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Promote Your Website in Forums

Aug 17, 2007
Promoting your website doesn't have to be costly or boring. One of the more effective ways of promoting a website is by participating in an online forum. How, exactly, does participating in a forum promote your website and increase your traffic? Let's examine the ways.

Participating in a forum can increase one-way backlinks to your site via the signature file. Most forums allow you to enter personal and business information using a control panel. The most important piece of information you can add is a signature file with active hyperlinks to your website(s). This signature file will be displayed at the bottom of every post you make. If you are using a forum that is very popular, it will be spidered often by Google and the other search engines.

For every post you make, you increase your backlink count. Although these do help to increase the number of backlinks and your search engine page ranking, they do so only in very large quantities. This is because the forums have a large number of outbound links that share the PageRank of the forum page. So don't expect ten or twenty forum postings to magically skyrocket your rankings in the search results. If you visit the forum for ten minutes a day, you can easily rack up your number of postings by providing useful help for topics you are familiar with.

Another great benefit of the signature file is that people reading your post will often visit your site through the hyperlinks you provide. This may be to check out your website or get a feel for your experience or credentials. Either way, it is a free and quick way to increase traffic.

Now that you know what's possible, let's look at some of the caveats. Not all forums are created equal. You should participate in a forum that is heavily trafficked, monitored for spam, and closely related to the content or theme of your website. It will do you little good to participate in a forum about pet care if you are promoting your car parts directory. Choose a popular forum that you feel comfortable using.

Equally important is choosing a forum that allows search engine spiders to follow the outbound hyperlinks. There are a number of forums that employ "nofollow" instructions to search spiders so that your signature file hyperlinks don't get counted by the search engines. Your backlinks will be less useful in search engine optimizing your site. It's best to stay clear of these forums.

I have found the Digital Point forum to be particularly useful for promoting my directories. Not only is it a very large, established, and highly trafficked forum, it is well-laid out and its pages are indexed continuously by Google. Many of the forum members are experienced internet marketers who can help you out with any questions you may have. Once you have posted ten times, you can include your own signature file in your posts. According to Alexa, it is one of the 200 most popular sites on the web.

The nice thing about participating in forums is that you can learn new things while helping other people - all while improving traffic to your site. You can learn new methods of improving your website design and using new promotional techniques. The forum is an amazing medium that allows you to learn, promote, sell and interact 24 hours a day without spending a penny.
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