How to Use SEO to Get Your Research Found
Spreading word of your work is just as important as the research itself, and Search Engine Optimization can be key in getting your work noticed and heard. Making sure your website is ready to be shared and interesting to your colleagues can be the distinguishing factor that earns you a grant or a key new hire! Below are 12 easy ways to optimize your exposure and get the most out of your OpenScholar experience:
1. Write a Strong Site Description
Site meta descriptions are the way Google and other search engines present your content to users. Having strong meta descriptions are an integral part of getting your OpenScholar page found frequently across the top of search engines. Make sure to use words that would be frequently typed into search bars!
2. Add Meta Descriptions to Pages
Similarly, writing clear and succinct meta descriptions for your individual pages can help get the key points and highlights found quickly. Clarity is key here; don’t ramble!
3. Use High Quality Images & Alt Text
Sprinkling high resolution, legible images across your page can help bring your work to life and spark the imagination of your fellow researchers. Tagging your images with alt text can also help your images get highlighted in search results, helping your page naturally get click-throughs and attention.
4. Include Key Words in Titles & Headings
Keep your headings clear and concise! Help your readers navigate your page and find the information they’re looking for by making your section headings short and functional.
5. Incorporate Key Words & Search Terms Naturally into Body Text
Keeping the terminology of your work consistent and easy to understand across titles, headings, and the body of your text helps tie your work to the key terms your readers are likely to use to find your work. Make sure that certain words aren’t overused though - Google may flag your work as spam.
6. Add Internal Links
Internal links help your readers navigate your site, as well as make visiting your site an interactive experience that keeps your readers engaged. Sites with useful links are often featured at the top of Google searches as well.
7. Include Good Anchor Text
Anchor text is text that is hyperlinked and distinguished from the body of your text. Good anchor text can make your site feel intuitive and well designed, and should ideally lead to useful resources or pages. Avoid “click here” or similar phrasing that doesn’t fit the flow of your work.
8. Make Your Work Interactive
Sharing your work in a way that engages the viewer keeps them interested and focused on findings. Clickable diagrams, slideshows and videos all aid in keeping readers of all knowledge levels and backgrounds tuned into the highlights and potentials of your studies. YouTube is particularly important as a part of the Google family; your videos easily found and integrated within their search engine.
9. Create Shareable Content
Shareable content greatly increases the likelihood of your research being found and supported - posting high quality, engaging updates to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and other channels generates public and industry interest in your work, and allows the scientific community to support your findings!
10. Update Content Regularly
Stagnant sites also sink in Google’s internal metrics - keep readers updated on new developments in your study and field! There’s always something interesting to share.
11. Keep Your Language Easy to Understand
Effective language is crucial to spreading word of your research. Detail is important, but clarity and simplicity are as well. Don’t bury the important parts of work in a mountain of jargon.
12. List Editors and Contributors
Highlighting the whole team behind a project shows the ambition and collaboration on display. Celebrate everyone! More names on a project means more hits on websites such as LinkedIn, and spreads word of your work.