In December, I wrote about two techniques that you can use to increase your rankings in the search engines. They are non-technical techniques – meaning that you do not have to know the inner workings of website development to practice them. I hope that you have incorporated these suggestions into your website marketing plan.
Speaking about search engine rankings, search engines give preferential treatment to sites that are visited often. Today I present you with an idea for increasing traffic to your website. Incorprating this idea will help increase the traffic to your website and has the added benefit of increasing your rankings in the search engines.
Join an online forum whose topic is related to your industry. First, build your visibility by becoming a frequent contributor. Always sign your posts with your name, business name, and website address.
Establish yourself as an expert by responding to posts requesting assistance. When appropriate, refer the forum member to specific pages at your website or specific posts on your blog. Do not suggest that they visit your website and give the top level address (www.youcompany.com). Link them to the specific Web page or the specific blog post where they will find the information that will help them.
When linking, avoid linking using “click here” or general terms like “this article”. Instead use a keyword phrase that is content-related and important to your website. For example, I could use:
See my blog post entitled Getting Found in the Search Engines to learn more about…
When writing your response, start the response by using a keyword phrase that is related to the specific Web page or blog post to which you are referring the inquirer. For example, I could start with:
Re: your question about getting found on the Internet, I recommend…
Joining an online forum gives you visibility, helps establish you as an expert, and can drive traffic to your website.
How do you find a forum?
In November 2005 I posted an entry entitled Ego Searches Provide Free Marketing Research. If you followed up on that and requested information about your competition, you already know in which forums they participate. Make sure you join those and start bringing visibility to you and your website today.
A few other suggestions:
- Contact the industry organizations to which you belong. Ask them which forums they keep an eye on.
- Visit the websites of complementary businesses.
- Do a straight out Google search. I seached on “web developers forum” and the top listings on the search engine results pages were in fact forums. If you are a business consultant or coach, you might search on “business development forum”. I did, and over 22,000 listings were available.
- Visit the websites of your competition.
- Ask your business colleagues.