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SEO for journalists: how to position an article in Google

If you are a journalist and you want your articles or news to be positioned in Google, you must know the principles of SEO for journalists. This, as you will see, is the key to obtaining greater visibility on the Internet and getting all the readers you really deserve.

But many people underestimate this part of online journalism. Therefore, before talking about the keys to SEO positioning for journalists, let's see why you should make it one of your priorities.


SEO for journalists


SEO for journalists: does it really matter…?

Unfortunately (or fortunately for you), most journalists know absolutely nothing about SEO. They write very good articles, yes, but they don't reach even a tenth of the readers they should reach. They fold their arms and say "I am a magnificent journalist, and the quality of my texts is enough to make a difference."

But come on, you and I know that that is an excuse not to face reality. And what is this reality? That we live in the Internet Age, and whoever does not appear on the Internet is nobody, even if he is the best journalist in the world. It is like the writer who wishes to make a living from narrative and writes without taking into account the trends and keys to success that work in the literary market.

So yes, SEO for journalists really matters. It matters whether you work for an agency or are independent. It matters if you have a blog and you want your voice to be heard. So, starting today, you have to become an SEO journalist.

What does it mean to be an SEO journalist? One that writes, at the same time, for two different types of audiences: human readers and search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo !, etc.). You have to both like it, and getting it is the key to SEO for journalists.

Once you master the art of SEO journalism, your articles will start to gain visibility and you will get, I promise you, thousands of readers in a single day. And, with effort and well-applied SEO strategies, plus a little social engineering, you will be able to dominate Google searches.

SEO and Google Search positioning: what is the secret?

Before talking about SEO for journalists, let's review roughly what exactly that we call SEO consists of. And, for this, more than knowing that the acronym stands for Search Engine Optimization, we have to understand how Google works.

How does Google Search work?

Google, or rather Google Search, is how you know a search engine that allows you to find anything you want on the Internet. To do this, it has a series of algorithms (Penguin, Panda, Fred, Owl, Pigeon, etc.) that are in charge of tracking and positioning all the web pages found on the Internet.

Each one specializes in certain functions, such as prioritizing the best quality content and penalizing fraud (copying articles), detecting link patterns, positioning the web by local searches, understanding the content of the pages, etc.

But the most important and first function is to rank web pages based on the number of links pointing to them, the total value of those links, and other criteria that the company does not disclose. And the set of algorithms that execute this function is called PageRank.

What, then, is the goal of SEO positioning (including SEO for journalists)…? Well, make sure your page gets enough valuable links so that Google PageRank ranks it well.

Keywords: the heart of Google searches

Being well positioned in Google means that if, for example, you write an article about "SEO for journalists", your post should appear among the first search results when users type in the search box of Google Search a term related to SEO for journalists.

For example, the user can type:

  • "Seo for journalists"
  • "Seo journalist"
  • «Web positioning for journalists»
  • "Seo course for journalists"
  • «Web positioning in google news»
  • etc.

That is, any set of keywords (keywords) that is related to your article.

For this, your article MUST contain the keywords that users use to carry out their searches on the subject in question. Not all of them, that is impossible in a single post as there can be too many and this would undermine readability and good writing practices, but the main ones. That is, the most used.

The more value (that is, the more demand) the keywords you include in your article have, and the more of them you include, the better because this way Google Search will associate the post with them and it will know that its content satisfies the users' need for information.

So that you understand it with a practical example, base with which you analyze this same post. You will notice that I use the keywords "seo for journalists" in the title, a subtitle and in the paragraphs. That, in addition to deliberately including others like the ones I gave you as an example. You understand? 😉

And how do you know what keywords users are using to search? To do this, you can go to keyword research tools such as Google Trends, SEMRush, Ubbersuggest, Keywordtool.io, etc.

PageRank and SEO for journalists: quality + quantity of links

Now, let's get back to the topic of PageRank. The better Google can match you to a given set of keywords, the better your article will rank on search results pages (SERPs). But this is not enough if you do not get enough valuable links to your post.

It's like in the academic world. The more references are made to a given article, the more relevant it will be considered in the academic community. But it is not only the number of references that matters, but also the value or "weight" of these references. For example, a reference in any university thesis is not the same as in a prestigious neuroscience journal.

And PageRank works the same. For this reason, you have to get not only that people link to your article on their blogs, social networks, company pages, etc., but also that there are important people among them with well-positioned sites in Google. So you could use it, for example, if one or two major magazines mention your article and put a link to it for people to read.

So far, we can say that SEO consists very briefly of writing using keywords and getting a large number of links and as many as you can of value. Now let's see how to do it in practice, focusing on the part of Google Search that most interests SEO for journalists: Google News.

How to position a newspaper article in Google? Factors influencing Google News

As an SEO journalist, your mission will be to position yourself as best as possible on Google News. And this is where SEO for journalists differs from SEO for other sectors. Therefore, let's see the main factors that influence Google News.

1. News

This is basic and you know it. The news must be about a highly topical issue, otherwise it will lose relevance. And, believe it or not, Google has ways of knowing when users are losing interest in a certain topic.

2. Prominence

The news must be important, an issue that various media are already giving exhaustive coverage. To do this, you must research what is being talked about in the world, and make sure to write an article on the subject that is original and includes the most relevant keywords.

3. Originality

The article or news must have a unique focus and provide new information, that is, not provide the same content that other media already offer.

4. Keywords

As we have already seen, your article or news must contain the keywords that users use to search. For example, if the news is about the coronavirus in the United States, you can use terms like "coronavirus in the United States," "coronavirus in the United States," "coronavirus in the United States today," and so on.

5. Authority

Good SEO for journalists requires that Google be able to make sure that your website is a reliable source. To convince you, you examine user feedback and, as we already saw, the number of links you receive from elsewhere. So make sure you write in such a way that you encourage users to comment (a good trick is Call to Actions), share your posts on social networks, subscribe your website to directories, and write as a guest on relevant blogs and sites, no only on your own website.

6. Location

Google Search displays search results depending on the user's location. So you have to make sure you adhere to at least the following two local SEO rules:

  1. Local keywords. Suppose the news has to do with a news from Space, one of Elon Musk's companies, make sure that at least one of the keywords contains geographic information. For example: "SpaceX space launch in Florida today."
  2. Geographic information of the agency.   On your website, the address of your agency, the contact telephone number and other information that allows users to locate you must be well specified. That in addition to inserting a map on the main page.
And others whose mention would make this post too long. But I recommend you research them. You will see that some, such as the quantity and quality of links from other sites, and the comments made by users, are also part of local SEO. However, others are more specific to this type of SEO.

7. Transparency

Your website must contain real information about the agency (or yourself, if you are independent), such as a photo, biography, links to social networks (especially LinkedIn), etc.

8. Optimization

Finally, we have website optimization, a key element not only in SEO for journalists, but in any type of SEO. I'm talking here that the website loads fast, is easy to navigate, is well displayed on mobile devices (responsive design) and other optimization factors that Google Search takes into account.

For this, if you do not have knowledge of web development and design, you will have to go to an expert. And, luckily for you, at Inacom's we put at your disposal a team of them that will optimize your website to the maximum so that Google can position it better. This is in addition to SEO experts who can help you better position your news and articles. 
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