I originally wrote this exclusively for V7N, but decided to now include it in my own blog. These are a set of tips and techniques that can help boost activity and SEO traffic to your forum, that is considering that your forum isn’t already active. This is meant for the starters, or newbies so to say.
These tips and techniques come in no relevant order of importance, it’s just whatever order I felt like.
1) Search Engines
Search Engines are a primary source of traffic for any website. They use spiders to index your site, which in turn let’s people search for it, and there are millions of people doing searches at any time of the day. If people doing searches stumble across something they find interested linking to your site, then you just got a visitor and maybe potential client and revenue.
Most people would use an automatic submission form to submit their site/forum to dozens of search engines instantly and with little effort. However, I have found this to be frowned upon by the search engines, as they really don’t like automatic submissions.
Manually go to each search engines website, and either type “submit link” or “submit url” and it should bring up part of the website where you can submit your link to have a spider crawl and begin indexing.
As an example I will use Google for this. If you goto Google’s website, Google, and do a search for “submit url” or “submit link”, Google will return a submission page like this:
Add your URL to Google
2) Search Engine Optimization or otherwise known abbreviated as SEO
I can’t stress SEO enough, especially for forums. Having your forum properly SEO can get you alot of traffic and potential clients. Use SEO modifications that use mod_rewrite module to rewrite your urls to static html pages. Also make sure to have an SEO modification that does automatic generations for descriptions and keywords for the forum, as this will help a great deal for people looking for specific keywords.
Once you get all the SEO setup the way you want it, try not to modify or change anything, since changing items will greatly reduce your rankings in the search engines as they are now getting errors about content not being there anymore.
3) Link Exchanges
Find forums relating to your niche to link with. Either have a modification for a link exchange system, or have a forum category solely used for them. This is a great way to trade traffic and gain possible visitors from other forums, but you also run the risk of losing members to other forums.
Find forums with a high page rank in Google, and contain alot of content. Check to make sure alot of the content is unique, and not copy pasted from various websites.
4) Signature Links
Having your forum link, or linked with keywords, in forum signatures is another great way of getting possible visitors and members. Not only use a live link, but optionally include a 468×60 banner under it. I know for myself, occasionally like to click signature links to look at the website and go deeper into it if I am interested in it.
This technique also provides good increase of in-links, which are used in a domains worth.