MyBB SEO is important to any forum startup. Below are 10 quick tips to optimize MyBB for search engines that you may not be aware of. I find that most forum owners don’t know that it’s crucial to study the art of SEO to have a successful forum community.
1. Install Google SEO plugin for MyBB
You can download the Google SEO plugin at MyBB. This nifty plugin works for 1.6 and 1.8 with additional modification. What does it do? It turns ugly forum URLs into keyword rich URLs Google and other search engines love. In addition, it will create sitemap that you can submit to search engines.
2. Submit your site maps
The Google SEO plugin is able to create a site map so submit that to Google. Don’t be lazy. This is a passive way to let Google know that there is new content to index. The more pages you get indexed, the more likely you are to have traffic heading to your forum.
3. Create valuable content
If you own a brick and mortar store you know that customers are king. Likewise, for the online world, content is king. Great websites with awesome content are more likely to show up at the top of searches. There are numerous ways to create content for your forum: blogs, videos, infographics, etc.
4. Fight off spammers
Spammers will eventually find your forum. This is guaranteed. Their main goal is to destroy it with spammy links that promote their web site or product. Unfortunately this makes the forum look bad, but it also makes you look bad in the eyes of Google. Staying on top of spam is important to keeping your SEO intact.
5. Increase your pagespeed
In a previous post I wrote that pagespeed is an important seo metric that matters. Why? Slow web sites turn away visitors. That is a fact. Enhancing the user experience any way you can is a good SEO practice. What is good for the end user is probably not a bad thing.
6. Develop and execute link building strategy
Open up Microsoft Word and type a simple 6 or 12 month plan to build links and execute that plan. It’s really that simple. I would bet that 99% of forum owners are not doing this and the 1% that do have a link building strategy are leading their niche.
7. Create more valuable content
Content creation cannot be stressed enough. Without content on your site there is no reason that search engines (or visitors for that matter) should care about your forum. Prioritizing content above all else, or darn close, is something to think about. Every week there are new blog posts on ThemeFreak about MyBB, SEO, and more. We’ve seen an uptick in the number of mybb themes we’ve sold as a result and that’s why I strongly suggest this tip.
8. Use Google Analytics
SEO is largely a guessing game. That is partly why it’s so fun and addicting. Google Analytics is a free tool that lets you know historical data about your visitors so you can make an educated guess on how to improve your forum or web site. Knowing what has or has not worked in the past is tremendously important to increasing traffic to your forum in the future and it’s free.
9. Build your brand
Get a cool looking logo and tag line. Then spread the word. According to Wikipedia:
A brand is a name, term, design or other feature that distinguishes one seller’s product from those of others.
If you have and promote your brand, by definition, you’re light years ahead of other forums. Branding can boost your marketing by giving it focus.
10. Connect with peers in your niche
Get involved in the industry that you’re trying to captivate with your forum. Joining similar forums and web sites can help you stay up-to-date with trends, but it also can send traffic back to your forum. It’s a good practice to build good rapport and to not overly advertise yourself. For example, you can find ThemeFreak over at the official MyBB Community forums where we help forum owners with theme issues and more. I’ve seen, with Google Analytics, quite a bit of referral traffic from MyBB as a result.
I sincerely hope that some of these tips can help you with your MyBB SEO. If you have any tips of your own, that has worked, be sure to share and leave a comment below.