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Headlines, SEO & Links
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Headlines, SEO & Links


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  • 1. Headlines
    • Headlines draw the reader into the story – even more so than in print.
      • The point of a web story headline is to entice a reader to click into a story and read more.
    • Headlines need to be literal – stay away from clever play on words, label headlines or gotcha headlines
  • 2. ‘ Big Crash’
    • Page presentation, images and text can increase the headline’s impact. Words like ‘Big Crash’ make sense in bold above a photo of a car crash.
    • A two-word headline has little chance of making sense without a big photo summing up the story.
    • If a reader only sees ‘Big Crash’ without images or other context, what does this headline say? Stock market crash?
    • Headlines take on the role of telling the entire story in limited words.
  • 3. Print vs. Online
    • Text size can help impact
    • Headlines show up in one place
    • Headlines don’t change
    • Subheads make push to readers
    • Appear in multiple places on a site.
    • Headlines are on external sites
    • Headlines don’t always appear with other content.
    • Can’t depend on size for impact
    • Must be literal
    • Headlines can be changed
  • 4. SEO
    • SEO = Search Engine Optimization
    • News websites should be mines for users of search engines. Goal of SEO is to appear among the top listings on search engine results pages.
    • Keyword use is the headline is one of the most positive factors for effective SEO.
      • Think to yourself: "How would someone searching for this story find it? What keywords would I use in Google?"
      • Examples
  • 5. Links
    • When might you use a link?
      • Link to subject’s website
      • Site gives background information on the topic in your story
      • Report to government report, other research information
    • How many links do you use?
      • Provide only the best links
      • There is not right number, but don’t provide links to every related bit of information; I’d stick to 3-5 links.
  • 6. Permission to Link
    • You can generally link to other sites without permission as long as you don’t imply that you are the content producer.
    • When in doubt, ask. Call the producers/owners of a site, story, report, if you aren’t sure you can link to it. Discuss this with an editor first.
  • 7. Maintain those links; Open in new window
    • Make sure the links in your story stay valid and don’t expire
    • Have the links open in a new browser window
  • 8. Links
    • “Retired, Rehired; Many Collect Connecticut Pensions And Paychecks
    • Obama Online
    • State Still Struggling To Process New Jobless Claims