Get More Traffic Through Forum Backlinking

27 June 2008, by A. Cedilla

An important way of boosting the traffic to your site or blog is to get your site onto the first few pages of search engine results.

Here’s how you can do this through forums:

Step 1: Find relevant forums
Step 2: Pick the best forums and join them
Step 3: Set up your signature with your backlink
Step 4: Participate!

Face it, the average user rarely goes beyond the first three pages, if at that, of the search results. So, aside from having good content on your site, one of the best ways to pump up your search ranking is to get high quality backlinks out on the Net.

Backlinks are hyperlinks posted on another website which point back to your site. The strongest backlinks are one-way, which means that while the other website has your backlinks, you don’t have reciprocal links pointing back to it.

Using forums is a great way to get quality one-way backlinks to your site. These links can:

  • Generate direct traffic as people browsing the forum click your links.
  • Raise your search engine ranking at the same time.

Be careful when using forums in this way. Read and follow the forum rules. Do it wrong, you”ll be kicked out and branded as a spammer. Do it right, you”ll have:

  • A powerful tool for your traffic generation.
  • A great source of specific information and trends.
  • New contacts in your area of expertise.

Step 1: Find relevant forums
Key word : Relevant. Find forums related to your niche — your topic, the heart and meat of your website.

The easiest way to do this is to Google your topic along with the the word ‘forum’. Say you’re a philatelist and you have a blog on stamp collecting. You’d type this into Google: stamp collecting forum

There are three reasons you want to find forums related to your niche.

  • One, the search engines usually give more weight to links pointing to your site if they come from sites focused on the same niche as your site.
  • Two, you’ll get much more direct traffic from a forum where the members share your focus.
  • Three, you”d be much more invested in a topic you”re passionate about, so it’s likelier that you”ll post not just to backlink, but to interact with people of similar interests.

Step 2: Pick the best forums and join them
Visit about a dozen or so of the top search results. Look around. Most forums will allow you to view the content as a guest.It’s only if you want to start posting that you have to register.

You want to find forums that are popular and active, so:

  • Look for those with a decently large pool of members.
  • Check the sub-forums to check it there are a lot of posts made in the last 24 hours. This means your links will get picked up faster, since search engines tend to pick sites with lots of frequently updated, relevant content.

Now there is just one vital step before joining. You need to make sure this forum allows you to have a ‘signature’ .

  • Check the FAQ”s and Rules.
  • Jump into one of the more popular threads on the forum. Scroll down and look at the posts to see if anyone has a signature showing at the bottom of their post.

Signatures are crucial, because this is where you are going to put the links to your site.

When you find a forum that meets the criteria, follow the steps to register and confirm your membership. If you find just three or four forums that’s plenty to start with.

Step 3: Set up your signature
After you log in, go to your user profile. Look for a link that says something like ‘Edit signature’ and click that. You’ll see a text field where you can type in the text you want to appear beneath all your posts. This is where you’ll put the backlinks to your site.

Forums use a special kind of code to allow members to format their posts. It’s called BBCode and it’s quite simple to use once you get the hang of it.

Nearly all forums will allow you to have a link in your signature. Most forums also let you play around with the text in it as well as include pictures.

Many also let you preview your signature. Do so. It”s better to test various combinations of taglines and/or pictures for the best appearance.

In creating your signature, hold this mantra: Less is more.

Make it short, clear and to the point. If you post great content and people are interested they will click your link.

Step 4: Participate!
The first three steps were all preparation. Now you get to start creating backlinks to your site! It’s simple, just participate in the forum.

  • Post good content, ask questions.
  • Try to help people out by answering questions. Be nice, be helpful.

Every post you make gives you a backlink to your site. The better your post, the more powerful your backlink will be, at least in Google.

Because Google looks at the text around a link to determine its relevancy, having good content in your posts is more valuable than having a fluff-post that says, “Yeah, what he said”. If you actively engage with the other members in the forum, and try to be polite, friendly and helpful, chances are your content will take care of itself.

That’s it. Play nice with the other kids, have fun. And remember, you can change your signature any time you want. You might changing the text a bit from time to time to find out what generates the most clicks through to your site.

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