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Improving the Visibility and Use of Digital Repositories through SEO: A LITA Guide
Kenning Arlitsch and Patrick OBrien
Item Number: 978-1-55570-906-8
Publisher: ALA TechSource
Price: $65.00
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This title is also available for purchase as an e-book or as a print/e-book bundle.

136 pages
6" x 9"
ISBN-13: 978-1-55570-906-8
Year Published: 2013
Recent OCLC surveys show that less than 2 percent of library users begin their search on a library website, which is why search engine optimization (SEO) is so crucial. A strong SEO strategy can dramatically increase visitation and maximize the digital library investment. But since library and archive SEO efforts are often an afterthought, they can be unproductive. SEO managed by a few technically knowledgeable people deep in the organization are usually ineffective and difficult to sustain, precisely because they are not driven by a strategic plan. Arlitsch and OBrien advocate that SEO only works when approached holistically and driven strategically. Drawing on their expertise in digital libraries and corporate marketing, they show how to mount a successful SEO strategy, including
  • Recommended dashboards for increasing participation by sharing data
  • Avoiding the four most common crawler errors that lead to low rankings
  • How to effectively utilize the Google Keyword Tool
  • The use of domain settings to generate unit-specific reports for special collections, institutional repositories and university presses  
Arlitsch and OBrien go beyond an explanation of the technical aspects of SEO to provide a unique top-level perspective which emphasizes cross-organizational functions and communication for sustained success.
Table of Contents


Chapter 1: What Is SEO and Why Is It Important to Libraries?
Chapter 2: Improving Your Library’s SEO Efforts
Chapter 3: How Internet Search Engine Indexing Works
Chapter 4: Setting Your SEO Baselines
Chapter 5: What Is Your Search Engine-Indexing Ratio and How Can You Improve It?
Chapter 6: Targeting Your Audience
Chapter 7: Google Scholar and Institutional Repositories
Chapter 8: Measuring Success

About the Authors

About the Authors

Kenning Arlitsch is the dean of the library at Montana State University. Prior to his current position he was the associate dean for information technology services at the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library. He is the founder of the Mountain West Digital Library and the Utah Digital Newspapers program, as well as cofounder of the Western Waters Digital Library and the Western Soundscape Archive.

Patrick OBrien is the semantic web research director at the Montana State University Library. Prior to his current position he was the SEO research manager at the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library. He is an expert in semantic web technologies and their application for improving data integration quality, discovering new relationships, and turning diverse data stores into conceptual knowledge. OBrien has over fifteen years’ experience implementing data-driven marketing and risk management strategy within various industries.

The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of ALA, educates, serves and reaches out to its members, other ALA members and divisions, and the entire library and information community through its publications, programs and other activities designed to promote, develop, and aid in the implementation of library and information technology.

"The book has valuable information for IR staff, managers, administrators, and others who want to know more about this topic. The overall tone of the book is informal, which makes the presentation of the topic less intimidating and helps communicate technical issues more clearly."
--College & Research Libraries

"While … written with library digital repositories in mind, the concepts and strategies discussed by Arlitsch and OBrien can be applied to other enterprises maintaining digital repositories. Thus, acquisition of the title for both instructional and management purposes makes it a wise choice for companies managing digital assets, educational institutions with both business and computer science programs, and other institutions who need to provide web access to digital asset collections."
— Technicalities

”This book represents one of the few resources that focuses on SEO for digital repositories … The authors stress that SEO is not solely the domain of the IT department, but that it should be an organizational effort. While parts of this book are technical, it will also be useful for archivists, collections managers, and administrators at all levels. This book addresses a specific problem, but an important one nevertheless, as the visibility of digital repositories demonstrates their relevance."
— Catholic Library World

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