Forums are far from the newest, sexiest form of marketing.
But, they remain one of the best places to not only build links, but also bring targeted traffic to your website(s):
If you’re unfamiliar with forums, they essentially provide a platform for a bunch of people to talk about a specific topic (e.g. SEO).
People create threads (i.e. discussions) within the various categories, then others can reply to said threads with opinions/comments/answers/etc.
Here’s how to use forums for link building:
- Find niche-specific forums
- Add value
Finding niche-specific forums can be done with a few Google search operators, such as:
Next, join any forums that look to be industry leaders.
You can usually spot industry leaders by looking at the engagement on the posts – if there are regular posts/replies/threads, it’s probably a good forum to get involved in:
If the last thread was started months ago…
…it may not be so great.
Next, sign up to the good ones, read through a few of the threads and start helping people out by answering questions and offering advice:
It’s fine to link out to useful resources in your answers, but DO NOT link out to your own site just yet.
Once you’ve built a bit of authority on the forum (so they know you’re not just a spammer), add a link to your website in your forum signature:
This link will then show up wherever you’ve replied to a thread.
It will be nofollow, but it can drive a significant amount of referral traffic if you offer a lot of value in your replies (plus, the traffic will be targeted).
It’s also possible to build forum links by repurposing existing content (from your site) on the forums.
The best way to do this is to remove any links, images and unnecessary fluff from your post, then post it on the forum.
Brian Dean – founder of Backlinko – did this a couple of years back with his “17 Untapped Backlink Sources” post: