How to Do SEO for News Websites? Best Practices

While some news websites create news with a motive to exchange information, others create it to gain publicity and higher rankings. No matter what your ultimate purpose is, if your news website fails to rank among top websites, then hardly audiences will read it. Hence, undeniably SEO for news websites is of the utmost importance.

So, how does SEO for news websites differ from others?

Though the process of SEO optimization for news websites is almost similar to that for other sites, you have to follow a more targeted approach. Hence, read this post to learn the best way to do SEO for news sites to get ranks, visibility, and traffic.

14 Best Tips to do SEO for News Websites:

1. Create an Easy to Browse Website:

News websites are expected to contain every important and interesting piece of information around the world. In order to incorporate every vital detail, news sites end up having thousands of webpages, all of which need to be optimized and organized.

If you leave those thousands of pages unorganized, visitors will not be able to find relevant information. Your site visitors will get lost. When the link juice is not able to flow, the website does not rank, and hence, your website will lose its appearance in the rankings.

Hence, it is first vital to create a well-organized structure for your site pages. This can be done by taking into account the following tips:

  • Include a Search Bar – No matter how many pages your website has, it is essential to include a search bar at the top. This helps users efficiently find articles on topics of their interest.
  • Infinite Scroll – Each of your webpages is better than the other in its own unique way. However, you cannot operate a news website even when one or two are not there. Make sure that the unlimited content on your website is displayed into bits and sections.
  • Create Tags and Categories – Group different articles on a related topic using tags and categories. Also, they are good from an SEO point of view if the tags and categories have anchor texts. It is good to include such links in the navigation bar.
  • Breadcrumbs – make browsing easier by linking the home page to the news category.

With all these tips, your visitors will be easily able to find the content they require. But this is not it. In order to SEO optimize your news website and make things easier for search engines, you have to practice some additional steps.

  • Create a Sitemap of Your Website – Google must be able to index all news articles on your website. Otherwise, they will fail to rank in search results. Therefore, create a sitemap for your website using a sitemap generation tool.
  • Link Articles Between Each Other – You must incorporate links that catch user’s attention and entice them to click it. This helps in gaining online authority, which is helpful to push your SERP rankings higher.

2. Practice Basic SEO Techniques:

SEO is practiced in two ways – On-page and Off-page. For on-page optimization, you require high-quality articles, which are optimized for search engines as well as users. Being a news website, it must contain a blog, which is updated every day.

3. Conduct In-depth Keyword Research:

For news websites, you have to take quick actions. Otherwise, other sites will win the race and steal your audiences. Hence, you have to be very quick in writing your articles and much faster in optimizing them.

Use online tools such as WebCEO’s keyword suggestions tool in order to select keywords relevant to your topics. Once identified, insert the keywords in the following places:

  • Meta Descriptions – They function as a follow-up for page titles. Hence, must be eye-catching and relevant.
  • Page Titles – Create clickable, attention-grabbing, and compelling titles for your news pages.
  • Page URLs – Rather than using the automatically generated default URLs for your webpage, you must define your own URLs. This will help winning user’s trust and loyalty.
  • H1-H4 Tags – With header tags, Google and readers are able to easily comprehend the content of your news articles.
  • Filenames and ALT Attributes of Images – Include ALT attributes and filenames for all images on your site. This will help your website to get found on Google.
  • Anchor Texts – Create anchor texts of links to other posts. This is beneficial for gaining higher rankings.

4. Avoid Using Duplicate Content:

Your news website can be penalized by Google if you are using duplicate content. Google refines plagiarized content and does not rank them in its search rankings. It is therefore vital to create original articles, which users are unable to find organically.

However, if you are not able to find the original content, then you can practice the following steps to safeguard your website from duplicate content issues.

  • Edit the content completely and make it unique
  • Incorporate the rel=” canonical” attribute directing to the original source
  • Set up 301 redirects pointing to the original article

5. Include Shareable Images on Every Page:

Images are an indispensable aspect of user experience and with so many pictures online, finding and posting unique and relevant one can be tricky. But if you are using images on your website, then better you use them for SEO.

Make sure that images on your website do not intervene with your website’s loading speed. For this, you must consider the following aspects:

  • Keep image sizes to a minimum
  • Save them in the correct format
  • Edit and adjust the width and height of images to fit the page
  • Compress them without compromising their quality
  • Merge similar images when relevant

Different news websites may use images of the same hero, but it is best if you include a unique image. This will encourage sharing your post in social media as they have an image which no one has seen before.

6. Maintain a Website with Fast Loading Speed:

The faster you share the hottest news, the more likely you are to achieve the desired results. Try to be the first one to tell your users about the current affairs and latest events. With a fast loading speed for your website, you are likely to avail higher ranking in Google.

The best part is that you have to practice only a few small things to boost the loading speed of your website.

  • Optimize all images on your website.
  • Make sure your website pages have minimum and clean codes.
  • Use less number of redirects, and if possible, don’t use them at all.
  • Host your news website on an efficient server or on a powerful content delivery network.
  • Utilize accelerated mobile pages for creating fast-loading pieces of content.

7. Design a Mobile-Friendly Website:

Though reading news on newspapers and a bigger device is much comfortable than reading on small screen mobiles, a large number of audience use mobiles. Now, if you want to attract those mobile audiences, you must create a mobile-friendly website. And this is something really very important because Google’s mobile-first indexing is a vital criterion in ranking websites.

Luckily! It is not difficult to optimize your website for mobile readers. You have to make minor changes to fit well the small screens.

  • Integrate a responsive design.
  • Use bigger sized fonts of at least 16 point.
  • Remove obstructive or diverting popups.
  • Leave the basic minimum space between paragraphs, lines, buttons, images, and other elements on your page.
  • Make sure your website loads fast on the mobile platform as well.

8. Rectify All Technical Errors:

First, schedule the number of news articles that you plan to post on a daily basis. To make sure your news website delivers an enriched experience to the readers, rectify all technical errors and keep your website free from all kinds of issues.

Do a website audit at least once a week. You can use online tools to perform such an audit and fix an error as soon as you find it.

9. Build Relevant Backlinks for Your Website:

Just like other websites, even your news site would require relevant backlinks. You can gain appropriate backlinks from various platforms.

  • Blogs – One easiest way to get a backlink for your news website is to cite the news article on another platform as a source. You can post it on your own blog, or write a guest post for others. Alternatively, you can post a non-spammy link in comments while maintaining the quantity and quality.
  • Forums – Almost all popular forums do have a section for news threads. You can use this to get backlinks for your website. Just keep into consideration the quality and avoid fetching too many of them at once. Remember, Google expects site owners to have at least 20% of nofollow links to make it look natural. Hence, try getting nofollow links from authoritative websites, which Google also likes.
  • Content Directories – Another easy way is to submit your news article to specialized directories. These directories possess high domain authority. Earning backlinks from them can lend you a great boost in rankings.

10. Boost Engagement Using Social Media:

Social media platforms are great to run news websites. These platforms can help you form a mutually beneficial and healthy relationship with your audiences. Hence, make attempts to grow it.

The best way is to post frequently and consistently. In addition to this, you must be present on almost every social platform that you think of. This implies you must share the news articles on various popular platforms like Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn,  Consider using other platforms too besides these popular ones. The wider you extend your reach, the number of audiences you can expect.

Once relevant social media pages for your website have been created, keep a close track on how they are performing. If your social media pages are not performing up to the mark, implement adequate strategies for improvement. The success of your social media strategies depends on user engagement, comments, shares, up-votes, and other aspects for your posts.

This way, you can even compare the performance of your pages.

11. Post News Articles at Best Time:

Your readers are not available on the internet 24 x 7. If you are posting on a time when your readers are not there, most of your updates will likely get buried under numerous other posts. So, post your articles at the best time.

Check the best time and best days for each platform. Play it safe and look through data in Google Analytics to get the most for your posts.

12. Link Your Website to Social Pages:

The easiest way for your readers to find you on social media platforms is through news portal. Most websites place links to their social pages in the upper corner or in the footer. Even people are aware of this fact, and hence, they scroll down to identify the relevant links.

To enhance the relevancy of your links, place icons of the social platform adjacent to their links.

13. Incorporate Buttons for Sharing Your Articles on Social Media:

The most preferable choice for readers is the ability to share the content in just a single click. To make it possible for readers to share your articles, make it quick and easy for them.

Just make sure you are informing the right people about the sharing option.

14. Feature Your Website in Google News:

If you are able to rank high in Google, it is already a big success. But featuring your news articles in Google News is the best thing you can do for your posts. In order to achieve it, you must fulfill the following requirements.

  • Make sure you are only a news website.
  • Submit your website to Google news and verify your ownership.
  • Include relevant URLs for all your articles featured in Google News.
  • Proofread your text well so that they are free from punctuation, grammar, and syntax errors.
  • If possible, try to keep your website local SEO friendly.
  • Incorporate high-quality videos and images in your articles. It can deliver better results if it’s unique.
  • Create a mobile-friendly website
  • Make sure your website has a fast loading speed.
  • Consider creating accelerated mobile pages
  • Follow precisely guidelines from Google Webmaster.
  • Post your news article under relevant news category.
  • Create a sitemap for your content.
  • Properly structure your data.

Google reviews your articles and news as soon as you submit them. Following the above-mentioned steps will make your news website an SEO optimized one and a suitable candidate to gain higher rankings in SERPs.

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