Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for Journalism
SEO is as important for journalism, as it is for commercial digital communications. Simple SEO techniques will increase the chances of a story or article appearing in Google. Then the piece can reach a further audience of readers.
Search Engine Optimisation may sound like a big fancy jargon word. But it is basically about using the words people search for, keywords or phrases, in the content that is created.
Journalistic Images and SEO
I say ‘content’ and not ‘copy’ or ‘words,’ because it could be any type of multimedia. Keywords can be used in pictures as much as words. A creator can start by saving the photo as a name that people might search for.
The first thing to avoid is uploading a photo with the name, “IMG283559.” What information will Google get from that? Google will now know the topic the image is about. An alternative photo name could be, “Fresh fruit juice for healthy lifestyle.”
Or maybe the picture is of a person. Please replace the “IMG39305” with “Kim Kardashian at Met Gala.” Then Google knows exactly who it is about. How difficult was that?
Keywords When Writing
Consider the phrases people search for when they type something into the Google search bar. There are sites and softwares for finding out, statistically accurately, what people will be looking for. Then add those words or phrases to the URL of the article, the heading, first paragraph and maybe somewhere further on.
Do not cram the story full of SEO keywords. Google knows if you are trying too hard. Yes, Google is run by algorithms as much as people. But it can tell if there are too many keywords for the sake of it. Pick a few focus topics and elaborate on them in your own words.
Write a brief description, that will appear in the excerpt within a Google search results list. Yoast SEO is my favourite plugin for quickly checking the SEO friendliness of an excerpt and other SEO content.
The focus of this article was SEO for journalism. So I wrote a line or two, in the SEO excerpt meta description area, that reflected this topic. I then added words like “Google” and “digital communications.” These are relevant related keywords. The top priority was to describe the couple of main phrases, without cramming the description full of meaningless keywords. Balance meaning with relevance, and all will be fine.
Continue Discovering More Techniques
These are just a few simple SEO techniques to get started. There are more tactics that I use. And more strategies are shared in an abundance of resources. The best advice I can give is to practice continuous learning and research into the latest innovations.