How Will Your AnswerHub Knowledge-Driven Support Affect Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Aug 23, 2016 8:00:00 AM

At DZone Software, 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 in Google

Whether you’re using AnswerHub for knowledge-driven support or knowledge-driven productivity, both questions and answers are the cornerstone of your AnswerHub site. Questions rank well in Google searches thanks to semantic search. According to Tamas Doszkocs of WebLib: "Semantic search is a search or a question or an action that produces meaningful results, even when the retrieved items contain none of the query terms, or the search involves no query text at all."

Google wants to give users an answer, not just a bunch of related webpages that may or may not hold the information you’re 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. Increased 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 to each other.

When your community is providing quality questions, answers, and resources, you are creating webpages 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 in more and more referrals. This strength in number of links 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:

i. Unique page titles

ii. Unique URLs with clustered keywords

iii. By default, most AnswerHub public pages are crawlable by search engines, with the exception of user profiles.

iv. Meta descriptions can be edited site wide (default) or on a page by page basis

v. Many pages are cross-linked to other pages in the site through related questions and topics

vi. Easily add additional features like integration with Google Webmaster Tools without any customizations

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.

4. AnswerHub let's you control the pages that robots crawl

One of the most important parts of SEO management is making sure that you aren't filling the search indices with low value pages. To that end, AnswerHub lets you manage your robots.txt file directly from the administration console. For example, we block things such as the profile pages and some JavaScript from Google by default, but you might actually like to block the Topic landing pages. Or maybe you'd like to block a specific question from being indexed – both are simple to do with AnswerHub.

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5. Sitemaps ensure that search engines know exactly where your content is

Sitemaps to 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 (and others) Search Console. From there, you can quickly and easily identify problem areas in how the 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 service your customers better and reduce your own support costs, but it will introduce new users to your products and services with increased organic search traffic. 

Ready to boost SEO while efficiently supporting customers with AnswerHub Knowledge-Driven Support? Request a free trial of AnswerHub today!

Chelsea Bosworth

Written by Chelsea Bosworth

Chelsea Bosworth is the Director of Marketing at DZone Software. Chelsea enjoys optimizing lead generation campaigns, planning and executing product launches, and email marketing.