I’ll show you how to get better backlinks by posting in forums with an “SEO Optimized signature”! Even if you feel you know this, read my post – you may learn something new!
I do a lot of linkbuilding, most of the things in my “linkbuilding cheat sheet” I do every week. Posting in forums is one thing I’ve neglected for awhile now, it just wasn’t in my current routine. I post comments on other blogs, I do article marketing, I link to myself, and all kinds of other things. When I wrote yesterday’s article about BANS makes money with no content one of the activities I did to build links (for my BANS site) was to post 6 times in the digital point forums. It was the first time I’d posted there in maybe 6 months or more. And something really weird happenned that freaked me out…
I had one site I own that did ok during December 2007 but since (due to my lack of work) has gone down from several hundred visitor’s per day to less than 20. I have had so many projects going on that I didn’t have time to worry about it. Yesterday, when I posted at Digital Point Forums – I updated my signature first. When you signup and become a member at Digital Point (it’s free) you can create a “signature file” that will display beneath every single post you make. There are of course signature file requirements, which include “less than 250 characters”, “no more than 3 lines”, “no more than 4 links”, and “images and adult links aren’t allowed”.
So, for my “4 signature links” I made one this site, one my new BANS niche site, one my free online recipe site, and one my designer handbag site. I did this yesterday morning (can’t remember exactly what time). By mid-afternoon adsense stats showed the designer handbag site (the one I hadn’t worked on since last December) had 80 unique visits and was making (adsense) money. By the end of the day, it had received several hundred uniques. This is the first time it had shown up in adsense stats in about 2 months. The designer handbag site had no google penalty, was indexed well, and appeared to be ok in search results, just not ranked very high. The only only thing I can attribute to the sudden burst of traffic was posting 6 times in digital point with a link in my signature to that site. And this morning when I checked my stats, only 3 hits came directly from my digital point postings. All the rest of the traffic came directly from google from unique visitors to pages all throughout the site.
I had heard before about the minty fresh indexing of google’s index. I did not think however that this also meant back links (and how they affect your SERP’s). Clearly I got traffic because I moved farther up in search results and attribute that to the 6 backlinks in my forum postings.
You can believe me or not, this excercise has renewed my faith in forum postings and signature links. Based on that I have resolved my self to posting at least 6 times per day from now on in digital point – every day without fail as part of my “linkbuilding” or “backlink building” efforts for my sites. You could do this with any forum (with good authority and pagerank), I happen to like digital point. I have thought about what I did yesterday, and today updated my signature once again to create the best SEO optimized signature for forum posting I could think of. Here’s what I did…
Thought process for creating the best SEO optimized signature for forum posting
- You get 4 links in your digital point signature – so I thought “what 4 things are most important for me to promote today?”
- What keywords will give me the best search indexing?
- What phrasing might entice people to click?
- What can I do to distinquish the 4 separate links?
I started by trial and error, the first so many signatures I built didn’t work because they were more than 250 characters. You can’t have more than 250 including html and BB (bulletin board) code. In the first 2 links I wanted to promot to pages with longer URL’s, so the first thing I did was go to Tinyurl.com and make them much shorter. Then I had to trim a keyword or two and I had just enough characters. I got to thinking that I could make certain words bold, or larger sizes, or different colors, but all that put my back over 250 characters. I settled on putting a smilie beside each link to make the 4 different links stand out. Then I made the top link red do draw your eyes to it, and hopefully readers will then read the other 3. That’s all I could do with less than 250 characters. If you had less keywords you could probably do more with formatting.
When it came to doing the SEO to pick out the right keywords I relied on my experience from my trusty keyword research cheat sheet, and tried to pick more popular search terms and phrases to use not only as SEO but also as “linkbait”. We’ll see what happens, but I think I’ve created the best forum signature I possibly can.
What I’m going to do now is to build 6 or 7 different versions of my signature, so I can change it every day of the week. If I’m going to post every day at digital point 6 times at least (creating 24 or more backlinks per day) than I should spread the wealth around all my blogs and sites that need it. Do you realize that if you do this every day for an entire year that you would create a minimum of 8,760 backlinks? What are you waiting for – get posting!!
I don’t know why I didn’t realize this until today, but there are a few additional things that you can do in digital point I forgot about (and for some reason never did before). In digital point forums you have a “profile” when you get an account. In your profile you have the abilty to setup both a profile picture and an avatar. The profile picture is only viewed by people when they visit your profile page. Your avatar, however is placed beside your login nickname on every single post that you make. Much like entrecard on a web site, you can place anything you want in that avatar picture to “entice” people to view your profile, check out your web site – and begin to “brand” your identity on digital point. The more posts you make, the more times people see your avatar – the more popular you become and better people will remember who you are and indentify you just by viewing that picture. I made my avatar my entrecard 125×125 ad – because a lot of people already know me from that, why not continue the branding here?
The second is that in profile you can also add your “RSS Feed” URL, and each time you post the name of your last post will get parsed and the link will be the URL to your site listed in your profile. This means that in your forum postings you don’t need to use one of your 4 sig links up for your main site, because you get an auto-link every time you post to that. It also means (I believe) that you could change your profile feed URL daily if you wanted, and your new posts would have different links to other sites you own.
This is what a posting looks like when you have an avatar and your blog URL listed in your profile:
It gives you an all-new reason to start making forum posts doesn’t it?
If you have a question, or would like to add a link to forums you post in regularly with great success – please comment now!