There are lots of ways to do search engine optimization on a forum, I will tackle just 10 ways of doing it and as you stay on forums, you’ll figure it out yourself. Usually these tips are effective on a vbulletin(tm) forum with vbseo(tm) installed. Forums are communities often updated by member’s contributions and are very well seo’ed (search engine optimized) on majority of search engines. So if you have a blog, you’re only doing it all alone, in forums people are helping you out with your seo daily practices.
1. Forum signature or commonly called sig
Based on forum policies and tos as well, create your own forum sig optimizing your keyword, for example if it’s a dating site you place your forum sig for your dating domains there.
2. Avatar – remote uploads
Those tiny icons or graphics representation/symbol/emblem of yourself, it could be a logo, a photo, or just a made-up cartoon. Use the remote upload where it links to your server’s graphics not locally. If allowed on forum put in your domains there if not linking remotely will give hits to your site.
3. Posting on advertising/marketplace section.
It varies from forum to forum. Some allowed blatant ads when you joined already in a couple of weeks or even months, some allowed it once every 24 hours, or even once every week. Just make sure you know policies regarding that and when not sure ask questions publicly or PM (send private message to a mod). Since forum works in reputations also (like all others) it’s better to give good reputation rather than be sorry.
4. Participating in user groups.
Usually a mature forum will have different user groups to cater/accommodate various expertise/needs of the forum members. Forums are communities and it works basically the same like your average community where you’re involved. So participating in user groups will get you noticed and not to mention your sig as well.
5. On PM
PM means “private messaging” be careful when using this form of promotion as you are not the initiator here (not the other way around) but the people already familiar with your sig and they ask you for your services then you reply with your capabilities and services you would like to offer them, all done via PM. If you offer a relatively good service, chances are people will tell all about it and give you and your site the credit. It could be on another forum or in his own web sites.
6. Among buddies
Usually when you grow mature enough on the forums, certain individuals will display camaraderie on you and would contact you more often, and make him/her your buddy. These will become referrers to your product/services and not only on this forum but on other forums as well.
7. On Chat rooms
Usually forums nowadays combine chat rooms integration and also based on various policies of forums, you may need to PM a mod about this if they “tolerate” urls and ads on the chat rooms themselves or it might be in the case of multiple chat rooms where you’re only allowed on specific chat rooms to “broadcast” your url. So be careful about this as well.
8. Being a mod
Mod means moderator. As time pass by and you spend considerable time (and money) staying on a forum, your rep. (reputation) grows and even your forum currencies (used to buy “things” on forum itself) you are requested and invited by the admin to do some extra “community” work as being mod. Usually it’s free (ok) but free comes with lots of things like you get to advertise on a daily basis or via stickies (article/ads/resources posted on top of everyone’s else – usually permanently or within weeks only) so better be ready to put in extra for this as this will also be beneficial to you and your site.
9. Discounted prices on ads
Usually like a community it has some sort of forum currencies and also a forum marketplace where intangible or tangible things are up for sale so you get a discount if you so ask, or if you’re a long time member of the community. Usually concentrate on ads items like banner, text link or link exchange.
10. On public forum
You will be asked publicly if you don’t spam and don’t scam the members about your sig and the services you can offer, be ready to quote an answer either using PM or in the thread (postings-replies) itself (in which if given this option, I’ll choose this one- for seo)