These days we all focus on blogs as SEO communities, we market ourselves through blogs, we offer our products through blogs and we teach and provide useful info through blogs. While this is a great way to promote your business or whatever it is that your business plan is, while doing SEO at the same time and benefiting from the community input, which blogging is all bout, this was not the idea always, and there are still people who don’t know how to harvest the power of SEO that comes from communities.
This post is like many others inspired by one of my clients, it all comes from my two week struggle trying to explain how important it is for his website that sells both services and products to have some type or more types of communities, blogs, forums, product reviews etc… on his website. This SEO community post is dedicated to people that own static websites primarily, but it is a great place to learn about communities and their SEO benefits in general, whether you own a blog, an e-commerce website or still thinking of going into online business. What I will do is just list the three already mentioned types of communities and their SEO effect on your website and your overall SEO success.
Blogs are the most popular type of SEO community these days. It is very easy to promote a blog and interact with your audience. The primary goal of any community is to get the response from your readers, in blogs that is mostly done by providing comment area, and the best way to attract commentators is by initiating dialogs in your posts. Why is this important, why do we need our posts to be filled with comments, what SEO value do blog comments have? It’s rather simple, first off you have free content on your page, second and more important is the possibility of people commenting adding to your long tail keywords.
Most people that comment will write about something related, as such there is a great chance that people will use highly related long tail and other keywords that will help you in your SEO efforts when looking at the big picture. Also, the number of comments and the quality of those comments greatly influences how often other people will join the discussion and become regular readers, although that will go slowly at the beginning, you will soon see an increasing number of comments on each and every blog post you make. All of this is great if your blog is your primary website, but if you have a static website like an e-commerce store, blog is perfect for adding keywords and content to your practically empty e-commerce pages. This is a great way to drive traffic to those product pages, this is a great way to make people interact and leave insightful comments that will help you get a better understanding of the demand and customer satisfaction. One thing is certain, people tend to believe regular website contributors like me or any other blogger than they believe internet marketers and sales persons, so they will be more open to share their thoughts on a blog than on a sales page, simple as that.
Based on this it is easy to understand the power and the need for forums and product reviews on your website for SEO purposes. If you have an online store, a product review section when people can leave comments and their opinions on the product is essential, that way not only will you tackle the SEO aspect of that page without effort, but you will be providing a whole new level of service to your future customers as they will see opinions of real users and what they thought of the product. No one trusts what is written under a product on a website in just one go, I for once will look at several other websites that offer the same product and before I purchase anything I will check the reviews and opinions of real users, so will 90% of the internet users. You understand the picture and the need.
The oldest type of online community are forums, although once the most popular form of community they are now underrated by blogs and social media, but they are still a great place to find useful info and to get some answers, which is exactly where their benefit is, they provide answers and you have nothing to do with it once you set it up. Users are the ones that interact with each other and ask questions and give answers, this is one of the most powerful SEO tools that is, any community is a great SEO tool and if you can’t see that, your days in the online industry will not last long.
I don’t think I have to go into detail with this, the point is very clear and SEO power of a community driven website should be obvious to anyone. But if it wasn’t, please consider what is written here and ask around, I’m sure you will find that communities hold a great SEO power; if you know how to tap that power all of your SEO efforts will be more beneficial.