How Brainly Generates 4 Million Monthly Visits with Longtail Q&A

Brainly is an online educational community that is generating over 4 million monthly visitors.

And in this breakdown, we look at how they are doing it.

You’ll learn:

  • How Brainly uses long-form Q&A to generate so much traffic.
  • Their backlink strategies.
  • And how you can leverage the same technique for your business.

Let’s dive in. 


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What Exactly is Brainly?

Brainly is reportedly the world's largest education app with a reported 350 million students and teachers who are actively using the platform.

Founded in 2009 in Poland by Michał Borkowski, Tomasz Kraus and Łukasz Haluch, the platform is a mix of a question and answer community and a tutorship programme.

Parents, teachers and students can use the platform to find answers to millions of questions, as well as gain help with homework.

During the pandemic, it has seen a huge growth in interest and users, which can be seen in the Exploding Topics screenshot report below.

Yet, despite this obvious reason for the increase in users.

Their traffic levels are insane.

With over 4.3 million monthly visitors, they have a traffic value of $284,000 a month in equivalent PPC spend.

So let’s break down how they are doing it.

How Brainly Uses Longtail Q&A to Grow Traffic

Brainly is mainly a question and answer platform, much like Quora but with premium access.

But what’s interesting is that their actual product is generating traffic.

Over 935,000 pages on their website are actively bringing in millions of visitors through the simple use of questions.

However, these are longtail questions.

Take this question.

"Which of the following has primary responsibility for eliminating alcohol from the bloodstream?"

It’s a science question that generates over 7500 searches a month and has a keyword difficulty of 0.

And this is repeated hundreds of thousands of times.

Question after question that is easy to rank for.

And here’s what the page looks like for each answer.

It’s a landing page where you need to register to see the answers.

This form of content locking isn’t new. We see this all the time with websites today, however, from a search perspective, they have an easy job.

As the question is so easy to rank for, they are effortlessly growing their user base without much effort at all.

The page itself is packed with calls to action and even space for the use of ads for other sites, which is no doubt generating revenue for the business.

These pages don’t even need backlinks to rank because they are longtail in nature.

But the site does have a huge amount of backlinks.

So let’s take a quick look at their strategy.

The Backlink Strategy of a DR 70 Site

As we’ve seen, the pages that are driving traffic rank online without the need to build backlinks.

It’s this volume approach that is generating so much traffic.

But they have a DR of 70… so just how did they do this?

Acquiring backlinks is a huge subject, especially with start-up's, which is why I think it’s important to take a look at the tactics being used.

Brainly has several versions of its site in different languages, and as you would expect, they link to each other.

This isn’t a shock and is an expected business and SEO tactic. 

Other methods they have gained links include mentions on list posts, such as the best educational software and sites that help with homework.

In addition, they have received links from financial sites that have covered their funding journey.

While this might be accidental, it shows the importance of PR for start-up's looking for easy SEO wins. 

However, one thing is clear. While the site is authoritative, that authority isn’t really needed right now due to the way they are generating traffic. 

As they grow, I’m sure it will come in handy. 

We can see from their blog that they are already starting to create other content assets that target a different approach to content than homework questions.

So, how could you leverage longtail Q&A content to grow?

Let’s look at this next.

How to Use the Brainly Approach to Grow Your Traffic

There are four aspects that define the Brainly approach.

  1. Longtail questions and answers.

  2. Low keyword difficulty (you don’t need links to rank).

  3. Each question must generate traffic.

  4. Scale.

The first step to this approach is to establish what questions your audience is asking.

And there are a few ways.

First, you can head over to a site like Quora and do a check manually.

Just enter your niche into the search bar and you’ll see a list of questions.

You could easily scrape these questions and start creating answers from there.

The other method is to use Answer The Public.

You get a number of free searches.

And of course, if you have Ahrefs you can use their question search result in their keywords explorer tool.

This is probably the best way to do this as you’ll gain the traffic estimations for each question, and also be able to filter word count in the questions to ensure you get long-tail results.

But is it worth doing?

Brainly uses this approach because it makes sense.

Their users are searching for these answers and each page is a way to generate new users, but other businesses might not find this approach right for them.

However, I do think if you are a SaaS or education platform, this approach can work brilliantly.

I recently did a breakdown of how Veed is growing using single feature landing pages.

And if we run questions related to video editing, we can see that they could generate thousands more targeted users to their site with this approach.

The use of low keyword difficulty and longtail questions can generate easy and targeted traffic. 

And of course, if we just focus on keyword difficulty of any number, we can see that there is even more opportunity.

And while some of these questions might be far harder to rank for, it will be a marketing decision as to whether the use of longtail Q&A makes sense for the business.

Final Thoughts

Longtail Q&A might not be right for every business. Largely it depends on what you offer and the market you are in.

However, if you have a product or service that this approach would work for, you can see how powerful it can be to generate new users to the platform.

Turning questions into landing pages is indeed a powerful tactic.

Ok, so that’s it for this case study.

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Click the button below and sign up to the Growth Through Content Newsletter.

Each Thursday I'll send you a new content marketing or SEO case study directly to your inbox.

posted October 7, 2021

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