Tips for an Effective SEO Strategy
As magazine publishers face increasing competition from other forms of online media, the need to improve the search engine visibility of your content is vital. However, the nature and sheer volume of editorial content, combined with the wide range of people within an organization that have an influence on a property, requires the development of a specialized search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
Adam Sherk is a search/PR strategist for Define Search Strategies (www.DefineSS.com). In addition to being the in-house search team for The New York Times Company, Define provides SEO and audience development consulting services to publishers. Sherk will assist in leading a half-day seminar on SEO for publishers at the Publishing Business Conference & Expo (www.PublishingBusiness.com) on Wed., March 12 at New York’s Marriott Marquis Times Square. Today, he offers four tips for publishers looking to develop an effective SEO strategy for their publications.
1. Resolve technical issues.
The first priority is to make sure that search engines are able to properly access and index your site content. Is it easy for crawlers to find every piece of content on your site? Are there technical barriers that prevent them from reaching key areas? Does your content management system produce search-friendly URLs, and are your pages coded in a way that the engines can access the information on them? Are you effectively leveraging your internal link structure? All technical issues need to be identified and addressed.
2. Create clear content.
Once the engines can properly access your content, they must be able to understand what that content is about. This is where editorial and production teams come in. The ability to create pages with clear, descriptive page elements (title tags, headings, image captions, etc.) is the key to that understanding. This does not mean stuffing keywords onto pages—it is about making sure that your content is clear and descriptive, and thus easy for the engines to interpret. A good SEO strategy addresses this without influencing editorial voice or readability, as content is created for people, not search engines. Educating editorial and production teams on SEO best practices, and helping them to build those practices into their daily workflow with minimal intrusion, is the goal.