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Use Best Bets to boost pages in search results

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OpenCities Product Team

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This task can be undertaken by users with the following roles: OC Site Manager and OC System Administrator.

Best Bets is a tool you can use to attach a search keyword to a page on your site and guarantee that it will show in site search results. This is helpful if you have a lot of pages with similar titles, or you have a portion of your community that would search different keywords than the ones you use on your page. This would ensure, for example, that someone searching "rubbish" would still find your page titled "Waste Management". You might also want to use it to bump up pages that are time-sensitive, such as grants, registrations, consultations, or applications that need to be completed by a certain time.

You can see how this is done in this video, in which we use the example of an Animal Registration page.

Add a Best Bet

Before you add a Best Bet, you should check out the Insights dashboard or Google Analytics to find out what your community members are searching for and if there are important pages that they're not seeing.

To add a keyword as a Best Bet:

  1. From the main menu, go to More > Best Bet Admin.
  2. Select Create New Best Bet.
  3. Fill out the fields for your Best Bet.
  4. Save your new Best Bet.

Create a new Best Bet menu

You can also see a report about how your Best Bets are performing from this menu, and edit or delete them if they're not working.

What to include on your Best Bet

Use the following information to fill out the fields for your new Best Bet:

Field Function
Name Use this field to give your Best Bet a descriptive name for internal purposes. You may want to give it the same name as the page you want users to find.
Best Bet Results

Use this field to indicate which page(s) you want to direct your community towards. 

This field is a predictive search page, so start typing the name of the page and select the correct one from the list. Then select Add and it will appear in the list below the field. Alternatively, you use the Content Selector icon to navigate through your site tree to find the page.

You can add as many pages to this field as you want, and you can drag and drop them in the list to change the order they're presented in search results.


Use this field to enter all the keywords your community might enter when searching for the page(s) you've selected. Type them into the Keyword field and select Add to put them on the list.

If your site has multiple language options, you can add keywords for each language by selecting from the Language dropdown menu.

Note: you cannot use the same keywords across multiple best bets.

Once you've created a Best Bet, it's important to monitor how they're performing so you can edit or delete them if your community is still not finding the page.

Get a report for your Best Bets

To see how your Best Bets are performing:

  1. From the main menu, go to More > Best Bets Admin > Report Best Bets.
  2. From the List dropdown menu, select the content list for which you want to see a report, such as OC CL Public Site Search which is the content list for search results for your main site. Please note that only content lists with Best Bets enabled will appear. You can further filter your report by entering a keyword, language, page name, or date range.
  3. Select Search, and a report will appear. Use these numbers to see how your Best Bets are performing, and work out how to further refine them. For example, if you discover that the page you'd listed third in the results for a Best Bet is actually the most popular, you could move it to first in the list. The report will display:
    • Best Bet Keyword: the keyword used for the search
    • Page name: the name of the page you're targetting
    • No. Times Shown: the number of times the page was returned as a search results
    • No. Times Clicked: the number of times it was clicked
    • Keyword Language: the language that the keyword belongs to
  4. If you need to, you can export this list by selecting Export to XLS or Export to CSV.

Best Bet report

Edit or delete a Best Bet

Once you've checked out your Best Bets Report, you may need to edit an underperforming Best Bet or delete one that you no longer need.

  1. From the main menu, go to More > Best Best Admin  > Manage Best Bets.
  2. Select the best bet you want to edit from the list. If you have a lot of best bets, use the Keyword search bar to find the one you need. 
  3. Make the changes you'd like to affect in your best bet (adding more keywords for example), and Save your work. 
  4. Or, select Delete to remove the best bet. 

Please note that once you edit or delete a Best Bet, it will no longer appear in the Best Bets report.

Troubleshooting tips

If your Best Bets are not working, there are a few things you can do:

  • Ensure that the content type of the page you've created a Best Bet for is included in your site search results. To do this, go to More > Site Management > your site > Settings > Site Search and make sure the content type is checked in the Select which content types are included in site search and the Select which content types are included in predictive search fields.
  • If you have created a custom content list for search results, make sure you've selected the Enable best bets option for the list. You can do this on the Overview tab when you're creating the list, or do it for an existing list by going to More > Content Lists > Lists > your list > Overview.
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