The topic of forum posting for SEO purposes is one that causes extreme responses from those in the know and those that use them regularly. The benefits are widely debated, but as a business, it is important to find out if forum posting needs to be included as part of your digital marketing strategy.
Google and Forum Posting for SEO
Google does not give as much weight to links in forums as it does to links in content rich articles. Because of this, forum posting should not be the primary SEO tool for your business. However, it should also not be ignored. When done correctly, forum posting can:
- Increase website traffic
- Introduce your business to new customers
- Expose you to new opportunities for your business
What You Need to Know About Forum Posting
In the past, linking in forums was a valuable tool for SEO, but because there was no skill involved, it was quickly taken advantage of by spammers. Because of this, reputable forums have banned promotional links in their forums and brought an end to simple forum linking as an SEO tool.
Forums can still be valuable for your business if used in the correct way. It is not a quick and easy option, but it can pay off with patience and dedication. You will need to make a commitment to contribute to the forum consistently, provide value for the others, openly discuss topics and share your knowledge.
To get started search on the Internet for forums that relate to topics you are knowledgeable in and relate to your business. Submit your request to join. For example, if you own a health food store, get involved in nutrition forums.
How to Integrate Yourself into a Forum
- Be honest about who you are and what you do. Be upfront about your business or industry and make your posts helpful to others in the forum. The old adage is true, you have to give to get.
- If you are on a forum related to your business or industry and you have solutions to problems being mentioned, give the solution. This will begin to show others on the forum that you are an expert in that field , which can mean you will be the person, or company they go to when it is time for them to spend money.
- If you are in a educational focused forum be sure to ask honest questions. If you are the one asking the good questions, people will start watching your posts to learn what they are either afraid to ask or not sure how to ask.
To Link or Not to Link in a Forum
Once you have earned the trust of the forum members, you can then begin adding links to your own website inside the forum. However, do so sparingly and be sure the link is relevant to the thread. For example, if someone is having trouble finding an organic cherry juice, you could link to your website and let them know that you stock a range of organic fruit juices that may be of interest.
Do not link back to your website on topics that are not relevant because it will likely be removed by an administrator, you will lose respect amongst other forum members and it could get your banned.
SEO for your business can be complex and forum posting for SEO is just one of many strategies you should consider.
Have you used forum posting for SEO before? What worked and what didn’t? Let’s discuss!