How to Increase Online Readership
Does your site have a large repository of content? Have you noticed that traffic isn’t growing and if it is – is it growing slowly or not at all? Is the only time you see a spike in web traffic is when a particular story ranks well? If so, is the traffic short-lived? There are several things you can do to get the most out of the content you create.
You first need to ensure you’re implementing SEO best practices. If you’re not you will be limited to the amount of traffic you can generate from organic search. Smart, funny, and witty titles do not drive organic traffic. Titles such as these could be and should be used in social media. However, when writing titles for the purpose of driving organic traffic you should follow the outline below.
Choosing The Right Keywords
I’ve conducted dozens of training for news organizations and one factor that is consistent throughout all of them is the lack of sticking with the basics of news reporting. That includes writing titles that address the…
When people search for news or articles they are searching for in many cases it about something they heard somewhere else. The searcher recalls key facts about the story using the five Ws listed above. It could be a person or a company (who) around a certain event or time period (where and when). While using just the facts in titles is boring, it is what Google understands. You could use a separate title for the title tag (SEO) and another for readers on the site. This way you can serve both the searcher’s need and the visitors browsing existing content.
Optimize Your Images and Videos
If you’re not optimizing your image names and ALT tags your missing out on traffic from image search. Google also tends to pull in images on the first page of Google results as well. More than one-third of all keywords now contain Google images. In many cases images, show above organic listings. A well-rounded SEO strategy should always include image optimization. Don’t forget to ensure your images load quickly.
Videos can also play a major role in how long a user spends on your site. Time on site is a signal to Google that searchers are finding value in your content. If you can optimize video to show up in search results you can also drive more traffic. As you construct your content think about how these different elements can be optimized to leverage more organic traffic. You are not just limited to content.
How to Get Even More Traffic to Your Topic Pages
Regardless of whether you are a news organization or an online magazine making it easy for site visitors to discover content is an important part of the user experience. If you’re a health magazine you may have a section that discusses healthy recipes, all of your recipes fall under this main “umbrella”. How does this type of categorization help with both SEO and sales opportunities?
If you’re a health magazine you may have a section that discusses healthy recipes. All of your receipts fall under this main “umbrella”. Someone landing here may Google “healthy recipes” or “healthy recipes to make at home” which is great. However, what if someone landed here and wanted to then explore different types of recipes they would have a hard time locating them easily.
Or, what if a person reading a keto recipe wanted to read more recipes on keto? Do they need to scroll through pages and pages of the website? How unappealing is that? What if someone lands on an article and they could easily find all the different types of recipes (or the most popular) on every page?
Now, a visitor reading a keto article can find all of the articles easily within one click. Think of how the user experience has been improved. This equates to more page views, time on page, and revenue! You can take it one step further and break down the keto recipes into types of foods such as desserts, breakfast, dinner, etc.
How to Increase Readership Without Creating More Content
Too many online publications are relying on visitors to scroll to find content. This isn’t a bad idea however, it does alienate those who are looking for a specific topic to read more about. Just because more users are coming in from mobile doesn’t mean they don’t want to f
You are also missing out on SEO opportunities. If you have pages broken out by different types of recipes you can now optimize for each type. If someone now Google’s Keto recipes you now have an opportunity to drive traffic for people searching just keto recipes.
Another reason sub-navigation is important is that Google loves navigations. The more clicks it takes to discover content the less likely Google will rank. In Google’s mind if visitors can’t discover it by browsing the site in less than 3 clicks then chances are they will never find it. So, why would Google rank content others can’t find?
Increasing Revenue Through Topic Pages
If your magazine published workout routines by famous athletes you may want to create a topic page for each. Many famous athletes have their own merchandise, supplements or partnerships that make this a good opportunity to create a topic page. If you covered a lot of articles about Dwyane “The Rock” Johnson you know that he has a partnership with Under Armour. Your sales team could reach out to the Under Amours to see is they would like to buy all the ad spaces on the topic page and on ALL of the articles that are on that topic.
What if Under Amour doesn’t want to buy ad space? Go after other athletes that would love to sell their supplements to the Rock’s audience. If you package your content properly it is easier to get advertisers that want to target a specific audience.
You can use the same model for just about any time of content. A website covering political news my write a good amount of content around the President could create a topic page of all the content pertaining to him. Advertisers or politicians looking to get in front of his audience would jump at the chance to advertise to them.
Additional ways to get more out of your content
Once you’ve created your topic pages and you start working to optimize them and fill them with content the next step is to make them work for you in other ways. If you write stories about Microsoft on a regular basis and created a topic page what other “features” could you add to that particular section of the site to add value?
Envision a topic page that contains a summary of Microsoft as a company. Who founded the company and how long they have been in business. You could add a stock widget to show the company’s current stock price. You could also add an email alert option so that users can be notified of when a new article is added to the section as well as an RSS feed so visitors can subscribe to new updates.
What other elements could you add to this page to make it “sticky” and add value rather than just content? Doing so will make these topic pages a great resource for other sites to link to. We know that links have value in SEO and having more links increases the ability of your content to rank. Try some of these strategies and let me know just how you were able to increase your online readership.