Ian Reeves Search engine optimisation
So how do I get the traffic? • Who are you writing for? Readers? Or Google’s computers? • The answer is both • The readers might not see you if the computers don’t notice you • So balance is required • Some of the print-based rules, particularly headline writing, need to be rethought
Search Engine Optimisation • A way of ensuring that internet search engines (Google, Bing) etc, will list your content as prominently as possible if a user types in certain key words • Key words used in headline and intro are particularly important • Think about the terms a reader would use for their search
SEO headlines • Headline accounts for 30% of decision to click through • Headline has big impact on search ranking • Headline also important for RSS feeds • BBC headlines max 33 characters
Classic headlines... • Gotcha! • Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster • Headless Body in Topless Bar • Super Caley Go Ballistic, Celtic Are Atrocious • Zip Me Up Before You Go-Go • Churchill Flies Back To Front • Dr Fuchs off to Antarctic
...given the SEO treatment • Argentine warship Belgrano sunk by British forces in Falklands War • Comedian Freddie Starr ate my pet hamster, claims blonde model • New York police search for killer of headless victim in topless bar • Inverness Caledonian Thistle beat Glasgow Celtic in Scottish Cup • George Michael arrested for lewd conduct in public toilet by Los Angeles police • Winston Churchill returns to rally British troops in France • Polar adventurer Doctor Vivian Fuchs explores Antarctic
SEO intros • Intro par accounts for 43% of decision to click through • Include the key words you imagine people will search for, and tell the story concisely and compellingly. • Include geographical locations if appropriate, and full names of key players/institutions in the story • Think: who do I want to read this, and what Google alerts will they have set?
SEO sources • http://www.editorsweblog.org/newspaper/2008/06/how_to_maximize_your_sites_visibility_in.php • http://news.cnet.com/2100-1038_3-6155739.html • http://news.cnet.com/Newspaper-headlines-lost-in-Web-translation/2100-1025_3-6155618.html?tag=mncol;txt • http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/09/weekinreview/09lohr.html?_r=1 • http://www.cyberjournalist.net/can-seos-and-journalists-really-be-friends/ • http://www.searchenginejournal.com/10-ways-journalists-and-newsrooms-can-conquer-seo/8364/ • http://www.searchenginejournal.com/5-tools-for-keyword-brainstorming/6874/