We’re often asked how building an online community with AnswerHub affects a site’s SEO. Often, potential clients are interested in knowing if using AnswerHub will help them rank better in Google search results. Your marketing team has worked tirelessly (probably with the help of engineering staff and possibly with third parties) to rank where you are on Google and you’ve heard that adding a community can increase your rank. You don’t want to blindly introduce something new to your site without being sure you’ve covered all your bases.
Marketers and community managers, take ease. AnswerHub is designed for search engine optimization at its core. In fact, one of our customers reported a 10-15% YoY increase in organic search traffic and they also saw an increase in pages per session.
Let’s take a look at why using AnswerHub’s knowledge-driven support solution can improve your SEO.
1. Questions inherently rank well on Google. Whether you’re using AnswerHub for knowledge-driven support or knowledge-driven productivity, both questions and answers are the cornerstones of your AnswerHub site. Questions rank well on Google searches thanks to semantic search.
Google wants to give users an answer, not just a bunch of related web pages that may or may not hold the information someone is seeking. Also, users frequently type in their question, not just keyword searches. Instead of searching “top knowledge-driven support solutions”, a user may type “What are the top knowledge-driven support solutions?”
2. Communities increase backlinks and referrals. Link building is essential to a strong SEO strategy. Google is looking to see how relevant your page is to others within a particular topic based off of how many links point back to you and how well your site content cross-links.
When your community is providing quality questions, answers, and resources, you are creating web pages that others will find valuable. When a user finds a page helpful, they’ll share that link with others, who will then share the link with even more people. With AnswerHub, each question has a unique URL, therefore each link to each question will amount to more and more referrals. This strength in numbers will boost your SEO.
3. AnswerHub’s structure is optimized for search engines. When we said AnswerHub was designed for SEO, we weren’t kidding. The following AnswerHub features will set you up for SEO success:
- Unique page titles
- Unique URLs with clustered keywords
- Crawl-able pages (with the exception of user profiles)
- Editable meta descriptions
- Cross-linked pages
- Easy-to-add features like Google Webmaster Tools integration
These features are all in addition to the fact that your community is generating new content on a regular basis in a format that Google prefers – it’s a win/win. Additionally, if there are additional SEO-related capabilities you’d like your site to have, our professional services team can build custom functionality that fits the needs of your AnswerHub community.
5. Sitemaps ensure that search engines know exactly where your content is. Sitemaps help Google understand your site structure and find your pages more easily – without needing to crawl from page to page. In AnswerHub, you get a powerful module to help manage these sitemaps – including controlling the different types of content that will be included and the frequency that different pages are determined to be modified.
These sitemaps feed directly into Google’s Search Console. From there, you can quickly and easily identify problem areas in how search engines are crawling your site and make adjustments to optimize the efficiency of the site’s content.
With AnswerHub Knowledge-Driven Support, you will not only serve your customers better and reduce your own support costs, but you’ll also introduce new users to your products and services with increased organic search traffic.