Allowing your Community to be visible and searchable through search engines has the potential to maximise your Community’s growth.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is always something seen as a dark art of the web. An ever changing landscape that can be hard to predict and analyse without the correct skills and knowledge.
At Disciple we thought we could take out of our Hosts hands and do some of the real heavy lifting. Could we make SEO optimization for Communities as easy and simple as turning on a switch in the Console?
It turns out that we can!
Head to the Console, select Configure from the left hand menu and then tap on Privacy & Security.
You can scroll down the page to find the option to toggle the switch called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
So What Does this Actually do?
Toggling this switch on will enable your Community to be searchable through search engines (such as Google and Bing) and fundamentally crawl able by these search engines.
At this Current moment in time this will apply to your log in/sign up page and Posts made in your Community. We are planning on increasing the amount of pages that are searchable in the near future.
So How does this Actually help Maximise your Communities Growth?
What we have allowed is for your Communities posts to now be findable through search engines and viewable by public users (people who are not members of your Community). This means displaying your Communities content to the wider public and allowing them to discover your Community.
By also allowing the sign up page to be public, this also gives public users the opportunity to sign up to your Community at the same time.
Let's say you have a Community based around French Fries (it could happen), and you have made a Post in your Community about the Top 10 Best Restaurants for French Fries.
If a public user searches on Google for the Best restaurants for French Fries, your Post will be displayed as a part of the search results.
This essentially gives public users direct access and exposure to your Community content and helps to drive organic traffic straight into your Community, where they can hopefully become lifelong engaged members.
What if I don't want my Community to be Searchable?
We know that some Communities need privacy and may not want to be searchable on the open web. Therefore, we have given you the option to Disable this feature in the Console.
Simply disabling the SEO toggle will result in the Sign-up/Log-in and Post pages no longer being publicly accessible or searchable.
In the background this will also disable crawling by web spiders, meaning that your content will not be indexed and displayed in search engines to public users.