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Using Forums To Build Backlinks

Jul 7, 2008
A big part of getting traffic to your website is getting your site to rank high up in search engine results. By having relevant, good content on your website you will accomplish to an extent, but you will also want something else: good backlinks to your website.

Backlinks are links placed on another site which link to yours. The best ones to have are one way backlinks, meaning that they have links to your site, but not the other way around.

Forums are one way to create these high quality backlinks. These links can get traffic to your site as people click your links which are on the forum, further raising your stock with the search engines. When using forums to generate web traffic, you need to be judicious in your use of links lest you be branded as a spammer, which will probably result in your membership to the forum being closed. If done right, though, this can be a great way to generate traffic for your site.

Step 1: Find relevant forums
Relevant is the important thing to remember here - in internet marketing and especially where search engines are concerned, relevance is everything. To find forums which are relevancy, simply do a search on Google for your niche along with the term "forum", like so:
coin collecting forum

You do this for two reasons. One is that search engines will pay more attention to your links if they come from a site whose content is relevant to that of your own site. Also, you will get more traffic from these backlinks if you post them in a place where people are interested in what your site is about.

Step 2: Find the best of these relevant forums and join them
Once you've managed o find some relevant forums, you should investigate these and choose some to join up with. Have a look at the top five to ten results from your search. You should ignore any which require you to join before even being able to look at the forums. Most forums will let you do this though, so read away!

What you are looking for in forums to join is popularity. Check the number of users on each forum and compare; you should also look at how many of these members are active on the forum. Look in some of the more heavily trafficked categories on the forum and look to see when the most recent postings were made. Generally speaking, this information will be listed in the tight hand column of the table containing the threads on the forum. If there have been a lot of posts within the last day, then congratulations!

You have found a forum which has many active members, which is exactly what you want. This means that search engines will look at this site often, so your links will quickly be noticed by them. Search engines are particularly fond of sites with frequent updates. Join this forum and any others which are very popular.

However, before you actually go ahead and join, make sure that this forum will allow you to use a signature in your posts. Look at one of the more frequently posted-to threads and have a look to see if anyone has a signature beneath his or her posting. This is usually a line under the posting with some text or sometimes links. Most people just have a quotation, but links are sometimes seen as well. Not everyone will use a signature, but if there are some there, then you know that you will be able to get your links on the site - go ahead and sign up.

Once you've located a forum which is popular and allows signatures, all you need to do is follow the instructions to become a member. If you can get signed on to three or four forums, that should be plenty to begin with.

Step 3: Set up your signature
After signing up and logging in, you should be able to edit your user profile - here you can edit your avatar, biography and other preferences. What you are looking for specifically is a link titled something along the lines of "edit signature". You will then have a input field where you can place your signature, including backlinks to your site!

Forums use a certain type of code for formatting posts by members. This code is called BBCode and is very easy to use. Copy and paste the examples below, just change the URL and text to your own URL and whatever text you'd like to use. Then, save and your signature should be as you want it.

Link to your website or blog with this code:

Learn how to start [url=http:/ /www-dot-mycoinblog-dot-com/]Coin Collecting[/url] the easy way.

In this code, you can see where your text and URL will go. In the example above, the phrase "Coin Collecting" is the place where your link should go. Your keywords will be here as well.

To make your signature appear in bold type, simply add the bold tags around it like this:

[b]Learn how to start [url=http:/ /www-dot-mycoinblog-dot-com/]Coin Collecting[/url] the easy way.[/b]

Almost all forums will allow you to put your signature in bold type. If you put the bold tags around your signature and it does not show up in bold, then you will know that this forum does not allow bold formatting.

Some forums may let you have the text of your signature in the color of your choice, though the text in your link will usually be the default color for links (in most cases this is blue). To change the text color:

[color=red]Learn how to start [url=http:/ /www-dot-mycoinblog-dot-com/]Coin Collecting[/url] the easy way.[/color]

You can even combine these formatting tags, which in this example below would make your signature both bold and in red (the link text though, will still appear as blue, though it will be bold).

[color=red][b]Learn how to start [url=http:/ /www-dot-mycoinblog-dot-com/]Coin Collecting[/url] the easy way.[/b][/color]

One last tip about your signature - don't make your signature look like spam, as this will led you to be tagged with the "spammer" label. Don't crowd your signature with text and links. Get people to want to click your link by posting good content.

Step 4: Participate!
Up to this, all we have been covering is preparation. Participating in the forums is the important part. Make sure your posts are well written and thoughtful; this will get people to use those backlinks. Answer questions and generally be helpful to fellow forum members.

Each time you post, you will have given yourself another backlink to your site. The better your post, the better that backlink will be for your Google rankings. Google actually examines the text around a link to calculate relevance, so good content is important here. By just being helpful on the forum and answering questions, this should be no problem.

An that's all there is to it! Remember that you can change your signature anytime you like - you can change the text on occasion to see if something will get you more clickthroughs.
About the Author
Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of Be Successful News , a site that provides information and articles on how to succeed in your own home or small business.
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