Publishers use an array of analytics and SEO tools, in combination with their innate ‘newsroom sense’, to pinpoint keywords that resonate with readers and appear in Google News tabs (Top Stories on mobile and Publisher Carousels on desktop), as well as organic search.
News websites must optimize for keywords that are currently relevant and timely; this practice is commonly known as “trending topic optimization.” To identify topics people are searching for today, publishers can use Google Trends and quickly identify and rank articles related to them.
As Google favors publishers that update articles regularly with fresh data about specific events – like hurricanes or other weather phenomena – Google also rewards publishers that publish regular updates regarding breaking-news stories as they occur, providing basic updates such as who, what, where, when, why and how updates as the story develops.
Publishers can establish themselves as authorities on certain news topics by writing novel angles or perspectives about those subjects, including analyses, context pieces, timelines, profiles, editorials and opinion pieces. This strategy can help them compete for top rankings on Google News.
Meta title and description
The meta description is a short summary of your web page’s content that appears on search engine results pages (SERPs). While not directly ranking-factor related, meta descriptions can help increase visibility while encouraging visitors to click your link – for instance if writing meta tags for emergency services pages including phone number and price can increase clickthrough rates significantly.
Utilizing your business name in your meta description may also prove effective, provided it relates directly to your niche and has sufficient search volume. In addition, Google Search Console should be monitored closely in order to adjust meta data accordingly.
Your CTR increases the odds that your site will be featured in news snippets; however, many things can alter its visibility; for instance if an article no longer trending is written about, its presence may wane from news snippets.
Timely news requires fast loading websites. Even one small delay can detract from user experience and Google awards sites with faster loads with higher rankings.
News websites must optimize images with image tagging and alt text in order to make them search-friendly, as well as create an XML sitemap in order for Google to index all articles indexed within it. This sitemap must include date of publication as well as “dateModified” values that are more recent than “datePublished” dates (both values must be in ISO 8601 format).
An XML sitemap is essential to getting your articles into Google News Feed and Top Stories, while news websites should add a search bar so users can easily locate their information. Finally, news websites should utilize internal links between articles for easier navigation on their sites; additionally they must ensure all original and non-duplicative articles.
News sites depend heavily on social media to spread articles and drive traffic, so having a functional social sharing plugin installed and regularly updated on your site is crucial for reaching readers who will help spread it among their social networks. It will allow readers to easily share your articles.
Another tip for news websites is to avoid duplicating content, as Google filters out duplicated results from search engines. Furthermore, use high-quality images in your articles; this way they’ll appear more trustworthy and attract more viewers.
Now that Google has released their mobile-first index, news websites must also be mobile-friendly. WebCEO Mobile Optimization is an invaluable resource to test whether or not your site is optimized for mobile. Another strategy would be submitting articles to specialized directories with high domain authority that will increase rankings; just ensure you only submit to trustworthy directories!