Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a critical piece of getting your paper discovered, viewed, and cited. The goal of search engine optimization is to bring your research up in the rankings when users are searching for published technical papers on Google, Google Scholar, and other search engines in your area of research.
SEO starts as you write your paper.
There are simple techniques that, if you follow, will increase the likelihood that your research will get traction during web searches. But first, what actually is Search Engine Optimization?
SEO is simply the process of attempting to improve a web page’s search engine rankings. Google, Google Scholar, and other web search sites prioritize content that it sees as interesting, high quality, and relevant. The higher the ranking of your paper, the more people will discover, read, and ultimately cite it. There are several simple ways you can optimize your paper for search engine rankings.
The title of your research paper requires careful consideration to improve your search engine optimization. Paper titles should be short, concise, and descriptive and should include a keyword or phrase pertinent to your research. Be sure that your paper’s title includes terms/words that are commonly used in the study of Positioning, Navigation, and Timing. Think about your audience and what they are looking for.
When writing your article, it’s important that you focus on keywords and phrases (often referred to as search terms) that are common search terms. Keywords are used to index your paper, making it easier for people to locate your research. Think about what keywords are most relevant to your work. What keyword might someone use to search on your specific topic? Consider including keywords and/or phrases in the title of your abstract. Repeat your keywords as much as possible (but not too much).
The more web traffic that’s directed to your paper, the greater likelihood that your paper will move up in the rankings when people are searching on your topic. These links play a major role in moving up your ranking on search engines. Use links to your paper in as many communication channels as possible. Drive as much traffic to your article as possible using social media, your college/university resources, professional colleagues, email signatures, blogs, and any other outreach tools you have at your disposal. Always encourage your colleagues to link to your article.
Using social media to promote your research is a best-practice for driving traffic to your paper and improving your search ranking. The most common professional social media tools are currently Twitter, LinkedIn, and to a certain degree, Facebook. YouTube has become the second most widely used search engine, and for those who are comfortable with (or want to become comfortable with vlogging), YouTube provides a tool for uploading a short overview video of your research. Include a link/address to your paper. You can even post comments and links to your paper on other YouTube topic-related videos.