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. This is something that 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!
Now if you jump into the Privacy and Security page in the Console you will find a new toggle switch called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
What does this actually do?
This switch will allow control of whether your PWA based community is searchable through Search engines (such as Google and Bing) and fundamentally crawlable 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 user and allowing them to discover your Community. By also allowing the sign up page to be public, this also gives the public users the opportunity to sign up to your community at the same time.
If I have a community based around French fries and a public user searches for “Best restaurants for French fries” on Google. Knowing that I have a post on my Community with Top 10 best restaurants for French fries, this post will display as a search result for this public user. This public user can then dive into this post and read through it on my French fry Community.
This in principle is giving Public users direct access and exposure to your Community content and driving organic traffic straight into your community, where they can hopefully become lifelong engaged members.
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 Disable the SEO toggle on the Privacy and security page and the Sign up/log in and Post pages will no longer be 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.