News site promoting. SEO and other methods
We decided to write this article for a rather trivial reason. We conduct SEO promotion for the customer who owns a news site. We’ve been engaged in idea generation to promote his website and implemented lots of strategies. The, we discussed it with the team and understood that we are ready to share our experience. Some of the methods we developed by ourselves, some of them were borrowed from the colleagues. A large part of the methods described below are relevant for the Western market and definitely worth considering. Though, the article is not a case study or a call for action. While reading, take it as fuel for thought on how to improve the position of your news site and the relevant news output.
How does a news site differ from a regular one?
The difference between a news site and a common one in the layman’s opinion is quite clear. But what is the difference in terms of SEO? Everything is also more or less clear. Any editor or webmaster who runs news sites has to deal with a huge amount of information.
In fact, this is exactly what makes news sites different from common ones so much. The content is added on a regular basis, several times a day, while the previous content has to be continuously updated and optimized (more often it concerns evergreen news).
Also, according to the PEW RESEARCH CENTER, 86% of residents in the United States consume digital media from smartphones; this implies that your resource should not only contain the content that will interest your target audience, but also be optimized to perfectly suit mobile devices by any means possible (we will delve into the subject further in the article).
Besides, news site most often have different URLs of pages, for example, they contain the publication date. The site layout is also slightly different; it does not matter whether you are running a news site for a wide audience or you have a small thematic one. You just have to milk the layout for all it’s worth.
By the way, important note. News sites store an enormous number of images that need to be optimized. Otherwise, the download speed will drop sharply which is similar to death for a news site. If you want the fastest loading speed for your website pages, welcome to outsourcing with us!
But where does one look for the latest news?
The answer to this question depends on the kind of news you need. Let’s be honest: not everyone can organize a real journalistic investigation. Frankly speaking, it’s not really necessary. No matter how high-profile your story is, it is unlikely that you will be able to get it into the TOP of the search engine results without public resonance.
Therefore, let’s consider more realistic sources: thematic forums (ex. Reddit and other thematic forums on your subject), social networks and chat rooms (ex. twitter, Facebook Instagram, telegram, discord), user queries in search engines (Google Trends).
It should be indicated straightaway that all the “Indian” ways for earning $ 1,000 per day by means of copy paste will probably not work for you. If you run your own media and want it to be of high quality, first of all you should be an expert in it. (or, alternatively, you should have an editor that does it for you)
If you have a cryptocurrency news site, you should be able to search for news and events through Twitter, Discord channels and issue-related threads on Reddit. Let’s study all the examples.
We are looking for news using trackers.
What should I do to look for the latest news and stories in the world of cryptocurrencies? It’s simple, we find or create our own list of accounts that will be our “donors”.
Let’s take 10 accounts for example:
- Vitalik Buterin — co-founder of the Ethereum blockchain;
- Income Sharks — a lot of useful news about the cryptocurrencies with microcapitalization;
- Wu Blockchain — Chinese Crypto Journalist;
- Anthony Pompiliano is a major investor who likes to stream on youtube and is a fan of bitcoin;
- Messari is an investment firm that shares its research;
- Willy Woo — Crypto Analyst and Researcher;
- CZ — CEO of Binance exchange;
- notsofast is an investor with a specific content submission;
- Lex Moskovski — CIO of Moskovski Capital;
- Checkmatey is a leading network analyst at Glassnode.
We gave a short description for each of them, and you could notice that we covered the same niche from different angles: private investors, the exchange creator, technical specialists and the founder of Ethereum.
Such a set will allow us to search for the news from various perspectives, from technical details to major events in the world of cryptocurrencies. Naturally, for adult tracking, it will not be possible to limit yourself to 10 accounts. Most likely there will be at least 100 of them, thus, doing this manually is quite tedious and time-consuming.
At this point, the Keyhole tracking service comes to the rescue. We use it as follows: it searches for all the latest events, mentions and threads across 10 sites.
Just enter the key query we need, create a tracker and enjoy controlling the situation. Here we have graphs with the number of posts per day and their visitor engagement.
Do you need a list of influencers and the most active posts? No problem!
As addition, the demographic data on the target audience interested in this keyword are given. For example, attitude and location.
Information on devices and link sources.
The last but not least feature: the types of posts are being analyzed.
Thus, we collect the necessary news hooks and transfer them urgently to our copywriter. Be sure to attach the reference source, so that the copywriter is able to understand the context.
Advice on using services:
There are a great many services having the functionality similar to Keyhole. But the operation principle is more or less the same for every service. Do not try to track the request “cryptocurrency”, it is better to divide it into key queries that are relevant to your site. For example: “cryptocurrency trading in the USA”, “crypto market analysis”, “bitcoin cryptocurrency”
In general, when searching for news, everything depends on your budget and the site scale. If you have recently started and do not have a large staff of editors who will write, check sources, take short reviews from the second party, use manual tracking. Subscribe to sharks, insiders, thematic channels on Twitter, Reddit, Discord and start tracking the principle of publications that you will be able to interpret in the form of news in the future.
If you run a news site about the news of a particular state in the USA, subscribe to the official accounts of administrative representatives, large influencers who live there, urban communities.
Methods for promoting news sites
Now let’s transit directly to the methods of promoting news sites. Just a small disclaimer: try to use them comprehensively. The more of them you get into your articles and website, the more chances to succeed you have.
One of the most popular methods of promoting news sites are news aggregators. According to the statistics of the Chartbeat platform, traffic from news aggregators is 14% of the total value.
Moreover, aggregators offer you monetization within their platforms, for example, Apple News, NewsBreak. Therefore, in addition to traffic, you have the opportunity to additionally monetize your news site.
The first news aggregator and promotion method is adding your content to Google News.
The architecture of Google News combines hundreds of thousands of the resources, from worldwide publications to small niche blogs.
To get additional traffic from the search engine for your news site, you need to do three things:
- Get your site approved by Google;
- Optimize your content (news) to increase the probability of its output in the search engine results
- In general, to organize SEO of your website so it suits Google.
If everything is more or less clear with the third point for SEO specialists, the first two points need to be clarified. The situation is as follows.
To add your site to Google News sources, go to the Publisher Center.
If you don’t have any publishers added yet, you will see this screen. Enter the URL of our news site or blog. Then, click the Add button.
To be sure your future site will be confirmed by Google, it must meet the following requirements:
- The site has access to Googlebot and other crawlers;
- Be a news site that monitors the content and publishes news on a regular basis;
- The sitemap should be optimized for Google, and the site interface is clear for navigation.
Half of the work is done (in fact, no). Now we need to create a web section for Google News from your site. Go to Products / Google News / Add Content button.
Now you need to upload the logo and create a section. When creating a section, for example, select RSS Feed, enter all the necessary data and send the form for approval.
For reference: in general, Google News service digests almost any content: YouTube videos, news category pages.
When creating and optimizing your content, be sure to take the time to study the reference section — read here.
Now you need only to wait for the confirmation from Google; in general, the process takes 2 to 4 weeks. Yes, we agree, it’s a long time, but there’s nothing you can do to change it
What you should definitely do
When you create sections, try to experiment. For example, make separate sections for press releases, a separate section for evergreen content, a separate section for local news.
This manipulation will allow you to conduct some kind of A/B testing for monitoring the effectiveness of a particular news block.
Also, be sure to take care that the layout of your site meets the Google requirements.
In fact, Google almost doesn’t care who was the first to publish the news. If your site trust is lower, there are no high — quality backlinks, and the site layout is terrible, the search engine will display the same news but from your competitors’ site.
To avoid this, use cross-posting on niche sites. Have you posted the news about the best smartphones in 2023? Duplicate this information in the Reddit community by specifying the original source. Tell your Twitter followers by putting down the necessary hashtags. This way you will significantly increase your chances for winning.
In 70% of cases, if your post, along with a link to the site, jumps into the TOP on Reddit, you will get a good amount of additional traffic.
An additional success parameter is a well — written H1 headline. According to the recommendation of Western colleagues, the title can contain up to 25 words. The fact is that when issuing news in Google search, instead of a title H1/P.S. is used
. Just do not forget: the content posted on other sites must comply with the information style and rules of these sites.
The second product in Google’s portfolio for the fast consumption of news content is Google Discover. You’ve seen it a thousand times, but you hardly knew its name.
This is a recommendation system that selects the content based on user interests. Moreover, it gives you not only an up-to-date agenda, but also a selection of evergreen content.
There is no process of adding a site to Google Discover similar to Google News. Of course, there are certain recommendations for content generation. The recommendations are quite similar to Google News.
- Follow the Google content publishing policy — read here.
- Use the image in the news as Discover gives preference to the news pages that use some graphic content;
- AMP. In the case of Accelerated Mobile pages (AMPS), you need to optimize the download speed for mobile devices.
Google News is not a single aggregator of news in search engines. Actually, almost any search engine that occupies a certain percentage of the market has a news feed. Let us remind: the more news aggregators you use, the higher the chances of additional traffic.
Let’s briefly analyze the process of adding a site to the aggregator feed — News Pubhub.
Now Pubhub is part of the webmaster’s office of the search engine itself. In 99% of the case, if you are moving to Western markets, you probably managed to work with Bing Webmaster Tools
Where are Bing News blocks displayed? In Microsoft applications: Outlook, new Windows 11 smart applications. Also, in Microsoft Start and, in fact, in the search engine itself in the News & Feed section.
To add a news item to the aggregator, you must satisfy the following parameters:
- The site must contain only news without mentioning the promotion of its own products or services;
- The news must be unique, adding an aggregator to an aggregator will not work 🙂
- The news portal should publish content regularly;
- The content should be properly structured with no grammatical and punctuation errors. If this is the UGC content, its effectiveness should be confirmed.
Yeah, the points are quite vaguely stated, but taken from the official guide of the microsoft services.
Now let’s move to the technical process itself. We confirm your site ownership in the webmaster’s office. After that, we go to the Bing News PubHub item, fill in all the fields and submit it similar to Google News.
Next, you will be waiting. On average, you need to wait for several weeks. After the moderator’s approval, a confirmation letter will be sent to the mail.
An additional factor for a positive approval is the contact information of the owner, at least the full name and e-mail. If it is possible to specify the names of editors and journalists, the chances are even higher.
The third news aggregator in our list from a well-known search engine in Asia and the USA is Yahoo News. Still, Yahoo is the TOP 3 search engine in the USA,
despite the fact that Yahoo uses Bing search engine algorithms. As for the News section, there are no special forms for the site approval. According to the Western colleagues, you can try to send them an article with a link via Tumblr, but there are no guarantees of publication.
The second option is a well — prepared feed and the correct layout of the map for Bing, Google and Yahoo. Keep in mind that this recommendation works provided that you have a really expert content.
The next aggregator in line is from the apple ecosystem. In order to start publishing your content, you need a Publisher account.
We will need: half an hour of free time, our own news site, Apple ID, the publishing logo. Click the link. Log in to your Apple ID account and start registering.
Upload the logo and fill in the form. Next, specify the address and location. After that, we add our RSS feeds or use the Apple News API (the plugin is installed on the site). In fact, using the API extension can make your life easier as it includes RSS capabilities and the iOS news app format.
Submit your application and pray. We are not taking mickey out of you, there are cases when the account was approved after six months of consideration or more; thus, be patient: as soon as the account is approved, you will receive a letter.
Another aggregator aimed at the USA. It prefers local publications with unique news. If you are aimed at this audience, then it makes sense to leave a request.
Just click t”become a partner” on the page publishers.newsbreak.com , and then fill in all the fields of the form and submit it.
If you are approved, consider yourself lucky. It is worth mentioning that the publication on the aggregator is done manually.
- Smartnews is an aggregator fully tailored for mobile devices. It is relevant for the USA and Japan. A large layer of the target audience of 50+
- Newzit is a local UK aggregator that cooperates only with reliable publications;
- Flipboard is another news aggregator. 50% of the traffic are from the USA. The main audience includes engineers, programmers and system administrators.
This method is 100% known for experienced news site runners. Evergreen content serves to gain a stable amount of traffic within the equal periods of time. If your site contains the articles only on current issues, traffic will eventually die down, and the news will lose the coverage.
Therefore, evergreen content will become your lifelong insurance. Such articles bring traffic constantly as they are not associated with a specific event or time. If you think that this is the destiny of small publications or websites, you make a great mistake.
Here is the statistics of the most popular pages on one of the most famous US publications — the New York Times.
Serpstat shows that the most popular articles of the publishing source have the evergreen content with the reviews of various techniques.
Tips for promoting news sites
Tip 1 — How to write news well
If your news site reviews political and economic events, you can use the following method to interprete the events that have not yet happened.
Suppose, you managed to find out some kind of news hook. You decided to write a piece of news. But the question arises: how can you treat the event so that it brings more traffic? The event hasn’t happened yet!
- Collect Google Trends average frequency queries that relate to your news. Be sure to check the geography and audience statistics — demographics, geography and interests;
- Write an announcement for the article. The title should capture both the announcement itself and the future event, the same refers to H1.
- There should be interlinking in the text (for example, treat it as follows: as soon as you have more information, you will broadcast live) with an event news page, being empty for the moment.
- Spread the links across the quality resources that have been discussed earlier. Upload to profile threads on Reddit, etc.
- Congratulations, you have just increased the success rate for your piece of news in Google News and Discover, as well as in Google organic search results.
Here is a basic example of the structure of announcements and press releases.
Tip 2 — Speed up the indexing of articles
Most likely you know it, but just in case. If you do not post articles or news on a regular basis, then indexing may take up to 2–3 days. In this case, when posting news on the site, send the URL immediately to the Google Search Console (additionally, you can use the Bing Webmaster URL).
This method cannot be recommended, but it definitely works. The best solution to speed up the indexing of your site will be regular posting several times a day.
Tip 3 — the more tools, the better
Use the optimization possibilities to the maximum, i.e., only high-quality backlinks. Also, don’t forget to add the RSS feed to GSC, since RSS is indexed by Google more often than XML.
Tip 4 — you can buy a blog
A well-optimized news site with a high trust level will greatly support your main site, for example, an online store.
Imagine that you are the owner of an online store that sells modern gadgets. You can purchase a news portal together with an old domain, a high level of trust and a ready-made structure to create backlinks for your main site, increase the speed of indexing and promote your products using a news feed.
Tip 5 — Use the sections similar to Wikipedia
For example, you have a news site in foreign economics — create a section listing all the famous economists of our century. One economist = one page. Here is an example of such pages in SERP Google.
Here is an example in Russian.
Thank you for reading the article. We are sure that the information will be useful to those who own or just run news sites in the USA or Europe. The aforementioned material will greatly contribute to your SEO strategy.
Bear in mind, the keys to high — quality news are well-researched sources, the absence of clickbait headlines (which adversely affect the trust rating), confirmed information.