Writing scholarly articles for online publication is a responsible and time-consuming task. First of all, it requires the author to conduct in-depth research and build up a strong main point in the work.
However, it also requires investing enough effort and time in the optimization of the article to make it prominent. Here, we are going to talk about the importance of academic SEO (or ASEO for short), its main distinctive features, and top trends to keep in mind. Let’s dive in!
The point of ASEO is pretty much the same as with traditional optimization of web content. It assumes applying certain optimization rules and techniques to make scholarly articles more visible for search engines. This is done to help engines index and rank different academic pieces better.
As you can see, the idea behind both processes is similar. Still, there are a few factors that differentiate ASEO from regular SEO:
- Optimization is done for different search engines with different ranking algorithms
- In academic SEO, there is no market leader, which means you will need to optimize each piece for all engines
- As a rule, the content of published academic articles is restricted, which makes it hard for search engines to index it. However, abstracts and titles are always available and can be indexed, so there is still some space for SEO
- While SEO specialists can normally adjust their content even after it was published, this can hardly be done with academic pieces, which means ASEO requires much more attention and carefulness
These are some of the main distinctive features of academic search engine optimization compared to regular SEO. Now, let’s move on and see what tricks and techniques exist for optimizing scholarly articles.
Top Trends For Smart ASEO
Proper optimization helps to attract more readers, ensure the article’s visibility, and potentially may increase the number of citations the author will receive. Writing an academic paper which meets all the contemporary SEO rules and trends could be a tough task even for the professional scientist.
A wise tip here is to outsource this stage of work, which means to ask an expert writer to make a proofread of your papers according to SEO rules. Nevertheless, it could be quite hard to find a platform which offers such a service, because a lot of them perform SEO analysis for the essays on general topics, while ASEO requires the additional area of expertise.
You can find one of such websites which provides customers with a specific optimization of academic articles via simple search query: “help me write my essay” but pay attention that not every search result under that query meets your needs.
Even if you have ordered optimization of your article online, it would be good to understand the principles of how to make the most of ASEO. Here are some of the best tips to consider:
1 – Search engines
Engines that are relevant for regular search are completely irrelevant for academic SEO. Therefore, there is no need to optimize your texts for tools like Google and Bing. Instead, you will need to look for special engines like Directory of Open Access Journals, ScienceDirect, Microsoft Academic Search, etc.
There are quite many scholarly engines to optimize your content for. Probably the two most popular ones are Google Scholar and CiteSeer.
One more thing to keep in mind is that such engines have different indexing requirements compared to other tools. For example, CiteSeer accepts publications only written in English language and submitted in ZIP/GZ/Z, PDF or PS formats. CiteSeer also requires all content to have metadata and be submitted in the form of links to relevant files that are publicly accessible.
As for Google Scholar, it requires authors to provide publicly accessible links to their documents. However, it accepts only HTML or PDF formats and files that don’t exceed 5MB (otherwise, an author will need to upload it to Google Books prior to publication). Also, Google Scholar requires using meta tags for identifying the title, author and date of publication.
2 – Keywords
Everyone who has a bit of experience in SEO will confirm that keywords are probably the most effective tools for optimization! Scholarly content isn’t an exception, so don’t be afraid of using keywords. However, pay attention to the phrases and words you pick. They must be relevant, and it is essential to keep the fine line with their amount in the text in order not to make your article look like spam.
One more thing to keep in mind is that academic keywords are not at all, similar to regular keywords in SEO. They should represent the content and ideas of the paper and be specific to the field. Here are a few tips on how to find the right keywords:
- Academic keywords usually consist of 2-4 words.
- An excellent key phrase should suggest what the topic is about.
- Think of what phrases your readers may search for to find information related to a specific topic.
- Keep the number of keywords between three to eight – that’s what most journals ask for.
Also, you can search for relevant words in special academic keywords lists. With the right keywords, papers become more searchable, which can lead to more citations.
3 – Bibliographic citations
One more thing to keep in mind is that all scholarly search engines and bibliographic databases rank content based on the number of bibliographic citations. Thus, this is one of the key factors to pay attention to.
4 – Title and abstract
Unlike regular search engines, academic ones do data crawling mostly through the article’s title and abstract. Therefore, these are the spaces for SEO, and it’s important to make the most of them. One handy tip is to include the most relevant and popular keywords in the abstract and title of your work. This will make it easier to find for readers.
5 – Captions for different media files
Every element of the content can help rank it better, so you shouldn’t miss out on a single opportunity when optimizing your text. Here is our first tip – always add logical captions to all media files, including graphs, tables, photos, etc. Also, make sure to include relevant keywords in these captions. This will help search engines to notice your article.
6 – Meta-Data
Most scholarly articles are published in the .pdf format. This fact makes such content more similar to images rather than text, which makes the optimization of such files quite hard. That’s why ASEO requires including special meta-data for effective optimization.
In brief, meta-data of an article provides the main info related to it, including its title, author’s name, year of creation and publication, keywords and abstracts, knowledge needed for understanding and placing the work in context, etc. This type of data isn’t part of the text. However, it is required for simple identification of the article.
Although academic optimization is a bit more complicated than regular SEO, it can bring you numerous benefits. Besides, it is not that hard if you know where to start! Applying these ASEO trends on practice is a sure way to get your published articles noticed and ranked well! Hopefully, all scholars looking to be published will find this article helpful.
Mary Hampton is a professional academic writer with a background in marketing and management. She specializes in writing texts in social studies, marketing strategy evaluation, and technology. Her most interesting personal work is found on twitter.