SEO Tips for Digital Publishers
The primary goal of online publishers is to gain maximum engagement and views for their stories. Most publishers fail to make their stories discoverable, in the first place.
There are many factors that play a role in getting your story ranked on Google and on other search engines. Through the course of this article, we shall be identifying these factors, while breaking them down into technical and non-technical SEO parameters that your website would ideally need to adhere to:
Non-Technical SEO Parameters
1. Quality content
Is your content in line with its title?
Does your story have a catchy headline that would interest a potential reader? Would someone who stumbled upon the headline, be urged to open and read your story?
Has your content been complemented with relevant sub-headings?
Has your content been paragraphed and indexed for improved readability?
Have you used engaging media like images, videos and GIFs to enhance the interest of your readers?
Have you added relevant links and references to support your stories, to increase credibility?
Over the last year, we saw an increase in popularity for mobile friendly content types like podcast, videos and visual stories.
Ensure that your text is not copied from another website. The last thing your readers (search bots included) want to find online, is duplicate content.
Your content must not mismatch with the title. Specific and reliable headings add to your website’s assumed transparency.
2. Site Structure
A structured site helps improve user experience. It is important to ensure that your content, multi-page articles in particular, are consistently paginated.
A user who is interested in your article is often keen to read content along similar lines. Adding sections and categories to your website helps users discover related stories. Interlinking your stories tends to increase the visibility of individual articles and appreciably increases the time-on-site.
Also add tags to your stories so that readers can read stories around that topic. For example, If a sports fanatic came to your website for a story on Roger Federer. The reader can access more stories on Roger Federer by clicking on the tag Roger Federer.
Avoid using NEXT and PREV in a multi-page article. As a practice, using arrows as opposed to page numbers helps readers skip and traverse pages in an effective manner.
Do not miss out on Breadcrumb navigation which increases the discoverability of articles and their respective categories
3. Social Outreach
Social Outreach is mostly a DO for all publishers. Predictably, your online presence is enhanced, every time you share your content.
Sharing your articles across Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter increases traction as most users spend over 85% of their time on these social media sites.
Leverage social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, Delicious and Reddit will further enhance your exposure.
Technical SEO Parameters
Your WWW resolve must be set to your most preferred domain.
E.g. is always preferred over quintype.com
Confirm that your website is SSL Secured
If you are a publisher who caters to multiple languages, ensure that meta language is declared. This is a prescribed practice for local news and magazine websites.
Add a Robots.txt file that allows search engines to crawl your website
Include sitemaps to allow Google and other search engines identify content on your website. For news sites, include news sitemaps and update them frequently enough to match article updates. Additionally, add video sitemaps if you have videos on your website. This would help to index your videos in Video search.
Verify that your website is compatible across mobile devices and web browsers
Display a custom 404 page if the URL is typed incorrectly. This would allow users to navigate across the site, rather than moving out of the site
If you wish to be technically SEO compliant, DO NOT include:
a noindex, nofollow tag in the script
multiple pages with same title and description tags
special characters like ?, +, #,_ in the URL structure
2. On-page SEO Parameters
Live pages should have an HTTP Status code: 200
A clear and concise URL structure that describes the page works best to attract more clicks to the URL.
Have a unique Title tag, which is ideally 55-57 characters long, on every page
Have a unique Description tag, which is ideally 160-320 characters long, that describes the content in the page
Add a heading (h1 tag) in every page
Add Alt text (Alternate text) for Images
Create OGP(Open graph) tags to control the content when users share on social media channels like FB, G+ and LinkedIn
Include Twitter Cards to control the content being displayed when users share it on Twitter
Adding a Canonical URL to consolidate link signals to the original URL
Having multiple pages with the same URL increases ambiguity
Category pages with irrelevant titles are not recommended for any page on your website
3. Page Speed Load Time
Have an AMP version for the story to load instantly on mobiles
Check for <link rel="canonical" href="yourdomain.com/story-name" /> in the AMP version of the page. The value of the page should go to the URL.
Check with TestwithGoogle for the story’s load time on mobile and Google Page speed insights for desktop version of the story
Optimize your website for the core web vitals that will be rolled out in Jun 2021.
Do not add heavy images or scripts which will reduce page load speeds
4. Schema Markup
Schema, as a concept, was introduced to help the search engines return more informative results for users.
Use the JSON/LD format of Schema
Add a News Article schema for the story
Utilize standouts and keyword tags for each news story
Article Schema can be utilized for a story on any webzine
Recipe Schema can be utilized for a recipe on any webzine
Add breadcrumb Schema for all stories and category sections
Add Search Action and social schema for the homepage of the news / magazine website
A web page markup is optional and can be included
A Video markup needs to be included if there are videos in the story
An image markup needs to be included if there is a gallery of photos in the story
Microformats /RDF formats are not as effective for schema
Additionally, the below four tips are the one stop mantra to help you raise the bar for your online presence:
Add a link to your homepage on every story. This is a good practice, as backlinks are built when users share your stories
Mandatorily add an RSS feed to your website! Plagiarists who copy your feed indirectly increase backlinks to your website.
Add targeted keywords at the beginning of the title tag and include it in the description tag as well
Share your articles on news aggregator sites like Dailyhunt, Jio news, etc.
In a nutshell, it is essential to make your website accessible for visitors, and easily navigable for them to reach the stories they would like to read. By doing so, you are optimizing your website for any search engine.
Are you on the lookout to further increase your SEO rankings? Jump on the Quintype bandwagon to enable your stories to be continuously accessible and discoverable online.
Get in touch with email@example.com for a free demo!