The most important rules of journalistic SEO
Website positioning is important not only for companies and individual entrepreneurs selling their services and products online, but also for modern digital media. Unfortunately, very often news and information websites that use positioning to attract readers do it quite unskillfully.
The result is headlines and texts oversaturated with key phrases and sounding very artificial. Journalists are also often concerned that the optimization of content for SEO will negatively affect the journalistic aspect of news. So what should positioning in journalism look like?
Is positioning in the media important?
Of course, journalism has its own rules, and information texts are of a different nature than sales ones. There is a lot of competition in the media sphere and if a site such as Onet or Wirtualnemedia wants to attract readers, it must take into account SEO principles that will help it gain visibility.
The news’ lifespan is short and it becomes outdated quite quickly – after all, they most often describe current events in the country and the world, and not general and timeless issues. Proper optimization can make an article, review, or even interview like this generate traffic long after its publication. Positioning of columns is, on the other hand, easier – as they are not limited to particular period of time or even.
SEO elements a journalist must know
Of course, it is difficult to expect that every journalist, when writing a news, will consider issues such as its optimization. In the case of journalism, style plays a crucial- as well as speed, as to provide recipients with up-to-date information ahead of the competition. However, it is worth focusing on some positioning elements, if the time and subject of the text allow it. These are the most important aspects of optimization, which constitute the absolute minimum requirements that content should meet.
Keywords and metadata
The journalist should, first of all, consider under which inquiries the recipients will look for this specific information. This means that it’s best to start writing by creating a list of keywords and key phrases. In this case, it’s best to be inspired by the data from Google and check what the users actually entered in the search engine. It is also important to write the Meta Title and Meta Description and include key phrases in them.
It is not a good idea to write a news piece and add keywords to it “by force”, as this may damage the quality of the text. Even worse practice is oversaturating the content with key phrases – often all top user inquiries are found in the first header. The title of such an article looks as if it was generated by bots. Formatting and text structure
The problem of many informative articles is the lack of proper structure, although recently it can be seen that this issue has started to gain importance and more and more websites create clear texts and even tables of contents. Usability and UX are important factors in positioning, so each text should, above all, be as readable as possible for the recipient.
It’s a good idea to break the article down into paragraphs about 500 zs long, add a title and subheadings marked with the appropriate headings (h1, h2, h3 etc.), and also bold the most important information. You should also put a short introduction at the beginning, which will summarize the content of the entire news. All elements should be properly formatted to make it easier for users to read and for search engine bots to index.
Content – planned, unique, useful
Is content marketing relevant for journalism? Of course! Building long-term relationships with users is important to any industry, and the media is no exception. Planning the publication of content in this case requires preparation for unforeseen situations – events from the world of culture or politics that cannot be planned, but which need to be written about. In addition, news portals plan what will appear on their pages in the coming days. Content must contain all the information the readers need, be useful and unique. In this sense, the greatest sin of the media is copying texts in whole or in part from other websites, or literally translating materials from different languages (typically from English).
It must be remembered that, first of all, the application of SEO principles in the text should not disturb its reception and affect the journalist’s writing style. The user is supposed to obtain maximum information from the news in a convenient and pleasant form. Texts that sound artificial won’t hold your readers on for long, and search engine bots will quickly dump them to lower positions in the SERP.