How To Easily Build Backlinks With “Industry Related Forum Participation”
Is your website stuck on the 2nd, 3rd or 4th page of Google?..it sucks don’t it.
You know, when I first started to rank websites for keywords I tried countless methods people were promoting online and didn’t really see any return on the time I invested.
But what I did get during that time is a good oversight into what actually works, and what people just say works.
What I’m about to share with you here is one of the easiest ways for you to build links to your website that anyone can do.
They may not make you jump from page 3 to page 1 for a super competitive keyword.
But they’re well worth investing your time into if you want to build some easy relevant links to your website with a safe and effective strategy.
Plus, this method could help you gain more customers by simply going to where they hang out.
I call it “Industry Related Forum Participation”.
What is Industry Related Forum Participation?
To put it simply, Industry Related Forum Participation is a method where you join up to forums in your industry and post replies to various threads.
In doing so, you create lots of super relevant backlinks to your website, which Google will factor in when deciding where to position your website in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).
What’s great about it is that it requires little effort as you will already know a lot about the topic they are discussing because it is your industry.
The concept is easy.
- You find forums related to your industry
- You create a forum signature containing your website link with branded anchor text, and place a link to your website in your profile page
- You generate links back to your website and profile page by posting replies in the forums
And you could even run with that information alone, but what I’m going to do now is actually show you exactly what I would do and explain each step so that you don’t make any of the mistakes I see people making every day.
Step 1: Research top forums related to your industry
First things first, lets punch into google “[YOUR INDUSTRY] forum”
This should bring up a good amount of potential forums to join. But you only really want to join the best 2 or 3 of these.
A good rule of thumb is to join the first few forums in google, as these are likely to have the best domain authority.
If you’re industry is not exactly flooded with forums, there is still much benefit to joining up to forums that are loosely related. For example, you could try terms like “small business forum” or “[location] business forum”.
Step 2: Joining and setting up your profile
I usually make a separate email address on GMX when doing SEO work to stop my inbox getting flooded with “forum reply” emails. You could use a temporary email service like dropmail but I’ve often come to regret it when I realise I’ve not written down the password or something stupid like that – so go ahead and set up a new email account.
Next you sign up to these forums and as soon as you’ve signed up you want to go into your profile settings to add in your website link and forum signature.
Your forum signature should contain a link to your website with what is known as “branded anchor text” – the anchor text should be the name of your brand/company.
It is important to do this before you start posting as some forums wont update your signature after you make a post. So if there’s no signature when you made the post, they don’t always add it in after.
Step 3: Getting involved in the forum
So now you’re actually going to start making posts and contributing to the forum. Remember, every post you make will now contain your forum signature which contains a link back to your website.
By simply interacting with people on the forum you will be building a ton of links.
So have a look through the threads and find different things you can comment on.
- Is there any questions you could answer?
- Do you agree with something someone said?
- Is there something else you can add to what they said to concur with them?
- Did someone say something you think is useful to yourself or useful to others?
It’s really easy. And in no time you will find it really simple to make good, useful posts on forums without taking up much of your time.
The Does and don’ts of for Industry Related Forum Participation
- Drag up old posts from over 3 months ago (unless the forum is super inactive), the other members of the forum won’t thank you for it and all you need is a stroppy moderator to get the hump and you’re banned.
- Be an obvious spammer by posting threads about your business or constantly posting random links back to your site in the content.
- Get caught up in controversial subjects or get into arguments.
- Create too many links on the same forum, as the value of each link diminishes as the amount of them goes up. About 30 is fine. Plus if you’re going over that number on multiple forums, you’re probably spending too much time on this.
- Be friendly and polite
- Try to help others
- Try to link back to your blog as a resource if feasible. For example if you have wrote a blog post on the thread’s topic, it would be worth sharing a link to it as others might find it interesting.
Stick to these guidelines and you’ll be fine.
Genuine business opportunities from forums
You know, another really good reason to get into this method, is that it is a genuine way to gain new business.
It’s not the best way – but it does work.
I know a fair few people in my industry (web development) that have gained clients and contracts through helping others in forums.
Often times, someone joins a forum because they need help with the thing you’re an expert at, and if you decide to help them…well guess what, there’s a good chance they’ll remember that. And I’m not saying that they will always offer up some sort of reward, or that they should, but it’s worth understanding that we have a tendency hard wired into us that makes us want to return the favor to someone that has helped us.
It’s called “reciprocation tendency”.
Even myself, back in the days when I didn’t have barely anything to give, and people come along and helped me out by answering my questions on a forum, I have:
- Donated money
- Hired people to do work for me
- Refereed a ton of business over to their business
- Introduced people to agencies
Just because they were so flipping awesome and took the time to help me.
And all of this is just a by-product of your initial intentions – building links to help you rank in Google.
If you find it hard to find things to say…
One thing I’ve found is that most of the fast link building techniques in SEO will piss someone off in some way. And I think this method is especially good because the people on the forums you’re joining are going to actually appreciate your efforts because you’re providing value by contributing to their conversations/answering their questions.
It’s a win-win. And that is the core of Industry Related Forum Participation.
But often times we find ourselves in a situation where we are doing SEO for someone else and we might not really know that much about their industry. And so joining into their conversations becomes a bit harder. However, there are still ways you can build links on forums without annoying the hell out of everyone.
And although you wont be adding much value to the forum,..I know what it’s like to struggle in Google.
So here’s some less ethical options, if you’re desperate:
The first way is to welcome new members to the forum in their introduction posts. Something simple like “hey, great to have you here”, “welcome to the forum!” or give positive feedback to something they said.
I believe moderators often know why people are suddenly being Mr Social on their forum but they are unlikely to draw issue with that, as you’re not being an obvious spammer, plus you’re making their site seem like a real friendly place to be.
Saying thank you
Another good method that works on some forums is building links to your forum profile page by “thanking” people. And not just saying “thank you” in a post (although that can kinda work too at times), I’m talking about clicking on the button that says “thank you” underneath somebodies post.
So this will only work on certain forums with that “thank you” button feature. But if you can find a forum that has this, you can very quickly build up links back to your profile page as it will often say under a post something like “the following users thanked this post” and have a set of links to every users profile page who clicked the thank you button.
The more links to your profile page, the stronger it’s page authority will be. And that strong page authority will give the link on that page back to your website more power.
Pro tip: Prioritize thanking posts in popular threads with multiple pages as they will likely have good page authority to pass onto your profile page.
I have had varying success with this method and again this one only works on certain forums that have this feature built in, but if the forum allows you to “follow” or “add to friends” you can sometimes get a backlink from that users profile page to your profile page.
It is best to follow or add the most active members as they will already have a lot of links pointing to their profile page, which will in turn transfer onto your page.
And that’s about it…
That’s about everything you need to get started.
Now you know how to easily build backlinks to your website, whilst helping others.
Remember, “We have a tendency hard wired into us that makes us want to return the favor to someone that has helped us.”
Hopefully you’ll incorporate this into your link building strategy and have some great results with it.
If you liked this and want to learn more easy backlink building methods, drop a comment below.