Addressing the Forum and Generating Traffic
The forum: The very term brings to mind cathedral ceilings soaring over tiers of seats filled with intelligent and well meaning individuals gathered to discuss at length some topic of great importance. Since time immemorial, people have gathered in forums to discuss things, whether those topics are related to business interests or are matters of greater public interest. Thus, in today’s world, is it any wonder that online forums are used for much the same thing? Discussing great matters of importance and forwarding business interests has always been the human way; it seems that the accepted paradigm is that if you can serve the greater good while making a dollar for yourself then everything will turn out well.
When it comes to generating targeted traffic for a website, however, both sides of the modern online forum equation work well. Whether the forum is resident on your site, drawing traffic in so that they are viewing the content you need them to see as well as the forum postings that they came for, or if you are surfing other forums dedicated to and catering to the type of people that you want to have come visit your domain, the end result is hopefully traffic to your site, which will increase the revenues from whichever revenue streams are activated on the site.
Third Party Forums
Starting with forums external to your site, surfing across these forums takes a great deal of time, and for a single person to do all the work needed to generate the type of responses desired is almost impossible if he or she wants to get anything else done in a day. Not completely impossible, but locating, reading and replying with links to each of the relevant forum threads individually is excessively time consuming. Granted, for some individuals that particular pastime, depending on the topic, is highly rewarding but for the majority of individuals this will be something best left to an outsider.
Hiring someone to generate paid forum posts is not at all uncommon in such a situation. With these paid posts, a relevant and considerate response, when coupled with a contextual backlink is a relatively good means of acquiring a large part of the backlink list required for your site.
Your Own Forum
Establishing an internal forum is far and away the better option for generating local traffic to your site for obvious reasons, and even for those who are not so technically inclined, establishing a SEO forum site to maximize visibility and marketability is a relatively painless process. Anybody can manage to host a forum on their website using the best free forum software they can they can find on the internet. Most of the free programs require only basic setup and are essentially plug-and-play platforms.
The main cost of hosting an internal forum is that to properly moderate such a thing takes time, and being active in said forum also takes time. This cost of this time is usually offset by the quality of the visitors that come to the site. By hosting a forum for discussions that are hopefully related to the product you are representing, you end up with targeted traffic that is in fact seeking you out. Once that starts to happen, everything falls neatly into place and hopefully its smooth sailing from there on out.
As with everything else in life, however, moderating and contributing to a forum consistently takes time, and, usually, time is in short supply. But there are companies available who will, for a fee, moderate a forum for you, adding links and referencing as required and even in the long run encouraging quality traffic, which will enhance the page ranking of your site due to increased traffic as well as the rest of the metrics that Google tracks.
Regardless of whether you host it yourself or merely make your presence known on other forums hosted by relevant websites and companies, using forums to increase your visibility and impact is a good method starting the flow of traffic to your site. Even something as small as a personal blog can benefit from you making an appearance in forums and other places where customers who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer.
Dedicating some time perusing and conversing and submitting a forum post or two here or there is usually time well spent. As long the classic over-sell tactic is avoided in today’s media hyped over exposed market, a genuine voice and product will always be noticed over top of the ‘in your face’ sales tactics of recent years.
Forums are an ideal channel through which to locate customers that are going to be interested in your products and / or services. And while forum surfing is time consuming, there are many packages available for free, forum posting software, forum link building software, and of course, paid forum posting services which can help you in your quest for greatness. The forum is the place to be and the place to be seen.