News websites have a constant stream of fresh content, and special Google features such as Top Stories, but simply putting news content out into the world doesn't guarantee it will rank in Google or attract traffic to your site. Here are five things you should consider regarding SEO and news content on Google.
- Build Evergreen Content Into Your Approach: As a news site, your core business model is to write about timely subjects. But ninety-nine per cent of the time, when you write about timely subjects, your articles will inevitably have a short lifespan. You will see an initial spike of traffic to your article, and that article will receive less and less traffic as it ages. Evergreen refers to the content staying relevant and useful for a long period of time.
- Make Sure Your Content Shows up in Google News: Start by checking the content guidelines for inclusion to make sure that your site is up to Google's standards. Most reputable news sources already follow these guidelines. Next, check the technical guidelines for inclusion to make sure Google can crawl your site and understand which of your pages news articles are. Once everything is looking good, submit your site for Google's approval. You'll be able to see whether your site has been accepted typically within three weeks.
- Concentrate on Clean Architecture: News sites can be a challenge for SEO growth because they are large and constantly growing by nature. Staying on top of your site architecture is essential in terms of keeping your site both navigable for readers and easy for search engines to crawl. Take a look at the tags and categories you're using on your site and ask yourself whether they're working for you. If you have multiple tags with only a few articles each, it may be more beneficial to consolidate things to a smaller amount of pages with more content.
- Mobile Usability Is Critical: Mobile usability is important for any website nowadays, but for news sites, it's even more critical. At the very least, your site should be constructed using responsive design, which fits your formatting to whatever screen size a viewer is using.
- Optimize for Crawl Speed: There are several SEO factors that can help with crawl speed, including site speed, hosting performance and XML sitemaps. You can't treat news sitemaps like every other sitemap, however. Google has laid out some important guidelines for sitemaps in the news vertical.