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SEO and health libraries: does optimizing for Google impact library site visibility?

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This presentation was given at the 2017 annual meeting of the Medical Library Association. Medical libraries currently have low visibility in organic search engine results. By using SEO strategies we an increase the visibility of our products and services. More information on SEO and libraries is available on my website: : http://emilycouvillon.com/2017/06/04/library-seo/

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SEO and health libraries: does optimizing for Google impact library site visibility?

  1. 1. SEO and Health Libraries: Does optimizing for Google impact site visibility? Emily Couvillon Clinical Informationist & Data Management Librarian Dahlgren Memorial Library Georgetown University Medical Center
  2. 2. Background
  3. 3. What is SEO? “SEO is a marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. SEO encompasses both the technical and creative elements required to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness in search engines.” -Moz Beginners Guide to SEO
  4. 4. SEO is NOT • Blackhat tactics • Stuffing keywords into your HTML • A short term project • Spammers begging for Libguides links
  5. 5. Why SEO for libraries? • Attract unreached patrons at point of need • Showcase services and expertise • Compete with information published by for-profits
  6. 6. Why SEO for libraries?
  7. 7. Why SEO for libraries?
  8. 8. Why SEO for libraries?
  9. 9. The Study
  10. 10. Research question • Do SEO tactics impact health science library visibility in search results?
  11. 11. Methods • Selected 25 AHHSL sites • Created 3 personas and select 65 target keywords • Measured ranking • Audited sites using 42 point SEO checklist
  12. 12. Methods – Moz Keyword Explorer
  13. 13. Methods – Wincher Rank Tracking
  14. 14. Methods – Site Audit
  15. 15. Methods – Screaming Frog Site Audit
  16. 16. Results
  17. 17. Results: what are we ranking for?
  18. 18. Results: who is ranking the most?
  19. 19. • 65 keywords representing 164880 search volume • Not ranking at all for 41.5% of sample keywords • Ranking in top 10 results for 12 words (~19%) • Small successes with SEO Results
  20. 20. Ranking Factors
  21. 21. Ranking Factors • Domain authority • Number of pages linking to you • Quality of pages linking to you • Content quality • Unique • Clear focus • Answers specific need
  22. 22. Ranking Factors
  23. 23. How are they ranking successfully?
  24. 24. How are they ranking successfully?
  25. 25. How are they ranking successfully?
  26. 26. How are they ranking successfully?
  27. 27. How are they ranking successfully? • Affiliated with larger library brand • Connected site structure • Original content
  28. 28. More inspiration
  29. 29. Tips going forward
  30. 30. Think Locally • Focus on people searching near you • Use local examples or case studies • Network with departments who might publish a guest post
  31. 31. Plan it out • Conduct long-tail keyword research • Audit current site • Connect everything to your domain • Avoid duplicate content • Don’t forget about Libguides
  32. 32. Limitations • Not everyone cares about the same keywords • No access to full analytics • Hard to replicate results
  33. 33. Learn More • Moz Beginner’s Guide to SEO • Vertical Measures Content Marketing Library https://goo.gl/vy6ttL
  34. 34. ec1094@georgetown.edu @emilycouvillon

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