Since launching the product-recalls.org site we have had 50 registered users in the first two weeks and a high volume of visitors to the site so this update is to let our prospective clients know about the benefits of forums on there websites and the added value they could bring to there existing businesses.
Firstly forums do take some administration and skill to set up but the benefits of getting feedback and providing your customers or clients with somewhere to discuss issues they may have with your products or services is valuable.
Lets take product recalls or nationaltradesmen to forums which use different technologies but provide a valuable service to those who use them to discuss problems or issues they may have with tools or in the case of product recalls the safety risks of having these recalled products in your home.
Engaging with your customers and finding out there thoughts on features you may have on your website or a product you are launching can be a massive asset to your business to find out what people think of your service or website is valuable so you can change or reconfigure in the future.
There is also I believe a good reason for search engines to favor your website over other competitors because of the evolving content you will create by hosting a forum and creating a community around the forum and social media including twitter and Facebook sends out social signals to search engines which will in turn improve your rankings without using paid services.
Obviously forums are not for every business and WordPress have there own forums which can be activated using plugins but they are not as sophisticated as MyBB or PHPbb but engaing with your audience and keeping them returning to your services is a valuable tool.