Semalt Expert Recommendations On How To Optimize A News Site
Learning to optimize a news website can be quite tricky. With a news website, we always have to be on our toes, editing, optimizing, and publishing content on the go. This requires skill and experience.
If you have a news website and it isn't optimized, here are some of the tips we use to keep our clients at the top of SERP, not only do they rank higher, but they also enjoy more inbound traffic.
Understanding The Fundamentals Of A News Website
News websites have the unique advantage of a constant stream of fresh content. Google has also recognized this advantage, so they created a special feature called Top Stories. Being able to optimize for all this really makes having a news website amazing.
But we will be showing you other ways for a news website to stand out SEO-wise and show that they are unique even though they all report similar stories. Simply writing a great piece and publishing it doesn't guarantee that it will rank well in Google. It may also not attract traffic to your site.
With this article, we hope to show you what we offer by highlighting some of the key considerations you may have neglected while planning an SEO strategy to get your news and your news website on the first page of SERP. No doubt this will give you a leg up on your competition, and with a detailed SEO guide on our blog, there is no limit to how good you can become.
How To Make A Website Stand Out SEO Wise
Building Evergreen Content
It is no secret that the news gets old quickly. As a news site, you gain attention and a dedicated audience because of your ability to write on timely subjects.
Sadly, in the news industry, timely articles usually have a short lifespan. Once published, you will most likely experience a spike in the amount of traffic you get to that article. However, the traffic to that article will continue to decline as it ages. This is simply the nature of news.
If you want to enjoy a high level of inbound traffic consistently, you must be able to produce more news consistently.
But another approach will be to keep the core news model intact by creating evergreen content for your site.
Evergreen content stays relevant and useful for a long time, so you have a consistent source of flowing traffic. Creating evergreen content offers your audience something to read that is always relevant to their daily lives.
While you get your fair share of traffic in your regular news articles, having evergreen content also gives you a consistent flow of traffic.
Make Sure Your Content Is Featured In Google News
Making an appearance on Google News is one of the best things that can happen to you as a news website. When your content appears on Google News, it shows on the home screen of all their users who have shown interest in that subject. It's more like Google is advertising your news to its readers.
But for something so advantageous, it is hard to come by, especially when you are yet to understand its secrets.
If you want your content to appear on Google News, you should check the content guidelines for inclusion and ensure that the content you publish are up to Google's standards. Most of your competition that outranks you on SERP are most likely following the guidelines you will find on that list.
Next, you can check the technical guidelines for inclusion. This is important because it tells you whether or not Google can crawl your site and understand what pages your news is on.
Once you're sure that everything meets the standard, you can then submit your site for Google's approval. Within three weeks, you should see if Google has approved your site.
Note: this doesn't mean that your news will get featured in the next minute.
Think of Google News as its search engine. It picks the best option for every user by using the same basic SEO principles as organic search. It searches for Keyword optimization, mobile friendliness, uniqueness, authority, and other SEO factors. At the end of the day, your news will appear only when it is the best.
Maintaining Clean Architecture
Managing a news site for SEO can be quite challenging as they are continuously growing. They create and publish new pages almost daily, so their architecture can get complicated easily.
Keeping the architecture of your site clean and navigable for both search engines and readers is essential. Regardless of the number of pages published, you must be able to keep things organized. It is important to evaluate the categories and tags you use on your site and consider if they are working for you.
With so many pages on your site, it is important that you have enough tags so readers can easily find what they are searching for. Now, look at the tags you're currently using. Are they valuable?
The depth of your site is another important factor to consider. No one wants to click ten times before arriving at their destination. It is important that you consider how many clicks it takes a user to get to any other page from the homepage. We advise that you keep this number as low as possible.
Doing this wouldn't just improve your user experience but also help search engine bots. Your search engine crawls through your website by following the links on a page. The deeper your website is, the lower the chances of getting all your pages indexed. Your tagging system can help to fix that problem.
The last tip will be to add pagination at the bottom of each page. The next and previous buttons also make things easier.
How Mobile-Friendly Is Your Site?
Too much emphasis can not be laid on how important a mobile-friendly site has become to Google. For news websites, the need for a mobile-friendly site is even more significant. We say this because these days, we read the news on our mobile devices: our tablets or smartphones.
To improve the mobile-friendliness of your site, you should start by constructing a responsive design. This way, your web design adjusts to fit the size and shape of the viewer's screen.
The next thing to do is adopt AMP. It is a type of publishing technology that removes the need for formatting. This allows the page to load quickly for mobile users. This, however, isn't something we advise you do on your own. It's always best to have an expert supervise.
Optimizing For Crawl Speed
As a news website, whatever you post is breaking news. It is in high demand at that very instance, so you want Google to find, crawl, and index that content as soon as possible.
Every second counts as readers won't wait around for your slow site to load, especially when there are dozens of other news platforms reporting that same news.
So to beat your competition, you need to get crawled immediately.
Luckily for you, we have several tips and SEO factors that, when included, should help your crawl speed. They include:
- Your XML sitemaps
- The Hosting performance
- The Site Speed
These three factors can impact how fast your pages get crawled, and improving them gives you better chances.
It is also important to regularly update your site, but that wouldn't be a problem because you're a news website. When Google bots constantly discover new content on a site, it tends to revisit more often.
News websites can be tricky because of the volume of content coming in and the speed at which they must be optimized and published. These short-lived breaking news are, however, the reason why news websites enjoy a ridiculous amount of traffic on a daily basis.
With these guidelines in mind, we have optimized many news sites, and our clients have enjoyed more traffic and readers. You, too, can enjoy this by giving us a call today.