In times of digitization and universal accessibility of content, discoverability is of great importance. We operate in a network of endless information. The algorithms of major search engines and social networks determine which section of the endless Internet we get to see. Especially for publishers on Voice Republic, the question of how to make their content visible in this scheme, plays a crucial role. An answer to this question is the optimization of content.
Why are data so important?
When speaking of digital content, you quickly arrive at the term “discoverability”. Content that is published on the internet should also be found. That is usually the reason for chosing this platform. But even if the content is publicly available, searchability is the key to being found. Content can not be viewed in isolation. An image or a text or an audio file alone will not be found by search engines – the algorithms need the full picture. Only the data connected with the content itself will create the overall image. These data include title, description texts, tags, links and many other things. This information is called metadata, i.e. the data that relate to a specific content. All these details affect the findability and therefore can make the content visible for a wider audience. Therefore, it is not sufficient to produce and publish content. It is crucial to consider the metadata.
What exactly are metadata?
Metadata is a term describing a process that is actually known to everyone. And not only in the age of the Internet. If a content – regardless which kind – is produced, it needs a title and a subtitle. These are just two elements of metadata. If you have written a student work, the concept of the excerpt is also not new for you. Such a summary or description is also a form of metadata.
Well-made metadata is not only helping to thematically classify content, but primarily intended to offer the user an orientation. Metadata are extremely important, because this information is read and classified by search engines and social networks. They not only have a descriptive function, but make it possible that your content is found. We are going to explain some basic rules below.
In order to generate the best possible visibility for your own content, the metadata should be as complete as possible. This means besides a title and subtitle there should be at least a detailed description, tags, categories and, if possible, the name of the author or speaker. If you’re publishing on Voice Republic, you can enter these data into the forms whenever you create a talk and later on, when you edit an existing talk. The information should be thoroughly researched and complete.
The more metadata are given, the more anchor points the user has. For example, a talk on Voice Republic can not only be found if the user searches for a specific publisher, but also by selecting a category or by searching for a specific keyword or speaker. If all this information is available, users can encounter your content in many different ways.
- Tags = keywords = search items
As described above, metadata help users to find the right content. Therefore, it is best to use the metadata terms or phrases that are commonly searched by users. This increases the hit ratio. These terms are often referred to as tags, keywords or search items.
To define keywords, Google offers two helpful possibilities. For one thing, suggestions for keywords are alread made by Google during the actual search. Then, Google provides the Keyword Planner, which you can use if you sign up with Google Adwords first. It is a great free tool to determine and compare keywords.
- Markdown and HTML formatting
Often one has the ability to format the information in the description text. There can be an editor to make sparts of the text bold or in italics, for example, highlight headlines put links etc. Another possibility is to format the information by means of Markdown. Markdown is an extremely simplified version of HTML and can also change text parts individually: using bold and italic types, emphasizing headlines, inserting bullet points, links and images.
Voice Republic provides this possibility for the individual user profile, series descriptions and talk pages. You can find helpful tipps and examples in our Markdown manual.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Taking the various measures together – the use of matching search items, the completeness of the data, setting correct text anchors with Markdown or HTML – you get the so-called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). All these measures help to increase the discoverability of your content. SEO is not a one-time process, but subject to constant change. For example, new links must be set when the content is taken up on another websites. For the basics of SEO, see this post on Search Engine Optimization.