As the Internet continues to evolve through the years, it has changed the way people and businesses buy products and services. This means that many customers now consider search engines as a crucial part of their informed purchasing decisions. As such, you can’t afford to take search engine optimization (SEO) for granted if you want your online business to succeed. Ignoring it means your taking a huge risk of making your website invisible to people who may not only need its products and services, but also are also willing to pay for them.
Obviously, being invisible to customers will lead to less sales – if any – and will keep your business from growing. Eventually, it will be your business website’s death knell. On the other hand, it will be your competitors’ lifeblood and will allow them to grow at your expense.
Your online business is one that can have a huge growth potential. If you’re satisfied with just “good” or “average” search engine rankings, then your business won’t be able to realize that huge growth potential. Ranking as high as possible on search engine rankings is key for sustained significant growth for your online business site.
But most of the time, people aren’t alarmed by missed opportunities for growth as much as shrinkages. Take for example a 50% drop in sales and a missed opportunity to increase sales by 50%. Chances are people will be panicking over the former and only have a “should’ve done better” attitude over the latter. But failure to grow one’s business may be just as fatal as a significant drop in sales, albeit the impact isn’t as immediate. And because the impact isn’t as immediate, it’s tempting to take lack of growth very lightly.
Another reason why you need SEO for your business site is practicality. When it comes to growing your site’s bottom line, nothing else is as cost-effective, in other words, cheapest, as SEO. As with any other type of business, it’s crucial that you apply the Pareto Principle, which states that about 80% of your results come from 20% of your resources or efforts. Applying the Pareto Principle in your business means you focus more on those things that make the most significant impact on your business and less on those that make the least. When you do this, you’ll be able to properly analyze your business’s situation, competition, and market, which can allow you to implement a customized strategy for maximizing your efforts and resources.
SEO may be considered a free way of driving traffic to your website, unless you pay others to do it for you. And even if you did, it will still come out as more cost effective compared to paying for traffic to your website via online ads, which may cost several dollars just for a single click. It can even get more expensive if you choose to run online advertisements using banner ads, which aren’t as effective now as it was before.
Now that you are aware of the importance of SEO to your business, are you ready to begin with it? If you are, get a free consultation from our experts by clicking the button below.
In our previous article on forum marketing, we detailed about what a forum is and how to do forum marketing. In this article, we will impart further tips you can observe when doing forum marketing.
Do Not Troll a Forum
Netizens in general despise trolls and forum users are no exception. As such, be honest about who you are and what you do. Some basic ways to do so can include the following:
Be Humble & Helpful
When you are new to a forum, do not jump straight into posting on threads. Instead, carefully examine the content of the forum - threads, posts and topics of discussion. Once you are comfortable with question or topics of threads, you can start posting answers in a humble, generous and genuine manner. After some time, when you have built your credibility, you can start new threads (eye catching ones) of your own.
In addition, avoid flaming (attacking, insulting) other forum members even if they do it to you to avoid being banned. If you are unhappy with the way other forum users treat you, report it privately to the moderators (people who govern the forums) of the forum.
Avoid Appearing Like a Salesman
Do not simply post advertisements or promotions for your or your merchant’s website/product unless there is a specific section/thread on the forum for you to do so because this is considered rude and will usually be removed by moderators. In worst case scenarios, doing so excessively may even get you banned from the forum. Occasionally post links to websites, videos, blog posts or resources that can be useful to other members of the forums and include a disclaimer that says, “Not my affiliate link. Just wanted to share…”.
Appear Like an Expert
Answer posts you can offer great value to; be picky and choose only posts/threads you can really give good answers/value to.If some posts/threads appear weird or ambiguous to you, do not hesitate to ask questions to the person who posted it so as to verify clearly what it’s about. When you are crystal clear about the thread/post, then answer it.
However, avoid posts you are uncomfortable with at all costs. This to prevent you from looking unintelligent and losing credibility.
Proofread your Post Before Posting
After you have written your forum post, ensure that you preview it first before publishing it to the forum. Read the post carefully to look for grammar mistakes such as tenses, sentence structure or even wrong use of word. In addition, conduct a spelling check before posting. Most forums will have these functions so do not hesitate to use them.
The above are just some useful tips you may wish to consider when embarking on forum marketing. While forum marketing can be a great source of traffic for your website, you do need to ensure that it is done right to avoid trouble with other forum users and worst still, the moderators (who may ban you).
A forum is basically a virtual meeting place for various individuals with similar likes, interests, mindsets and beliefs. They gather there to do a variety of useful things such as share knowledge and information, assist others with problems, discuss issues and form ties and bonds with one another either for social or business reasons.
Topics are usually discussed in something called threads and contributing input to a thread is known as posting. Forum marketing therefore involves driving traffic to your or your merchant’s website/blog by providing valuable and relevant input to the various forum members (people who register to the forum) or simply visitors (unregistered members) by posting to the various threads.
Why Bother With Forum Marketing?
Forums are great places to receive insights into the market you are interested in entering or promoting. You will be at a better position to understand real problems people face, pick up trends and sub-niches of niches you are in and discover current hot topics that are being discussed.
In addition, most forums have a system at the bottom/top of page one to track the number of registered members and visitors to their forums. This will give you a rough idea of the market size and the potential volume of targeted traffic you can drive to your or your merchant’s website.
And most importantly, forum marketing is another great source of traffic. When forum members and visitors believe in the sincerity you put in your posts, they will click on your signature links (similar to bio box for article marketing) found at the bottom of the posts.
How to do Forum Marketing?
Now that you are better aware about forums and forum marketing, let’s get into how you begin doing forum marketing.
Search for Forums:
Before you can start on forum marketing, you have to first find relevant forums that are related to your business niche. Go to a search engine such as Google, Yahoo or Bing and search for forums related to the themes of your website.
Register for Forums:
Once you have found the forums you are interested in, register an account there. However, do ensure that you check out the terms/rules of the forum carefully (usually found as a thread on its own known as “Sticky”) to find out what is allowed and what is prohibited.
Create your ‘Signature’ File:
A signature file is a short piece of text that appears after every post you make on the forums. The signature can also include links to any websites you have. Please check with the terms of the forums if they allow signatures / affiliate links in signatures. For example, some forums do not allow affiliate links in signatures, but are alright with links to your own website or blog.
Carefully Post On Threads
When you first register for a forum, do not immediately start posting on threads. You should peruse through the various threads, posts and discussions instead to get a feel of how things are run in the forum.
When you are familiar with how things work on the forum, then you can begin by replying to queries raised in certain topics or threads first. However, do ensure that your answers are written in a modest and helpful tone. Once you have build your credibility in the forum, then begin attention grabbing threads of your own to encourage discussion.
And there you have it, the bare essentials of forums and how you can do forum marketing. Forum marketing, if done right, can be another simple yet effective way of generating traffic to your website.
Search Engine Optimization, often referred to as SEO, is the process by which one tries to improve a particular web page’s search engine results rankings. Major search engines such as Google and Yahoo! display links that direct people to pages that they deem to be authoritative and relevant to the keywords that are searched for. When it comes to being authoritative, major search engines normally measure it according to the quality and number of links to a particular website that come from other pages on the Internet. Simply put, a web page that has many other webpages linking back to it have a great potential for ranking well on search engine results for certain keywords.
What encourages other web pages to link to others is the quality of content. This shows the major search engines that a particular webpage is both authoritative and relevant or interesting. In turn, this may significantly improve a web page’s search engine rankings because search engines want to give its users the best web pages in relation to specific keywords entered.
Given that search engines rank web pages that they deem to be most authoritative and relevant, you’ll need to make your web pages meet those criteria. How can you do that?
You can do this primarily by producing content that many people will find interesting and useful. When you populate your web pages with interesting and useful content, the chances of them sharing your content – and increasing the number of quality links to your web page – becomes significantly higher. When this happens, search engines will eventually notice the increasing number of such links, which they will interpret as an increasing sense of authoritativeness.
Why Is SEO Crucial For Your Web Site?
Regardless whether your business is considered as a “mom-and-pops” type of online business or a “Wal-Mart”-sized one, the ability to maximize your web site’s search engine rankings is crucial for the following reasons.
First, SEO allows your potential customers or target markets or niches discover your online site. If your target markets or niches aren’t able to discover it, it’s like putting up a lemonade stand in the middle of the Sahara desert. How can people patronize your online business if they don’t even know it exists?
Second, SEO is usually the main source of online traffic and hence revenue for most web sites. If you analyze your site’s traffic data using its analytics tools, e.g., Google Analytics, chances are you’ll see that your main source of online revenue is organic search via search engines. If not, then it’s possible something’s not right in the way you’re managing your site. Organic search usually comes about from having a sound SEO strategy in place.
Now that you know what SEO is all about and why it is crucial for your site, how then can you start with SEO? If you are aching to learn more about good SEO services for your website, click the button below to get a FREE consultation from a 786SEO expert.