Do you spend time online reading forums or participating in niche communities related to your business? Online forums can be pure gold when it comes to building recognition for your website since every post you make, question you answer, and in many cases even your forum profile itself has a link back to your website! Now of course it’s great that everyone else who participates in these forums will be able to see and follow your links, possibly generating business for you, however the hidden bonus you are receiving by participating in an online community is that the search engines crawling those forums will also see your links!
Most web forums allow you to register a website when you sign up, or at the very least have a signature box you can include with any post you make. The next time you go and read any online website you are a member of, make sure that your profile includes a link back to your business somewhere! Even if your business doesn’t necessarily fit with the theme of the forum you are participating in, a simple unobtrusive link will hardly be noticed.
Take a minute to think about how many forums you have a profile on, and how many threads or articles you have read. Surely you have your own thoughts on each of these items. All it takes is another minute or two of your time to put those thoughts down in text and you have free advertising for your business! Sometimes what you have to say might just be an agreement with someone else’s statement and you may feel it’s unnecessary. A more in depth or thoughtful comment will be more likely to entice someone to click on the link to your website in order to find out exactly what you are all about, but as long as you write something more than “Me too” I assure you your contributions will not be frowned upon.
Content on the internet has a tendency to linger for years and years. If not on its original website then it is on one of the many web archival networks that exists. This means that if you read and respond to 3 or 4 articles, blogs, or forum posts each business day then you will generate around a thousand links back to your website every year! That is free advertising in its easiest form. Every individual who reads that page will have the opportunity to visit your website, and every link back to your page from anywhere will have the search engines thinking more highly of your business page.