Advertising to gain more traffic - what are your suggestions

I was in progress for creating a campaign in adwords (google ads), but at the end it was showing $7.00 per conversion. I guess it’s similar to getting one person get registered in the forum.

That would be worthwhile for someone who sells high-priced items etc on their site. However I find it’s too much to pay for forum registrations (I’m not selling anything in the forum).

I know some traffic can be gained from manual backlinking. However that method is not that sophisticated.
Further, including quality content so the search engines would pick them up.

Apart from those methods, what do you recommend to gain more traffic in a more sophisticated way?

For this specific site, I decided I would not show any adsense ads (or any kind of) in the forum, but I would do the opposite and use advertising to gain more traffic.

I prefer paid advertising, but as I said earlier, $7.00 per registration is something that I wouldn’t pay for.

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Quality content is must, but search engines will give some help if there isn’t bigger and older other resources that are giving equally quality content.

So spreading links to content to places (quite often that is same as Facebook groups and other social media channels) where ir your potential users are will help.

Ads works too if there is enough money, and some hundreds in budget is not enough, but it is just another eay to do shotgun marketing.