Benefits Of Starting A Forum Community On Your Website
Forums and online communities are excellent additions to websites that make them interesting and informative. Forums provide a means for your website's visitors to interact with one another to discuss about anything they wish, or about products and services you are offering. With human activity on your forums, visitors are more inclined to stay and interact with other members. What your forum members post may be added content to your website as they bring with them unique knowledge and experiences which are added to your website, thus expanding your offerings. Other visitors who are reading these forums may find information useful and stay to learn more or join the forum in order to ask the other members of the forum.
The most successful forums turn a website 'sticky'. A sticky website is one in which surfers are interested in visiting over and over again. One reason for the stickiness of a website is the content available, and forums have information that is updated frequently if members are very active. Visitors transform from one-time browsers to residents and regulars of the website just to check out what is new and what others have to say. A "sticky" website also attracts more visitors as members of your forum grow with the community and spread your website's URL to friends and contacts. This word-of-mouth marketing is priceless and can very often generate a lot of traffic to your website with almost zero costs. These new visitors who become members then continue to spread the word about your forum community and very soon you would have a thriving community that supports and feeds your website with new traffic.
In addition to turning a website sticky so that visitors come back often to find new information and content, forums offer additional content that may improve your search engine ranking. As every webmaster knows, a tremendous amount of traffic can come from a first position ranking in the search engines such as Google, Yahoo or MSN. These 3 search engines account for almost 100% of the web-searches done by people on the net. Being ranked number one for the search term that your site is optimized for, such as the keyword "sports shoes" will almost ensure that everyone who searches for that keyword would click on the first returned result from the search engine and land on your website. If your website sells sports shoes, you can almost guarantee that that tremendous amount of traffic can be turned to huge sales and revenues. So by adding a forum where members can discuss sports shoes on your website, you are generating content related to "sports shoes". These content pages are then indexed by search engines
and increase the number of pages that your site has on the search engine. With such relevant content, other sites linking to your content and the content itself will aid in your climbing of the search engine rankings.
Dax Christopher maintains a two year old webmaster community at http://www.buildtolearn.com/ , a forum community that discusses web-hosting and webmaster related issues such as web-design, page coding, SEO and many others. Visit BuildtoLearn.com to learn more about developing and growing large communities.