Transparent Growth Measurement (NPS)

Optimize Quora Ads with Keyword Targeting in 2023

Contributors: Amol Ghemud
Published: February 8, 2019

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More than 20 years before, people would not have imagined seeing promotion ads across the internet. Initially, search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing etc offered advertisers their services. Google’s stronghold in the search engine ads opened the door for other platforms to enter in the Ads world.

This decade is dominated by social media. From Facebook to Pinterest, lesser or bigger, social media platforms have acquired the scent of advertisement on their platform.

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How can one expect Quora to leave behind?

Started as a platform to ask questions and share knowledge & information, Quora has around 300 million users as of 2019. With such a huge intent audience, Quora too allowed advertisers to promote their product & services on their platform since 2016.

Quora Ads

Everyday people visit Quora to ask questions as well as to read informative answers. Thus, it opens doors to reach the users who are looking for the questions that relate to your business.

Quora users create a profile with their real identities. Thus, maximizing the reach to the quality audience. Also, Quora’s brand protection policies allow Ads to be shown up along with high-quality content.

Users on Quora have high intent with respect to the content they read. Therefore, Quora allows various targeting options to reach the right audience with the right message at the right time.

Quora offers following different targeting options-

1. Topic targeting

Ads appear in the content specific to a topic

2. Question targeting

Ad appears only in the selected questions

3. Audience targeting

Ad shows to only the members of the audience previously created

4. Interest targeting

Ad appears to the users who behaviorally show interest to specific topic across Quora

5. Broad targeting

Ad is shown to the broadest possible audience

6. Keyword targeting

Newest addition, Ad appears in the questions that match with specific keywords we target

What is Keyword Targeting in Quora Ads?

One of the most valuable aspects of Quora Ads platform is the ability to reach high intent users for your product or service. Till now, we had question, topic, interest, audience & broad targeting on Quora Ads to reach users. But on 30 Jan 2018 Quora announced Keyword targeting, which allows advertisers to target questions that contain specific keywords.

This means you can now target the users based on the stage of their intent.

For example, ‘business loan providers’ keyword will target only those users who need a business loan and not those who are seeking information about a business loan.

With keyword targeting, your ads would appear in the question pages depending on the word or phrase you specify.

If you are familiar with using search engine ads, you may consider testing your existing & high performing keywords in Quora Ads.

Keyword Match Types in Quora Ads

For now, Quora offers 2 types of keyword matching: Broad match & Phrase match. Additionally, ‘Exclude’ option allows you to specify negative keywords or phrases when you do not want to display your ads. These match types are no different than their Search Engine Ads counterpart.

Broad Match  

When you wish to reach as many users as possible without spending too much time on choosing a list of concentrated keywords, go with broad match. For example, if you are interested in targeting questions that are about ‘business loan’, broad match helps you target a wider audience by showing your ad on question pages with close variations of business loan.

Quora broad match

Image: Quora broad match

Phrase Match

Phrase match allows narrower targeting than broad match by displaying ad only where a question contains a phrase of keywords. For example, if you used “business loan” with phrase match, your ad would only show up on question pages where the question contains the phrase “business loan”. As an exact match to the phrase is needed, with phrase match you can reach customers who have expressed a specific intent that matches your product or service. To make a keyword phrase match, close that keyword between “_” e.g. “financial planning”.

Quora phrase match

Image: Quora phrase match


Similar to Search engine ads platform, Exclude allows you to select negative words or phrases. Thus, you may restrict your ads from displaying on questions not related to your business offerings. Remember, adding too many exclusions can reduce your reach.

Exclude function

Image: Exclude function

How to create campaigns based on Keyword targeting?

1. Create an Ad Manager account

Displaying Ads on Quora requires you to create an Ad Manager account. You need to provide Email Id & your business information such as business name, address, tax id, website and billing information. If you have not created an account, create from here.

Creating ad manager account on Quora

Image: Creating ad manager account on Quora

2. Create your campaign

Once you set up an Ad Manager account, it’s time to launch your first campaign. Quora offers 4 types of different objectives to choose from. They are:

Creating Quora campaign

Image: Creating Quora campaign

i) Conversions

Send users to your website or to a landing page where you would like them to complete an action.

ii) App installs

Send users to the download page for your mobile application.

iii) Traffic

 Send users to the download page for your mobile application.

iv) Awareness

Get more users to see and engage with an answer on Quora.

3. Set a budget and schedule

Specify the amount you wish to spend in a single ad. That will be your daily budget. Additionally, you may assign a lifetime budget to limit your ad spend.
Now, you need to schedule your ads. You may start your ads immediately after launching the campaign or assign a start and end date.

Setting budget

Image: Setting budget

4. Create an Ad set

a. Ad set option

Quora makes your experience easy by providing an option to import your previously created ad sets. Otherwise, you can start with a new ad set.

Creating ad set

Image: Creating ad set

b. Primary targeting

Here you will find keyword targeting among other targeting options. Based on your requirement, go with broad or phrase match. Moreover, you can add negative keywords by excluding the words or phrase.

Primary targeting

Image: Primary targeting

c. Location, Device & Email targeting

Enter locations of users you seek to target. You may choose from city to country. Similarly, you have an option to exclude location(s) that do not serve your intentions.

Location targeting

Image: Location targeting

With device targeting, you may either display your ads to desktop or mobile only. Quora also offers you to show ads on both the devices.

If you select Email targeting, you Ads will appear in mobile & desktop digest emails sent to registered Quora users.

d. Additional exclusion

It is quite possible that you find certain questions to be irrelevant to your business offerings. Similarly, you may need to exclude audiences that you may have used earlier or that do not fit into the funnel you are targeting. To your relief, you can exclude specific questions or audiences.

Adding exclusion

Image: Adding exclusion

5. Set Bid & launch campaign

Finally, you have to decide the cost you want to pay for a click or impressions depending on which Ad delivery option you select. Quora allows advertisers to select one of the following Ad delivery per Ad set, based on advertiser’s goal.

Setting a bid

Image: Setting a bid

a. Optimize for clicks

Optimize your ad delivery for traffic to your website or landing page. The bid will be CPC i.e. you will be charged only when users click on your ad.

b. Impressions

Optimize your ad delivery to show your ad to as many people as possible. You will be charged once your ad is shown 1000 times. The bid type for impressions is CPM.

c. Optimize for ‘Generate Lead’ conversions

Optimize your ad delivery to show your ads to those users who are likely to convert on your page. Remember, only conversion or app install campaigns support this ad delivery. Additionally, you need to install ‘Quora Pixel’ on your website to optimize for conversions. Don’t know how to set up Quora Pixel? Learn from here.

Why should you care?

Initially, many advertisers did not trust Quora for promoting their product or service. This was mainly due to the lack of targeting the right audience. You may have seen ads that do not correlate with the question. But the arrival of keyword targeting will surely fill this gap. With keyword targeting, it is now a great opportunity for advertisers to reach a wide & right audience. Resembling search ads, you can group similar keywords together in an Ad set and set up the customer funnel. And like search campaigns, you can insert keywords in Ad creatives to increase their relevance.

What future looks like!

Till 2016, Google & Facebook had duopoly as an advertising platform. Google is an intent-based platform while Facebook is interest based. But Facebook’s data breach controversy and Google Ads’ increasing CPC has made users shift to other platforms.

Many companies have shifted around 40-50% of their advertising budget to Amazon since last year. Other 3rd party platforms like AdChoice, Taboola, InMobi have observed huge growth in last one year.

And now we have another player with 300 million monthly users. Keyword targeting has opened the door for many advertisers who have not tested this platform yet.

As Quora recently added ‘Auction Insight’ report, we can now observe performance metrics like impression share, absolute impression share & impression share lost. When used effectively, you can optimize your Quora Ads campaigns for greater ROI.

In the near future, we should expect more keyword match types like exact & BMM. We might be able to measure the quality of the targeted keyword. Conversion oriented bid strategies like Maximize conversions, Target cost per acquisition & Return on Ad spend will play a major role for small businesses that focus majorly on conversions.

About the Author

amol ghemud
Optimizer in Chief

Amol has helped catalyse business growth with his strategic & data-driven methodologies. With a decade of experience in the field of marketing, he has donned multiple hats, from channel optimization, data analytics and creative brand positioning to growth engineering and sales.

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