When there was no YouTube or Google, people were forced to stick to traditional mediums to acquire knowledge and gather information. The Internet has been a breakthrough channel for sharing information.
Now you can send your message across effectively and connect with millions of people like never before.
If you ask your parents or grandparents, I’m sure they would agree that the Internet has revolutionized the form of communication because they did not have such liberty to share anything with the world and build an audience.
Sharing of information and putting your word out on any topic is like a superpower because you cannot only monetize your skills but build virtual relationships globally through the internet.
There are so many platforms where you can discuss any random topic with like-minded people and comment on your views about the subject matter.
If you have what it takes, you can grow your following and improve your network online through conveying and sharing information through discussion.
What is Forum Submission?
Forum submission is one such activity where you go to a website, a forum submission sites, find out what people are talking about your industry and share a genuine comment with your point of view regarding the context.
In SEO, form submission websites have a particular role in providing backlinks to websites.
Whenever you find a relevant topic on a particular forum, you write a detailed answer according to that specific niche. In that answer, you also provide a hyperlink, which is a backlink to your landing page.
Through this whole scenario, you try to get maximum do-follow backlinks from high-quality forum websites, and you also ensure to get more website traffic by redirecting people to your landing pages in search of more information.
Marketing agencies or online advertisers have been including forum submissions as part of their online marketing services packages intending to build backlinks for clients’ websites.
Forum submission is one of the oldest forms of creating inbound links for your landing pages to get SEO benefits and rank higher in search engine result pages.
But as search engine algorithms are evolving, some marketers also believe that forum submission sites are no longer effective in creating SEO value and improving search engine rankings.
So, do they really work? Let’s focus more on that point.
Is Forum Submission still Working for SEO?
During the initial days of search engine optimization, backlinks are the only parameter required to rank higher in search engine result pages.
So, website owners tried to focus only on backlinks irrespective of relevancy and quality. That mindset led to black hat SEO, where people were just spamming irrelevant comments on forum sites for the sake of creating backlinks and improving organic rankings.
At that time, forum submission was the go-to solution for getting more backlinks and improving search engine rankings.
Earlier, forum submission websites used to provide do-follow backlinks to websites. Do-follow backlinks are the powerful signal of getting better rankings in search engine result pages.
As time passed, search engine algorithms have become smarter, and they have made stricter rules to determine whether landing pages are relevant for ranking or not.
Given that backlinks are still relevant, the method which was used earlier is no longer working in 2020.
Having said that, there are many online discussion websites available where you can contribute your point, add value to the discussions, and also ensure your relevant backlink that could generate decent referral traffic to the desired landing pages.
Online forums and discussion websites like Quora and Reddit are still great platforms to reach thousands of relevant audience, who search these platforms to find relevant answers to their questions.
Here, are you can write relevant answers to the questions and also cite your custom landing page if it helps the discussion.
Most of the excellent quality forum websites no longer provide a do-follow backlink. Therefore, by submitting your site on these websites, you can maintain the ratio of do-follow and no-follow backlinks and get relevant people to your websites.
Let’s discuss from which of the places of these forum websites you can get backlinks.
Where to get Backlink from Forum
- From Profile
Most of the forum submission websites ask you to create a profile. It is similar to a social media platform where you have to sign up on the platform to be able to access it.
When you submit your answers in the forum, you need a profile through which you can contribute answers.
You cannot simply go to these websites and publish answers as a guest. You need a verified profile with all the necessary details to start leveraging forum submission websites for SEO benefits.
While creating the profile, the forum will allow you to enter your website URL in detail to showcase your work to the audience. Check out an example below of a Quora profile.
Whether you are representing a client, a company or your own blog, you will be able to enter a relevant URL in the profile so that if someone wants to connect to you or visits your profile on the forum, they can redirect to your website.
Most of the forum websites provide a no-follow backlink, but that’s ok because these links are still powerful enough to generate loads of referral traffic.
- Signature Links
Signature links are backlinks cited at the end of the answer. It is a citation that redirects the user to the third-party website.
For example, if you are commenting on health and fitness forum to build backlinks for your professional blog.
At that time, after writing something on the forum, you mention your name, followed by your website name and citation to it.
You can also mention links to third-party resources in your signature.
- Post Threads
Post threads are the answers or conversations around a particular question of the field of study on the forum.
Along with the answers that you have shared on relevant questions, so you can mention relevant backlinks to a website. You can also cite a relevant backlink on the appropriate anchor text from the post or the answer.
See the below snapshot of how relevant backlinks are mentioned in a Reddit thread.
This way, you can redirect the reader to the relevant landing pages whenever they are reading your post on the thread.
Things to Consider Before Creating Forum Profile
You cannot just go to all the forums and start sharing your backlink. There are some things that you need to consider to leverage the medium.
- Make Sure It is Relevant
Before you decide to engage on a forum website, make sure it is relevant to your niche. Relevancy goes a long way in search engine optimization.
Through forum commenting, you are aspiring to get more relevant users to your landing pages. So, if you own a diet blog and you start commenting on the forums of entertainment, then it will give you no fruit unless the discussion is relevant.
- Create a Genuine Profile
Moreover, while creating the profile, never avoid anything that is relevant to your business. Always share your real name, email address, headshot (if possible), and website URL.
Remember that your profile will be the face of the company on the forum, so you must ensure that it is relevant and genuine.
Things not to Do on The Forums
- Never Spam
Spamming is the last thing that you want to do when you are doing online marketing. Especially in forums and good quality discussion websites, irrelevant post threads would be considered as spam and might lead to profile banning.
Quora and Reddit have a stringent evaluation framework where they assess all the answers and determine whether it is relevant to the question.
If the answer is not relevant, they find it fishy and delete the answer. In some cases, they might also ban the profile.
- Answer Not For the Sack of Answering
On the online forum submission websites, your focus should never be on creating backlinks only.
I understand that you have a deadline to meet, and you have to create a certain number of backlinks for the client. However, you are creating backlinks to generate more referral traffic and organic search engine traffic for your websites.
If you keep answering all the questions and mentioning your links in all of them throughout the forum, it would make no sense at all.
You should try to build a reputation on the forum by answering a few generic questions to educate and provide information to the readers.
- Don’t Use Hate Speech
While explaining your point of view with a fellow member, always be respectful, and show gratitude to the readers and fellow writers of the forum.
Sometimes, the discussions might get proactive, and conversations become heated. At that time, you have to keep your calm.
Never use cuss words or reprimand someone. Only if the context of the discussion requires you to write the rash language, then only you should prefer that type of language.
Here is the list of Forum Submission Sites
I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below about what do you think about forum submission websites.
These are the necessary steps and opportunities of creating backlinks that you can leverage in 2020 to get better search engine ranking and generate traffic to your landing page.