I just noticed that forums.devshed.com name their forums as keyword phrases. For example, instead of forums such as C++, PHP, or Java they will use C Programming, PHP Development, and Java Help. All three of these phrases are really hot keywords on the search engines. Is it beneficial to do this? Does using PHP alone have more possibilities to grow SEO-wise? (PHP help, PHP development, etc.)

I haven't checked your code here but anything wrapped in a header tag is instantly more important, and so getting your keywords in there is definitely beneficial...

How about: 'PHP Development - help forums' :D

hehe - well what I'm trying to say is it better for (the purpose of on-page SEO) a page on a forum to target the keyword PHP - or is it better to target the keyword PHP scripting or PHP help, etc. Those more detailed keywords are more limiting, but they are probably easier to get onto the SERPS with.

If I go with "PHP" alone, like I have now, is it still a viable goal to be listed on the SERPS for "php scripting" AND "php help" AND ... I feel that if I went with "php scripting" for example, I would be limited to great placement for that keyword, but it would be impossible for me to score good with other php-related keywords.

how about mentioning it twice...

php development - help with your php scripting problems

looking at google results i think that might be the answer ;)

Well check out this page, for example: http://www.daniweb.com/techtalkforums/forum17.html

Notice how at the top it says PHP and then there is a description of the forum below it. Would it be better to use one keyword for the forum titles and try to incorporate 2 or 3 other keywords as the description? The way it is now, the forum title is wrapped in an h1 tag and the description is wrapped in an h2 tag.

That's a neat idea. The other thing thing would be some <em> and <strong> tags on your keywords anywhere else you can find them or even in the titles... Use css to prevent any normal person seeing they're different, but search engines etc would get them emphasized.

I'd suggest more keywords in your title tag too. ;)

Thanks Dave, I actually do use strong tags as often as I can. :) Any other comments?

If you want to maxmize the benefit use the keyword first in the <title> and minimize all other text there. The biggest bang for your $ is

<title>PHP Development</title>

From what I understand this:

<title>PHP Development Help Forum</title> may be slightly less effective.... but is more useful than:

<title>Daniweb Help Forums - PHP Development</title>

My reason for currently having: PHP at DaniWeb computer help is because I thought I would be able to target the keywords: "php" "php help" "computer help" all in one - bad idea I guess ;) Live 'n' learn. I'll agree that DaniWeb is excessive because no one is going to do a search for "daniweb" ;)

My reason for currently having: PHP at DaniWeb computer help is because I thought I would be able to target the keywords: "php" "php help" "computer help" all in one - bad idea I guess ;) Live 'n' learn. I'll agree that DaniWeb is excessive because no one is going to do a search for "daniweb" ;)

lol, I did yesterday at home when I couldn't remember the URL.

Remember SEO Guy's tutorial. Better to target one keyword per page rather than dilute yourself and try for all of them.

You did a search for "daniweb" because you couldn't remember the URL was daniweb.com? And I always figured that the only way you could forget the URL is if you forgot the site was called "daniweb" ;) Sorry, don't mean to tease hehe

Take the PHP forum for example. I am afraid that simply targeting the keyword PHP is not within the scope of reality ;) So therefore I want to target either "php development" or "php help" :) But my question is if I leave the title just as "php" will that also improve rankings for "php dev" and "php help" as they include the word php?

When I posted that I realised how dumb it sounded. But it's what I did and I don't mind having my stupidity on public display. :)

Simple answer to your question, is no, it probably wont. "php dev" gives you a boost for "php dev" and to a smaller extent "php" and "dev". "php" by itself tells a search engine the page is about 'php'. If you have the phrase "php dev" in the body of the page a lot then I imagine the search engine says "this page is also about php dev". The best situation is that the title says "I'm about php dev", the body says "I'm about php dev", and incoming links to the page use 'php dev' as anchor text telling the search engine that some external web site also considers your page to be about 'php dev'.

What keyword is really important though? Aren't you really looking for people who want php help or php forum? the other keywords seem vaguely related to the forum and not really people looking for a forum at all - though I agree it's desirable to get traffic from anywhere!

Use of keyworded titles is definitely a good idea - but be very careful not to contrive the titles too much, as you need the human users to be able to navigate fine.

Ultimately, a lot of traffic generated is going to be generated by secondary keywords - how all the different words on your pages work together. So I should imagine you get a lot of search traffic into Daniweb for various 3+ keyword strings, rather than specifically targeted 2 keyword strongs.

Really, it's going to be the links into specific boards that are going to have more power than the on-page elements. I'd be happy to do some specific link-building for you, in exchange for a vBulletin mod_rewrite solution. :) (Haven't you popped into Morgan's Mod Rewrite forums yet? Excellent Mod Rewrite applied there (as per his real estate and SEO guy forums), and he says it's all down to you. :) )

Hey there Brian! Thanks for the kudos about my mod_rewrite solution. I actually designed and skinned that mod_rewrite forum myself and skinned the real estate one as well :) In addition to any other site Morgan throws my way. So thank you again :)

As for the mod_rewrite solution I used, I actually spoke to Morgan about coming up with a step-by-step tutorial with directions on how to implement it yourself. So stay tuned for that! Most likely I'll have it written way before the end of the month.

Sounds great - give me a heads up when you put it online, and then tell me what your preferred keywords are and I'll add daniweb to my list for link-building. :)

I'll also see about writing up a tutorial on how to best shift PR about a vB3 - not sure if you'll actually need it too much here, as your skin is pretty sleek - but the "out of the box" solution definitely could do with some help for using PR more efficiently. :)