A business that is not advertised on the Internet has little chances of having long-term success. But what are the proper and most efficient methods to self-advertise and perform link building?
There are quite a few actually, and you can read more about them here. In case you’re not sure what link building is, here’s a brief definition: “Link building is the practice of promoting your website to other website owners with the primary goal of securing a link on their site to your page.”
It sounds pretty simple, but it’s rarely that easy in practice. One needs to make an effort to do it correctly. But when done correctly, it yields long-lasting results.
In this article, we will focus on forum link building and explain everything that you need to know if you’re wondering whether or not you want to employ this technique.
Many people avoid forums, as they think forums are used only for black-hat strategies that involve spammy links. And it is true that people abused this technique, thinking that their Google ranking would rise if they placed as many links as possible on suspicious forums.
However, this practice doesn’t really get you anywhere and it usually ends up with your website receiving a harsh Google penalty.
Nevertheless, when used correctly, forums can be a very effective and cost-friendly approach to optimize websites. Most forums allow forum link building, or in other words, they allow you to share links to your website on their pages.
The forums you should be trying to find
As you have probably understood by now, low-quality forums should be avoided at all costs. They bring you no good.
The quality of a forum depends on the people who participate in the forum topics. You should look for forums that are related to your niche and use them to reach out to a specific community. Do not post just for the sake of posting, invest your time in coming up with unique, valid and useful content that will drive legitimate traffic to your site.
People who use forums are usually experts and bloggers in the specific subject matter. Get in touch with them, try to build a relationship and you might be able to create a following from this knowledgeable and influential audience. Most importantly, it will help spread your marketing message on the Internet.
How to distinguish good forums from bad ones
Luckily, bad forums are easy to spot. Bad forums have “red flags” on them, which tell the users that they are filled with spam. Those are usually unchecked forums that are used by spammers who want to obtain a quick link placement. They post short, pointless comments and just place a link in the signature of the post. Apart from that, bots can also be used to spam forums.
With that in mind, we can conclude that respectable webmasters should be looking to avoid these environments.
On the other hand, high-quality forums can be hard to find, but there are plenty of them. If you are just starting to engage in the forum community, there are useful search engines such as Board Reader, Big Roads and Board Tracker that can help you find specific communities. But if all else fails, you can always ask your employees, friends, and customers which online communities they visit. Another method that you can use to find high-quality forums are niche-specific keywords that will allow you to search through many different forums and communities.
To sum up, the following information can help you decide if you are on the right track:
- Good forums should have at least 1,000 members
- They should have more than 10,000 posts
- They should get at least 10 to 15 new posts every day
Types of forum links
There are two types of forum links:
- signature links (in the final text block, which can help you get recognized more easily)
- post links (inside the main text body)
Signature links are constant, and the remain the same at the end of every post. Still, it may be difficult to find the option on the forum board (in which case it would be necessary to check the forum itself for instructions). Post links may be placed anywhere within the post.
In any case, make sure that the forum actually allows signatures or links in the forum posts.
Forum software packages offer different features, ranging from elementary (text only) to more sophisticated (multimedia support and formatting code). In the most frequently used package, the Bulletin Board Code (BBCode) links are marked with the code [url] (inside square brackets), followed by the hyperlink and the inserted name.
In order to prevent spamming, forums adhere to strict rules. It is possible that some of the most important forums do not allow any signature or post link promotion. Additionally, almost all forums share the IP Banned list, which means that an IP address which has been banned on one forum will automatically be banned on all the others. Therefore, we advise you to read and carefully analyze the forum rules.
How to do it right
Once you have chosen a forum you want to engage in, the next thing you need to do is create a professional, complete profile. Be aware that some forums prevent new users from posting for the first few days after their initial registration.
It is important for your username to be professional yet easy to remember since this is the first thing other users see when they look at your profile. Creating an avatar is another great way to get easily recognized. Stay away from the images and posts that can be considered offensive or controversial.
Another thing you need to do is provide a detailed description about your expertise and related experience. You can also add some personal information to make your profile look more real. And lastly, do not forget to provide contact information.
When all of this has been set up, you can proceed to link building. If a user asks a question related to your niche, give him a helpful answer so that he will want to come back for more.
A crucial part of a successful forum marketing campaign is the forum signature. The signature needs to be professional, yet personable at the same time. It is important to add the forum specific username and company information with a URL to your website. The signature helps forum members know who you are and what you do.
This was the crucial information that everyone needs to keep in mind when engaging in forum communities. If the forum link building is done right, your website will thrive. In fact, not only does it bring high search engine rankings and more traffic, but it also allows you to form new long-lasting partnerships.