Search Engine Optimization For Newspapers


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David Erickson's presentation about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for newspapers delivered before the Minnesota Newspapers Association conference on January 28, 2010. Erickson is director of e-Strategy for Tunheim Partners ( and blogs at

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  • Thinking about how I consume media: Morning television news Laptop Check email Family, Friends & colleagues Visit links Save and/or share them Twitter & Facebook Share and retweet Search Based on TV Based on online Might visit actual news sites Ride to work: Check email and/or headlines on phone Radio Rewind Voice search Email to myself Share with networks Mobile app or site At work: Email from people Email newsletters Aggregators From specific news organizations Social networks Facebook & Twitter Search: For my own benefit For clients Mobile Throughout the day Walking down the hall In meetings At lunch Search Sharing Commute home Same After work Evening news Search Share Out & about Search Share
  • What are search engines? Rather than a place to go for information, think about them as: Bill Tancer: Database of desires People tell search engines what they want They are answer engines On-Demand content When they want it
  • What is SEO? Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Search Engine Advertising (SEA) Google AdWords, Yahoo!, Bing, Ask For Fee Pay Per Click (PPC) Search Engine Optimization (SEO) All search engines Natural Results Web design Matching Your content to keyword searches Why one page shows up and another does not? Keywords on the page Placement of the keywords Design of the page Authority of the web site Frequency of content Links to the content Text of links Authority of links Topicality of links Number of links Competition Deliberate optimization Competing authority
  • Becoming a primary means by which people find news More convenient Aggregated content Don’t have to wade through a Web site
  • Pew Internet, 2008: Average day: Lots of email General searches News reading
  • Why does SEO matter? Everyone uses search engines 2004 Pew Internet: 84% of online Americans use search engines Second only to email as most popular online activity ComScore Average Internet user performs 33 searches a month The primary means by which people find news Google/Yahoo!/Bing set expectations Internal search must be as good Drives traffic Impressions Registrations
  • Ambient Awareness Hear about it See it on TV Hear it on radio See it in social media They will: Visit news web site News aggregators iGoogle Digg Search Social Bookmarks - Delicious Receive/Share in social networks Email newsletters Mobile sites/apps
  • Search for more information after learning about news Search query Scan for exact match or very close match Click link Scan for exact query
  • Certain types of search traffic is predictable Breaking news Event-based search Seasonal search Personality search Pop culture search
  • Research keywords What search terms to people use to find your site What are people searching for generally Google Insights for Search WordTracker KeywordDiscovery Editorial calendar synchronization
  • Familiar with the prom season Either because you’ve got teens Or because you publish prom content Aware that proms take place in April
  • Seasonal traffic Prom Fashions example 2004 Mall of America microsite Begins to rise in January Peaks in April, during prom season Bill Tancer, author of Click Magazine prom fashion features in January Extend the advertising runs
  • Celebrity Searches Brett Favre search traffic
  • Track searches News coverage Events
  • Search traffic ties directly into analytics Understanding keyword patterns, search searches & behavior is important But understanding the entire process is equally important
  • Through search analytics you can learn Who is visiting your site Where they came from How they arrived at your site What they did they do on your site & Ultimately, Why: Insight
  • Huffington Post Low labor costs Aggregates content SEO to maximize page views Low labor costs Local content Quantity, not necessarily quality SEO to maximize page views
  • Graphic appeal Front page devoted to one story Photo commands attention Content teases below
  • Related content teases in photos Headline: Apple iPad Tablet Release Update stamp Social sharing tools RSS Feed Interactive features encourage registration Content tagging Ask visitors to share story Aggregated news updates Email signups, share, comment Most popular content encourages deep visits
  • Incorporates social content Mid story advertising Promo popular bloggers Trending tags Email signup again “ Breaking News”
  • Huffington Post Apps & Feeds Creating lasting connections More distribution channels Big News pages Topic aggregation Follow on Facebook & Twitter Related HuffPo content Bing search Content syndication deal?
  • Real-time Twitter feed Links to other related news Your Reaction? Encourage interaction Registration More in Technology Encourage deeper visits
  • Google AdSense Ads About popular comments section At the bottom Scroll through content to get to feature Robust comment system Moderation Ratings Fans Favorites Abuse Promo iPhone App
  • HuffPo Article Optimized for Apple iPad Tablet Release Combination Apple iPad Tablet Apple iPad Release
  • Google Web Search Top link
  • Google News Search Top link
  • Yahoo Web Search Second link
  • Yahoo News Search Second link
  • Bing Web Search Fifth link Above the scroll
  • Bing News Search Second link
  • Interest begins at 9 a.m. Peaks at 10 a.m. Then sharply declines By that time, a new front page story Anticipated traffic
  • Personalized search results Google keeps track of your site visits My web history Get more personalized search results based on what you've searched for and which sites you've visited. See personalized query suggestions in Google Suggest based on what you've searched for and which sites you've visited.
  • Links to news about Apple iPad announcement shared in Twitter
  • Links to news about Apple iPad announcement shared in Facebook Trusted sources = Recipient of link is more likely to visit Link has been vetted: They’ll feel better about sharing with their networks
  • Links from social media shared through Google real-time search
  • Google’s Social Search experiment Google rolled out yesterday Includes content from my social network Trusted networks Social networks as a content distribution channel are increasingly important
  • Mobile Search: Voice activated search Aggregation applications Geolocation Augmented Reality
  • What to look for in an in-house search optimization professional? Must understand communications, first and foremost Not just a techno-wiz Must completely understand SEO Also understand your CMS And your publishing process Understand online communities Who and where they are How people behave online How they consume media online Keyword research/analysis skills Understand analytics Understand the connection between content & advertising
  • Search Engine Optimization For Newspapers

    1. 1. Search Engine Optimization Newspapers Answering the Query Photo © Adrian van Leen for CC:PublicDomain
    2. 2. What Are Search Engines?
    3. 3. What Is SEO? What is SEO?
    4. 4. Why Does SEO Matter? Why does SEO matter?
    5. 5. Why Does SEO Matter? Why does SEO matter?
    6. 6. <ul><li>84% </li></ul>Photo: Wikipedia Search Why does SEO matter?
    7. 7. How People Consume News <ul><li>Direct visits </li></ul><ul><li>Aggregators </li></ul><ul><li>Social bookmarks </li></ul><ul><li>Social Networks </li></ul><ul><li>Email </li></ul><ul><li>Print/email </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile </li></ul>Photo by gailjadehamilton Online News Use
    8. 8. How People Use Search Engines <ul><li>Types of searches </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Navigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transaction </li></ul></ul><ul><li>React to news </li></ul>Photo by Denard Vincente How People Use Search Engines
    9. 9. Surf The Search Tide Photo by thelastminute Surf the Search Tide
    10. 10. Keyword Research Keyword Research
    11. 11. Seasonal Search Traffic Photo by zircon3035 Seasonal Search Traffic
    12. 12. Seasonal Search Traffic <ul><li>Prom searches </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2004-2009 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Begins in January </li></ul><ul><li>Peaks in April </li></ul>Seasonal Search Traffic
    13. 13. Personality Search Traffic Photo by Bjorn Hanson Personality Search Traffic
    14. 14. Brett Favre Searches <ul><li>May: Asks Jets for release </li></ul><ul><li>Late July: Vikings flirtation </li></ul><ul><li>August: Signs </li></ul><ul><li>October & November: Vs. Packers </li></ul><ul><li>January: Playoffs </li></ul>Brett Favre Searches
    15. 15. Search Analytics photo © Sarah Klockars-Clause for CC:Attribution-ShareAlike Search Analytics
    16. 16. Search Analytics <ul><li>Who </li></ul><ul><li>Where </li></ul><ul><li>How </li></ul><ul><li>What </li></ul><ul><li>Why </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Insight </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Behavior </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Traffic sources </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Conversions </li></ul></ul></ul>Search Analytics
    17. 17. SEO In The Wild <ul><li>Newspapers Online </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New York Times </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Washington Post </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Online Only News </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Huffington Post </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>SEO in the Wild Source:
    18. 18. Anatomy Of SEO’ed News Anatomy of SEO’d News
    19. 25. Huffington Post Search Results Huffington Post Search Results
    20. 26. Huffington Post Search Results Huffington Post Search Results
    21. 27. Huffington Post Search Results Huffington Post Search Results
    22. 28. Huffington Post Search Results Huffington Post Search Results
    23. 29. Huffington Post Search Results Huffington Post Search Results
    24. 30. Huffington Post Search Results Huffington Post Search Results
    25. 31. Huffington Post Search Results iPad Tablet Search Surge
    26. 32. SEO is Dead! Long Live SEO! <ul><li>Search is changing </li></ul><ul><li>Personalization </li></ul><ul><li>Social Media </li></ul><ul><li>Real-time Web </li></ul><ul><li>Social Search </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile search </li></ul>Image by Wikipedia SEO is Dead! Long Live SEO!
    27. 33. My Web History My Web Searches
    28. 34. Social Media Social Media
    29. 35. Social Media Social Media
    30. 36. Real-Time Web Real Time Web
    31. 37. Social Search Social Search
    32. 38. Mobile Search Image by Google Mobile Search
    33. 39. The Ultimate Search Pro Photo by machernucha The Ultimate Search Pro
    34. 40. The Ultimate Search Pro <ul><li>Communication skills </li></ul><ul><li>Firm grasp of technology </li></ul><ul><li>Online communities </li></ul><ul><li>Online behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Media consumption </li></ul><ul><li>Keyword research/analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Content + Advertising </li></ul>The Ultimate Search Pro
    35. 41. Tunheim Slide <ul><li>Tunheim Partners </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategic communications company </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public relations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public affairs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>e-Strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tunheim Partners’ specialty Internet marketing practice </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Full-service </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Experienced leadership, strong team </li></ul></ul></ul>Tunheim Partners
    36. 42. Contact Me Slide <ul><li>Tunheim Partners </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Engine Optimization services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Full range of e-Strategy services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategic Communications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>952-851-1600 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>David Erickson </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> : Newspaper SEO </li></ul></ul>Contact