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Tanmay BhatiaCommunity Manager
Monday, April 15 2024

Best practices for SEO optimization for community websites

Let me paint you a picture. You're a community manager and you're undoubtedly launching or already have launched your community. There is some traffic going through your community, and you're gaining some new members, but you're not achieving your community goals. What's wrong?

Welcome to SEO for Communities, a resource that gives you guidance on how to make your community more visible on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. This section provides information on how to make your community more visible on Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

Three reasons your community website should prioritize SEO

Search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo account for more than 90% of all web traffic, so it is no wonder why they are the primary starting point for most web users. In light of this, you should already be concentrating on SEO and improving your visibility in search engines since this is the primary reason you need to concentrate on SEO.

In addition to this specific reason, there are three other specific reasons why communities like yours should focus on SEO in the first place.

What is the importance of focusing on SEO for an online community (including if your community is part of a larger business site)?

  1. An online community consists of user-generated discussions and images. An active community is a great source of new content for search engines.
  2. As a result of all the above, your community always has new content. That gives you a higher ranking in search engines. It tells your audience that you’re active and relevant. It convinces Google to send a crawler to your forum (to check the quality of your SEO).
  3. The content in your community has high sharing potential. This attracts the attention of other website owners, who are likely to link to the content in your website. This increases your authority, which is an important factor for search engine rankings.

Considerations for SEO in online communities

Okay, that's excellent to know, but where do I begin? Which community pages should be optimized? The greatest material to concentrate on are landing pages, news stories, and blog entries (pages with a lot of excellent content) (pages where visitors are entering your community if they are looking for something specific).

Building sites that are search engine friendly is only one aspect of SEO, according to many SEO professionals (including ours!). Making your website better and more beneficial to users is the goal.

To help you improve your online community's search engine and user-friendliness, we're going to give you five SEO tips.

1. Subdomain or sub-folder for SEO

Based on the community's location, search engines do not change how they index the community. Yoursite.com/community and community.yoursite.com are the subfolder and subdomain structures, respectively.

When SEO specialists begin to create links and show an interest in transmitting link equity (also known as link juice) to the primary site, this becomes a worry. If there are no links between the community site and the company site while it is on a subdomain, search engines will treat it as a separate entity.

2. Web Core Vitals

Google has started emphasizing the user experience as a ranking signal particularly. Web Vitals are an essential tool for assessing the user experience of any website (including online communities) and identifying areas in need of improvement.

Three primary metrics make up The Web Core Vitals:

  • LCP (Measures loading performance) (Measures loading performance)
  • Assess visual stability using CLS and
  •  FID (Measures interactivity)

3. The online community sitemap

A sitemap is a systematic list of every page that aids search engine spiders in finding various community-created pages. The bot is also informed of the page's priority and the date it was last updated.0-

Sitemaps are helpful for search engine bots even though they are not required.

4. Possibility of changing the URL slug

The ideal method for creating URLs that are search engine friendly is to use important keywords. Make sure the URL does not contain too many keywords.

It is very hard to modify every URL and make it SEO-friendly because community forums are run by members. But, it is undoubtedly possible to give some significant threads particular consideration.

5. Making online communities mobile-friendly for SEO

The user experience of the website on mobile devices is a significant ranking factor for search engines like Google. Your community must therefore be responsive to mobile devices and load quickly in a mobile browser.

You need not be concerned if you have a NblIK Community. Every community created with NbliK is by default mobile responsive. When a user accesses the community on a mobile device, Bettermode can automatically detect this and load the community pages appropriately to ensure quick rendering and availability of full functionality (when compared with the desktop version).

6. Editing the title and adding metadata capabilities

Both users and search engine crawlers may learn a lot about a page's content from its title tag. Although meta descriptions don't really have an impact on SEO, they do offer more context to the pages and increase click-through rates from search engine result pages.

7. Including phrases with semantic overlap

Several SEO experts point to LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords as the terms connected to a web page's primary topic and assert that LSI keywords improve a web page's ranking. Sadly, there are no LSI keywords.

Despite this, semantically relevant phrases do exist, and they undoubtedly help with search engine rankings.

8. Redirection rules

A community's material can occasionally become dated and irrelevant. And that necessitates a new content thread with current and pertinent data. If a search engine has indexed the old page in those circumstances, you should ideally redirect that page to the new page.

9. Adding link attributes

When a link is added to a web page, both online users and search engine bots can use that link to find new pages. It is viewed as a "do follow" link and passes the link juice unless it contains a special link attribute. Such backlinks from reputable websites can raise the trustworthiness of your website and eventually raise its rating.

Start enhancing your community with SEO

It's best to think of this as a place to start if you want to increase search engine visibility for your community! Your community would undoubtedly rank well if you get this right and give the search engines the proper set of optimization for your pages. 

Please add any further advice you may have in the comments section below. Good luck! 

To learn more about simply downloading the app for free from the Google Play Store, explore the NbliK community.

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