Design and Develop Cost Effective, Affordable Company and Business Websites
Develop Business Websites : Modern, Secure, Dynamic Websites
Surely the most financially 'cost effective', affordable and competitive company or business website development is one where you (or your business) have at least the option to maintain it quickly and with ease, after it has been built.
Take this web page for instance (and ALL the other pages on this website portal). All I need to do in order to maintain it is:
- Login as the Administrator of this website ( top right )
- Make an update to a link, text item or photo using a simple online editor available to the administrator
The website design or content changes are then live instantly, to the world.
This is exactly the same technology used when you change your customer profile on say Amazon or eBay or you Post a Thread or Reply on an internet forum. Your changes are live as soon as you submit them.
Bespoke, professional, corporate and affordable company websites built and designed using modern techniques and dynamic web technologies, allow you to make a change at any time. This will always be the case as long as you have access to a website browser, e.g. Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox or Internet Explorer. In other words, you can login as the website administrator from anywhere in the world and make a content change. This can be very useful indeed if the website change is critical. It should also be noted that DotNetNuke renders correctly with all these different internet browsers ensuring your business website has a consistent look-and-feel across the world.
There is no need to be at your own Company or Home PC anymore, uploading HTML files and business website environments to an Internet Service Provider (ISP). This restrictive approach is something typically associated with offline website editors like FrontPage, Dreamweaver and NetObjects Fusion where alas, there is no dynamic, database driven approach out-of-the-box.
This personal website and my company website (at http://www.insidertech.co.uk) are both built and designed using DotNetNuke. DotNetNuke is a Microsoft ASP.NET 2.0 (Active Server Pages) SQL database driven technology.
DotNetNuke is one of the most popular website Content Management Systems (650,000 users approx.) and is backed by Microsoft (go to http://www.dotnetnuke.com for more personal and corporate, business website examples).
But an easy to maintain bespoke company website is only half the story as, like a good product, you still need to market your business website in search engines like Google so it gets good position and prominence (page ranking), both locally and globally.
If you would like a competitive quote for an affordable, bespoke company or business website for 'handover on completion' OR 'continued maintenance', please contact me with your requirements. Feel free to read my complete IT Resume before requesting a quote.
I am based in both Manchester (Salford Quays) and Bolton (in the UK) but will carry out work for anywhere in the world, it is the internet we are talking about after all. For instance, I am based in the UK but my Internet Service Provider (ISP) is hosting this particular website in America so I can take advantage of a more competitive rate for 'personal' website hosting.
Read on if you would like to learn more about affordable, bespoke Professional Company and Business website design considerations during a website build or click here to access a typical company website handover document in PDF format (1.5MB).
Remember, you can bring the continued maintenance of your DotNetNuke business website in-house or just ask me to keep adding to it, you have the option. If the former, just request a copy of the website handover / reference document for all logins and passwords related to your business website.
What business web pages and website functions do you require?
Example web pages:
- Contact Us
- Request a Quote
- Home Page
- Splash Page
- About Us
- Company Outline
- Knowledge Base
- Management Team
- ...and so on.
Example website functions:
- Search Function
- Secure Web Pages
- Banner Types
- RSS and ATOM Feeds
- Contact Forms
- Workflow Forms
- Live Chat
- File Download and Uploads
- Website Skin / Theme
- Site Maps
- Google Maps
- Calendar / Events
- Google Analytics
- Google Business Location
- Google Adwords
- User Website Roles
- Customer Profiling
- ...and so on.
Which Internet Service Provider (ISP) do you use to Host your business website?
Competitive American and UK ISP providers for ASP.NET 2.0 SQL business (and personal) website hosting (required by DotNetNuke) are numerous for shared hosting accounts (that is, more than one website sharing the same Windows Server resulting in a more reasonable monthly fee but variable response times in terms of web page serving).
Needless to say that more costly dedicated hosting accounts (one Windows Server per website for faster web page serving) for ASP.NET 2.0 websites, is abundant on both shores. This type of website hosting usually retails at upwards of £130 a month.
Such is the nature of most business organisations, shared ASP.NET 2.0 hosting is usually sufficient and typically costs upwards of £17 a month (you may find cheaper). This, my own personal website uses shared hosting with WebHost4Life (an American company) at $9.99 a month. This is one of the cheapest rates I have seen, good for budget business website development.
Another example of an ISP offering shared ASP.NET hosting are ZEN (http://www.zen.co.uk/about.aspx) and this company is based in Rochdale in the UK.
A monthly cost for ZEN business website hosting (shared) is £17.30 a month (£207.60 a year) including VAT. They offer a bill monthly contract with the option of cancelling with a month’s notice.
Your yearly budget for an ASP.NET 2.0 SQL business or company website (outside of labour costs) is typically the cost of your business website hosting account above (dedicated or shared) plus the cost of any domain names you make use of. For instance, for this website I have http://www.developbusinesswebsites.com and http://www.companywebsitedevelopment.co.uk at a cost of about £10 a year each. I also have 3 others which relate to other area of this website, e.g. http://www.markwhitfield.net at about £5 a year.
If you already have a company website and ISP then look to see if they support ASP.NET 2.0 and Microsoft SQL Server 2005 (required by DotNetNuke). If they do, you might not need to swap your website ISP. If they don't however, we will have to find a suitable ISP that does allow for dynamic, database driven websites like this one. It is also possible that you maybe able to point your existing domain URL(s) (website internet address) to the newly appointed ISP host.
Backup and Restore of your Company or Business Website?
Some (though not all) of these ISP's offer good backup and restore facilities for your company or business website, keeping a number of copies over a week or month. Typically, the Microsoft SQL website database connected to your website, will have to be backed up separately. This is usually carried out by the owner of the website. Either way, a local copy of your company website should be kept using FTP (File Transfer Protocol / Program) to transfer the files to a PC under your control. This is a fast way to backup a website to a local location. It also gives you the option later of restoring your business website to an alternative ISP host should the current one become less competitive on price. That's right, you can move your company website like you can move your mortgage but usually without the redemption fees.
What Business or Company Website Domain Name(s) Shall I Have?
It is often stated that people search on solutions not products. So for instance, to get to this web page you may have searched on 'develop and design business websites' or 'budget website development and design' or something very similar. You almost certainly didn't search on Mark Whitfield Websites since of course, you couldn't have known my name in advance. Think about all the searches you do in Google. How many of those search strings revolve around trying to solve a problem? Making the brand name 'the solution' is actually a good starting point, for a business website domain name at least.
Following this logic, it is better to have a business or company website domain name which follows this same logic of having the solution as part of the URL address. This because Google allocates better web page ranking (prominence) if the domain URL of say, http://www.developbusinesswebsites.com matches the web page title (at the very top of the browser window) which in turn matches the web page description which in turn matches the web page content and keywords (and phrases).
This is almost like getting four cherries on a one-arm bandit. Having more than one domain name is of course, not unusual either. I have 5 for this particular website, e.g. http://www.developbusinesswebsites.com, http://www.companywebsitedevelopment.co.uk. The company website has 15, e.g. http://www.insidertech.co.uk, http://www.paymenttracking.co.uk, http://www.hpnonstopsoftware.com.
Needless to say that this maybe a little over zealous for a small company or business but gives some idea to the electronic thought processes of search engines like Google. Bear in mind also that Google ranks 'web pages' not websites so having good overall content across ten pages does not accrue to a higher ranking for your business. Having good keyword and phrase density (say 3 - 6%) across a single page does which is why you landed on this page in the first place (or at least one of many good reasons that have been thought about by the website author up front).
It is no accident or some sort of grammatical error or anomaly that I keep repeating the phrases 'Affordable Company Website Development' and 'Bespoke Develop Business Websites' or similar phrases, on this page. I do it to attract you, the reader and just as importantly for business, Google and other search engines.
Having an URL of say, http://www.markwhitfieldwebsites.com offers no real inference of business purpose and intention and so will be relegated down to a dark and lonely corner of Google for most internet surfers who are people searching on solutions.
Remember also to state your geographical location since web users tend to restrict their search to areas, e.g. professional company website development in Yorkshire, London, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Bolton or Wigan for instance. Professional company website development alone may bring up unwanted competitor websites so adding some regionalisation to your site helps to focus a users results. If in the north of the country, no point competing with similar businesses in the south as far as Google prominence is concerned for say 'Concrete Delivery' (unless you are a national chain of course). Regionalisation can make a big difference.
Of course, this is not the complete story for website prominence and page ranking in Google but it does go a long way to helping. Get these basics wrong and getting all the other page ranking variables right might still result in your website being on page 13 of primary search engines. My aim is to get these areas right for you and your business, as well as the long list of other contributing factors.
Get a Google (and Yahoo) Account
When looking to set-up a professional company or business website portal (notice my repeating phrases again), it is useful to also set-up a Google account in unison as it has a number of benefits as follows:
Though not necessarily required as part of the Google Account set-up, it is useful to have Google email account. You may already have one of these (or one at Yahoo or Hotmail). For my own purposes, I always send important emails (including those from this personal website) to my Google email and then forward them to my actual business email address. This way, I always have an audit trail of emails available (my Google email account essentially) to go back to should I delete or lose emails from my business email account.
Of course, as part of setting up your website ISP host account, you may get free email (usually). For instance, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Either way, a free email account with good spam filtering like Google, can act as a good contingency alongside your business account and can be a good backup should your website ISP hosting account go down temporarily. It can also supply the following Google features somewhere central to alert to for non-business related administration of your business website.
Website Site Maps
Having a Google account can drastically speed up the time it takes Google to index and cache your website. Put simply, you will start to appear in Google searches more quickly and with more appropriate prominence and page ranking (all other Google variables considered) if you submit a website sitemap to Google under your Google Webmaster tools function. This is essentially a file detailing all of the links in your company or business website in a recognised format. Typically this is XML (Extensible Markup Language) though you don't have to worry about the contents or language as tools available to DotNetNuke enable you to automatically build and submit this sitemap file automatically.
Before Google searches your site, you will need to authenticate it (prove you are the owner of the website). This involves either putting a given file (with an appropriate file name given to you by Google) in the root directory of your website or updating a website file with a given META TAG. Once you have done this, you can then submit the sitemap and then usually, sometime in the following few days (weeks), Google will index and cache your business website portal.
It may still be some time after this exercise before you get into Google search results but it will typically be a lot sooner than just submitting the same website to Google without a website account set-up, e.g. 'Submit Website URL' from the Google (or Yahoo) suggest a website URL menu.
In summary, the sooner you carry out this exercise the better as by the time your ready to do business, Google will already have it's electronic claws into your web pages. Don't worry about the fact that your pages are changing and growing considerably. Google favours websites (in terms of visits) that have changing content and is likely to re-visit them more frequently. Some of you might have noticed how quickly blog content gets into Google searches when submitted. A blog or forum is just a website with frequently (ideally) changing content and that's really the point here.
You can actually set-up a similar account in Yahoo for submitting sitemaps (after authentication). Although Yahoo have less of a market share these days compared to Google, there is still cross pollination in terms of web addresses and since it's free, I usually set-up a Yahoo account as well.
When setting up websites, I always connect the site to Google Analytics. This enables me to spot all website hits and activity. Cutting and Pasting code (generated by Google and which contains a unique identifier for all my websites) into all web pages I want to monitor, then provides me with comprehensive reporting on all site activity. It includes information like (notice that this is one of those important website bullet lists I talked about):
- Number of hits
- Number of absolute unique hits
- Network location
- Keywords used to find your site
- Visitor Loyalty
- Depth of Visit
- Time of Visit
- Bounce Rate
- Page arrived at
- Page left at
- Adword Activity
- Referring Sites
- Browser Used
- ...and a lot more
It also gives me the ability to get a weekly (or daily) report of website activity in a number of formats (I choose PDF - see this example Google Analytics report). Needless to say, I send it to my free Google email account. This report can be a Dashboard report of up to 12 tables and charts showing information I have chosen to report on (usually for the last 24 hour period).
This can be any of the bullet points above. I can even choose to view a map graphic which, by colour shade (green), informs me of where all my website hits are coming from by density. In the case of the company website, this is North America, the UK and India mainly.
Local Business Center
Another useful (and free) function provided by a Google account is a Local Business link. You may have noticed that when you do a search in Google on say, 'Bolton Company Website Development', before a typically formatted list of web addresses is displayed with their descriptions, a Google map is displayed of appropriate businesses local to the place name, e.g. Bolton, try it.
This doesn't happen automatically for your business. Once again, it is something you add to your Google account for free. You enter your business or company name, address and ZIP / Postal code and Google includes you in the list. Or at least it will after you have proved you live or work at the address by mail, mobile SMS message or phone. Once you have provided this authentication, within 24 hours you will be included in the list of local businesses should a user enter a local place name as part of the Google search. See also regionalisation paragraph (second to last) above under 'What business or company website domain(s) name shall I have'? If you are trying to cover say London, Yorkshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Bolton and Wigan with your company services, include these geographical locations in your website page titles, descriptions, meta tags and key word phrases.
Google Adwords enables businesses to further improve their presence and prominence in Google. This works by allocating a daily budget, say £1, to a number of keyword search phrases (chosen by you). Simply put, if a user searches on that phrase, e.g. affordable professional company website development or develop business websites, Google may place you in a sponsored Adword message link in the right-hand margin of it's first-page search list.
Of course, there is more to it than that since your budget will be allocated based on impressions (number of times your website address is shown but not clicked) and clicks (number of times a user clicks on your website address). Furthermore, your allocated budget will only stretch so far based on the popularity of the search string so you may lose out to a company paying more (bidding more daily budget) to have their Adword shown instead of yours (or some other business Adword list).
You can also elect where in the world you want to have Adword presence. You might only want your Adword showing in North America and Europe but not in the Middle or Far East. The trick is to balance your budget and locations wisely and not have too many phrases otherwise you will spread your Adword placement too fine over 24 hours and risk missing business opportunities.
As with a number of other company website disciplines, Google Adwords have books devoted to them. For very popular search strings, it might be the only way to get your website in front of a searching user even when you have obeyed all the rules of increasing your page rank.
Business Website Downtime Email Reporting and Keep-Alive Services
When deploying an ASP.NET website for the first time, it is useful to sign up to a couple of free website tracking services. Examples of these are:
Both of these services are used to kick the live website and so stop it unloading from the ISP's Windows Server memory when not in use. This means that if a user comes along after 20 minutes say, they will not be subjected to a 60-120 second start-up time. This is because DotNetNuke is an application. With increased website prominence (page ranking) and users, this will stop being a problem but in the very early stages of deployment, is useful to have and did I mention they are free. You will also receive an email from both services detailing website downtime and uptime on a daily and weekly basis.
Further Hints and Tips for Increasing Google Page Rank and Website Prominence
Since search engines like Google, are constantly scanning your website (and your competitors website alas) for new and changed content, their quest and crusade is typically based around a predefined agenda. Search engines use robot 'spiders' to crawl your website in this fashion in order to index the content of the page. The trick is to abide by the basics of business web page content and formatting (remember Google ranks web pages not websites) so as to have the spider go on its way with a very good idea about what your website is about. Is this page about Affordable Company Website Development or Developing Business Websites (those pesky repeating keywords again, take note web authors and did I repeat Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Bolton and Wigan, job done). If the spider hasn't deduced this by now, some of our other basics need to be checked. This is called Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). What remains is to summarise some (though not all) of those other basics in the following paragraphs.
Some variables however, are outside of our control like the age of a company domain for instance. If it is a trusted website and been around on the internet for along time with no nuisance value associated (tagged) with it by Google, then this helps towards your overall ranking. In other words, no time like the present to get that website and domain up and running.
Write a Keyword Dense Page Title for all your Business Web Pages
Write a keyword rich title for each web page on your business website and try not to have all the web page titles exactly the same. The title of each web page is prime real estate for Google and so try to avoid using too many connecting words like 'a', 'the', 'and' etc. Remember, users search on solutions so keep this in mind when you put together each web page. If a web page corresponds to a product then make the web page title relate to what a user would use the product for, e.g. ultra compact digital camera with 10x digital zoom for better close-ups. Place this at the top of your business webpage between the TITLE tags. (It also displays clearly on the blue browser bar at the top of your web page, e.g. Develop Business Websites in Budget and Quickly...). The first few words are more important to Google than the last few words of the title META tag.
Worth noting that you are not limited by the length of the title as it displays in the browser title bar. More often than not, business web page designers use space to the right, beyond what is typically displayed by the browser, to add even more keywords to their web page titles. Look at the title for this web page for instance. You can see it goes on beyond what is truncated on the browser bar. Right-click on the web page and select 'view source'. Search on '/TITLE' to see the full web page title.
Write both a Company Website Description and Keywords META Tags
Some search engines place the description meta tag after the website link (in the results page) when you carry out a search in Google. The text is not the text on your web page but the text you place into this description tag which only gets displayed by search engines. Try and keep the description consistent with your web page title from the previous paragraph. This will ensure that search engines like Google, see consistent keywords and phrases and so start you on your journey to better page ranking (still a few more things to get right though). Remember that it is all about solutions and not product names. Place the prepared description Meta Tag at the top of the webpage, between the HEAD tags.
The maximum number of characters for your description should be about 255; just be mindful that only the first 60 or so are visible on Google, though more may be indexed. Don't be afraid of using more characters as for the title meta tag. Try and think about what the competition would say about themselves. In fact, they say on the internet, 'your competition is only one click away'. Why not seek them out and do a 'view source' (see previous paragraph) on their web pages and check out their meta tag descriptions. Try and cut out repeating words of no real significance as for the title meta tag.
Strip out all your key words and phrases and use them in your keywords meta tag. This tag is used less for page ranking these days but has a minor role to play and should be fleshed out anyway. The keyword tag is a list of keywords and phrases e.g. affordable company website development, bespoke develop business websites, ASP.NET 2.0 websites, DotNetNuke websites... and so on.
Include Your Business Keywords in Header Tags (H1, H2, H3, H4) and Lists
Search engines like Google, consider keywords and phrases that appear in the page headline (header tags) and sub heads (H2, H3 etc.) to be key to the page content, so ensure your desired keywords and phrases appear in one or two header tags. It is no mistake that this web page contains headings and sub-headings. Each one of these is a header meta tag. Notice that each heading is also repeating the contents of my title meta tag and description meta tag (Affordable Company Website Development biased towards the top of the page). Yet another cherry in our sweep towards Google prominence and page ranking, or at least when Google indexes and caches your page which is sooner rather than later with a Google account, read on
Use keywords in the H1, H2, and H3 tags to provide big clues to the search engine. (Note: Some web developers have stopped using the H1, H2, H3 tags altogether. That's a step backwards in the Google Ranking crusade. Make sure your web designer defines these tags in the Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) rather than creating headline tags with other cryptic names, cryptic to Google that is. Do not expect the search engine to parse your CSS to figure out which are the headlines. Any attempt to make things difficult for search engines (inadvertently maybe) but easier for the web designer is a step backwards (like a lost, hard copy of the yellow pages directory).
Also get into the habit of formatting lists as numbered lists or bullet points as Google regards them (like header tags) as important web page content. This is why I have used them to good effect on this web page (Hey!!..., This Guy's Good!!).
Place Your Business Keywords in the First Paragraph of Your Website Body Text
Most search engines like Google, anticipate that your first paragraph will include the most important keywords for the web page. This is where most web designers place an introduction or an overview to the actual content of the page. Look at the first paragraph of this web page and notice that I tend to repeat the contents of my Title Tag and Description Tag (Develop Business Websites and Affordable Company Website Development and Design, yet again). This is an electronic theme I follow across the whole web page. The key is not to overdo it and just have a keyword density that does not contaminate the page to the point where it is unreadable or just plain dull (are you still reading by the way?).
Include Descriptive Company Keywords in the ALT Attribute of Image and Title Tags
This will help your business website be more accessible to site-impaired visitors (www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG20/glance/) and gives additional hints and clues to the key search engines. The ALT attributes do actually help get your website images ranked higher for image searches. Position your mouse over any of the images or links on this page and notice the ALT floating tip being displayed for a few seconds on the page. No surprise that most of them have something to do with affordable company website development and design in DotNetNuke.
Use Business Keywords in Hyperlinks
Search engines are looking for hints as to the key elements of your business web page. When they scan (with their pesky robots) words hyperlinked in your web page body text, they note these as potentially important, so hyperlink your important keywords and key phrases. To emphasise them even more, the webpage you are linking to could have a page name with the keyword or keyphrase, such as 'companywebsite.htm' or 'websitedesign.htm', another hint for the search engine.
Make Your Navigation Approach Search Engine Friendly
Notice also that I have added a site map page to this website (and the footer of course). This is dynamically updated every time I add a web page (or when you add a web page if you are maintaining with ease a website I have handed over to your business). This is also a neat way of getting spiders to scan every page of your website.
Create a Site Map for your Business Website
Sitemaps can be generated automatically with the DotNetNuke ASP.NET technology and more often than not, you should never have to write one manually. The site map page and the fast link menu option at the top of this page, are both generated using the same DNN module used by this website. A site map page with web links to all your business pages can help search engines (and visitors) find all your web pages, particularly if you have a larger website, e.g. http://www.insidertech.co.uk/AboutUs/SiteMap/tabid/69/Default.aspx (which is generated dynamically to make things easy).
You can use a number of free tools, XML-Sitemaps.com (www.wilsonweb.com/afd/xml-sitemaps.htm) to create XML sitemaps that are used by the major search engines to index your business webpages accurately. Upload your sitemap to your website. Then submit your XML sitemap to Google, Yahoo!, and Bing (formerly MSN), following instructions on their sites. By the way, Google Webmaster Central (www.google.com/webmasters/) has lots of tools to help you get ranked higher.
Develop Business Webpages Focused on Each Your Target Keywords
Put together several web pages on your business website, each of which is more focused and relevant to a particular target keyword or keyphrase (that is, product or solution area - see http://www.insidertech.co.uk for a list of products and solutions breakdown for instance) for which you would like a high search engine ranking.
Use Google Insights for Search (www.google.com/insights/search/) or the free keyword suggestion tool on Wordtracker (www.wilsonweb.com/afd/wordtracker.htm) to find the related keywords internet users tend to search on. You'll write a completely different web page on each business solution or product. Remember once again, Google ranks web pages not websites so each page has to have a reason for existing based on its content so write each page as though your business diploma depended on it.
Fine-tune your Business Website with Careful Search Engine Optimization
Fine-tune your focused-content pages and your home page, by making a series of small adjustments to help them rank higher. Google tends to get wise to web pages on the same site with duplicated content. Always adjust your titles, descriptions, keywords, key phrases and content so that search engines take each page as unique and provide them with appropriate page ranking. Your home page should provide a good overview of your content and allow the reader to fully understand your organisation and its focus. Look at the homepage on http://www.insidertech.co.uk or the homepage on this website. They provide a good helicopter tour of content which gives Google something tangible to get its electronic claws into. If you do a search on 'Develop Business Websites', this website is on the first page of Google (in most instances). This was after 2 days of submitting it. As a website designer, even I was impressed by the speed of prominence and ranking but I shouldn't really. I obeyed the rules of Google page ranking.
Market Your Local Business Website on the Internet
Many people search for local businesses on the Internet. To make sure they find your business, include on every page of your website the street address, zip code, phone number. Include place names in the title tag, too.
Also create a free listing for your local business on Google Maps Local Business Center (www.google.com/local/add), e.g. http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=company website development bolton&meta= (spot my link in the list right of the Google Map) and Yahoo! Local (listings.local.yahoo.com).
Promote Your Video, Images, and Audio Content (if any)
Google's search page displays not only relevant web pages, but also often displays (near the top of the search page) relevant links for images, videos, local businesses and audio clips. Carrying out a search on a number of key phrases embedded in this website for instance, will often show images in Google from a number of the web pages, e.g. Tandem Computers.
Consider creating such media content appropriate to your company and then optimising it so it can be ranked high enough to aid your business and website traffic. If you were to get a top-ranking video on YouTube (www.youtube.com) that mentions your site (e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhEh-kBAmzY), it could drive a lot of traffic to your site (excuse the fact this is a driving to ITL location video, no pun intended). For more information, search on "optimising images" or "optimising videos."
Linking Strategies and Internet Forums
Web Links to your business website from other sites on the internet, drive even more additional traffic and hopefully business. Since Google (and other major search engines) considers the number of incoming links (back links) to your website ("website link popularity") as an important indicator of website relevance and popularity, more backlinks will help you web page(s) rank higher in the search engines.
Google has a measure called PageRank that reflects the quantity and quality of incoming backlinks. All links aren't all equal. Links from trusted, popular sites help your site rank higher than links from lower traffic sites. A forum is just a website. You can register with business related forums and post threads (or replies to threads) with your website as a backlink. This is typically referred to as a signature. For instance, my MediaCityUK thread at http://www.skyscrapercity.com, http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=40585858&postcount=1510 has signature links back to my relevant websites that I want to promote. I have included a signature on all IT forums I post on also.
Some of these forums carry more weighting than others in terms of popularity but each one will count (over time) to your page ranking, as Google spots each backlink.