I have many times came across a question that many new community owners have in their minds. The promotion of a community or a forum. Well as this questions are asked by the owners of the forums you might have imagined by now that I mostly find them on other webmaster forums where they hang around to socialize with other webmasters.
I also have some forums for which I am administrator and for some I am a moderator. My duties range from marketing it, managing it and extending its functionalities to stay in touch with new updates and features that users would love to have on the board.
The SEO and marketing for forums is really different from the SEO and marketing of other websites and blogs.
As usual lets take an example that you get 1000 unique visitors from your signatures in other forums and links on other websites. Right now we will only count this because the search engines see no content on your forum and there is not scope for your forum to be ranked well enough in the competitive market.
Now comes the human mentality. Out of that 1000 visitors 200 or so visitors are the people who might be interested in getting registered and become a member of your forum. Now Out of that 200 visitors only 10 will register in forum as they see that there are less number of members here and less number of threads compared to the other forums that they might be visiting.
Again out of that 10 only 5 or so will start talking and making posts. Because if you are a regular forum poster then you won’t have any troubles but we don’t know about others who are hesitant about posting.
Okay you have 5 posts now. This is just speculations so don’t take it for granted. It is just showing the approximate calculations.
Now again you bring in 1000 visitors from somewhere on your own. Using that same tactics like forum signatures, link exchanges and directory submissions or even a PPC campaign.
This time lets assume that 7 people will register and 7 posts will be made as there were some members and some posts in your forum already made by previous visitors. So chances are improving to attract more visitors to turn themselves into members.
The above thing goes on for sometime and in the meanwhile the Search engines also see some content. So they also help you get the visitors now. So less work in the marketing but little more on the forum management side. The thing in forums is that once it is off the base it will not stop. But taking it off the base is the headache.
Its about time to select some good staff members from the existing members who are proving themselves worthy for it. I can’t vouch for anyone but my personal experience is that the people I have trusted with the management of my own forums are simply outstanding. I can relax for months and I know they are going to handle the forums and there wouldn’t be any problems without me. But as the admin it is our own duty to encourage and inspire the people to take active part in conversations and share their ideas.