Today, we’re going to uncover all the ins and outs of one of the most effective link-building strategies that really does the trick of getting you to the top. It’s called crowd marketing!
This strategy taps into the unlimited resource of forums and communities for building quality backlinks. Experts say only 2 percent of search engine optimization (SEO) specialists use it to rank higher in Google, and you can take advantage of that to spearhead the race.
Crowd marketing is an SEO method that harnesses the power of forums and digital communities to build organic and relevant backlinks. Although it’s quite a time-consuming and often neglected method, it can jump-start your SEO campaign and give you a massive boost in Google rankings.
Picking a relevant, clean and unspammed source for your crowd marketing campaign should be on the top of your list. Resources to consider are:
Building links with blog comments is not worth the effort anymore. Most of them are poorly moderated or not moderated at all, which means they are a breeding ground for spammers. This makes blogs an unsuitable source for backlink-building purposes.
Review websites are trusted by most users and are a perfect opportunity to build a good reputation and raise your brand’s trustworthiness and awareness. However, they won’t get you very far in terms of link building, as those websites are limited in number and scope.
If your primary concern is driving traffic and shaping your brand visibility, then social platforms like Quora and Reddit should be your go-to. Yet, it should be noted that they don’t push the SERP needles that much. Therefore, if your top priority is ranking higher in Google Search, perhaps you should consider our next option.
Yep, we’ve got a winner – you can definitely hit the jackpot with these. Well-moderated, targeted forums are visited by thousands of people and thus filled with social interaction. These forums and communities are the treasure troves waiting to be tapped into, and backlinks from these platforms are capable of giving you a significant boost in Google ranking.
Given that crowd marketing is largely unexplored, there’s a good chance that your competitors missed out on the sweet opportunity to cash in on a multitude of niche-relevant forums and communities brimming with the target audience.
Here are the perks you can get from a skillfully planned crowd marketing campaign:
Selecting a suitable forum for your backlink campaign is not rocket science, but it still requires some forethought. Here are the main points to consider:
The forum you work with has to be relevant to your niche, which implies the forum itself and the topics discussed must revolve around the type of goods or services you offer. For instance, if you have a car dealership in Chicago, you need to focus on car-oriented forums, preferably local ones.
Links from a relevant resource carry more ranking juice and are better for both forum users and search engines alike. Remember: the more relevant the forum is to your niche, the “heftier” the backlink, which is your goal. Consider this hot-n-cold micro-guide:
A common thread on a common forum – Freezing! These are the threads where people exchange pleasantries. They pass no juice and consist of irrelevant chit-chat between users.
Topic-related thread on a common forum – Getting warmer! A backlink from a common forum will carry some SEO weight only if the subject of discussion in the thread matches your niche.
Topic-related thread on a niche-relevant forum – Hot! That’s an optimal choice you should be aiming for. In this case, the entire resource is relevant to your niche, not only the thread, which is why the backlink will pass enough juice to your website.
Regional forum (if your business is local) – Sizzling! These forums are hard to find because very few of them exist, but if you manage to discover this unicorn, you’ve hit the jackpot and will be rewarded with the juiciest link of them all.
Forum moderation implies the degree of self-promotion and spam forum admins allow and how thoroughly they review the content and comments in each thread.
The degree of forum moderation can be determined at a glance – just look through different threads and see how spammed they are, whether the discussions are riddled with links and how relevant the comments are to the topics of the threads.
The forums can have:
First and foremost, if a digital community has hundreds of thousands of members, that usually means that its degree of content moderation is acceptable.
Moreover, Google favors backlinks from high-traffic websites as it considers them more trustworthy and valuable.
Lastly, the more traffic a website has, the more people can potentially land on your website and explore what you have to offer.
If you’re only dipping your toes in community marketing, forums with 30K+ monthly visitors would be a good start.
Keep in mind that even if the forum is uniquely relevant to your niche but has no traffic, it means it’s either riddled with spammers or inactive and using it for your forum marketing campaign will be a waste of time.
Apart from relevance and popularity, you should take a look at the key metrics of the forum’s domain.
Usually, the better those figures, the more ranking weight a backlink from that domain will hold.
Here’s a rundown of the metrics you should analyze:
Don’t be afraid if a lot of the forums you come across only allow nofollow links.
You’ve probably heard that nofollow links are useless, which is a widespread myth in SEO.
In reality, a sane balance of 50/50 dofollow and nofollow links is something you should aim for.
Google sees nofollow links as “hints,” thus, there may still be causality between nofollow links and higher SERP ranking.
Now that you’re armed with extensive knowledge on choosing suitable web sources for link building, let’s dive right into learning how to fill them with engaging and qualitative content with backlinks.
Crowd marketing aims to be an organic link-building approach, and if it’s well-implemented, the rewards are massive. A successful forum marketing campaign implies posting engaging and useful content that creates maximum impact for the reader, benefits the forum members and contains relevant backlinks to your website, seamlessly injected in the context.
Quality should be prioritized over quantity, thus spamming or using automatic software for posting replies is a “no-go.” These ugly practices are commonly referred to as black-hat SEO methods, and that’s not what we advocate here!
Search engines are smarter than ever, and trying to game the system without providing any value will just get your website penalized.
Crowd marketing can be time-consuming. It requires lots of work and dedication, but it can be a game-changer in your fight for higher Google rankings if you commit to it. You can undoubtedly work on it yourself if you have enough free time and resources on hand, but even SEO nerds prefer delegating this massive task to reliable link building services. Whether you choose to hire a freelancer or backlink providers, make sure you are not dealing with untrustworthy specialists making big promises and delivering poor results. Remember that suspiciously cheap services usually translate into a lack of proper research and use of bots/automated tools that will harm your website instead of giving it the desired SEO boost.