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  #1  
Old 29 Jan 2017, 23:44
imahawki imahawki is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Any ideas on increasing registrations?

OK, a bit of backstory might help. My forum is home theater / AV focused and is about 10 years old. Over the years it has progressively gotten more and more... I guess cliquey... there is a small group of really active members but we never get any new blood. There are only about 700 registered members and only about 100 active members. What it IS, is good. Its very tight knit. Many of my forum members have met in real life and and text and call each other regularly outside of the forum. In fact, I set up my forum as a soft landing place for a forum that was closing down that had started in the late 90's. So many of these people have been online friends for nearly 20 years now.

The problem is, I just don't get any new registrations. I think I get maybe 5 a YEAR and half those are spam. The rest rarely post. I think there is good content on my site and (although this may be a double edged sword) it almost entirely lacks all of the drama and in-fighting that exits on similar topically themed forums.

I've started trying to create content across media types. I've made some YouTube videos and put links to the forum in the end cards. I setup a Facebook page and I post movie reviews there and repost some "StereoPorn" setups from some sites I follow. I even started some monthly give aways. Granted they're just a free Blu-Ray but its something. This is all more recent, like since late December so certainly I need to give it some time.

We average about 65 new threads a month and 1,000 posts a month. Some of that is off topic and I even have a "private" forum where you can only post once you hit 500 posts. This forum contains threads about marital and financial trouble, job woes, big life decisions. Stuff that people want to share with their online family but not have open to the public. Like I said, its a tight knit group. But we're very welcoming. I definitely don't think people would feel unwelcome.

Maybe its not the site itself (meaning content and people) maybe its a simple SEO problem. I don't know. I'm not trying to make money off the site, its already a money loser that I run for the love of it. I just feel like after 10 years its stale and I would love to attract some new members.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 30 Jan 2017, 00:44
Dave Dave is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Real name: Dave
Here a couple of questions you can ask yourself:
- Is the subject of the forum too specific? Maybe you can change things around so it attracts people who are looking for things that are not just related to home theaters/AV.
- Does your forum load relatively fast? If every pages takes a couple of seconds to load then you will lose visitors in no-time.
- Does it look up-to-date? Mainly talking about the theme. Do you perhaps use the stock theme?
- When you Google the title of your forum, does it show up on the first 1-2 pages?
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  #3  
Old 30 Jan 2017, 01:36
imahawki imahawki is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Thanks for the response Dave. To answer your questions...

1) I don't think its too specific. Everything from movies to music to home theater and stereo gear plus a healthy off-topic discussion is open. I don't see the point in a generic forum. At that point I feel like you're competing with something like Reddit, which is going to be a losing battle.

2) I think the forum is extremely fast. I'm happy to post the URL if you or anyone else wants to take a look.

3) Not sure about up to date, it doesn't use the default theme and I've definitely spent time tweaking it so its not totally generic.

4) No... if I google the name of the board + forum its the #1 result but no one would do that. If I google home theater, I have no idea where it would appear in the search rankings but no one would ever find it that way. If I google something related to a recent thread it doesn't show up either. Unfortunately there is way too much out there from commercial sites that will over power my forum in my estimation. E.g. if we have a discussion about subwoofers its just not going to show up in a google search.

Let me know if seeing the site would be useful and I'll post the URL.
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  #4  
Old 30 Jan 2017, 01:39
Dave Dave is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Real name: Dave
Yeah we can always take a look at your forum and see if things can be improved.
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  #5  
Old 30 Jan 2017, 12:40
imahawki imahawki is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
http://www.hometheaterlounge.com/vBulletin/

--------------- Added 30 Jan 2017 at 21:32 ---------------

Should this be moved to the Community Reviews forum?
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  #6  
Old 01 Feb 2017, 06:06
webmastersun's Avatar
webmastersun webmastersun is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
There are 101 ways to increase registrations for your forum but main way is using SEO (search engine optimization)

My forum has new registrations per day and it is maintained by organic traffic which will make your forum more activities with natural posts and members.

If you want to learn SEO, I would recommend you to learn from some guys here.

http://www.webmastersun.com/forums/1...e-Optimization

If you don't want to use SEO because it consumes you more time, then advertising is a good channel to go with but it will cost you more money. Choosing which way is depends on you.

For me, SEO and advertising on high traffic sites will help to increase traffic and registrations for my forum. It also will work for your forum.


Hope it helps!
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  #7  
Old 01 Feb 2017, 20:22
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noypiscripter noypiscripter is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
I don't know why /vBulletin has to be in the URL. It doesn't have anything to do with Home Theater. You should have gotten rid of it as well as the "Click Logo to Enter" homepage and just make the forum page as the homepage.

I have a vB4 mod to blur out replies to guests to encourage signups. It may or may not work for you but you may want to try it out.
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  #8  
Old 01 Feb 2017, 21:38
imahawki imahawki is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Originally Posted by noypiscripter View Post
I don't know why /vBulletin has to be in the URL. It doesn't have anything to do with Home Theater. You should have gotten rid of it as well as the "Click Logo to Enter" homepage and just make the forum page as the homepage.

I have a vB4 mod to blur out replies to guests to encourage signups. It may or may not work for you but you may want to try it out.
That's just what I named the install folder where the vBulletin software runs out of 10 years ago when I set up the website. It could be named /vb, it could be /forum... Does that make a huge difference? Should I change it to /forum?

As far as the mod, I thought about turning on the ability for guests to see threads but not posts. So they could go into a forum and see all the posts but when they click on a post link they'd get a message about having to register to see the post contents. But I worried that would mean search engine bots couldn't index my site so I turned it back off. Would your mod have the same problem?
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  #9  
Old 01 Feb 2017, 22:01
Dave Dave is offline
 
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Real name: Dave
I would just completely move it to the root of your domain name. You have nothing really besides a landing page there.
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  #10  
Old 01 Feb 2017, 22:49
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noypiscripter noypiscripter is offline
 
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Originally Posted by imahawki View Post
But I worried that would mean search engine bots couldn't index my site so I turned it back off. Would your mod have the same problem?
No. Search engines would still be able to crawl the pages normally. My mod just blurs the content on the client-side via CSS.

And what Dave said, I would move the content to the root of the url. No need for that useless landing page. All it does is to add an extra click to get to the actual content of the site. But when you do this, you have to redirect all requests for /vBulletin to /.
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  #11  
Old 09 Feb 2018, 15:28
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romaine romaine is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
increasing registrations for a new forum is not an easy task but if you can work SEO for it exactly then the traffic will come and you will have new registrations daily.

To archive this from search engines, two imporatnt factors are quality backlinks and providing quality content for users who coming your forum play an important role and decide your forum is successful or not.
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