Is Marketing in Forums for SEO Still Effective Today
Forum marketing was once a popular SEO strategy, but over time the popularity of this method in search engine optimization has gradually diminished. This started when Google unleashed the dreaded Penguin algorithm update that rocked the SEO world with a big bang. Many websites, some of them are high profile blogs, lost their high page rank in Google, while others were totally erased from the landscape of search results.
Today, there are still several online marketers and some big businesses implementing forum marketing. Many of them reported splendid results from such activities. However, there are also some webmasters that no longer trust the feasibility of the method because of its minimal impact on SEO.
This leads us to the challenge question: is it still wise to conduct forum marketing nowadays? To better answer this question, it would be good to dig through the opportunities and threats of using forums as a marketing platform, as well as a good source of backlinks for SEO purposes.
Opportunities in Forums for SEO
One of the priceless benefits of marketing using forums that is getting good quality direct referrals. If you are in a forum that is highly relevant to your business, then this method is an excellent way of capturing targeted traffic to your website. Majority of the forums will normally allow you to insert one or two links of your choice in your forum signature that will appear at the bottom of every thread that you create, and in every comment that you will post.
As you keep on engaging with the other forum members via post-replies, and as you keep on helping others by giving them useful tips in your threads, you will expand the exposure of your business over time. These links will drive traffic to your blog every time members click on it when they see your posts and your threads.
However, members will only check out your link if they find your post useful and relevant, and if they find your threads truly helpful. Thus, to be effective in this method you have to provide genuine replies that truly provide priceless information that is relevant to the thread.
High Quality SEO Link Juice
One of the main reasons why many bloggers joined forums is to get backlinks. Forums are among the best places for them to build links. Many highly-profile forums have high Google PageRank, and the links that you will create in the forum signature will give you valuable link juices to your web pages.
The best part of all is that these links are easy to create. You only need to insert the link in your signature once, and every time you reply to a thread or create a new thread, a link will be automatically created. The high PR of the forum will pass on the SEO link juices to your blog, thereby improving its PageRank in Google, as well.
Build Online Reputation
Forums are great places to start building your reputation online. It is a place where not only you can get help but it is also a good place where you can help other members. Some members will eventually learn to trust you and regard you as an authority on your expertise field as you keep on engaging with them in your threads and in the thread-replies.
Take note that reputation is very crucial online. No one, or only a few, will push the ‘buy’ button in your online shop if they don’t trust you, or if they are doubtful of your reputation. But if you have established a trusted profile in the community, asking your prospects to push the shopping cart to the end will not be hard at all.
Threats of Forum Marketing
Possible Link Spam
Because of the past abuses of many marketers, spam links in forums were rampant. As a result, many of these forum links were tagged as spam. Consequently, some blogs with a handful of spam links in forums were hit by the Penguin update of Google.
Therefore, it is imperative to implement the right method of forum marketing in order to avoid such horrendous consequences that can potentially affect both the online reputation of your business and the SEO score of your website.
Aside from link spam, keyword stuffing is also rampant. Some members use the same keyword phrases in their signature links, in their posts, and in their threads. If caught by Google, keyword stuffing can have the same horrible SEO effects as link spam.
Marketing in Forums the Right Way
While there are benefits of this method of search engine marketing, there are also a couple of drawbacks. But these disadvantages can be avoided if you carefully implement effective strategies of marketing. Here are some of the best practices that you can use to keep your campaign right on track, while avoiding the possible bumps along the path at the same time.
Add value to the members
Forum members will trust you, as well as check your signature profile, if you are adding value to the community. Therefore, make sure to give something valuable to the members in every post and in every thread. At the same time, avoid creating threads that are somewhat redundant.
Simple one or few-word sentences per post must be avoided at all cost because they are among the signs of link spam. If you have to thank a member for such a valuable thread, expand your gratitude a little further by telling the member how the thread helped you.
Aside from that, create threads that are helpful by providing tips and tutorials. These will be highly appreciated by the members, and many of them might even share or recommend your thread to others.
When building backlinks in forums, make sure that you are also in the right forum that is relevant to your business. If your business is about technology, it would be unwise to join and redundant to build backlinks in a health forum. So stay within your niche.
Choose the right anchor texts
Using the same keywords in anchor texts in your forum signature may get you into trouble for keyword stuffing. To avoid this, use keywords sparingly. If one of your keywords appears in the anchor text, don’t use that keyword again in the post and in the thread.
Marketing in forums for search engine optimization is still an effective method if done right. By aligning your techniques within the white-hat SEO limits, forum marketing can help you boost your page rank in Google.