Ever thought of joining an online community but don’t know if it can help improve your site or brand’s SEO? There are many benefits of an online community to SEO and I will outline why you should consider joining a community today.
Joining a branded online forum will help boost your SEO. But you have to be selective of the kind of online community you choose. You need to be particular about the kind of online community to boost the level of SEO that you need.
In this article, you will be shown why joining a branded online community is generally good for your site or brand. You will also see the difference between branded forum communities and social media communities.
Why Should You Focus on SEO?
The term SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a strange word to most people these days, so if you do not know what it is about, you are not alone. SEO is basically about optimizing several things on your site, in order for your site to have a chance of appearing on front pages.
Most people consider SEO, as just ensuring that the contents on your page or site are filled with relevant keywords that viewers search for, but as explained above, it involves a lot more than that. It involves making a couple of on-page and off-page SEO changes, for search engines to consider your page relevant.
SEO also involves taking several steps to promote your site or brand, these include but are not limited to link building, guest blogging, and social media.
Social Media Communities vs. Sub-forum Communities
Having fully understood what SEO is all about, you should know that becoming part of just any online community cannot build your SEO. A branded community is seen as a better option because it gives you far more control than social media communities do.
Different organizations may decide to operate a social media community like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. Because of this, there is a restriction on what you can do.
A branded community is a type of community that is built as part or extension of a site. Being part of a branded community allows you to perform several functions that are restricted in social media built communities.
Some of them are:
- Data protection (privacy)
- Community UX and UI design
- Community admin and culture
- Authentic conversation since forums allow anonymity
Benefits of an Online Community to SEO
Being part of a branded community will give you control over different important SEO factors, all of which are essential for improving your rank on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
A community is an easy way of giving your customers better self-service support, which is what every customer wants.
Having a high rank on SERPs is a sign that your page is in popular demand, and for you to maintain this status, you have to give your customers exactly what they are searching for.
Aside from giving your customers what they are searching for, being part of an online community affects several SEO ranking factors, these are some of them:
- Great keywords in your link
- Fresh and new forum content
- Using a Meta and title tag
- The use of a low competition keyword in the content
- User Experience (UX)
Great Keywords in Your Link
A good URL will help improve the authority of your domain. While the URL is an important ranking factor, you should always use one that contains important Keywords and can make your site more visible on search engine result pages.
If you are part of a good community, you should be able to come up with the URL of a topic that aligns with the best practices of SEO. This implies that your URL should be made using the title of relevant discussions in the community.
Fresh and New Forum Content
One of the factors Google considers while ranking isn’t just the importance of the information on your page, but how accurate and up-to-date the content is. A very impactful way a community helps in this aspect is by generating new and fresh content for its users.
Using a Meta and Title Tag
If your title tag is not attractive or relevant, people will hardly click on your page. And also, if the content on your page says a completely different thing from what your title tag says, that will be very bad for SEO.
This is why being part of a community is important; you will see a lot of discussions on the forum that might contain numerous keywords customers are searching for. The community has a lot of information that will help format your title tags correctly and impact your SEO positively.
Use of Low Competition Keywords in Content
Having a forum, where the activities of your customers are being documented and searched for, can be very helpful in this regard; most posts in the community are all written words of your customers.
When customers make a Google search about your services or products, you will likely find similar keywords they have used in the community and this helps in making your content show up more frequently.
Your Forum’s UX (User Experience)
If your users have a wonderful experience on your page when they are directed there, they wouldn’t mind returning to your site or to other pages on it, and this helps a lot in improving the relevance of your site on search engine results pages.
Being part of a community helps in improving your user experience; the level of engagement of your readers will increase as they provide fresh content for you. An online community is a go-to place for fresh content; people will always have problems and they will most likely seek solutions on these search engines.
14 Productive Ways to Drive Tons of Traffic to Your Forum
A forum is a special type of online social networking platform; it has different sections and sub-sections that occupy a variety of niches and interests. A large number of people from around the world still use a lot of different forums despite the fact that different social networks have taken over.
The fun thing about forums is that they allow anonymity thereby making conversations on the platform more interesting. Some of the largest forums in the world include – Gaia online, Reddit and Quora.
In this article, you will be given different ideas you can use to attract tons of visitors to your forum. The pieces of content on a forum are mainly generated by users and it is not under Google’s control; so most of the ideas listed here might not work for you but you have to give it a try in order to know if it is effective.
Tips for getting traffic to your forum:
- Share useful content and create exclusive offers
- Create an advert about the forum
- Give a referral bonus
- Allow advertising in designated areas
- Allow multimedia embeds
- Recognize outstanding users
- Run a social account for your forum
- Implement a third-party membership option
- Host contests on your forum
- Join Related forums
- Remove or hide dead sub-forums
- Start a discussion about a particular topic
- Occasionally encourage paid membership
- Make a guest-enabled sub-forum.
1. Share Useful Content and Create Exclusive Offers
Introducing a simple discount or free-but-exclusive content might get people to participate and register on the forum; this will be useful for attracting anonymous users who cannot see the entire content in the forum. You can also attract them by doing giveaways or special bonuses.
2. Broadcast Your Online Community Efficiently
The benefits of advertisements cannot be overemphasized. Run sponsored ads for your forum and you will receive a large amount of turnover. It is a trick almost all marketers know about; it is a fast and easy way to generate better traffic.
3. Introduce a Referral or Signup Bonus
Generating referrals is not what everyone enjoys doing but if you add a little amount of incentive to it, people wouldn’t mind inviting their friends, co-workers, or family.
4. Allow Free Advertising in Designated Areas
Most forum owners charge a fee for adverts on every section of the forum, but for your forum which is just starting out, it will be advisable to allow free adverts on one or two designated sections of the forum. This will not only bring in more traffic but will increase the relationship between you and your users.
5. Give Room to Multimedia Embeds
A lot of people do not like using forums because they are restricted on the level of content or images they can share, but as someone looking for traffic, you have to upgrade your platform to allow video embeds with other multimedia formats.
6. Recognize Outstanding Users
Users like to be acknowledged for their contribution to any forum, so you can start a weekly or monthly recognition plan for them.
7. Implement a Third-Party Membership Option
Most forums require admin approval before anyone can be registered and this might not be good for someone who just wants to look through a few threads in the forum. What you have to do is enable a third-party posting or registration. When you do this, you can also get traffic from people who did not even register.
8. Run a Social Account for Your Forum
You can use related social media accounts to attract a user to a particular part of the forum. When there are changes and happenings around your community, you can update users by using a social media handle.
9. Host Contests on Your Forum
Hosting contests requires your users to participate only on your forum, and this will not only bring more traffic to you but will also make your forum more engaging and interactive. You can encourage users by hosting contests with relevant prizes.
10. Sign up to Niche-Related Online Forums
Starting a forum from scratch might require you to join other forums you would like your forum to follow; joining one will help you in creating a blueprint of what you want for your forum. It will also help you attract more users by sharing links on the forum.
11. Remove or Hide Dead Sub-Forums
When a viewer looks at your forum and it is filled with inactive and dormant sections, it can serve as a turn-off to them when registering. So you have to ensure you remove or hide the inactive sub-sections of the forum.
If those sub-sections are filled with relevant topics that people don’t talk about, you can consider merging them into other engaging and active sub-forums.
12. Begin a Discussion on Popular Topics
Usually, users write about relevant topics but when you discover a relevant topic that might attract people to the forum, start a discussion about it.
A great way to make people register in your forum is to fill it up with relevant discussions; you have encouraged participation and contribution by starting your own thread and encourage other users to share their opinions about it.
13. Occasionally Encourage Paid Membership
This part can only be effective for your forum when you have beneficial and relevant content that you want to give out to your users. You can do this by making your content visible to all users to a certain point, and after that, you will display a message encouraging them to register for a paid membership in order to enjoy more exclusive content.
14. Make Guest-Enabled Sub-Forums
Operating an entire board for guest posts might be a really bad idea for your forum, but for a forum that is looking to attract more users, you can make a small section that will be open to guest posts.
In that section, your guests can respond to topics and share their opinions about different subjects. This will also encourage them to register on the forum.
Now that you know the impact of SEO on your site, and also the importance of joining an online community forum, you should ensure to join a community that is branded and does not restrict the activities of its users.
Starting a forum of any kind can be very time-consuming and stressful in its early stages, but when people have started noticing your forum, you will no longer have to worry about attracting users to the forum.
If you need some ideas for drawing traffic to your forum, ensure to use the steps mentioned in this article.
I hope this has helped, please leave a comment, like, or share. Thank you.