29 Feb Jonathan Cartu Declared: View New Content Widget & Optimizing Topic Exposure
Having over a decade worth of experience developing a forum myself, here are a couple of excellent suggestions that enhance the end-user experience and shall bring more quality traffic resulting in more overall members at a faster pace.
View New Content
This awesome feature is great for both the moderators/admins and the members of the forum. All forum software has this feature either built-in or as an added “modification”,”plug-in”, or “widget”.
Over the years this feature by far was used by both members and admins three to five times more than any other. I remember upgrading the forum software and this feature was not in the new upgrade and the forum community complained like no tomorrow. Also, the overall daily traffic or page impressions decreased by a factor of 50%.
This feature if used corrected and displayed in a prominent location enhances the overall flow of the forum in several ways:
1) It keeps the current active member base quickly up to speed on what is being discussed currently without burying newer topics that just need proper exposure to become popular.
2) It makes moderation much easier by showing people behind the scenes exactly what needs to be looked over.
3) This allows for certain topics to be “bumped” back up into prominence either to remind members of important information or for promotional reasons.
4) It helps older members who have not visited the forum for some time to reacquaint themselves on current topics.
5) Maintains the overall flow of the forum and mitigates vital topics from being buried.
6) Excellent additional search engine traffic source by adding another channel of data to be spidered. Be sure to set the permissions to search bot friendly for this to work.
I realize there is a new posts link but IMHO it is not in a prominent location and I would imagine is not utilized as much as it should be. Looking at the logs would tell you everything
Topic Renaming & Optimization
From the long term aspect of gaining my overall traffic by the additional content posted each day, this suggestion by far is the most beneficial to any online community in this format.
That is by the enhancement of topics posted by everyone to optimize its searchability by both members and search engines. This is an often overlooked but vitally important detail that really turbocharges a forum. Not to mention, it makes it easier for all members to find specific topics.
This is done by the admin/moderation team by default as needed every day. To make myself clear, only the topic title is changed NEVER the contents of the topic itself. After doing this for a solid month a noticeable increase in overall search engine traffic will become apparent. After doing this a year, search engine traffic shall increase by a large factor and the membership base will find things much easier.
The correction of spelling is a huge factor of this entire process.
I hope this helps as the above are constructive suggestions that really make tangible differences in terms of overall experience and profitability. Cheers!