Ranking on the top of the search engine result pages (SERPs) is easier said than done.
Millions of websites are experimenting with different tactics to secure the top position. Thus, simply posting content and applying a few SEO tactics will not help you beat them. This is where online communities come into the picture.
Building an online community is like offering a digital home to your customers to share experiences, ideas, and problems. In return, that creates buzz and engagement for your brand. And, a well-functioning community is an ultimate return on investment.
How, you ask?
A community enables your business to scale feasibly. It has the potential to market content effectively, boost brand loyalty, collect feedback, improve and innovate products, and more. And when a community is optimized regularly, it can be leveraged for boosting visibility on search engines through SEO.
What Exactly is SEO and How Does it Matter in Online Communities?
Search Engine Optimization or SEO! You might have heard this word in the industry but are you sure what exactly it is?
Don’t worry if you are not sure, you are not alone in this.
SEO is a discipline focused on optimizing a number of things to gain visibility. SEO in all its capacity is NOT entirely related to optimizing your content with keywords. There are more factors to it. These factors are a combination of off-page, on-page, and other factors. Well-strategized SEO practices can help you achieve-
- Improved backlink building
- Increased brand exposure
- Increased organic traffic
- Better visibility
- Increased content lifespan
These SEO practices all-over result in higher domain authority and visibility. Authority and visibility then lead to brand trust and brand loyalty. In return, they increase your authoritative voice in the industry and help you secure a higher ranking in SERP.
But how does that relate to online communities?
The answer is user-generated content. Online communities can present a plethora of SEO opportunities when done right. An SEO-optimized community can help with higher ranking, drive more traffic, better visibility, etc. Moreover, when members engage within communities, they tend to leave comments, feedback, opinion, etc. That is how communities help in generating content regularly while improving the ranking of the brand.
Best SEO Practices in Online Communities
There isn’t a definitive guide or set of instructions that guarantee better visibility. However, there are some effective practices to make the community customer-centric and reap desired results –
1. Add Keywords in the Content
Majority of communities are focused on encouraging members to participate and contribute, resulting in the generation of user-generated content. When users write posts on your community, they use terms that most of you as a brand might not utilize but your audience employs in their search. But the main question is how those keywords will help in optimizing your community for SEO?
Let’s suppose, you have a product that integrates two platforms. However, your customers are not entirely familiar with its name as the branding is still in progress. But when your customers search for something similar to your products or services on the search engine, they will find the relevant terms in your community. This is how user-generated content in your community would help you gain better visibility.
2. Publish Fresh Content
Create fresh content and publish it consistently, all while maintaining the relevance and standards of your community. Doing so will build a returning audience and drive regular traffic to your community.
Attracting the right audience increases SEO. How? Here are the reasons –
- The unique and quality content published regularly pushes cross-platform shareability, which enhances visibility.
- Google especially promotes fresh and intent-based content.
- Unique content entices netizens to read more and stay engaged for a long while on your site.
3. Add Keywords in the URL
Advanced community platforms like Khoros, Vanilla, Higher Logic, etc., automatically obtain SEO-optimized URLs for discussion threads. However, if you’re creating URLs yourself, pay attention and add relevant keywords. It elevates your content’s visibility and authority in the overall domain.
4. Promote User-Generated Content
61%[i] of consumers say they’re more likely to trust recommendations from friends and family than celebrities, influencers, and brand ads. Your potential customers tend to believe the reviews left by your existing customers. You can further leverage that content as the topic of discussions and reviews in your community. This will force the process of user-generated content and will impact your SEO in the following ways-
- UGC Will Generate More Keywords – UGC will help you understand what type of keywords users use to make searches – based on which you can create an impactful SEO strategy around those keywords.
- Internal Link Building – Questions in the community raised by the community members – make a space for you to add links to your website’s post where the topic is explained clearly. This way, you can leverage the communities and user-raised queries for internal link building.
- Increased Time On-Site – When users write posts, they spend more time on your site and community.
And UGC in any form of content attracts more prospects, engages them, and tends to convert them into potential customers. And, that is how your site gets to walk you up the SERP lane.
5. Add Keywords in Title Tag
Having action words and keywords in your title tag that users search will entice users to click through. The keyword appearing in the title and included in the HTML code will demonstrate relevance to the user search, increase visibility, and will thus contribute to the SEO.
The competition on the web is intense and constantly needs innovative tactics to stand out. That is why marketers, all over the world, are leaning toward communities to up their SEO results. A well-engaged community gives exposure to the brand, extends customer outreach, and establishes a connection between the brand and members. This all creates a space for brands to advance their SEO efforts using keywords, interlinking, UGC, etc. Let’s start climbing ups the search results using these tactics.
Wish to Improve Community Engagement and Reap Better ROI? Talk to Us!
Team Grazitti has extensive experience in building multi-dimensional online communities that empower you to take your business to the next level. To know more about our CMaaS expertise, drop us a line at [email protected] and we’ll take it from there.
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