially, to make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck.
Quora Ads Formatting
Each of the five key components of Quora text advertising comes along with pretty strict character guidelines:
- Business Name: A limit of 30 characters is allowed.
- Headline: A full 65 characters, similar to a good title for a blog.
- Body Text: Maximum of 105 characters. This can be challenging, and Quora Ad copywriting takes some getting used to. 105 characters is NOT a lot!
- CTA: 30 characters plus the URL. Again, this takes practice and clever ad copywriting to get right.
Quora also offers image ads with the same textural guidelines as above but with the ability to add an approved image. Your PPC spend will be higher if you choose to do this, but, as you can see in the example below, the addition of an image makes the ad really stand out. There are guidelines for images too, and you can find the specifics here.
Quora Ads Expectations and Limitations
Quora also sets pretty high expectations for their ads to go along with these firm character limits. Every Quora PPC submission must all adhere to the ad content policies and guidelines of Quora. Things you can’t do with Quora PPC ads include (but are not limited to)
- Promote drugs, alcohol, tobacco products or CBD
- Promote gambling or pornographic materials
- Promote anything that features gambling or nudity
- Promote any financial offering that does not have a guaranteed return
- Promote anything that Quora’s moderators feel promotes violence or can be considered hate speech
- Promote ‘badware’, hacking, artificial metric boosting (things like buying followers), or anything Quora moderators feel is illegal or ‘immoral’.
- Promote anything that violates copyrights belonging to others
In addition to all this, your Quora PPC ad must be correctly formatted and be deemed free – by the Quora mods – from mistakes in spelling, capitalization, punctuation and general grammar. And yes, they do check whatever language you are submitting copy in and will reject the ad until you get it right.
All sounds good but think you’ll need some help getting started? The Pearl Lemon PPC not only have great Quora PPC experience but stellar Quora knowledge in general. Contact us to discuss what a Quora PPC campaign can do for you.