Search Engine Optimization and Forum Interaction

.tags Any company that invests in Search Engine Optimization keeps a close eye on their website rankings. Google rankings fluctuate on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis. The Google algorithm is constantly being updated which is what we would expect from the world leaders in internet search technology. This does not always mean good news for small and medium enterprises that do not have 24/7 online marketing capabilities. When done correctly Search Engine Optimization can be incredibly effective as a traffic generator but in order to stay ahead you need to focus on more than one traffic generation approach. ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ is a great old adage which promotes diverse strategies to protect your ‘eggs’ or assets. Forum postings are not intended as a replacement for Search Engine Optimization but rather as an added measure to generate traffic, establish your brand online and to interact with potential and existing clients. Planning Activity on Forums: Forums are a great place to advise and interact with others as well as to learn about ideas circulating in your industry. It may seem like you are slacking off by not working but consistent (not continuous!) interaction can open up lines of communication that were never open before. ‘Interaction’ is the key point here. Demonstrate expertise and a willingness to help. Do not spam your company services and sing your own praises. Most people reading forums can recognise and ignore a biased marketing ploy almost instantaneously. As with any other form of online interaction you need to start with a plan. 1. Take a long hard look at what your company is good at and what sort of questions you can answer. Decide which keywords you want to use to link back to your website and which main pages you will be referring people to. If your website needs some work this is a good time to tie up some loose ends. 2. Do a search for based on a theme related to your company or target market as well as locations. Make a short list of these URL’s and signup on all of them. That’s right all of them. 3. Spend the first week or two logging into the forums and testing the waters by answering queries and starting new topics. No spamming. 4. After one or two weeks assess forums based on interactivity, ease of use and feedback from topics you started or answered. Now choose one – maximum two – forums that you feel will give you the best interaction and exposure. 5. Set a schedule for forum posts (Whether this is 20 minutes every day or 30 minutes a week it is up to you.) 6. Make sure to check out your referral traffic levels in Google Analytics on a monthly basis to measure how effective your efforts are. In the end of the day your search engine optimization efforts have a higher potential to generate traffic from Google search results and forum efforts have the potential to augment this with valuable referral traffic. Both take time and require consistency to prove effective so the sooner you start the better.

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