10 Practical Tips for SEO Success
As the importance of good search engine visibility continues to grow, magazine publishers are increasingly aware of the need for effective search engine optimization (SEO). Most publishers now engage in some form of optimization, but many still lack a comprehensive SEO strategy that addresses all of the technical, editorial and marketing requirements.
SEO is not a one-time activity in which adjustments can be made to a site and then no further action is required. SEO is a long-term, ongoing process that requires regular attention. And while the overall efforts can be managed by an individual or team, the job functions of a wide range of employees have a direct impact on SEO success. In essence, SEO needs to be incorporated into nearly every aspect of the daily workflow.
Here are 10 things to consider when formulating your SEO strategy:
1. Make your content easily accessible.
On most publication sites, new content is linked from the home page and main “section” pages for only a brief period of time—sometimes just a single day. Make sure that when the links to your content drop off those prominent pages, search engine crawlers can still easily access all of your URLs. Good site navigation, a strong internal link structure and topical archives all help to facilitate crawler accessibility. The use of HTML and XML site maps is also a very effective way to ensure that the engines have access to every piece of content on the site.
2. Keep your URLs simple.
Although the engines have gotten much better at dealing with longer, more complicated URLs, they can still cause issues, so maintaining a short, simple URL structure is advisable. In addition, research shows that shorter, more descriptive URLs have higher click-through rates on search engine results pages, contributing to an increase in your search referral traffic. Implementing a static URL structure and minimizing the number of directory levels is the best approach. Including descriptive keywords is not a must, but it can be helpful. Just don’t over-do it; limit the file name to three to five words, for example: www.YourSite.com/section/brief-summary-of-content. Using dynamic URLs is not in and of itself a problem, but it is important to minimize the number of parameters, keep the total length of the URLs reasonably short, and make sure that every page on the site is accessible from only one URL.