Today’s leading newspapers are fully aware of the positive impact search engine optimisation (SEO) has on driving sales forward. This blog post will look at how newspapers use SEO. Ultimately, SEO is all about driving traffic to a site and growing brand visibility online. In relation to the publishing sector, this converts directly to more readers and more sales. With this in mind, many digital journalists are turning towards the art of SEO when it comes to crafting innovative web articles.  These optimised news articles are created to ensure that Google will favour them and place them higher up on a search engine result page (SERPs) over one of their competitors. Two such leading newspapers that have used SEO to drive sales forward are The Financial Times and The Economist.

The following examples highlight how these leading publications used SEO to massively increase sales.

Financial Times Meta Data Focus

It is no secret that The Financial Times has hugely benefited from optimising their metadata around relevant, high volume keywords. By doing this, search engines like Google are able to crawl through their html and categorise their pages a lot better. This also helps readers find the newspapers when searching for certain keywords. Long gone are the days when a newspaper’s readership comes mainly from printed sales. Today, many readers will use their mobile phones or computers to access a newspaper’s website, so many journalists and editors are thinking about SEO in terms of digital search.

Title Tags

Title tags are vital in letting Google know exactly what your article is about.  With this in mind, The Financial Times has put many articles and category names in a lot of their title tags. The title tag is very important to Google and is at the very top of the semantic hierarchy for many such search engines. If you are a journalist and thinking of improving your newspaper’s landing pages, make sure your article title and section are in the title tag. For example, if you have a page in the financial section about the Bond market selloff scam, the title tag may be ‘Bond market sell-off causes stress in $2tn ETF industry – FT.com

That title tag enables search engines to immediately understand about finance and the bond market scandal within a quick crawl.

Meta descriptions

The relevant use of keywords in a meta description attracts readers to your article and increases the likelihood of them clicking on the indexed page.

H1s and H2s

H1 and H2

The Financial Times has also put their headings in heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) You should use headings that explain the content of your articles. The article title is fine. Next, put sub-headings into lower level heading tags. This enables search engines to categorise top level headings that may read ‘Bond Market Sell-Off’ and classify it to financial services and the bond market.

Social Media Marketing

The Web provides many opportunities to expand readership or viewership on a huge scale. If you are a journalist that publishes content, one of the best ways to acquire new readers or viewers is through social media, but many sites are still not taking advantage of this successful communication platform. There are also incredible SEO profits when social media optimisation is perfected. Many publishers have an advantage in this area because production of content is essentially at the heart of social media marketing.

The Economist has used social media as a huge marketing tool to promote their brand online. Their Facebook page commands a huge following, and they regularly use this platform o promote articles and competitions whenever they can. With Google’s  Executive Chairman  Eric Schmidt stating back in 2011 that “the social signal, the people you hang with is actually a ranking signal” there is no reason why journalists would not use this medium to promote their publication and increase their ranking positions within the SERPs.

Think Accessible

Finally, if you are a journalist looking at using SEO to promote your publication, then focus on the accessibility for your site. Make it easy for your online readers to see exactly what each of your articles is about, as quickly as possible.  Also make it easy for them to navigate from page to page and if you are promoting any offers or competitions, make sure you use every type of social media platform available. If you do these things, the likelihood is that you are doing the same thing for Bing and Google.

4Ps isn’t just another SEO agency. To discuss how SEO and content are evolving together in order to keep pace with new developments in technology and publishing, give us a call on +44 (0)207 607 5650 for a no-obligation coffee and chat about data, marketing and user behaviour across all inbound channels.