News search optimization by Brent Payne
Benu Aggarwal had an opportunity to interview Brent Payne, SEO Director for Tribune Company (Chicago Tribune, LA Times, Baltimore Sun, KTLA, WGN and more):
A few tips to get your website in Google news
- Use Google News Submission form to submit your website/news.
- Before filling it out, have some fresh content on your site. Do not report on existing news; try to have original unique content.
- Google news looks for mentions of your news items. Mentions show credibility. Terms like “reported by,” “source,” etc. in other press items help in gaining news rank.
- After submitting your website, keep your content fresh for a few weeks. Google news is very picky. They do not want to include sites which do not have fresh content posted.
- Set up a news site map – a specific format only for Google. Have time stamp, key phrases etc. If you do not have site map, have a three digit number in the URL. Yoast.com is a company that can help create news sitemaps.
- If you make any changes to the site, let Google news know about it.
- Do not have huge blocks of HTML in your body text. Google bots stop crawling the story content.
- Use h1 and h2 tags. Make sure to get your keyword tags in h1 and a portion in h2. Do not use too many h1 and h2. One h1 and may be two h2 should be good.
- Get important keyword in title twice
- Google news recommends press releases in different folder.
- Images: Google like 4:3 images. Larger images are preferred rather than small images.
- Canonical Tag – Google news typically ignore that.
Key Factors of SEO Success of your press/news:
- Popularity, authority and relevancy are some key milestones to remember while writing news. Here are few steps to remember: Relevancy – on page, off page etc. Headline, Subhead. Be more relevant rather than using adjectives. On page relevancy makes a difference: “Hudson River Plane Crash” headline is direct and communicate message.
- Use Google keyword research tool – while writing press releases.
- Try changing from photos to pictures while writing. People are looking for pictures more than photos.
- Google Trend – Update every hour. Use for list of top search terms, powerful for breaking news, historical top terms by date, focus on longer tail.
- Google Insight for search is good for hyperlocal search such as what are people looking for in that geographical area which might be newsworthy.
- Keywords in Title, h1 and h2.
- Getting keywords twice in the title works well.
- Highly Relevant headline.
- May be one h1 and two h2 tags.
- Get h1 relevant.
- Meta description will help in conversion – use keywords.
- Try not to repeat whole keywords in h2: just portions in h2.
- Blue link (cookie crump) – automatic download Word Press plugin for linking.
- Social Media helps create more links to your site.
- Get involved in social media.
- Get entire organization talking about you online.
- 300+ choices: pick one and get social.
- Twitter can build links too.
- Try to think magazine style – 15 Ways, Top 10.
- Make social profiles personable. Individual/company, interesting/useful, Personal/insider. Emotional and intellectually connect.