Satisfying Audiences Blog

Satisfying Audiences

3 SEO techniques to increase the bottom line (and decrease your waistline)

14 January 2013 · By Claire Hawley

The same strategies that work for getting physically fit can also be applied to a news organisation’s effort to drive online audience: Stick to a schedule; build a support network; and when you hit a plateau, shake up your routine.

Just like many of you, I’ve emerged from the holidays with a little added padding and am now muffin-top-deep in spreadsheets, poring over results from 2012 and planning how to tackle the new year. I’m also making sure to find time to ramp up the endorphins at the gym.

While I’ve resolved to improve my physical fitness, we’re also taking inventory of where we can improve our discipline to better drive latimes.com’s audience. The same methods that work to shed a few pounds can be applied to increasing audience from search engines and ultimately, revenue.

  • Stick to a schedule and be relentless.

In the words of Tony Horton (fitness instructor from Beach Body’s P90x series), “Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was your body.” So it goes for the Web. It takes consistent effort to increase audience reach.

Developing a steady routine for monitoring zeitgiest Web conversations is crucial to keeping our editorial staff informed and armed to quickly post relevant coverage that will bring in a steady flood of readers.

The key is utilising the best tools to support a trend analysis system that works to identify content resonating across the social Web. There are literally hundreds of choices, many of which are free, and I particularly like:

  • Hootsuite: You can set up keyword searches to monitor trending topics of particular beats.

  • Google Trends and the trending section on Yahoo’s homepage: You won’t be first to scoop the story, but you can catch up fast. 

  • Social search engines like Topsy and SocialMention: Monitor specific topics or see what’s hot.

Since Google News launched its “Realtime Coverage” section, they have emphasised greater importance on freshness, making this strategy crucial to driving consistent traffic.

There might be limits to how many ways you can add meaningful value to a story like, “Justin Bieber caught smoking pot.” But less than 24 hours after that story broke, Google reported more than 500 versions of the news — and the “Realtime Coverage” section continued to refresh at seizure-inducing speeds. 

Spammers beware: Merely scrambling the text of someone else’s well written, reported, and edited story will not qualify it as a new version, or at least not for long. While search engines serve up the same syndicated story from various Web sites initially, the bots quickly determine and rank the originating source ... making a nice segue into my next point.

  • Build a network of support.

In fitness, it’s easy to fall off the wagon if you don’t have a support team. In an industry experiencing such dramatic disruption as news publishing, sharing a little love can have big payoffs.

As mentioned, search engines will sometimes pick up syndicated versions of an original story on a third-party site and rank them higher than the source. While this can be a cause for concern, it’s important to remember that one of search’s biggest-ranking factors are the links pointing to your site.

Even without an HTML link, the syndicating site is crediting you as the source, which might still have an impact on search rankings and certainly helps promote brand recognition. In short, content syndication can be a quick win for search audience and revenue development.

Another way to build support is by using Google’s standout tag when your story references another publisher’s example of high-quality, in-depth, exclusive, or investigative journalism. By being responsible and proactive to credit the other source, your use of the standout tag on your own content might carry more weight. 

  • When you hit a plateau, it’s time to try something new.

Fitness fanatics can attest that the best way to continue to get dramatic results is to switch up your routine. As the lines between search and social begin to blur, the volume of social shares and the activity within social circles are affecting rankings. Therefore, redefining the way a narrative is presented online is one way to encourage sharing.

Stories sustain social power longer when incorporating video and multi-media in visually rich and stunning ways, like LA Times’ series on prescription drug abuse or The New York Times project on the Tunnel Creek avalanche, Snow Fall, which received over 1,500 comments and continues to be shared frequently on Twitter.

As we crack open the door to 2013, what will you try to break through your plateaus? It’s only fitting (just like September’s jeans will soon be) that I close with some more words of wisdom from Tony Hunter, “Do your best and forget the rest!”


print article send to friend


blog comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

The Satisfying Audiences Blog aims to reflect print and digital content not just across platforms but extending into consumer events, non-news-related subscriptions and other audience vehicles for newsmedia companies. This blog written by INMA members is dedicated to identifying the emerging linkages between content, audiences, and platforms. The blog is an initiative by the INMA North America Division Board of Directors.


Meet the bloggers

Lynne Brennen
Principal
New Leaf Media Consulting
Montclair, New Jersey, USA
send message

Nadine Chevolleau
Manager
Consumer Marketing
The Toronto Star
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
send message

Elisabeth Clark
Vice President
Audience & Engagement
South Bend Tribune
Indiana, USA
send message

Kathleen Coleman
Director
Sales & Marketing
S-R Media
Spokane, Washington, USA
send message

Anne Crassweller
President
NADbank
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
send message

Jim Fleigner
Managing Partner
Impact Consultancy
Santa Monica, California, United States
send message

Claire Hawley
Director
Audience Acquisition
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles, California, USA
send message

Dan Johnson
Vice President,
Business Development
CirTech
Spokane, Washington, USA
send message

Sandy MacLeod
Vice President
Consumer Marketing and Strategy
The Toronto Star
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
send message

John Newby
Publisher
The Times
Ottawa, Illinois, USA
send message

Siobhan Vinish
Senior Vice President
Marketing & Audience Development
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
send message


Subscribe

RSS feed
E-newsletter


Blog archives

August 2014 ( 2 )
July 2014 ( 3 )
June 2014 ( 3 )
May 2014 ( 3 )
April 2014 ( 3 )
March 2014 ( 3 )
February 2014 ( 3 )
January 2014 ( 3 )
December 2013 ( 4 )
November 2013 ( 2 )
October 2013 ( 2 )
September 2013 ( 4 )
August 2013 ( 5 )
June 2013 ( 3 )
May 2013 ( 5 )
April 2013 ( 4 )
March 2013 ( 2 )
February 2013 ( 3 )
January 2013 ( 4 )
December 2012 ( 4 )



Blog roll

Brain Traffic
paidContent


Join INMA Today
 
Upcoming Events
Aug
27
INMA Congreso Latinoamericano
Panama, Panama
27-29 August 2014
Oct
01
INMA Seminário Internacional - Brasil
São Paulo, Brazil
01-02 October 2014
Oct
06
INMA Revenue Transformation Summit
Denver, United States
06-07 October 2014
Oct
08
INMA European News Media Conference
Tallinn, Estonia
08-10 October 2014
Nov
12
INMA South Asia Conference
New Delhi, India
12-13 November 2014
Nov
18
INMA Middle East Conference
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
18-19 November 2014
May
10
INMA World Congress
New York, United States
10-12 May 2015

More Events

Member Profiles

  • Darren Linton
    Australia


  • Mahendra Gupta
    India


  • Greg Clay
    USA



  • Marcos Scocco
    Argentina


  • Dheeraj Tripathi
    India


  • Santiago Bozzano
    Argentina



©2014 INMA | Home | About | Contact | RSS | Privacy