Community Q&A Software vs. Traditional Forums

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We’ve been receiving feedback from a number of new and perspective clients that companies are choosing community Q&A for their websites over traditional online forum software, as they’re finding that Q&A more effectively engages users, creates more valuable user-generated content, and in turn drives significant new traffic from search engines as users across the internet are also searching for answers to their questions.

“We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from website owners who had used a traditional forum to their website in the past, and were looking to more effective solution to facilitate user engagement and community based support.” says David Givoni, Co-Founder of Answerbase.com.

From the dawn of the internet, traditional forum software was one of the first tools website owners had available to add to their sites in order to engage visitors and facilitate the creation of user-generated content.  As the Web 2.0 phenomenon introduced improved ways for users to interact and for website owners to reap the benefits of that interaction, forum software largely kept its same format.

At Answerbase we saw the opportunity to provide a next generation solution to website owners for engaging users, taking the lessons from the social media revolution and provide online community Q&A software that can better serve both website visitors and owners.

“We wanted to create a platform that gave visitors a better experience when trying to find solutions, while facilitating the creation of higher quality user-generated content which benefited the website owners by driving new organic traffic back to their site.” says Givoni.

While traditional forums have successfully facilitated interaction between visitors, content created through forums is typically in the form of ongoing conversations that can sometimes go on for pages.  We realized that this format is not friendly towards other users browsing the internet or website, as it’s difficult to identify valuable contributions.  This also leads to website owners spending time managing content and conversations that bring little value to a broader audience.  These shortcomings have created a demand from website owners for a system such as Answerbase’s Q&A platform that approaches user engagement in a different manner. We’ve received feedback from clients like GetApp.com that are consistent with those demands;

“When looking to provide a platform where our SMB visitors could interact and get specific answers from qualified web-based business software experts, forums left something to be desired.  We were focused on finding a solution that facilitated a much better ratio of high-value user-generated content that benefited both our current visitors and other users across the internet.  We found that Answerbase’s Q&A platform provided these benefits.” says Christophe, Founder of the business software marketplace Getapp.com.

The advantage that our community Q&A provides over forums is that our platform is focused specifically on problem solving; ensuring that all the content produced is relevant to anyone else on the internet who shares that same question.  Given the nature of this interaction, our clients only spend time managing content that is more likely to be valuable to other users across the internet.

Answerbase Q&A software also provides a better experience for users looking for answers to their questions on search engines.  Each question asked on an Answerbase Q&A site provides a new page optimized specifically for search engines, so those pages pop up in search results of users with similar questions.  Where a traditional forum makes visitors sift through pages of discussion to find the quality answers, Answerbase Q&A has a voting system worked into the platform that easily recognizes the best answers and highlights those solutions above the other available content.  This provides a much better experience for visitors, and better impression of both the website and its brand.

As the internet continues to evolve, it’s natural that the applications driving user engagement become more effective at providing value to both users and the websites who serve them.  Our goal here at Answerbase is to provide online tools that are doing just that.

Add Q&A to your site today and start what Answerbase can do for you.

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