Journalists have a greater need to get to grips with SEO, especially now that Facebook has clamped down on the sharing of current affairs content in the wake of the fake news scandal. If you work in journalism, you need to understand how SEO can ensure that your work is performing strongly on search engines.
This trend has also seen an increase in SEO editors, who focus on search engine optimisation for news content, and a decline in the number of sub-editors. Remember that Google has about 90 per cent of the market, so it is the search engine to focus on in terms of both Google search and the news function.
Getting content right for SEO
Remember that Google is robotic and does not understand language in an intuitive human way. This means that clever journalistic writing, such as wordplay, jokes and puns, have no effect. As a machine, it needs to be signposted to the relevant content and phrases that you want to be listed for. Make sure you detail the specifics in the headlines and the first six words, such as an event or person.
Is keyword density still key?
You will want to repeat key search terms in the copy; however, it is more relevant to use synonyms to help Google understand the content you are writing about. Don’t worry about changing the tone of your writing or the brand style; instead, focus on the headline and the keyword inclusions from the start. A professional SEO services provider such as https://www.elevateuk.com/seo-services/ can assist with this.
What about article length?
Google News will want to see a minimum of 80 words, with at least 200 the optimum number to be ranked. Google News does not like long articles, favouring articles that are between 1,500 and 2,000 words. This is an increase on the lengths of the past, which tended to optimise at around 500 words. The longer pieces are seen as being authoritative and tend to have more backlinks.
If the newspaper or media outlet you are linking to is not offering reciprocal linking, look for another external link that will provide reader value. Don’t choose commercial content, as Google is likely to penalise you. Remember that SEO is a long game, so invest consistently in the long term and you will see results.