Is Your Forum Boring? - The Topics
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If traffic is flowing well into your site and the forums are clearly displayed for all to see, turn your attention to the content of the forums. When the problems arenít technical or traffic-related, itís time to re-think your forums in general. Check over your topics first, thinking not as a site designer but as a regular Internet user. You may think your topics are great, but that doesnít mean the Internet population at large agrees with you. Remember, the forums are for your visitors, not for yourself. Evaluate each topic while considering the following factors:
Are they interesting?
Less-than-enthralling topics like paint colors and food preferences may not inspire the most incendiary conversation. You want topics that will grab traffic and inspire them to get involved. What interests you may not be at all captivating to average online surfers, so be sure the topics you offer cover several common interests.
Are they built around popular words and themes?
Site optimization never ends, even when your traffic is providing the content through online forum posts. Make sure each topic title contains the keywords on other pages of your site, so they are search engine-friendly. If more outside traffic (visitors who arenít already exploring your site) can find and contribute to your forums, it will help boost the amount of posts you receive.
Are they broad enough?
You may simply have too many topics, and thatís why it seems your forums are ill-visited. Narrow it down a little if possible. Eliminate topics which donít see much action and focus on others which are more popular. If your topics are too specific, it may be hard for users to find an appropriate place for their thoughts and opinions. You want to make sure your topics are broad, covering a wide umbrella of sub-topics, to encourage all types of conversation.
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