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What do I need to do to have my site show up in search engines?

The Wild Apricot platform has been designed to be search engine friendly so that content of your site will easily be read and indexed by search engine crawlers, whatever account plan you use. Even so, there are a number of things you can do to optimize your site's rankings. These include:

  • Make your site interesting and relevant to your target audience.
  • Update your site regularly.
  • Persuade other related sites to link to it.
  • Use a custom domain name rather than a wildapricot.org subdomain.
  • Assign custom URLs to your pages using relevant keywords (e.g. Typography for a typography forum).
  • Use meta-tags to define site keywords that match search strings your target audience is likely to use. Keywords should be broad enough to attract a wide range of visitors but not so general that your site gets lost in the crowd. For example, if you set up a site for the International Association of Typographers, you might use targeted keywords like "typographers association", "typeface designers", and "font designers" (along with obvious ones like "typography" and "typographers") but avoid generic ones like "association" and "international".
  • Set custom page titles that incorporate your keywords without overloading them (a practice known as keyword stuffing that gets penalized by search engines). For the International Association of Typographers, you might want to title the home page "IAT - association for typographers, typeface designers, font designers, and other typography professionals".

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