The want for traffic on a site has never had a limit and will never do. It is believed that the more traffic received, the more money a site makes. In the previous two articles, we discussed about how the quality of a site decides for its rankings on search engines. We also discussed whether blog commenting is yet an efficient practice to generate traffic (not for SEO). It was concluded that quality yet plays a very critical role, both for search engine rankings and user experience (on the site). For the second discussion, it ended up with a conclusion that a small amount of traffic can be expected from blog commenting.
In this article, we shall discuss about one more source of traffic of whose usage is increasing tremendously. We shall discuss about the traffic from forums and it’s prominence to the site.
Traffic From Forums – How Important Is It?
Over the years, forums have become a hub of spam links. If one wants to build links to any page/site, all he does is to join a forum and start posting links. But it doesn’t work the same way any more. A new year, 2013, is approaching and things are changing with a positive impact on the efficient users.
Forum owners have consistently worked their way to block spam activity on the forum. Currently, the best practice to block spammers is keeping a minimum number of posts required before a link could be posted.
Real users, such as you and me, are actually benefited from this. There are hardly any spammers who will post useless links into threads where an important discussion might be going on.
Nowadays, a site/blog does not just look for just normal and regular traffic, but targeted traffic. Targeted traffic is the amount of visitors that are actually interested in the content or the product being offered. These visitors can also be regarded as potential buyers. A question might arise asking, “How is it, in any way, related to forum traffic?” If you understand the points discussed below, you shall get the answer for the same.
Usually, a forum has three basic sectors from where traffic can be generated. These sectors (apart from the second one) are generally present on every thread posted by the user. They are –
- Links In Signatures – Which appear under every thread.
- In-Content Links – If a user links something from within the post to add more to the discussion.
- RSS Feed Link – If the user has a blog, forums might provide the feature of linking the recent article. This is not the case with all the forums, but many usually do.
From the above three elements, the most attractive links which can generate traffic are the ones in the signatures. The reason is that being present on every post by the user, it can be seen all around the forum. When compared with in-content links, it is obvious that not all the members of the forum, or even outsiders would visit that particular thread (containing the in-content link) – hencegenerating only a few clicks.But the signatures will prove to be more powerful in generating more clicks. Let’s learn how the traffic is actually targeted.
The title asks whether the traffic generated is targeted or not. If looked through the eyes of a real and proficient user, it is highly targeted. There are two reasons why traffic from forums is considered to be targeted even though it might be low in amount as compared to other traffic sources. They are as follows.
- The signatures in the posts are usually anchored with keywords. For example, a person can have “WP Email Marketing Plugin” as a keyword that is linked to the plugin’s sales page. The click on that link would probably come from a person who knows about WordPress and Email Marketing.
- The second reason why forum traffic can be regarded as targeted is that the in-content links directly provide value to the discussion. For example, if an important discussion on “Making Money With Google Adsense” is going on and a person happens to have a WordPress plugin for the same, the product could be linked from a post on that discussion. Most probably, the persons involved in that particular discussion will be Adsense publishers and owning a blog/site. They might just buy the plugin to check it out! This is what targeted traffic is all about.
It is undoubtedly true that traffic from forums can be highly targeted provided that the way of putting the links is creative, legitimate and relevant. One could not just post some ‘SEO’ link in a ‘Gardening’ forum and expect targeted traffic from the same.