Using Forum marketing to drive traffic to your website and is a method you don’t want to overlook. Forums have the advantage that your audience is already there, are highly active and targeted. It is also free join forums and you can begin marketing your business right away.
While forum marketing has been around for a while it is still a vastly untapped marketing method; explore for yourself how many businesses are active within your niche’s forums and you will be happily surprised.
Being active in forums will also have an impact on your websites search engine optimization as every time you make a post, a backlink to your website is created. While search engines such as Google place less of an importance on backlinks nowadays, it is still a positive by product of your posting.
How to Get Started
1. Choosing Forums to be Active in - It is best not to put all your eggs in one basket but rather choose 5 to 10 forums related to your business and focus on those. When looking for forums to post in make sure there is already a community there actively involved. There are many ghost town forums out there that won’t yield your desired result.
To find active forums with a large user base make a list of forums you found through an online search and then find their Alexa rating at alexa.com. The larger the Alexa rating, the larger the website is and the more views your posts will receive. When searching for forums type in “forum:your niche” into a search engine and you will be presented with potentially hundreds of forums to choose from.
2. Your Signature Box - On most forums you are able to customize the signature that appears at the bottom of your post, if you can’t add a custom signature you don’t want to be using that forum and find one you can customize. Your signature box should be viewed as a small advertisement where you promote your website. If you are have a Yachting website you don’t simply want to place your URL in the signature box. Rather make your signature descriptive such as: “Top Branded Yachting Gear at Discount Prices” and make your whole advertisement the link to your website.
Every time you start a thread or reply to a thread your signature will appear at the bottom of your comment. This signature will be shown to everyone and has the potential to be shown to thousands of people by simply starting one thread. It is best to play around with your wording and test what people click on more.
Don’t expect everyone to jump at the chance to click on your link. You are realistically hoping for 1 - 3% of people viewing your post to click on the link. However don’t worry, once you have made a post your link will be there for all eternity and it doesn’t take long to build up to having a couple thousand links in various forums.
4. Where to Send your Traffic - Deciding on to where to send your traffic depends on your marketing goals. If you are wanting to increase branding and drive sales for your ecommerce website then sending them to your homepage would be the logical choice. If you want to build a list of email address then you want to send your traffic to a squeeze page. Even sending traffic to your social media pages can be an effective marketing tactic.
3. Starting Threads and Being Active in Forums - Your main purpose of being active in forums is to promote your business however there is a right and wrong way to do this. Your focus should be on offering quality content and advice and not directly promoting your business. Don’t ask people to click on your URL or always talk about your business but rather show people you are an authority within your industry and they will naturally be intrigued with what you are promoting.
The only promotion you should be doing is in your signature box. When being active within the forum just pretend you are a normal member of the community wanting to discuss topics and help out fellow members.
While you will start to see results from your forum posting almost instantly, it is going to take some time to build up large traffic numbers through your links. To do this it is best to set aside some time every day to spend within the forums and over time you will increase the amount of links to your website and therefore clicks on your links.
Always have your main focus on being helpful and engaging, never spam people with your offers but rather let them naturally follow your links to your website.
If you are sending your traffic to a landing page, keep an eye on conversion rates for different forum traffic and even take to time to A/B test your pages as this will boost your ROI from forum marketing.
Forums can be a huge source of free traffic to your website however like all free traffic you need to put in the time to see the fruits of your labour but by stick at it you will soon realize that this is a hugely valuable way to market your website.