Search traffic is the most important source of readers for information projects. While working with SEO media requires individual approach, which is not like the standard way to promote a corporate website or an online store. In this post we want to share our experience of carrying out SEO for media. This is the sum of the observations which we have accumulated over several years of work with the online versions of Vogue, Glamour, GQ Insider.Pro and some other media with the attendance of more than a million visitors per month.
Under the terms of the NDA (non-disclosure agreement non-disclosure agreement — Prim. Ed.) we are unable to disclose the specific numbers and the exact dynamics of individual domains, so the article is based on generalizations, but we hope that the reader will be able to draw useful conclusions. Why the media need to look closely at SEO traffic. According Liveinternet, transitions from the search — still the # 1 after direct transitions (summary Liveinternet.
Search, social networks), although, of course, in the case of glossy media social networks are catching up with them. Then there are the transitions from news aggregators. Similarweb also puts SEO traffic in first or second place after the direct transitions (the difference between news and lifestyle outlets confirmed by our observations).
According to Similarweb for autumn 2016. Everything else — mailing the best materials, paid traffic outside of advertising in social networks and the like — brings only a few percent of visitors. If SEO traffic is your information resource is not on the first or second place among referral sources, you have a great opportunity for growth core readers. In the work on the media sites we take into account several characteristics that sharply distinguish SEO for information resources.
Semantic – media. Semantics for media similar to the highway in Mongolia. There is no clear roads — only General direction. The semantics for the media not just to put together queries hundreds of thousands, and they are infinitely variable and all time are updated, obsolete.
Its a real nightmare of a control freak who is accustomed to working on projects with a clear-to 500-1000 queries. About how we get out, look in the block about technical problems. Working with content. SEO-specialist who is allowed to edit Vogue is a joke of a line.
Realpolitik media will never allow us to intervene in the article. We therefore inaccessible to the usual methods. We can not add or remove key words from the texts, to edit the captions to change the captions. Content pages have to work in the form in which they are published on the websites. We sometimes can ask the editors to do so and not otherwise.
Mobile. A sharp prevalence of mobile traffic. If corporate websites is still possible to argue, whos in charge, for the media everything has already happened. 60% of traffic comes from smartphones.
An urgent need to improve the mobile version and use the solutions of search engines for presentation of informative sites in mobile search. Google rules. For all resources, with whom we worked, Google sends significantly more search traffic than “Yandex” and small search engines (Google accounted for 75% of organic traffic). As it seems, this happens for two reasons.
Fresh content is more important. Of course, the archives of the media give a good amount of search traffic, and we see a good return on optimization of old materials. However, the bulk of the transitions still generate a new publication. For the media it is very important to think over in advance, so that relevant materials were ranked highly in search results, and also take into account the search trends of demand in their niche.
Given the characteristics of SEO projects for online publications- you cant touch the content but you can monitor the technical health of the website, metadata and submission sites on the search — we recommend to work in six areas. Media sites are always great and they always something going on. Amended, put experiments, opening new sections and so on.
As a result, the inevitable mistakes which affect search traffic. How to deal with it. Work with internal optimization for the website of the media is to edit the header title and meta descriptions. The sequence of actions is usually this.
Page before optimization. Page after optimization. Search engines provide various options for highlighting your website on the search results page, for example.
Events. Recipes. Reviews.
On our projects we want to implement the markup of the content to help search engines better understand the content to increase CTR (click-through rate, the rate clickability the results — ed. Ed.). This is especially true in the English results, where more formats and the update SERP (search results page, search engine ranking page — approx. Ed.) is faster.
As we have said, when working with the media website, we cannot pre-collect a list of queries and to go through the pages. Working with search phrases we have divided into three areas. Search the publications by using Google Trends. Google Trends is a great tool for news sites.
It allows you to collect topics, only gaining popularity in the news. News trends we grouped by topic and under each trend collect a list of queries. This information is forwarded to editors of magazines as a recommendation on the selection of topics for publications. Calendar of events.
The editors always have a schedule of important events that will be covered on the website. We ask you to share us these calendars. As a result, we know in advance that, for example, the ceremony of awarding the prize “Oscar” will be written a few articles. About the ceremony in General, nominees and about celebrities. For them we can prepare a set of meta tags to pages better ranked.
Requests with the year. In addition to calendar events, there are many topics repeated from year to year. We take them from these systems, taking at the year in search query, or collected from Wordstat. Next, we looking for the beginning of the formation of the search demand for each topic through the history of queries.
Here is the story of the request (mens fashion 2016). It is seen that the demand appeared in the June-July 2015. If we were asked to host the content associated with this request only in 2016, we would have missed a significant part of the traffic.
We have to act in advance. We combine these threads and make for them a separate calendar celebrate the beginning of a demand, peak and decline. Working with such queries is carried out in several iterations, when initially preparing the introductory content, then through the right time information actualizarea, added fresh material and so on.
If you are working not only for the Russian audience, you will need the proper technical implementation of the language settings. We suggest to focus on Google recommendations. Short squeeze. Here we will talk about tools to SEO are indirectly, but nevertheless very useful to drive traffic.
Google News. The resource is added to Google News is useful for two reasons. On the one hand, Google News like any other news aggregator, can give referral traffic. On the other hand, on the news queries in the results displays special block with the results of Google News.
About the service Google has detailed help. One of the interesting moments. “Yandex.
News” work about the same. The results add a block with the results of the news. Technical requirements to the feed here. AMP version pages.
AMP is a technology, originally invented by Google specifically for publishers. This is a special HTML format that allows you to significantly speed up page loading on mobile devices. Details can be read on the project website. How to use it in SEO.
In the results of Google SERPs on news queries mixed special carousel before the organic results where presented to the AMP page. Now the format is actively promoted by Google, and the carousel with the rapid mobile pages is displayed not only on news queries. The presence of AMP-version is specified with the tag and rel=”amphtml”. For more information about configuring AMP pages read here.
For monitoring the display of AMP-versions recommend you to use Google Search Console (search Appearance → Accelerated mobile pages), this report will show all the problems. By the way, Facebook has a similar solution — Instant Articles. The point is the same — download on mobile devices almost instantaneously.
Analytics. The theme is boundless, and briefly remember obvious things that are often overlooked. It often happens that to implement SEO for media interfere with not only technical difficulties, but also some organizational problems in-house.
To SEO strategy into real traffic growth, the external contractor must throw off the shoes of a technician and to dress up in a costume consultant to make friends with the editors and the it Department, to conduct informal training seminars for the entire team of the customer, to be integrated into the resource planning system of the company and to learn how to make SEO tasks regularly performed. Including may want. Most SEO contractors do not understand the specifics of the media in General and SEO for the media in particular. They offer promotion to the top one hundred queries for the six months and other schemes that will work for the site of the poultry farm, but not suitable for content projects.
In addition, the media high-profile public brands, so outsourcing blows the mind when budgeting. They dont understand that publishing is not a Bank, not the factory and not pumped money startup. Finally, the estimates are often not attached to the result is often offered to pay for the position or simply to pay a fixed amount monthly.
Thus in fact the result for publication — nebrendirovannoj noticeable increase in traffic relative to the current level. You have to pay attention from this KPI, introducing payment schemes with reference to the traffic growth relative to previous periods. In the end, the SEO Agency should be part of the publishing process and get paid according to their contribution to the common cause.